This morning I was a little late walking to the bus stop, so I was walking fairly briskly. As I walked, I passed a lady on my right who was also walking quite quickly. As I passed her, she called out, “I’m not racing you.”
I had no idea why she thought that I would have thought that, so I replied with, “I didn’t think you were. Why did you think I would think that?”
She said it was because she was walking quite quickly, and so was I. I explained that I was walking quickly because I didn’t want to miss my bus. Then she began telling me her story.Read More »
The silly IT admins at college have disabled the “run” box, the Command Prompt, and the Utility Manager (assistive technology shortcuts) on all of the computers. Well actually I can do all of those things through the GUI, so there’s no security benefit here (not like those were security vulnerabilities anyway), but at least I could have done them more efficiently.
I’m not sure if these headaches are cause by
- the BIID
- the stress that results from the BIID
- sleeping badly lately
- needing new glasses
but one thing that I know is that they seem to be worse when my BIID is getting bad, and I perceive them to go away when I close my eyes and come back when I open them again although I’m not sure if they really do.
The following is a piece that I originally wrote for an English assignment in college. It appears here somewhat late due to technical issues with my computer which have subsequently been resolved.
If there is one lesson that I have learnt in life, it’s that one should never set a goal, expect to achieve it, and expect to find such a thing fulfilling. People often talk about having a “goal in life”, but I find that having “goals” only makes life more disappointing. Most of the time, the goal is and can never be met. In the rare case that it is met, it is often tainted in some way. And when one seldom does achieve exactly what they wanted, it comes at such a high cost that you feel no better off.
Now, of course, the idea of “success in life” closely relates to one’s goals. After all, success means to achieve something, and in the generalised sense that something is always going to be a goal of sorts. Thus to succeed means to meet one’s goals.
But I disagree. To me, true success does not mean meeting goals; to me, success is to be happy and content with one’s life. Meeting goals for me is only a stressful frustration, but when I feel content in life, that is what feels like success to me. That is what makes me feel strong. That is what makes me feel like I have a life, and that I can achieve whatever I want.
So I conclude that success does not come from having a goal in life, but from being content with where you are as of now. Yes, right now. Are you happy with how your life is? If yes, then I call it success, and you should too. If not, then think about how you could change it. The ultimate goal in life is, after all, happiness, and if success means to meet one’s goals, then to be happy is to succeed.
My cane makes me strong. With it, I am able to navigate this challenging world.
So, two days into college, I’m not allowed to use my white cane anymore “for health and safety reasons” because I haven’t had O&M training. Well screw it, I had finally managed to get my issues under control such that I can get through a lesson in one piece, and this happens. In some ways it feels like being told “you’re not allowed to live the life you need to live”. It’s what I’ve always said: just because I happen to be able to see, I am forced to live as a sighted person.
I really don’t know how to cope with this. It’s like, the one thing to get me through my day at college has been taken away from me. And what really sucks is that I had actually managed to deal with my classmates regarding the issue, and the computer department was well on their way to getting a proper screenreader sorted out for me to use in class.
Still, this morning was good, before they told me to stop using my cane at college. I don’t know when last I’ve felt so at ease with myself.
It’s not about attention. It’s not about security. It’s not a game. It’s about coping – coping with thinking, with every step that I take, about the fact that I’m not blind.
So a week ago when I started college I told my special needs assistant (who is also assisting me with a number of complications related to my Asperger’s) about my BIID, and she said that I was welcome to use my cane in college and agreed to talk to teachers about it so that they were aware of what was going on. Of course what I didn’t think about is what my classmates would have to say when they saw me come walking in with a cane and then fold it up and put my glasses on.
Moreover I was stupid enough to assume that nobody would recognise me outside of class, and therein lies the flaw in my plan for dealing with the issue. Put simply, my plan was to let my classmates think that I’m weird, and then when I’m out of class nobody will recognise me and I will be treated as a blind person.Read More »
I actually spoke to somebody on the bus home from college this afternoon! It’s kind of a long story, really, but here’s how it goes:
Due to some bad planning on my part, my afternoon’s pretending while walking from college to the bus stop ended up with me boarding the bus still as a “blind” person. This of course had not been my intention, and now I was in an awkward situation where shortly after climbing onto the bus “blind”, stumbling up the stairs to the upper floor, and making a big show of myself to the entire floor by trying to sit down where someone else was already sitting, I had to pack my cane away, open my eyes, and put my glasses back on such that it was clear to anyone who cared to watch me that I was only a pretender.
As both the front and second-to-front seats were already taken, I sat a little further back. I guess that perhaps my obvious pretending to be blind had bothered the lady behind me, because a little while later I asked her a question and she just muttered “pshaw” in my direction and ignored me (but then that might just be her character, for she didn’t seem to care either that eating potato crisps on the bus is a direct violation of the terms of service). Well so much for her, I thought, and promptly got up and marched into a seat further back, making a point of showing everybody – except the two young ladies in the front seat – that I was not blind.Read More »
It’s only when you’re forced out into the world that you realise how little you know about it.