Banner, this will be quite the day! I’m so proud of you! ” I state with pride. How many people have the opportunity to work with someone who is blind. My job is unique and I love it! Maycie has enhanced my life in so many ways and I have learned so much from her. Working with her has been one of my biggest life experiences. Today is a big day! Maycie will sing in front of her whole class and then promote to high school with her graduating class as well. As Maycie heads out the door to her first period class, I’m taken back to the first day that I met this amazing girl.
September 5, 2005 was a day I will never forget. I began working for the Windsor Unified school district in the hopes of furthering my career in working with children. I had been assigned to work one-on-one with an 8 year old girl who was blind since birth. She was born prematurely with a twin at 25 weeks gestation. Maycie was 1 ? pounds at birth born on December 2, 1997 and the odds of her living past Christmas that year were not good at all. Her eyes had not developed, unlike her twin brother whose eyes did. Both the Vorreiter twins had many problems and underwent many surgeries during their first ays out of the womb. I was being assigned to work with Maycie and the school district hoped I would stay on with her throughout her schooling in the Windsor School District. I was given the Braille training that I needed to assist Maycie in her day to day class and I had felt ready to take on the school year. I brought my Perkins brailler and Braille paper with me to the third grade class with Mrs. Fitt. I introduced myself to this teacher, who seemed a bit nervous to be instructing a child who couldn’t see. How was this all going to work out? I could sense were her thoughts.
Changing a five day week to a five day week to a four day week (For schools) Why is our traditional five day week changing to a four day week? Any reason? A four day week would result in extra hours of work, interference with family schedules and much more. In any case what’s the problem with the five day school week? The customary five day school week should stay without any alterations. There ...
I wanted to come across as calm and collect, which I did, but inside I was a bundled bunch of nerves. I walked out with the teacher to the playground so that I could meet Maycie and her parents, hoping that I looked much more confident than I felt. There she stood. Her long, shiny, dark hair laying like a blanket over her shoulders. Her blue prosthetic eyes were glowing and bright, looking straight ahead into her dark oblivion. Her backpack on wheels stood behind her ready for her to grab at the bells notice. Her olive skin and petite hands and feet reminded me of a younger child; she was o tiny. She held her cane in her right hand, rolling it around in front of her like an ant’s antennae feeling for what was in front of her. As I approached her she tilted her ear towards my footsteps and turned her nose up to see me. “Good morning, Maycie! I’m Sheila and we will be working together this year! I’m so excited to get an opportunity to work with you. I’ve been preparing all summer in my Braille class so that I can keep up with you. I understand that you are an awesome braillist! ” I said. “Uhhhhh, hello…. I am a pretty good braillist and I hope you can keep up with me. My ast braillist made a lot of errors. ” Maycie stopped to sniff. “What perfume are you wearing? ” Maycie said boldly. “I’m wearing Happy. Do you like it? ” I asked. “I really do like it! It smells so good! I’m really nervous about 3rd grade and I hope I do okay. ” She said. “It’s going to be a good year! ” I exclaimed. After speaking with her parents, who seemed very reluctant to have a new aide for their daughter, I guided Maycie to her class. Her tiny hind grasped my wrist as we dodged other small school children who fell out of their class lines while goofing off with their classmates.
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What will this day hold? We got through our third grade year in one piece. I had many blundering moments of guiding Maycie off of curbs that I didn’t warn her about and near misses into poles that staggered about the school campus. She would often joke with me after near misses and quick tugs so as not to run into pillars. She’d say, “Are you blind or something? ” To which I would laugh and she’d laugh along with me. She had no fear of her blindness like I did because I didn’t want to be the cause of her getting hurt. One of the first things Maycie taught me was to get over my fear of blindness.
Everything about her blindness she could joke about and share with me. All of her bumps and bruises were casual experiences for Maycie and before long I didn’t worry so much. One day Maycie asked me how long I planned to work with her. She had gone through two aides in two years. Nobody stuck in very long because the Braille work had become demanding and her parents were very insistent about quality Braille work being handed to Maycie. They wanted and they believed that their daughter should receive the same quality work as any other 3rd grader. I had to say that I agreed with them.
She deserved access to the same things and you just couldn’t easily find things in Braille like you would find in print. I wanted to do everything in my power to give Maycie what other kids in her class had, including opportunities to do art and PE. I made these things happen for Maycie and the respect I earned was graciously appreciated by her and her family. “Will you work with me as long as Annie Sullivan worked with Helen Keller? ” She asked. “How long was that? ” I asked. “It was like 35 years. ” She stated matter of fact. “Oh my goodness, you might get sick of me if I stayed that long! I would love to work ith you that long and go off to college together and then I could see you get married and have kids. That would be awesome! ” I said excitedly knowing that the school district doesn’t normally keep the same aide with a child that long because they want the kids to get used to new people and ideas. Maycie smiled, content with my shared hope to be with her as long as I could. Seven years later and here we are, getting ready to promote to the ninth grade. Many educators weren’t so sure that Maycie could do it. She proved them wrong. A lot of tears came from having to work harder than anyone else.
4/12/13 Education.com - print 8 Things First-Year Students Fear About College Author: Mary Kay Shanley |Julia Johnston Source: Eric Digests There’s this little secret college-bound and first-year college students outwardly deny: They are scared sick about going off to college. In our interviews with 175 college students throughout the United States for Survival Secrets of College Students ( ...
I would watch her spend triple the time it took other kids to get through her STAR test. Her fingers numb from reading having to scan the Braille bumps for far too long. She would be on the verge of tears having to prove herself to those around her but I would always give her a secret reprieve, a time to pause and chat about the things she enjoyed and to just take a breath, reminding her that it wasn’t the end of the world. She flourished and kept up with all of the kids in her class. One day, Maycie said to me, “Sheila, I wish I wasn’t blind. I wish I could see what you see. ” “Well, you know what, Maycie?
Sometimes I wish I were blind. I wish I couldn’t see certain things around me. ” I said. “What? Nobody has ever said that to me! What do you not want to see? ” She asked. “I don’t want to see what war does to a country. I don’t want to see children suffering from malnutrition. I don’t want to see injuries of any kind on anyone. I’ve never liked the sight of blood, vomit, and other bodily secretions, so I don’t want to see that. ” I stated matter of fact, to which she laughed. “I’ve never thought about it that way. I’m glad I don’t see those things. I guess I am lucky in that way! Gross! ” she laughed.
Maycie has perfect pitch so she can hear a pitch and know exactly what note it’s in. This is the gift she’s been given in exchange for her sight. She plays violin and has played me songs that have brought me to tears. I feel the melody run through me as I feel her heart in every stroke of the string. She can hear a song just one time and has the ability to pick up her violin and just play it perfectly. This is her gift and one that she has shared with me. She traded the violin in for chorus when she got into 7th grade and I’m blessed to hear her angelic voice ring through the corridors during her chorus class. I am blessed to ork with such a wonderfully gifted young lady. She would say she has been lucky to work with me, that I’ve provided her access into a sighted world providing her extra books that she couldn’t get in Braille and making sure a game of twister with friends had tactile shapes for her to feel. I encouraged her to reach out and touch what she couldn’t see, reminding her teachers that she CAN do what the other kids can do, in a different kind of way. I sit in the crowd on this warm June day. Small wispy clouds are flitting through the blue sky. Maycie stands at the podium getting ready to sing the Star Spangled Banner.
The movie Do the Right Thing, a group of people in the district of Brooklyn, have had enough and tensions are growing in this black ghetto area. The only local businesses are a Korean grocery and Sal's Pizzeria. Mookie, Sal's delivery boy, manages to always be at the center of the action. The movie Do the Right Thing is a movie about a neighborhood that suffers from lack of diversity. On a hot ...
The song that brings many Americans together; the rich and the poor, the abled and disabled, the blacks and the whites, and all of our united country. Her voice rings out through the speakers, sending chills and silent tears down the audiences bodies and faces. She has a way like that, bringing compassion to everyone she meets. When she reaches that high pitch….. “for the land of the free……. and the home….. of the brave! ” I cry, I I cry so hard because she is the epitome of brave and I thank her for teaching me the same. I can’t wait to see what other life experiences this girl will teach me in these next four years of high school.