This morning, I am editing the 5 new tutorial videos I recorded yesterday. I noticed some of my tics and thought perhaps I should mention the fact that I have Tourette’s. My tics are not severe – mostly just facial twitches and throat clearing. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 50 and doing my student teaching to become a teacher, a midlife career change. I have been ticking since I was 5, but never really knew why. The neurologist that diagnosed me proscribed a strong medicine that would reduce the tics, but it would also have a side effect of flat-lining my emotions. As a creative artist, I need my emotions and also believed there would be value in modelling diversity for my future students, so I never took the medicine. I tell my new students about the tics at the beginning of each school year, and it felt like this might be a good time to formally tell anyone who follows my liturgical guitar work.
You may have noticed that I don’t include my face in my tutorials. My primary reason is that I want to demonstrate what is most important to my viewers by maximizing the guitar in the video frame. By giving you the largest and best views of my fingers, you stand a better chance of figuring out some of the little things I am doing. But I admit that I also desired to keep the tics out of the picture so they would not be a distraction. I have not always been successful at that, and now you know the rest of the story.
I do believe that God gave me Tourette’s for a reason and I have grown to accept it as one of the little crosses I must bear. All God's children got crosses, and mine are pretty light so far. The ADHD (undiagnosed in my case, but given my thought processes there is a good probability – plus 50% of boys with Tourette’s have it) is good for creativity and the mild teasing over the years has made me more sensitive and empathetic to others. You can be sure that my students know they will not be teased in Mr. Nailon’s Spanish classroom. And that’s all I have to say about that.