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Monday, January 9, 2012

First day of school

Today was the first day of the Spring Semester at Kent State
University. There I was among the masses of students returning
to class. For me, this was a major come-back. After over a
year on medical leave, I never thought I'd return to school.
Massive pain can do that to you.

I'm happy to report that I am feeling much better now.
Sometimes it really does just take time. Firing your doctors and
going into alternative treatment can help, too.

The point is -- Today was the first day of school. I was
psyched. But as the bus ride continued, I began to have
doubts. It's been so long since I travelled through the
Languages building on my own. What if the mats were gone and I
couldn't find my way to the wall? What if the bulletin boards
were moved and I missed my landmarks? What if PARTA dropped me
off at the wrong door?

The first two worries were small matters. If the third
happened, I'd be screwed. So, naturally, that's exactly what
happened. PARTA took me to the wrong door, and I was lost from
the start.

It seemed like I was stuck in an area with only the doors and a
set of stairs. I walked around and around, but I couldn't find a
way out. I was thinking, "Back in school and here we are

Suddenly, someone roughly grabbed me by the arm. I said I was
trying to find the elevator. The girl began to pull me forward.
She kept speaking, but I didn't know what she was saying. I told
her I was deaf-blind and explained how she could talking to me by
printing letters on my hand. She just kept pulling.

The next thing I know, she had pushed me into a comfortable
chair. I didn't know what to do. Was she leaving me here?
Where was I? Should I call out for help? I decided to just sit
back and wait. I needed a few moments to calm down.

Then there were too of them grabbing at my arms and pulling me
back to my feet. I was tripping all over the place, with two
girls pulling me and two canes in my hands.

We reached the elevator, but they came too. I said I was going
to the third floor. They helped me out but didn't let go. I
finally pulled free and moved to the restroom. It felt so good
to be locked in a stall away from these crazy girls. Over-help
is just as bad as no help.

I thought I was free, but they got me again before I could leave
the bathroom They were still talking to me. I was still
explaining that I was deaf-blind, and they could print letters on
my hand. I kept saying, "Thank you, I'm fine from here." They
wouldn't let go.

Maybe I should have screamed or something. My mind was blanking.
This was the weirdest encounter I've ever had at KSU. I
explained I was going to room 315 and planned to sit on a bench
to wait until class time. They took me there and dropped me
onto a bench. At that moment, another deaf student and an
interpreter appeared. The wacky girls ran off. It was over.

Class was great. When it was time to leave, I was anxious to
head out on my own. I needed to prove to myself that I could
make this walk. After all, I used to do it all the time.

The benches on the third floor are new. I can navigate
around them, but it puts me a little bit away from the wall. I
can't feel for landmarks like I used to. When I hit a student
sitting there, I have to move even further away. Someone had a
whole bunch of crap on the floor. He or she must have been
sitting on the edge of a bench. When I moved around, I couldn't
find anything solid with my cane. I think I ended up in some
kind of lounge or office. I was trying to back track when my
interpreter found me. She guided me downstairs, and we sat and
talked while I waited for my bus.

I got home okay. The driver put my hand on the rail outside our
house, just like I asked. I told him I was fine, said thanks
and goodbye. I walked up the three steps, opened the door and
was half-way inside when he tapped me on the shoulder. I was
startled and it was a bad moment, I nearly fell in the doorway.

It's great to be back in class, but I'm not so sure about all
the people. If only I could zap the ones who annoy me. I know
they mean well, but they really do make it so much harder.

Okay, Wednesday will be take two. Maybe I'll have better luck
then... maybe.

Disclaimer: if you were my professor, a student in my class or
someone who could sign, you did nothing wrong today.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I'm pretty flabbergasted at the nerve those girls had lugging you around like that! I sure hope it never happens again.