Redeeming my failure to ride escalators (independent living skills series 24)

I really wanted to go to class because I wanted to see my teacher before she left to go on vacation. I got to school before my other classmates. Before we got our assignments for the day we had a class meeting. The meeting was to remind us to take the bus to school whenever possible.

After the meeting, my teacher and I went to the mall. I quickly found my landmark and took off towards the escalator. Since going up is easier for me I was able to get on with ease. We stopped and looked at the new items of clothing that were on sale for Christmas. They sure had some cute things.

Then I had to face it! The down escalator. My teacher got behind me, and then said to me, the more you wait and psych yourself out the worse it will be; it is not that big of a deal. Just get on and ride. That’s exactly what I did.

I got on and got off with ease. Once that was done I had to navigate through the mall to get to the food court. When we got there, I looked at the many options for meals; I decided to have tacos.

I had three hard shell tacos with hamburger meat, rice, beans, cheese and avocado. For my drink I had a coke. My tacos were crunchy, and I loved the avocado.  My coke was refreshing.

After lunch, we went to Dillard’s. On the way back, I saw a candy stand. I got some lemon drops and some bubble gum. Yum!

While I was mind mapping to get back to my original landmark, we looked at more Christmas clothes. I bought a red, long-sleeved top that has a Boston Terrier on it. Below the dog it says Santa Paws.

Once I had made my purchase we left the mall and went to Target. All I got there was a candy bar. We then went and drove around looking at what beautiful Pensacola has to offer before returning to the center. It was a great day.  For the next two weeks I will be doing cooking lessons.

I would like to also address some questions on when I will be graduating from this program. I am set to graduate in March; however, I can request that I finish early. To do this, I must prove to my instructors and caseworker, that I have the confidence and that I have mastered the skills that are posted on my Individual Employment Plan.

Failing at my Escalator review (Independent living skills series 23)

I woke up feeling sick and nervous because I felt like I have a lot on my plate. I quickly got dressed and was ready to go. However, I had to wait for the van; and it felt like it was never going to show up, but it did.

The part-time Orientation and Mobility teacher was not there, so the plans were to wait on one more student who was going to be late, and then leave as a group. A few minutes later the part-time teacher showed up. Because Pensacola was offering a wet and windy day my teacher and another classmate and I went to the mall.

My classmate had only a few Orientation and Mobility lessons before, so my teacher taught her about the basics of landmarks and mind mapping. Once that was done, we headed to Dillard’s, so we could practice riding escalators. My teacher gave instructions to my classmate, and with a little coaching my classmate did great.

Then it was my turn. As you have read in my previous posts I was gaining confidence with this skill, therefore it should have been a piece of cake for me. When I got up to the lip fear took a hold of me. I kept feeling the cane tip move, since my teacher had me swap canes with my classmate for a bit.

My teacher had to give me a lot of coaching and encouragement. “Come on, you’ve done this before,” she said as I stood at the top of the stairs. I shook my head no and backed up again. “Come on, I’ll make a video for your blog,” She said. Nothing she said seemed to help. A few members of the public came up to ask if I needed help. Of course, I just explained I was in a lesson. After a few more tries I finally did it.

We then walked around the men’s department and went back up the escalator. For me going up is easier than going down. This time my teacher had me swap our canes back to its proper owner. It felt good to get my cane back.

Since we were back at the top my teacher had me go first. Still I struggled. Oh, well at least I did do it eventually.

Then we went to do an elevator lesson. It was good to hear the lesson again as it helps reinforce what I had learned. The elevator lesson was quick and simple.

Once that was over we went to Newk’s. I had the half and half meal. I had my usual chicken salad sandwich, and for my side I had half a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and a pink lemonade to drink. I enjoyed my meal.

After lunch, we went back to the mall and did a drop off practice. While walking to our meeting place I stopped by HallMark so I could get a Christmas gift for a friend.

When I reached our meeting place my classmate and I chatted up a storm while we waited for our teacher.  When we were leaving, a member of the public saw us walking and started yelling, “I’m so sorry for you; God bless you.” Even though sometimes we educate the public on blindness and the fact that blindness does not ruin your life. I chose to ignore his comments.

Then we went outside and worked on sidewalk travel, two-point touch, and basic street crossing.

Even though I felt sad about not doing good with my review, I say I’ll conquer the escalators next time.

 

 

Halloween This Or That Tag Questions

  1. 1. Chocolate candy or fruity? I love chocolate candy. My favorite is a KitKat bar.
    Witches of Vampires? I love the idea of witches; one of my earliest memories is being dressed up as a witch.
    3. Trick or Treat? I love treats especially chocolate.
    4. Halloween Party or Scary Movie? I love Halloween parties especially where there are games that can be played to win prizes.
    5. Skeletons or Zombies? I like the idea of Zombies better than Skeletons.
    6. Trick-or-Treat or Hand Out Candy? I would love to go Trick-or-Treating again. I tried handing out candy once, however I did not care for it.
    7. Hay Ride or Corn Maze? I think I would prefer the corn maze.
    8. Scary Costume or Funny Costume? I love funny costumes. My favorite costume I wore was dressing up as blind as a bat girl.
    9. Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie? I love pumpkin pie.
    10. Bottle Feed A Baby Zombie or Walk Alone Through A Dark Forest? I would not mind walking through a dark forest alone.
    11. Bats or Black Cats? Black cats hands down. Just pass me a tissue because cats make me sneeze.
    12. Pumpkin Spice or hot Chocolate? I love hot chocolate. Its one of my favorites.
    13. Celebrate in your neighborhood or at the mall? The mall no questions asked.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween. 🙂

This tag came from: http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/2015/10/halloween-this-or-that-tag/

The Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination-II

Even though I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award before I was also nominated by fellow blogger Nancy Mulligan. Be sure to check out her blog. She is a great writer.

Here are the rules for this award:

Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to her/his blog.

Answer 11 questions that the blogger asked you.

Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the awards and write them 11 questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post on your blog.

Nancy, thank you again for this nomination.

Here are the 11 questions Nancy gave me to answer.

  1. What’s the best / worst practical joke that you’ve played on someone or that was played on you? I have not played a joke on anyone or anyone has played a joke on me in a long time. Once my mother gave me my dad’s jeans for me to put on in the morning before school. It was April Fool’s Day.
  2. What “old person” things do you do? I tend to yawn and say, “I’m tired” all the time.
  3. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve broken? I once broke a CD player.
  4. What obstacles would be included in the World’s most amazing obstacle course? I would include a rope course and a moving bridge.
  5. What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it? It would be “You’re not visually impaired. You have glasses.”
  6. What do you think you are much better at than you actually are? Writing.
  7. What’s the craziest conversation you’ve overheard? Hmm. I have to think about that question.
  8. What’s the hardest you’ve ever worked? For my high school diploma.
  9. What movie, picture, or video always makes you laugh no matter how often you watch it? I love Frozen.
  10. What artist or band do you always recommend when someone asks for a music recommendation? I love Casting Crowns.
  11. If you could have an all-expenses paid trip to see any famous world monument, which monument would you choose?   It would be to Mount Rushmore.

Now here are my 11 questions for my nominees.

  1. Do you like coffee or tea?
  2. What is your favorite color and why?
  3. Do you prefer to watch the Sunrise or Sunset?
  4. Describe your perfect day? (In three words)
  5. Do you like wearing shorts or jeans better?
  6. Name the last time you cried?
  7. If you had 1,000 dollars what would you do with it?
  8. Do you prefer a desktop or laptop?
  9. Describe your favorite meal?
  10. What is your favorite season?
  11. What was your first pet you owned as a child?

My 11 Nominees are:

  1. Holly Bird, who runs who runs the blog, hollysbirdnest
  2. Nancy, who runs the blog, myeverydaychallenges
  3. Chessney Rice, who runs the blog, The Game of Chess
  4. Tammy, who runs the blog, midlifemilestones
  5. Stephanie Reece who runs the blog,itsmycrazybeautifullife
  6. Erin, who runs the blog When in Rome GA
  7. Ejaleigh, who runs the blog, writeonejaleigh
  8. White Cane Gamer, who runs the blog,White Cane Gamer
  9. Nicole, who runs the blog,navigatingdarkness
  10. Carol, who runs the blog, The Invisible Vision Project
  11. Lydia Senn, who runs the blog, frugaldebtfreelife

 

 

 

Heavy Traffic, Elevators and a Target Run (independent living skills series 22)

I woke up feeling sick, and it took a lot of effort to get going. Thank goodness for Cheerios and coffee. I got to school early; and the taxi ride was uneventful. During class announcements, I found out that we would be getting a new teacher for our daily living skills classes. i.e. cooking, managing a home, etc. I can not wait to get back into the kitchen. I had Orientation and Mobility again. Things are getting harder, as my teacher is upping the traffic flow and making my routes more difficult.

We started off at an area close to the center. Because I had not been at this intersection before I listened to the flow of traffic. I heard the cars go left, straight, stop, left again, and then straight again. I felt unsure of myself, so I listened to the flow of traffic once more. The third time the traffic started its pattern I was ready to cross; however, I missed my opportunity. I was clearly not on the top of my game. I had to wait again, and I had to wait a long time. I finally made it to the second crossing.

During the second crossing, I learned not to trust the crossing light because it was broken. I truly had to rely on my traffic signal to know when to cross. By the third crossing, I was feeling a little better and was able to cross with confidence.

When we got back into the car it was 11 O’clock. I was hungry! I was hoping some protein would help me perk back up. I really wanted a hamburger, and at first, we were planning on going to McDonald’s, but we changed our minds and we went to Tops. I ordered a cheeseburger, tater tots, and a coke.

The cheeseburger was twice the size of the one I would have gotten at McDonald’s. The extra lettuce, onions and tomatoes made it feel much healthier. The tater tots were so hot they burned my fingers; and they were also greasy.   My coke was smooth and tasty as it filled my mouth and slid down my throat. I was so thirsty that I couldn’t drink it fast enough. My lunch as a whole was only $6.00, and my meal gave me the energy I needed to finish my lesson in stride.

Once we finished our lunch we went to a bank. The lobby was filled with people as I navigated to find the elevator. I had to pay attention to the doors as it is normal for it to open to the side of the operating box. I did not like the feeling my stomach got when the elevator went up. I went up to the fourth floor, and then we went back down again. This time the elevator talked and announced each floor. This made it much easier to know what floor I was on. I was a star coming out of the elevator impressing my teacher and many onlookers. When I was leaving the building, I saw a lab puppy. Its fur was light in color and it was laying quietly by it’s raiser while we walked by. It was cute!

The last part of our lesson was going to Historic Downtown Pensacola. There was so much to see as I walked down the streets. There was an archaeological dig going on. Across the street was a school going on a tour about the slave house. I even saw a train. While I was crossing one road my teacher took a video of me crossing.

I even got to go to a gazebo where I practiced my ascending and descending technique for stairs.

On my way back to the car, I practiced compass directions. Believe me I still need help with this.

I learned how to assess my environment because there were so many cars parked along the road.  I felt so confident at the end of the lesson; and I really enjoyed seeing downtown.

Our last stop was Target. I got some shampoo, body wash, and another coke. I was so thirsty. We then went back to the school and we had an oral review, and I learned how to transfer while doing sighted guide.  It was a great day 😊

National Dyslexia Month…What It Means to Me

“Hey Alexa, spell the word Dyslexia,” I requested my Amazon Echo Alexa. “Sorry, I don’t know that one,” Alexa response. Once again, I request the spelling. D-Y-S-l-E-X-I-A… Dyslexia was the diagnosis I received when I was in the second grade. Back then my mother and teachers could not figure out why I was struggling to read and spell. Testing showed that I have a learning disability called Dyslexia.

According to the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”

What this means is people who have this learning disability have brains that function differently when it comes to learning these specific skills.

Because I was struggling with reading, writing and spelling I went through the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Dyslexia Training Program while I was in elementary school. With the program’s help I was taught to decode words by using phonetics. This taught me how to read better. The class taught me how to write and spell and use resources like the dictionary when I got stuck with my spelling. With this new-found confidence my grades improved.

I have seen several documentaries about Dyslexia, and one thing I hear that makes me so sad, besides the normal myths and stereotypes, is how parents worry about their child’s future. Many people think that people with this disability cannot have a good career and they will struggle. I can tell you from my own personal experience that just because someone has Dyslexia does not mean they cannot have a good career. We may have to use assistive technology to help us cope, however that is okay. I have a great budding career. I love writing despite having this disability. I have a journalism degree and I want to run my own business.

This month is National Dyslexia month, and it means a lot to me because it helps educate the public about the disability and that people can have success.

Mid-term reflection: pondering thoughts (independent living skills series 21)

Since it is October and I only have four more months until my scheduled graduation I decided to write a mid-term reflection.

I like my classmates and staff at school. I feel like the school lacks organization when it comes to getting students organized for their assigned lessons.  I wish the teachers would provide class syllabuses to help students keep track on what they are learning.

When I first started school, back in May, I was hesitant to cook and to travel on my own. I had limited knowledge about the Alexa Echo.

I now have a new sense of freedom. I now know how to look up recipes, check spelling of words, do math, get times and keep my shopping and To-Do lists up to date. I use my Alexa daily.

In the kitchen, I am able to cook simple meals and desserts. As well as, use my adaptive equipment to chop fruits and vegetables, check temperatures on a wide variety of meats, and how to confidently place and remove pans from a hot oven. I cook for myself more often, and enjoy new dishes. (Yum, baked eggplant 😊)

When it comes to my travel skills I am no longer afraid to cross streets with heavy traffic, use escalators and elevators and use alternative transportation. I feel like I can travel anywhere I want including traveling abroad. Over these past few months I have learned to have high expectations for myself; all this despite having Nystagmus.  I have positive friends who believe I can achieve my goals and dreams rather than to say I cannot achieve.  On top of all this, I have decided not to listen to the people who say, “No, you cannot you have a cane; or you are visually impaired,” I say to those people, I have confidence and independence now that I have all this training. Getting this confidence and independence did not just happen over night and it came with a lot of work on my part, however I am happy with who I am today.  I know what goals I want to achieve in the future.

Thank you everyone for your support; without you I would have never made it this far. I am looking forward to my graduation.