Tag Archives: Vlogs

My visual epiphany

As I lay here, contemplating life and things, I had a bit of an epiphany (about myself, not anything that would benefit the rest of the world, of course).

I have a few posts wherein I mention my dwindling vision, but, in the posts and real life, I’m always a little flippant about it.

“Yeah, my peripheral vision’s gotten really bad, and I can’t see the same distances anymore, but what do you think of the new Mayday Parade album?” (quick aside, it’s called Sunnyland, and I love it)

Yet, in contrast, when I talk about my eye doctor, I get frustrated because I don’t think he took my visual concerns seriously when I first brought them to him about two years ago. It felt as though he was saying that, because I didn’t read print, or actively rely on my vision for more obvious things, that it wasn’t as high a priority. But I use my vision for travel: Sometimes i’ll see the pole before my cane hits it, or if it misses it completely (though sometimes not), finding visual landmarks, seeing traffic lights at night, and differentiating between my darker, sad-looking 3 train and the well lit 2 at 14th street, when it’s too loud to hear announcements. To stare lovingly at all of the shades of blue I have in my wardrobe and, well, in my life in general. To admire the glow of brown of my hand in sunlight. To laugh at the person in the neon colored shirt (colors like that grab my eyeball and refuse to let go). To get angry when I can’t figure out if my pants are black or navy unless I have the two colors pressed side-by-side… Perhaps it seems insignificant, because I can’t, and never really could, examine all of the finer details of something. And if I am walking with other people, I rely on my cane and their vision. But all of that is still a part of my visual reality. Something that cannot necessarily be measured, or is not readily apparent to someone sighted. But is still quite real to me.

But anyway, it felt as though, because I don’t do more important sighted things, it was something we could hope was a side benefit of adjusting my medicine to help my eye pressure. Rather than actively working toward trying to preserve it. Vision lost from glaucoma can generally not be regained, and sometimes, no matter how many drops you use, you will lose it anyway. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

I already had losses in the past: I used to be able to read money with a bit o’ squinting, and I could consistently read the numbers on a cable box until about a year ago. But I adjusted. And I’m sure I will adjust again, but by being so flippant with the world, and even myself, I feel like I was disregarding the feelings of… frustration. And maybe not loss but… something like it (some English major I am, right?:)

What I came to realize today is that, I think that I think if I show how much the vision loss is bothering me, it feels like I’m contradicting everything I’ve said in my posts and videos over the years. Things like:

•Being blind (visually impaired, whatever) isn’t something that bothers me. Other than not being able to drive a car, I’m genuinely happy with things. I love reading braille. I love playing with all of this technology… so why is it a big deal that I’m losing vision? If I’m so happy with things, if I encourage my fully blind friends to do… whatever, then why does the thought of being fully blind make me panic?

I know it’s not from a fear of inability after blindness, but, I think, worry that I will eventually forget all of those things listed above. But knowing the reason behind my emotion, still seems like a… betrayal of everything I’ve put out there.

•I hate when people assume that I’ll jump on the first surgery that promises 20/20. I’ve only ever wished for the amount of vision I had as a kid. I still had to use a cane, but I never cared about that part. I just basked in what I could see.

This was when I read both large print and braille. My sister tried to have me keep going with my handwriting, and print reading, but my teachers wanted to focus more on braille. I wish I had continued working with her. But it felt useless if I wasn’t going to be using it in school. But I still loved those days, when I forgot to braille my spelling words, and my teacher would write them out in large print for me to study and copy over at home. Getting back the vision I had when I was younger, it’s something I can wrap my head around, not this nebulous idea of “perfect vision”/20/20. This is my reality, and a change in my vision that drastic would probably cause a lot more trouble and adjustment than most people think it will. I would have to re-learn so many things (for example, print), But also how to see with both eyes (since I could never see from the right one).

•Why is it okay to grab my arm in the street? I don’t care if you’re offering to help me cross—which you usually don’t do, actually, you just let me know your helping and assume I’m okay with it. Would you grab the little old lady and just start dragging her across the street? Or hop into someone’s car and just start steering because you know the route better than them? No. So why is it okay because I have a mobility cane and not a walking stick? Or Because my vision is less than yours? Do either of those things somehow negate my humanness?

Being unhappy about potentially becoming fully blind feels like I’m saying something is wrong with blind people. Like it’s something we should hide. Like it’s now okay for you to tell me that I’m going the wrong way because I passed the exit. But you, the all-knowing sighted, didn’t notice the entrance to my school off to the side. And now it’s amazing that I’m going to school. My family must be proud. Not because they have a member in college, but because they have a blind person in college. Do you stand at the entrances to the campus telling each student you’re proud they made it? No? Just little old me? What if I’m rich and my parents money could buy me into college, and the girl behind me is someone from a society where women are not allowed to get an education, and it really is amazing that they made it?

This isn’t to negate the struggles of some blind people. But you shouldn’t assume that every blind’s life is like walking on a bed of nails. Whereas you, privileged Sighted—not in the racial sense, but in the having working eyeballs sense—had it easy comparatively (because of those eyeballs).

It feels as though I’m betraying the nature of that last rant by being distraught about my own vision problems. I know I’m not, but it doesn’t change that I feel that way.

So I shrug it off, and then have a completely unexpected cry on a bench in Madison Square Park. It was a few weeks ago, I had taken off my sunglasses, and I forgot how long it takes my eyes to adjust from them, and I freaked out a bit at how much dimmer everything was.

I forget how much writing it all down helps me sort through it all.

Of course I could have talked to any number of friends about this—and I sort of have, but there’s always a lightness I take to the conversation that I don’t really mean to but, see above, but there’s something about just writing—I love writing—that truly helps to give me some perspective.

I’m naturally a little flippant about things—I’m usually genuinely unbothered by a lot—but that then makes it easy to transfer over that glibness to things I do care about, that make me uncomfortable.

  Well, as it’s now 5:13, I should probably try to get back to bed (I woke up 3 hours ago and haven’t been able to fall asleep).

Hope you enjoyed my rambles.

And check out my last vlog, a room tour, until I come back. Which will be sooner than last time.

I Love English

I love English.

Like, I adore all things words, and language, and etymology.

***

I’ve made many videos on my math problems at Hunter, and the uselessness of my accessibility office.

But to summarize (as it’s relevant to this post), I’ve taken the same (basic math 101 course) THREE times. Each time, I’ve had a different issue.

The first, a professor who didn’t know how to handle his blind student, and an accessibility office who wouldn’t provide me with braille. The homework was online, so my professor assigned me work from the book and I worked with a notetaker. However, we never had enough time for me to work, then her to scribe. So, consequently, not much studying and failed exams. And I requested a credit/no credit (so the F wouldn’t show up on my transcript).

The second, was a summer course. Yes, it would be intensive, but I would also be giving it my undivided attention.

Here, I worked on the online homework with a classmate. This proved a much more efficient method. However, my proctor was unfamiliar with the math symbols. Like, he didn’t know less than or greater than. And eventually I had to ask my professor for a cheat sheet for him. However, it didn’t prove affective. He still messed things up, and struggled to understand what I told him as he scribed for me. So, even though I received 100% on each homework, I failed each test with flying colors. Which means that I also failed the class. I tried appealing, but didn’t win, as I was still failing even after the proctor was given the sheet.

And finally, last spring semester. I found a classmate to assist me with the homework, and a proctor who knew math. My professor was also wonderfully understanding. So what could possibly go wrong, right?

Well, my classmate was failing math and I think something else, so we couldn’t work together anymore. Of course I’m not upset with her for having her issues, but it made things hard. I was having no additional practice on the work (so failed the next exam), and because we were half way through the semester, it was pretty much impossible to find another notetaker to work with. So I requested an incomplete. But was constantly locked out of the online course.

And both the math and accessibility offices kept sending me to the other and not addressing my issues. Which I’ve learned, from speaking to other visually impaired students is not unusual.

***

I wrote all of that to explain what’s happening with me in school. I took tons of psych credits that are now useless because I don’t have my core math credit, which would allow me to take the math pre-rec for the major. So I started working toward a major in English.

I’d never planned on focusing on English. It would either be a minor (along with religion) or a double major. But after taking my creative writing pre-rec and now currently in my History of English course, I realized that that was a mistake.

Psych is a big interest, one that I’ve been into since I was about eleven. But English is my passion. My love, if you will.

I realized that part of the reason I was so intent on having a career in psychology (with English on the side), was because of the general belief that majoring in English would not yield lucrative career prospects. And forget about music. But that’s what everyone told me. Yet, never the people who were closest to me (my godmother, sister, and friends). They were cool with whatever I pursued. But even in psychology, I heard about what I should do that would make me more money.

When the math trouble started, I began considering other majors and careers. Obviously, English was the runner up. I could become an editor. A knowledge of English would be important, as well as my bordering on unhealthy obsession with reading. And, as a vision teacher pointed out, creative writing is important. Most people think of people studying literature and only being able to become a teacher. But in just about any field, you need to know how to write.

Also, everyone has this image of the starving artist when they hear that’s someone’s a writer, artist or musician. But one can be a legal or magazine  writer, a book illustrator or web designer, and audio engineer or, well, I can’t think of something else. But you get the idea.

And though it’s going to suck graduating in five years instead of four (in addition to math, I’ve had problems with professors, and other accessibility issues), I’m really excited to be studying English.

It’s also disconcerting, I entered college with a plan, almost but not quite down to the classes I’d take. And now I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen after graduation. I don’t even know if I’m going to make it through math 101, and stats so that I can at least have a minor in psych. Will I pursue a masters next? And if so, in what? Clinical psychology? The hugely controversial MFA??

AAAAH! It’s hard. And now telling people that I’m majoring in English without launching into the whole sordid tale. But hey, I’ll definitely be able to study abroad with two years left to go. And I feel really good about this decision.

Now I should probably go back to my homework (ironically, for English). As I’ll be getting sleepy soon.

Stay tuned for another post later this week. I may be feeling good about my major, but my dating life is…😂 (here, just watch)

Kay, see you later👋🏾

I Don’t Regret Being Blind

This was originally posted on February 8, 2017, at 3:32 AM on blogger.

***

I rarely lament being visually impaired. Even lately, with my vision worsening, it’s not something I do. Sometimes, I think wistfully, things would be easier if I could just skim documents like a sighted can, or if I could just read and write (in print) the answers to my own work instead of having to find a notetaker for certain circumstances. But everyone wishes for things they either can’t have or can’t do. So why should it be any different for me?

I can’t skim a document because in braille, it’s hard, I’d even say impossible, to just let one’s fingers glide over the words waiting for something to pop out at you. You actually have to pay attention to the words. And it’s not as though you can visually scan for bolded or highlighted text. But, sometimes, if your using a device like the BrailleNnote—essentially, a braille computer—then you can use the search string or text finder to search for words that you feel are important. Or find, sometimes more quickly than the sighted person scanning, the passage that your professor is reading. So an easy work-around.

In my lab class, all of the labs are paper-based and the PDF’S that the class has to print out are inaccessible with my screenreader—a software that reads most, if not all, of the visual content found on a computer screen (I use voiceover, Apple’s screen reader). So I need a notetaker for this class to both read the labs to me and then write my answers. It’s a little annoying, because sometimes this causes me to fall behind a little depending on how long it takes to find someone, but again, fairly easy to fix.

This post was prompted by someone on the train today, asking if I wished I could see “normally”.

“Well,” I told them. “The way I see is normal to me.”

“You know what I mean,” she sounded flustered. “See like… with both eyes.”

Sometimes, sure. I realize how convenient life would be. Instead of needing a note taker for my Weather and Climate class, I would be able to see the images my professor points to and have no trouble getting all of the notes. But I can’t.

I didn’t say this to the woman. What I did say was:

“Sometimes. But I’m happy with the way things are.”

“Well God bless you,” she said. “This is my stop but I’ll keep you in my prayers. I’ll pray for you to get your sight back.”

“Have a good day.” I told her. What I really wanted to say was: “Thanks. But I never had twenty/twenty so that prayer is kind of pointless.”

But I choose my battles. And I realize that for most, if not all of the people who say things similar to what that woman said, it’s not coming from a place of cruelty.

It can be frustrating though. People constantly praying to change me, or not understanding how I could be happy as… well… myself.

I’m blind, visually impaired, whatever. And I’m cool with it. Why shouldn’t I be? I can’t change things. Not easily anyway.

Just because being blind and happy is unfathomable to you, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

***

So, on January 25, Mending Misconceptions turned 2. I would have written a celebratory post like I did last year, but I was lounging around my godmother’s house in Atlanta that week, and not thinking about blogging. I have no excuses for the other two weeks of radio silence. I had so many plans for my winter break; all involving artistic hobbies that I either had to put on hold last semester (it got really intense) or things that I’ve always thought about but never seriously worked on. … I did non of that. I worked, read, ate and slept. And it was glorious.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week. My next post on braille reading speeds should be up by Saturday. And in the meantime, don’t be shy, check out my latest vlog upload.

till next time

довиђења ( (Goodbye in Serbian/Montenegrin)

I Slapped Someone Today… By Accident

This was originally posted on November 18, 2016, at 11:59 PM on blogger.

***

As texted to my sister and a few friends:

• Um… I may have just backhanded someone by accident.

•As I was walking, I put my hand up, the one with my phone in it, to rub my nose. On my next step, the back of my hand connected with the side of someone’s face.I was in the process of lowering it… it didn’t make a cool resounding sound, I assume because there was no real force behind it, but it startled both of us. I’m not sure why she was so close considering I was in the middle of the sidewalk but… yeah…

•• But then, I think she was just .. standing there!!

I was very startled by the encounter. And when my sister sent me back a laughing emoji I was like it’s not funny! But a few seconds later I started smiling. It was just kind of surreal.

And something I forgot to tell them in the messages was that after having slapped this woman, she asked if I was okay. … WHAT?

***

Look out for the post I have scheduled for tomorrow at 8. In the meantime, check out one of my latest  Vlog videos. My sister and I went to DC, and people were actually speaking to me like  I was a person. (Watch the video to better understand).

See you around… or rather, you’ll see me 🙂

To Margaret and Roman: Two of My Favorite Strangers

This was originally posted on May 7, 2016, at 9:00 AM on blogspot.

***

Hello my dearest readers,

I know, it’s been nearly a month since I wrote to you all.  But this semester has been more trying than the last (which is something I feel like I’ll be saying every semester).  I’ve also, as has happened in the past, been having trouble coming up with things to write about.  It’s been a lot easier rambling on camera for the vlog than sitting down and writing.  I hold a far higher standard for my writing than I do for my videos-which, of course, isn’t to say that my videos are of poor quality-but I am a perfectionist when it comes to my main craft and it is so easy to digress on camera.

But the final day of classes is the 19th, and while I’ll be taking a summer class, I’m going to be a lot stricter with myself with my “at least one post a week” rule.  And I will try to make it consistently on Saturdays.

But anyway, I’ve managed to digress from the reason behind this post: Margaret and Roman.

A few weeks ago, I went to a Yankees game with my sister (she was given two tickets at work).  It was actually my third time going to a baseball game: the first in fifth grade where the Mets lost to the Yankees 0 to 1, then came the camp trip when I was thirteen or so (it was the Staten Island Yankees) and I never got to see the game because it rained, and then this event where the Yankees won 6 to 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On my way back to my dorm that night, my sister and I were in a different part of the train than I normally ride in.  So when I got up stairs, I was slightly disoriented.  I knew which intersection I was at, I just wasn’t certain of my direction: so which way was east, west, etc.  As I pulled out my phone to check maps, the kind lady who’d helped me find the turnstile when I was in the train station, offered me further assistance by orienting me.  The kind lady, who I later came to learn was Margaret, and her son, Roman even went so far as to walk with me the entire way to my dorm.  I was going to take the crosstown bus (because though it was a rather nice night, I was feeling lazy) but she told me that they were headed in that direction anyway.  So after a brief bout of indecision (that’s one of my personality traits) I agreed and we set off.

On the walk-which involved crossing four avenues (for my readers who have never been to New York, an avenue block is the equivalent of anywhere from one and a half to two and a half regular city blocks)-the three of us talked about all manner of things with school and books being two of our main subjects.  Nine-year-old Roman is an avid reader (a trait I hope you never lose) and Margaret as well, so we traded names of authors and books we liked.

I think one of my favorite moments was when I asked Roman if he’d read the Percy Jackson series and he said “yeah, I read that a long time ago” (or something to that affect).  I definitely had an older person moment because I thought something along the lines of “really dude? How long ago could it have been? My long ago was about four years ago when I was fifteen, and you were probably just past toddlerhood.” Of course this was thought good naturedly.  I think I then went on to think something along the lines of: “kids” and how different time is depending on your age.  Then I reminded myself that I wasn’t even that old, only nineteen.  And I laughed at myself and resumed our discussion.

Once we’d reached the point at which we were to part ways, Margaret offered to just walk me all the way home.  It only put them about two blocks out of their way, but it was still an extremely nice gesture.  And then, upon arriving at my dorm Margaret realized that this was the location where she and Roman came to swim weekly (the school rents the pool and gym to outsiders).  And that was an exciting coincidence.

As they walked me to the front doors, she also commented on the beauty of the tulips that were blooming outside of the building.  I made a point of stopping and checking them out in the daylight the next morning, and they are quite lovely.  So thank you for mentioning them, because it might have been a while before someone else pointed them out to me.

Upon entering my room after leaving them, I called my sister to let her know that I’d arrived and about the pleasant strangers I’d met and promoted myself to (by telling them about the blog).  I then talked to one of my friends, who I also regaled with the story of my walk with the strangers.

“They walked me all the way home,” I told.  “And we spent the entire walk talking but it was neither awkward or frustrating.”

“Oh that’s good,” she responded.  “I was actually going to ask if they were annoying.”

And I’m delighted to report that you were not.  There are so many people who offer assistance to me and, when I take it, talk incessantly about things I either don’t care about or don’t have that much to say about.  I realize that that may sound unkind, but generally, when I accept assistance from people it’s because they were being pushy and I did not want to argue.  How I feel about the chatter is also dependent on my mood.  As I told Margaret, I don’t care that your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s ex-wife is, was, or is going blind.  Well, actually sometimes those stories are interesting.  Or if the person is going blind, I can offer up information about resources.  But generally people just throw the information out there with no real purpose.  Usually causing me to respond awkwardly “oh, that’s cool” or “really?”.  And after the person says “yes” or something to that effect as response, it doesn’t lead anywhere.

On Thursday, someone asked if I needed help crossing the street, upon shrugging and saying sure, the guy said “my elbow is here”.  When I looked up in surprise, he was like “my mom’s blind, so I know what to do?.  Then we crossed and parted ways.  That was a cool interaction; it was short, sweet and the relationship to the blind person was relevant.  There are other people that know to offer their arm/elbow because of helping other bl/visually impaired people or maybe from observation or the assumption that offering one’s arm is less strange than holding hands.

But anyway, I went completely off track there (so much for my words at the beginning of the post, right?).

As I arrived at my dorm yesterday, the public safety officer stopped me and told me that Margaret and Roman wished him to give me their regards.  I was very confused initially so he began to hesitate a little:

“Margaret’s the mother,” he said slowly.  And after another second, the lightbulb snapped on.  And I was excited.  As was the security guard (I guess for it not turning into an extremely awkward situation).

He said that Roman had read through all of my blog posts and that he was extremely enthusiastic about it.

Awww.

So I hurried to my room and immediate began writing this post…  and then I laid down, watched Jeopardy!, fell asleep and finished this at 2 AM (with clips on The Tonight Show’s Youtube as my soundtrack).

So I wanted to write this post to let you know that I did receive your regards and that I wished to send my own in return.

Well till next time “Adieu, adieu

To you and you and you?”-Sound of Music

The Great Cane Incident of 2016

This was originally posted on April 10, 2016 at 11:49 on blogspot.

***

Warning: the following post may contain semi-strange formatting. And the slightly disjointed nature of the author’s thoughts may be jarring to some readers. Proceed with caution.

Copied from my Facebook on Friday, April 8:

I swear, Facebook, I cannot make this shit up. I was walking to my first class today, and someone tripped over my cane. I figured that it would probably

be a little bent but usable, it’s definitely happen before. But rather than being a little curved out of shape, The bottom most fold/link/whatever was

bent almost in half. I thought about trying to straighten it, and once I put a little bit of pressure on it. It pretty much snapped.

I went to the accessibility office after class, using my single usable eyeball and the bit of feedback that the broken came could give me. I almost tripped

down some stairs because, though I saw and expected them, there were a bunch of people in the way and I was trying to get around them. And of course, today

is the day i decide to wear my boots instead of sneakers so the heel caught on the step… But luckily for me, most people react quickly to a blind person

stumbling, And my reflexes aren’t terrible so…

Well, I’m off to class now with my scotch taped cane (they didn’t have duct tape).

My thoughts

As you can tell from the start of the post I was… I’m still not sure what word best describes how I felt. I wasn’t angry, more confused than anything else. People trip and hop (yes, hop, not even jump) over my cane quite a bit. And so I’ve had to replace a few because they were bent out of shape… but it’s never been broken. It was a little surreal, I guess.

I don’t usually curse, and so I knew that using it in my post would really get people’s attention.

Everyone Else’s thoughts

It was interesting, looking at the comments.

The ones from the people who knew me best all made light of it while the ones from family and acquaintances were all panicking and worried about my well-being. My fellow blind and visually impaired people sympathized. One person told me they had four spares by their door and one in their bag at all times while another told me that she’d replaced her cane three times so far this year. Luckily, I did have a spare in my room (though it wouldn’t have been hard to get a new one).

After telling her the story, my godmother asked if I’d “caught a big one”. That made me chuckle. The person was small in stature though I’m uncertain of…width.

I’m just still surprised that it broke. And now that I think about it, a little annoyed. Now I have to remember to get another spare. Sigh.

Well:

Sorry I was gone for such a long time. That whole college thing was rearing it’s head, and rather aggressively, I might add. I had papers galore. And when I wasn’t working, I was sitting and complaining of boredom. Then I’d remember my darling readers, but have nothing to write.

But I have been updating my blog (it’s easier to ramble on camera than write and perfect my posts to my satisfaction).

***

Soo… if you’re interested, you should check out my original poem, about people’s reactions to me. I wrote it a year ago. And when you’re through with that, watch my latest Vlog: What You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Blind Person. It’s long, but hopefully the content makes it worth it.

For my blind and low-vision readers:

The three pictures I included are of me: one of me holding the cane and then two of the cane by itself: one showing off the tape and the other how bent it was.

‘till Saturday

Chao (the Spanish spelling)

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I Miss Making Rolie Polie Olies

This was originally posted on March 4, 2016, at 4:40 PM on Blogger.

***

All right, first, there will likely not be a post tomorrow because

1.  I have no idea what I’m going to write about, and

2.  I’ll actually be behaving like a stereotypical teenager, so I’ll be “out”.

So you’re getting your post early.  (As usual, be forewarned of the needless backstory).

* * *

I have two classes today, the first one, at 11:10, was made optional (for today only) because we have a paper due in a few days.  So my professor decided to use the time to work on her Masters thesis and to conference with any student who felt they need help.  So, though I woke up a few times between 6:00 am and 9:00, I didn’t actually get out of bed until around 10:15.  I then paced for a while before finally beginning to get ready for the day.  And I ended up leaving ten minutes later than I was supposed to (this is what happens when you’re schedule is messed up).  But I still would have gotten to the second class in time had it not happened.

As I’m leaving the dorm building, one of the security guards comes up to me and offers to walk with me to the gate.

“It’s slippery,” she says.

Though I’m pretty sure I would have been fine, I nodded and murmured my agreement.  She takes my arm and I correct her; I’m supposed to hold her arm.  And we start moving.

Upon reaching the gate, she tells me to have a nice day and I wish her the same.  She kept using my first name, and I was proud of myself for not correcting her each time.  I’ve grown a little more comfortable with it over the years (out of necessity, since there are some people who either forget or simply refuse to call me Lily).

But anyway, after the guard—whose name I don’t think I ever knew—and I parted ways, I turned right, heading toward First Avenue.  As I walked, I had my head turned slightly to the right (I can only see out of my left eye, so I usually have to turn my head to see things on the right side).  I was looking out for the City Bike rack, I always have to remember to look out for it so I don’t stumble over a bike tire.  I see the person move up beside me, but I think nothing of it as I continue monitoring with my eye and sweeping my cane from left to right.  It’s New York City, there’s always people.

Then my cane jerks.  I pull it closer to my body, and pause mid stride.  I think the person tried to cut in front of me.

Did they fall? I ask myself.  It doesn’t look like it and I didn’t hear anything.

In the seconds it took me to mentally ask that, and continue walking, they’re on the ground…  and rolling (they roll onto my foot a little), and I see them hunch in on themselves.

WTF? I think.

I’m a little stunned.  I thought they were fine.  Did they fall in slow motion like eyenurse? It’s times like these when I wish my vision was a little better, not twenty/twenty, but just enough for me to have seen the fall from start to finish.

My lips curl upward (well, I’m always smiling, so I guess, to be more accurate, the upward tilt widened).  I wanted to laugh…  she freaking rolled! Which then made my think of Rolie Polie Olies.  And I had to try so hard not to laugh out loud.

“Are you alright?” I asked, my voice hesitant and not quite loud enough to cut through her moaning.

Did I forget to mention that? Yah, she was moaning.  That’s how I figured out it was a woman.

“Hey! Are you alright?” A man walks over to us.  And then a girl soon after (I think she’s a fellow dorm resident).

The man went to the lady, who wasn’t speaking English, but a language that sounded like some flavor of Asian while the girl just stood there, the only thing she’d said was “oh my God” when she first arrived.  He kept asking if she was alright, and offered to help her up.

“Okay,” he said, voice strained.  “On three.  One, two, three.”

She didn’t get up.  She said something in her language and then rolled over and lifted my cane, tapping it as she did.

“It was this, it was this.”

Honestly, my first thought was:

Why the F is she touching my cane? No, it was not my cane’s fault, it was yours.

My next thought was berating myself for being a terrible person.  Then I shrugged it off.  And I started fidgeting, wondering if it was appropriate for me to leave yet, I had to get to class.

The guy tries lifting her again, and she’s up this time.  I turn to leave and then stop.

The lady says something in her language, then the guy tells me that everything’s fine, and I can probably go, while the girl touches my arm gently, reiterating his words.

There was a quick second wherein I wondered why she was touching me, I didn’t feel it was necessary.  But I got over it, smiled pleasantly and went on my merry way…  to be nearly twenty minutes late to the next class.

* * *

Later, as I was getting off of the train (I was heading to work) someone was rushing past me off of the train and also tripped over my cane, this time knocking it from my hand.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” he said. “Are you okay?”

I just shrugged and was like, “yeah, can you get that for me?” as a very adamant Caribbean woman began yelling at him.  He handed me my cane and I left the station.  The woman seemed a little offended when, upon turning to me and asking if I was okay, I just shrugged it off.  It happens.  Which is my usual attitude.  Except for this morning.  Where I was extremely annoyed.  Irritated.  One of those words…  but not angry.

Well, till next time (i.e.   next Saturday, or sooner)

Adios

Addendum:

Here’s a rant about another person that tripped on my cane. It happened an hour or so after this post

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?:

This was originally posted January 20, 2016 at 2:55 PM on Blogger.

***

When I’m walking somewhere and it looks like I might need some help and, instead of offering me said help people just say things like:

“You know, it’s a fucking shame, nobody’s gonna help her.”, “Look at her, I feel so bad for people like that.  Someone should really do something, I think she’s going to walk into that pole (or whatever object)”, etc.

For the former comment why don’t you offer me the help since its such a shame? And the same goes for the latter.  But it’s as though they think I can’t/don’t hear them.

I also hate—as you’ve probably come to realize in some of my past anecdotes—when people just grab me because they think I need help.  (Please note that think is the operative word.) So it might go something like this:

I’m walking on a train platform and I, know, that while the part of the platform that I’m currently on is spacious, soon it’s going to get narrow; that there’s going to be stairs, escalators, and only a small gap between them and the yellow warning strip.  So I might start moving slowly, sweeping my cane in an extrawide arc, or—I walk quickly—so I may continue moving at my pace but extend my cane farther from my body.  So, rather than using it to sweep from side to side in front of me, I would keep that motion up, but I would be more focused on making sure I don’t go down the up escalator (that’s happened…  many times) or just onto the stairs when my goal is the exit, which is straight ahead.

So I’m walking and I begin approaching the escalator.  Now, I’m not positive that I’m heading that way, I think I see the silver (whatever material that is) that indicates the beginning  of the escalator but I’m not sure (I second-guess my vision a lot).  But before my cane can touch it to let me know, there’s a swarm of people, usually speaking loudly:

“That’s the escalator! You don’t want to go down the escalator do you? Miss, that’s the down escalator, you’re not going there.”

Or my arm will be grabbed.

“Where you headed, Miss? That’s the escalator you’re coming up to.” (You can also insert stairs wherever you see escalator.)

Of course, having this information is important to me, especially since the escalator is not where I intend to go.  But, you know what? If my cane does go down a step or I feel the ridges of the escalator beneath my shoes, or my cane begins to move because it’s on the first step of the escalator, all I have to do is go around it.

I completely understand that the people want to be helpful.  And I also get that not everyone knows how to go about it.  But imagine a day in which, at nearly every moment that you’re outside, at least one person is trying to be helpful.  It gets frustrating.

Now, I rarely ever snap at the helping hands.  I’m usually pleasant and polite.  But if I say I don’t need help, I will also remain firm about it.  Some people act affronted, like I kicked their puppy (which, I’m sorry to say, I’ve almost done a few times) but honestly, how can you insist someone needs help when they say they don’t? Or tell them that they should sit on the bus/train because it would make you feel better? That can come off as a little selfish.  You want me (a stranger to you) to do something for you (a stranger to me) because it would make you feel better? To borrow a term from my contemporaries: FOH.

There are also other instances wherein I tell the person I don’t need help, they say okay, but go ahead with it anyway.  For example:

I’m about to cross the street.  But I’m a little unsure of the traffic so, though I’m 60% sure that I can cross, I decide to wait, in case that 40% ends up being right.  An old man comes up to me, asking if I need assistance crossing.

“No, thank you,” I say.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, thank you.  Or, you know what, if you could just tell me when I can cross?”

“Sure.”

We wait in silence.  (Ugh, although sometimes they start talking to me; telling me about problems at work/with some friend or, and this is my favorite, when they tell me about their best friend’s husband’s mother who is also blind.  Yes, I know it sounds insensitive, especially from an aspiring therapist, but, I’m usually trying to get somewhere so I truly do not care.  When I’m a therapist, there will be time dedicated just for my patience…  but now? Although I will say, some people do have interesting lives, and those stories I don’t mind listening to (provided its told to me in a timely manner).  Ugh, but if you smell and won’t go away…  sorry, I digress.)

“You can cross now,” my elderly companion informs me.

“Thank you.” I reply and begin to cross.

“You know, I’m actually crossing this way,” my companion would then say.  “I’ll just help you anyway.” And then he would proceed to take my arm and we would cross.

At that point, I don’t even try.  I’m just like, “well, we’re crossing, it’s almost over, whatever.” Then I halfheartedly thank him upon reaching the other side.

There have been other times when the person would just let me go saying, with a laugh, “Boy, you walk fast.” or “You’re much faster than me.” or something to that effect.

I have friends who get really angry about it, they’ll argue and make a scene.  But I feel that you have to pick you’re battles.  And again, as stated above, I do get it, you want to be helpful.  But also think about your approach.  Think of how you may come off.  Think about the difference between grabbing and being forceful, and a touch on the arm (to let the blind person know you’re talking to them) and a calm word.

Sometimes I decline help because of the approach.  And I’ll hope for or try to find someone else that seems less…  volatile (for lack of a better word).

I’m compiling a list of other things that bother me.  And I’m also trying to find a different title for the future posts so that my stealing from Family Guy isn’t quite so obvious.  But this seems attention grabbing enough.

Also, I know I keep saying I’m back then I disappear again.  But, this disappearance was significantly shorter than the last (two or so weeks vs.  an entire semester).  I’m also taking a winter class and that’s been pretty…  intense.  But I’ve scheduled some posts to post at points this week.  And I think I might try for only one post a week, on Saturdays, because well, one is less daunting than three.  And then if I throw in any more, it’ll be a pleasant surprise to you all.

540 page views…  pretty damn awesome.  Now if you guys would just start throwing in a few comments on my posts…  that’d be even better.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my vlog.

Till next time

#Excited

This was originally posted on August 25, 2015 at 11:47 PM on Blogger.

***

So, I haven’t written anything in at least a week. I moved into my dorm, realized that my father knows little of my disability and other things that I will cover in another post.

I just wanted to write about my excitement, I am three views away from 350 views. In the last month, my page was viewed 102 times.

I also started a companion vlog,

here’s a link to the first episode.

I didn’t want to create a new channel.

So I’ve got some… interesting covers.

Starting next week, after I’ve started school, and have a handle on my life, I’ll return to my goals.