Physically impaired individuals demonstrate over and over that the cards you're dealt by life matter less than how artfully you play them.
Have you ever known a physically impaired individual? I've taught disabled children for 28 years. I've seen them triumph over incredible socioeconomic problems, and I've had kids with multiple impairments who went on to college and now have master's degrees in teaching.
Is there any kind of early life difficulty that shaped the person you became? Losing my mom when I was 17 turned me into an independent, self-sufficient, self-directed woman.
Do you wish you'd had more art or music education? I've been trying to acquire that as I grow older. I take art classes, and my husband is a musician. I play the flute a little, but not well.
Do you know any physically impaired people? A childhood friend grew up to be a professional bull rider and then got severely injured. He was tough and principled before, and he remains so now.
Name a way you don't fit in. I don't fit in politically with Colorado Springs or with the east Montana ranch culture I grew up in.
What's something you'd change about yourself? I'd do something to make the world better, like work in a school that has a harder time getting committed teachers.
Do you wish you'd had more art or music education? I wish I knew more about music theory. I'd like to know more about what's going on in the music I enjoy.
Western Strategies employee
Have you ever known a physically impaired individual? My son is a high-functioning autistic with Asperger's syndrome. It's posed some interesting challenges, but he's made my life richer. His father and I worked hard to make him feel like a complete person who views the world from a different perspective.
Name some way you don't fit in. I don't do well in large groups. It's partly shyness, partly a little agoraphobia.
Do you wish your children were getting more art or music education? When we moved here from Chicago, we chose a house near Skyway Elementary because music and art education was one of that school's strong points. Both kids played in the school band, had art K-12, and enjoyed it enormously.