Writer’s Note: I wrote this entry last November when I was really struggling against firmly held departmental beliefs about the place of teachers with disabilities in education. This was a very special experience for me that helped me regain perspective on the bigger picture. In my first journal entry ever, I pointed out that what I’m doing here is not just about me. I just had to be reminded by this amazing gentleman.
I’ve wavered on issues of faith since childhood, but one thing I’ve always held to be firmly true is that we meet Angels every day. Those people that do or say something that resonates with us and causes us to pause and gain insight to a situation causing us Burdon.
My most recent encounter came this morning while flying out of the apartment in heals with one hand in the Lucky Charms box while grabbing my computer bag at 6:48 am. I’m obnoxiously perky in the morning and nothing quite puts a spring in my step like heals and a set agenda for the day. The driver and I got into a lively conversation about politics, which somehow turned into a conversation about being glad to just have a job in today’s economy.
He shared something he wished he would have known when he was younger. He said that sometimes people just have to agree to disagree. Knowing when to agree with someone, but still remaining true to your own beliefs is an art. He pointed out that when we are young, we are feisty and think everyone has to agree with us, and if they don’t, by God they’re wrong and we’ll get them to our side eventually.
I perked up, because of course this is what I’ve been going through lately. There is no room for Federationism at Vanderbilt. I’ve began to compromise on the type of cane I sometimes use and change the way I refer to blind students in my academic writings. I’ve been deeply concerned that I’ve not just been compromising at an academic level. These tools and alternative techniques of blindness make me who I am as a Vanderbilt student, a Theta, a Christian, and yes, as a person that happens to be blind. Using a longer cane, acknowledging my blindness openly and honestly, and becoming adept at the necessary skills were a process by which I became comfortable with myself. Changing these aspects of me I fear may change my fundamental outlook on what I can accomplish and what blind people in general are capable of.
The last thing he said to me was that "Its all about survival." He looked right at me when he said this, and there was an expectant pause. I looked back at him for a second, vowed to remember the advice of this very wise man and walked into TSB, heals clicking, cane waving, and ready for another day. Hoping that by getting up and bringing my beliefs about blindness with me, I might help a child in some small way. Sure enough, I did.
- Current Location:Fido
- Current Mood: optimistic
- Current Music:"This Little Light of Mine"Elizabeth Mitchell