First though, I wanted to tell a story. Last week someone wrote in their journal about strange people they've encountered on buses or whatever. The same day I read that entry I had my own experience. I was sitting on the city bus playing either Jawbreaker or Yahtzee on my PAC Mate to occupy myself. All of a sudden a lady started talking to me. She said that her mom was blind, and had been for her entire life. She wanted to know what I was doing, and if what I had was something that her mom could use. It turned out this lady's mom is about 90 years old or so, and probably wouldn't be able to use any kind of device. Then things kind of got interesting. She started talking about how people like me absolutely amaze her, going out in public, traveling independently, things like that. I couldn't help but think that if she'd grown up with a blind mother she should know the capabilities of the blind, but I just wasn't going to go there. We both got off the bus at the same stop and as I was walking to get to my second bus I was attempting to replace my cell phone which had rung, walk, and maneuver my cane at the same time. Sometimes I think I could use a couple of extra hands. She asked me if I needed help because I'd walked off the sidewalk. I actually did that on purpose though because I didn't want to slow anyone down behind me. This whole thing kind of got me thinking though about the image we leave with people around us. This lady, who grew up around a blind person still found it amazing that we can get around and live normal lives like anyone else. It makes me wonder about her mom. Everyone has their own comfort level when it comes to travel and things, so I'm definitely not knocking anyone here, but it's just interesting to me how some people have an idea of how we should be. There used to be someone who lived in my apartment building who would go out to eat by himself at a lot of local restaurants. If he wanted something he'd raise his hand as if he were in school because that's what he was taught in school. Nobody ever told him that this isn't normally done in public. I also had an experience when I was about nineteen. I walked into a mall and this lady grabbed my arm. She asked me where my dog was because "you people always have dogs". First of all, I really didn't appreciate her grabbing me, and second of all I've chosen not to get a dog and many others feel the same way I do. I pulled my arm away from her using a self-defense technique that I'd been taught, and as I walked away from her she kept hollering after me something about pulling away and whatever else. Even though several people were around when this happened, nobody seemed to see what was going on.
Anyway, I hadn't planned to go so far into this, but my mind is just sort of wandering this morning and I'm writing down whatever comes into it. So, what's on my list of plans for this week? Today I'm going to do an install and begin training a client on JAWS in the morning, and in the afternoon I'm going to spend a little time with a mobility instructor. Tomorrow morning is my hearing test, and I'm starting to get kind of nervous about it. In a way I want something to be wrong, because if there is they can probably fix it. I've had so many hearing tests where the results contradict each other, and I guess I'm afraid that'll happen again. Someone said yesterday that they don't think anything's wrong with me, because I've heard some things that she probably thinks I shouldn't have been able to hear if I was really having a problem. The thing that people don't seem to always understand is that different frequency ranges can be a problem. I seem to be having problems with lower frequencies and possibly things in the higher range too, where the middle range seems to be fairly decent. I guess hearing is kind of like blindness for some people. They think that either you're blind or you're sighted, there's nothing in between. So, that's happening tomorrow morning.
On Wednesday I'm going to do some Window-Eyes training if the person doesn't cancel again. This is the same person I wrote about a couple of months ago who was supposed to come to me for training and never showed up and never called. She decided to cancel last week too, and had no plans to call. We found out because someone in the office called her to verify the appointment.
On Thursday I'm not totally sure what I have going on. I'm probably going to try to get at least one evaluation intake form done since I'm fairly sure that someone's got an evaluation next Monday.
Friday's going to be really cool. This will be the second year we've offered this, and every time I've listened to this guy speak I've enjoyed it. Erik Damery of Freedom Scientific is coming to Wisconsin to do a JAWS presentation. I consider myself to be an advanced JAWS user, and computer user for that matter, but Erik is such a dynamic speaker that I could listen to the exact same presentation over and over and still leave feeling excited about what he had to say. So we've been trying to work out transportation from different parts of the state so that people can get to this event. We've been having a little trouble, but I think we're getting things worked out and we should have enough people coming as long as we can count on a couple of the people that said they wanted to come.
So, that will end my week. As far as I know I have absolutely no plans for the weekend so I'll get to spend it here with Taz and Cally which should make them really happy.
Well, I think that's about it for now. This has become a fairly long entry so I think I'm going to end it before it gets any longer. Later, everyone!