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One Girl Revolution


I feel this journal will become the resting place for many experiences over the next three years during my time at Vanderbilt University. Let's cut to the chase, what makes my journal different from the hundreds of thousands of others out there? OK, STOP! You are not allowed to read any further until you've read my bio and looked over my interests. Got what you think I might be like in your mind? OK, well now throw in one more little detail, I'm blind. This journal is not about blindness. It is about overcoming the odds and with what I hope is a sufficient amount of courage and some unbelievably supportive people in my life, doing something that has never been done before.

I’m earning my degree in special education with an emphasis in visual disabilities. That’s the official title. I call the position “teacher of blind students”. What is fascinating about this little sociological study is that there are deeply divided positions on how blind people should be educated. Time out, there is a camp that believes the word blind is a dirty word and that visually impaired is more appropriate. Let’s call it what it is. If you don’t drive, don’t see everything the way someone with 20/20 does, you are legally blind. Blind isn’t that much of a stretch. People hide behind labels such as visually impaired to feed their denial of their situation. Which, there is nothing stopping someone that is blind from travelling to India, going to Yale or earning a M.D. These things are being done all the time by blind people

However, one thing that has not yet been done is the graduation of a blind person from the special education department at Vanderbilt. There are some in the field that believe blind people have no business teaching blind people. They adamantly oppose my even being here and would love to see nothing more than for me to fail and leave Vandy with my 61 inch cane tucked between my legs, to never be heard from again. Because heaven forbid anyone contradict their opinions (no matter how researched) with real life experience that has been proven effective in the blindness community for generations.

It has been an extremely challenging semester. It would be a lot for anyone to come into a program where some of the professors firmly believing that a student is not worthy of the degree. Talk about hostile environment. However, whenever I get discouraged, I have to remind myself this is not about me, no matter how much I’d like to think it is. The day I got that admissions letter, it wasn’t just me being admitted to Vandy. The time tested practices of alternative techniques of blindness and sincere belief in blind people were admitted into one of the top TVI programs in the world along with me. So, here is to shaking it up and helping give blind people their voice in the field of education.

I’m sure I’ll come back and expand upon this entry, and details will follow in subsequent entries. For right now, I’ve pasted some lyrics below from one of my favorite songs. We all have that little playlist that we dance to in the car or clean the house to that we find inspiration or a little afternoon pick up in.

Aria

I'm just your average Jane
The super doesn't stand for model
But that doesn't mean I'm plain
If all you see is how I look
You miss the super chick within
And I christen you titanic underestimate and swim
I've got the rifle gonna be myself
I've got the rifle gonna be myself
I've got the rifle gonna be myself
I've got the rifle gonna be myself
(CHORUS)
And I'll be everything that I wanna be
I am confidence and in insecurity
I am a voice yet waiting to be heard
I'll shoot the shot, bang, that you hear round the world
And I'm a one girl revolution
I'm a one girl revolution
I'm a one girl revolution
Some people see the revolution but most only see the girl
I can lose my hard earned freedom if my fear defines my world
I declare my independence from the critics and their stones
I can find my revolution I can learn to stand alone...
(CHORUS)
And I'll be everything that I want to be
I am confidence and in insecurity
I am a voice yet waiting to be heard
I'll shoot the shot, bang, that you hear round the world...,

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Destinee
ariaofthekite
Aria of the Kite

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