Another weird coincidence

Just as I started testing how well the screenreader works with the new version of Linux that I was trying out, suddenly I got an email telling me that my books from the RNIB Braille library had been renewed.

Needless to say, there have been many more of these weird coincidences that I haven’t even bothered writing about. And I’m not the only one who gets these things either. I haven’t quite figured out what it is yet, but there’s definitely something more than just the physical world that surrounds us.

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A year reading Braille

It’s been a year since I started reading Braille. Well, I don’t think I can exactly call what I did in those days “reading”, but I’m talking about when I first learnt the first few letters of the alphabet in Braille. Actually I think I started with the ones that made the most sense to me – yes, that’s right, I chose the ones that looked the most similar to their print counterparts as those were easier to learn. Not to mention that nowdays they all look identical to their print counterparts to me.

That’s funny actually, how the print alphabet and the Braille look alike to me. I guess that’s how it is when your brain learns an alternative way of representing the same information. But I actually don’t spend much time these days looking at Braille characters. When I first learnt Braille I was, of course, reading it by sight, even though my intention all along was to learn to read it by touch. I remember when I first started reading it by touch, then, and at first it was frustrating because it was slower that way, but now I’m faster reading Braille by touch than by sight and I get this weird feeling sometimes where I feel the printed words that I read as Braille characters under my fingers. I guess it’s kind of like where a sighted person subconsciously visualises the words that they are reading in their head – well, I used to anyway, before I learnt to read Braille.Read More »

Just completed my first paid job

I just completed my first paid “job”: repair my mother’s assistant’s laptop, and if unable to do so then recover whatever files she wants from the hard drive. And it’s exactly the kind of thing that I’m good at. :-)

What’s really funny though is that I didn’t ask to be paid for it, nor was that my mother’s intention when she said to her assistant that I would be more than happy to see what I could do for her. And when the laptop arrived in my “workshop” (a mixture between my bedroom and the computer room) a few weeks ago, I was doing it simply because I enjoy it and it’s what I’m good at. And that’s why I finished it, right up until the moment when I unplugged her external hard drive ready for my mother to take back to her on Monday.Read More »

“Blocking” does more harm than good

For a long time now, almost all online communications platforms have had some kind of “blocking” functionality, whereby one is able to “block” or “ignore” content from a specific user. Even as far back as IRC, the /ignore command allowed one to choose to no longer receive posts from a particular user, and despite email not having any such functionality in itself, a lot of webmail services and email clients offer the ability to automatically delete any emails from a particular email address. Social networks allow one to block a specific user from messaging them or reading their posts, while forums usually allow one to “ignore” a user whereby their post is made visible but the content is hidden by default. Skype similarly allows one to block all calls from a particular user, such that one never even sees that the calls were made, while Android, iOS, and even most feature phones allow one to automatically ignore or reject calls from a particular number.

But is all this control over other people’s ability to contact you a good thing?Read More »

Frivolous suffering

It really irritates me when people think that they can begin to understand what I’m going through. I don’t care if you’ve lost your spouse, never been to Paris, or given up three times when training for a marathon. That doesn’t make your life suck. I don’t care how much you love to put your thoughts into poetry, knit cute little kitten tapestries onto cushions, or write fancy handwriting on the covers of birthday cards. That doesn’t make you “lonely”, “emotional”, or “needing people to talk to”.

What makes life suck, and what makes people really need someone to talk to, and what makes them really need a creative outlet for their thoughts, is when, in addition to social isolation, stress at college, and a failing relationship with your family, every second of your life is taken up with wishing that you were blind.

Bad time for an appointment

So I have my first appointment with some kind of a therapist later this week, but my BIID’s going through a very low phase at the moment. It hasn’t been this low for a long time, and while that’s probably mainly a result of my recent cold (I just haven’t had the energy to think about pretending and all that stuff) I’m kind of keen to see where this is going to go. But it’s not going to go anywhere with an appointment to remind me of all of my struggles…