Soon the adventure will begin

Hi Blog world,

Well, life has been busy for me. I have had to wash and pack dishes, towels, and I had to go shopping. I now have everything I need for this coming school year. I’m getting excited about going on to the university; however, I am also nervous about moving on with my studies. I know that I will grow as a person and as a writer. During the next two years, as a Journalism student, many of my pit – falls in my writing will be tested and, even though I will probably struggle, I will get better at my writing. This will help me with my career and what direction I want to go in Journalism. The adventure will soon begin!

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

 

 

How white cane training is going…

Hi Blog world,

Well, the weeks of summer vacation is flying by and soon I will be starting my junior year at the local university. My O and M teacher and I have been working very hard to get me ready for school. Last Tuesday, we practiced crossing streets and for some reason I was not hitting my Queues; all I can say is I am going to have to work harder at getting this skill down-it will come in time. On Thursday, my teacher and I went to the university where I learned where my classrooms, food court, dorm and police station are located; I also got to meet some of the staff.

This past Monday, my teacher and I came back to the university and during this lesson I got to ride the trolley and I had to admit that I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect, however, I enjoyed using the trolley and meeting one of the drivers.   I also got my student I.D. and my student mailbox, the dial is very hard to see however the staff is willing to help with providing accommodations.   On Tuesday, I went to Target with my teacher. We also got to have some fun too because I got some dishes for my kitchen, a movie called “Julie and Julia” I also tried on some jeans but they were not my style.

In other news, the book club that I am in is doing well.  I am just about finished with our current book.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

 

Crossing busy streets and a fun weekend

Hi Blog world,

Last Thursday, my O and M teacher had me face my greatest fear crossing busy streets. At first I was very nervous, however, my teacher gave me reassurance that she wouldn’t let me get hurt, and that this is one of the most important skills that I will use. The first lesson we had been on environmental landmarks. An environmental landmark can be a texture, sign, smell, or people who you see every time you travel.

As we walked along the busy sidewalks of downtown, my teacher told me to listen to the sound of traffic as it went by. When we got to the first street, she had me stop and listen once again to the traffic; when a car or truck starts off on my parallel side of the street, I use this as my clue as when it is safe to cross or not. The first couple of times she told me when to cross until I got the hang of the sounds which would be my Que. Soon, I got the hang of it, and I was able to have some confidence and then I was able to tell when it was safe to cross. I also learned how to tell where the bricks were for the cross walk.

During this lesson, I also learned how to go up and down stairs with my cane, and also how to handle stairs if someone was guiding me. Even though I feel confident with this lesson, we are going to redo it in the future for more practice.

This weekend, I also got to have some fun because I got to go over to my friend’s house and go swimming and we also watched a movie.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

 

Freedom: white cane style

Hi Blog world,

Sorry I didn’t get a blog in last week it was a rough and exciting week. Last Thursday I got the call that I have been waiting a year and two half months for-I finally was going to get my white cane and training! I was excited and nervous at the same time.

Finally, Saturday came and my teacher came with my cane. I have to admit that I was nervous that my training would be delayed more. My first lesson was in the sighted guide technique, for people who do not know a sighted guide helps someone who is blind or visually impaired get around safely, during this lesson we went through how to use a sighted guide while going up and down stairs and how to switch sides of the guide while traveling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoRQiG_hlHk we also went through how to keep myself safe if I didn’t have my cane with me.

The first lesson I learned with my cane was what length I needed; to measure a user for a cane we use the height up to the collar-bone mine’s a 50 in. After that, I learned the parts of the cane and how to walk with it.

Even though it had just stopped raining my teacher and I went for a mile and a half walk. It felt odd learning the technique; however, I learned it pretty quickly.  I am looking forward to learning more lessons on how to travel independently. I get my freedom back!

This blog is in loving memory of Bristol: the guide dog who gave my best friend the
gift of independence.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

 

 

Book Club

Hi Blog world,

I just wanted to drop you guys a line to tell you about a new book club that my friend and I have started, So far we have read: The story of my life by Helen Keller, An Irish country village (Irish country series book 2) by Patrick Taylor, and Maggie by my side by Beverly Butler. Hopefully soon, I will have some book reviews up for you guys to read.

Yesterday, my best friend and I had our first book club meeting; during that meeting we made up a list of books we want to read.

Blog  soon,

Amanda Gene

Edited by Jessica Woods.

 

The years have gone by so fast-a reflection of my years at the local state college

Hi Blog world,

Well, after a long weekend and an extra twenty-four hours of waiting I got the news I wanted I passed my math class and I am now a graduate of the local state college!  I did it!  Wow!   Where has the time gone?  I have grown so much in the last three years.  I remember my first day at the college like most freshmen I was excited to be doing something after months of summer vacation, however, I was scared about being in this new “World” and I really wanted to go home.  I have now gotten over that rush of wanting to go home right away.   I have also made many friends.  During this time, I have also met my best friend, we have grown very close in our friendship and I know that our friendship will grow ever closer as I move on with my education at the local university.

My hardest difficulty is with my math, I have had many setbacks with it, and however, I am better with it than I first started when I was a freshman. I can’t thank the teachers and the tutors in the math lab enough for working so hard with me even when I felt down about learning my hardest subject. Thank you!

My spelling and grammar has also been a struggle for me.  I had to take writing prep writing my freshmen year, and with lots of practice and the dedication of my teachers, I was able to pass my College Placement Exam and I was able to move on to college credit classes my second term.  One of the goals I had during my time at the state college was to get something published in the school newspaper, and I went over the top of that goal, I had more articles published than I ever thought I would.  I also got the chance of educating the public about what it is like to be legally blind and what it means to be safe when walking with a white cane.

During my freshmen and sophomore year, I also attended a local learning center for the blind and visually impaired where I learned how to use my computer including programs: ZoomText and Kurzweil 3000.  I also sharpen my typing skills and learned how to use my digital tape recorder.

In the kitchen, I regained confidence in my cooking and stove use. I have also learned how to manage a home, through learning organization skills, banking skills, and I even got to learn about my future job by talking to some professional reporters at the local newspaper.

I also got to meet some guide dogs and I have learned that a blind person can really be independent, and they also have a constant companion: a friend for life.

I have also started learning Braille, I still am not a fluent reader yet, but I know that in the next two years I will be getting better at it.

In my spare time I have also learned how to take care of an aquarium; and I have learned a lot about fish.

Through all these little things, I have been gaining more confidence and independence. I am not sure of what the next two years of my life will obtain or what goals I will achieve but I do know that it’s going to be an adventure!

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene