Life in the Shade

January 15, 2016 at 12:01 AM | Posted in 9-5, Braille Wail, Center training, EYE believe | 2 Comments
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Tomorrow will be the end of my first two weeks of being at the center for the blind in Lincoln, Ne and it has most certainly been an interesting trip. I thought I would dread putting the sleep shades (blind fold type device) every day and after lunch but it hasn’t been as bad.

The first day or two were the worst. I didn’t want to spend that much time in the sleep shades and I was hating the social aspect of meeting new people and having to spend the majority of the day with them. I was just plain miserable.

But I am surprised that I feel better about it for the most part. There are definite things I am not looking forward to, such as how long it will take before I can be considered for graduation. I also am having a terrible time with sleep. New/different bed, no cats, no husband, different sounds, and lack of a pattern are all to blame.

I have homework some nights, I have various meetings throughout the week and I also once a month have to take part in the cleaning of the common areas at our apartment location. Also, I have to consider the fact that there is a movie theater on the same block as me and my massive addiction to the new Star Wars movie. (6 times as of writing this!) Not to mention cooking my own meals for lunches and dinners and keeping the apartment clean for weekly walk-throughs. I don’t have a lot of time to de-stress and gather my energies for the next day.

It should be ok once I figure out a workable sleep/work schedule. Just a matter of getting it done…….. I just jerked up from falling asleep for a sec there; it seems to be my new move now. Head banging to the sleep metal music playing in my head.

I have been working hard and I’ve done a bunch of things so far and I’ve been told I’m doing well so I’ll take their words for it. Here is a list of sorts for what I have done under sleep shades so far: navigate the center’s building, walk outside to the two bus stops we use, walk over to a nearby footpath bridge, navigate and use escalators and bus,  fried eggs, made brownies from a mix, washed dishes, thread a needle, sewed on a button, learned a new way to measure pieces of wood, practice on the new UEB standard of braille, brailled notes, start to learn a screen reader program called JAWS, there may be more but I can’t remember right now.

Still nodding off and fighting sleep. I really should go to sleep now…..

If you think this stuff is not at all difficult, I challenge you to try some of these things blindfolded (safely) and then tell me how you did.

This is incredibly mentally and physically and emotionally challenging.

I have only cried twice so far. (4 if you count my hearing of both David Bowie’s and Alan Rickman’s deaths.) Once when I was after navigating to a different part of the building, and I cried to myself without anyone really realizing. The other was this evening because my braille homework was just not clicking for me so I became extremely flustered and upset.

I know I will cry at other times but that’s ok. This is tough.

But I have become mostly accustomed to the people around me. Either they’re going through the same things as I am or they’re teaching it and have gone through this training as well. So they know what they’re talking about when giving people reasons to attend the center and how to empathize with what we are going through. Pretty much everyone is nice and understanding so that helps a lot.


I am going home for the weekend and will take some breaths and enjoy the three days at home before trying out a new week at the center.

Gotta keep on keeping on.

If you’d like to see how I’m learning to measure things in shop class here is a video I found about the tool we use. the video is a bit long and it is not the best filming but if you watch for a bit you will see a pretty cool device.

Watch this video on Youtube (link should open in a new tab/window)

P.S. I have a piece of valuable advice to give to sighted people everywhere. Please, if you see a blind person and they ask where a place/thing/person is please, for the love of whatever you believe in, do not immediately take their arm and lead/drag them to the location/thing/person. Use your words, cardinal directions, amazing eyesight, and creative minds to help. Or if you have a problem with that, ask if that blind person would like your physical help. We are not helpless babies that don’t understand. We are human beings trying to make it in a sighted world. We have our own skills and ways of getting around. Even if you are embarrassed for yourself or that person while they are seeming to be lost in a room do not assume that that person is dumb or lost. We have to take longer to see what a room is like, and where we need to be.

I am not a UPS package needing to be delivered.

I am a human being trying to make do as independently as I can, just like you.

I deserve that respect as much as you do.



Line starts here

May 23, 2011 at 3:33 PM | Posted in 9-5 | Leave a comment
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Today, my Mother and I had the fun joy of getting new plates for her van. We went to one location but had to be directed to a different location to have the car inspection. It was sad because there was pretty much no one at the first location. After the inspection we stood in line for a long time. I’m not sure how long, maybe half an hour to an hour. The line was always to the door no matter how far forward we progressed. There was a bounty hunter behind us in line. He looked the part. Bandanna on his head, sunglasses on all the time, black vest with pockets full of necessary tools, badge hanging around his neck. Seemed like a nice fellow for how intimidating he looked.

Something nice happened as well, there is some hope for the youth in this world. A young man let the elderly couple behind him go first when it was his turn. If only we could see more of that every day.

A temporary end of the line is occurring tomorrow night. My last Japanese class for a while. I am sad because I really enjoy the class and I’m learning an immense amount. I am afraid I’ll not retain as much as I want. Guess I’ll just have to practice a lot more often once the class is over. I am looking forward to getting back into the Braille lessons. I haven’t touched it for a while and I feel a bit disappointed in myself for neglecting it. Language classes are quite consuming!

I have a nice to do list for the Summer for myself. I hope to have a lot of art projects finished. There’s lots of sewing projects I need to finish as well.

I have made a big step forward in freeing myself from comparing and opportunities for jealousy and depression by finally getting rid of my facebook account. I regret the loss of some connections and their updates but there was too many things  that were consuming my time and making me feel inadequate in my own life. I need to find the value in myself and my life before I can fully rejoice for others without envy tainting the sentiment. It’s basically the same way I have to deal with junk food, if I don’t have it in my home then I won’t eat any. If the temptation isn’t there I can’t falter. Someday I will have the tools to be able to have the self control necessary, but until that day the temptation had to be removed.

My daily Internet check is SUPER short now.

And now for your viewing pleasure, my cat Hope really wants to go outside.

Jobs, languages, and the people who love them.

April 6, 2009 at 2:18 PM | Posted in 9-5, Parlez-vous? | Leave a comment
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I’m sure I’m not alone in the world in holding a lot of anger and frustration at trying to find a job.

I voluntarily left my job at a flower shop because of my failing eyesight and loss of interest in flowers.

I had a few arrangements come back because the people did not like them. I had a hard time seeing the big picture of the arrangement, I had to stand back far to see it as a whole. My lack of periferal vision was affecting my work.

I also had to be on my feet all day, I bump into things, knock things over, and even fall over, because I can’t see what’s around me.

I try not to be resentful, but one thing my husband said a while back is sticking with me. He said something about me paying more attention to my surroundings. That makes me a little angry as I can’t. I can’t do anything quickly if I have to spend a few moments moving my head looking at everything in a room to make sure I don’t bump or fall. Even if I do there are some things I miss. I can not see everything.

I now have to take that into consideration when looking for a job. I can’t drive while it is dark, or even when the sun is just setting. The city bus does not go south enough to be near my apartment. Taxis are expensive, and my husband can’t take me everywhere.

This is part of the reason I am taking the Braille course, hopefully work will come from that.

I need more schooling as well. I have an art degree but that doesn’t hardly get you anywhere nowadays. I would love to be working with languages. I have an extensive French background  (but I haven’t been using it very much now that my interest of Japanese has taken over.)

I can translate from home but I would like more schooling with the languages and I would love to do immersion training. It has been almost 14 years since I’ve been abroad and I have wanderlust. The world is calling and my eyes are holding me back. i know I should not let it hold me down but it is difficult. It’s hard to get around those limitations.

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