“I always just thought I couldn’t learn…”

David tells his story
David tells his story

This is David’s story. He completed Computers in Homes in Hokitika. As well as basic computing, he has achieved nine introductory Stepping UP Digital Steps and seven advanced Digital Steps. David couldn’t wait to get up the front on graduation night and talk about his experience with computing. He wants his story to be told.

David grew up on farms – lived in the valley on the farm all his life, except for the bit when he went into the Territorials and did some army training. His greatest joy is being out on the tractor. His partner is a local stock agent, and works full time, David cares for their children at home.

He discovered WestREAP when he came in one day to ask for support for his dyslexia. This is the part he wants to talk about. His oldest child was at school, the next in line was due to start and he wanted to be more active in their education, he wasn’t looking forward to homework. He started with our Early Literacy Programme and our Adult Literacy tutor service. He didn’t feel ready for that, and withdrew from both after a short time, he felt that he’d come this far and what did he need it for anyway? He loved the farm, that’s where he was happiest.

Long story short, he came back to REAP, bringing his children to Melody Makers – in support of another dad who was new to ‘this, being at home’. While he was here decided to give the Early Lit a go again. He completed it, then he spotted Computers in Homes and thought it looked good. He started to come along at the beginning of this year. David wanted everyone to know ‘this course changed my life!

“I never thought of myself as learning anything – I just love my work and that was enough.

All my life, I found out I had dyslexia early and I always just thought I couldn’t learn, I have a learning disability! When computing came along, I thought ‘I’d never be able to do that’.

Now I don’t think that, I know I can do it and I don’t want to finish doing it.”

“Cheryl,” he announced, “you’re not giving me these bits of paper and sending me away, I’m coming back! I’m not finished yet!”

David and I have talked a lot since as we’ve built his story. He’s only disappointed it’s not going into a magazine or a book or something – he wants everyone to hear it and think about the possibilities of learning. He said he doesn’t consider himself one of the worst ones, there are a lot of people out there with the same learning thing as him, who have no idea that they can learn, it’s really sad. They’re much worse off than him, he reckons. The best part about doing this, he said, is that he can enjoy being with his children when they’re doing their homework! He thinks he’ll probably be learning a lot of it along with them, but he’s really happy that they’re not going to have the same experience of school – ‘the epic mystery’ – that he had. He’s on a mission!

Find out more about Digital Steps on the Stepping UP website.

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