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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

holy cow!

Do you remember this old joke?

How do you punish Helen Keller?
Rearrange the furniture

Cruel, but true.

I had my father take me to the Languages building today so I
could practice walking to my classroom and back. What I
discovered totally shocked me. It seems that in the year I was
gone, the university was doing some renovations in that building.
Perhaps it was foolish of me to think the place would be exactly
the same. Still, I never imagined such dramatic changes.

To start with, there are now double doors. The reason I felt
boxed in with no way out is because I was. I now need to find
and open the second door to get into the building. There's no
direct path I can use to move from one set to the other set of
doors. So I take the long way around and follow the wall,
staircase, radiator and newspaper stand.

This doesn't let PARTA off the hook. I walked all around the
entrance yesterday and all around the one today. It was NOT the
same. PARTA definitely dropped me off at the wrong location.

Once out into the hall, I met with another surprise. The benches
are all still there. But now they added these counter like
things against empty walls. I guess it's for students to stand
against and read the paper or something. I don't know. What it
means is that they took away all the blank wall I used to follow.
Now I'm away from the wall the whole way. It's even worse when
students are around. I'm being forced to walk too far into the
middle of a crowded hall way.

Without the walls, I miss my landmarks. Bulletin boards, signs,
corners and more... It all gave me clues to my location.

Now I don't have any warning that I'm approaching the other set
of doors that are parallel to the wall. Someone opened the door
from the outside. I didn't noticed my path was moving. I
followed the door line straight into the metal frame. Don't
worry. It was only my face that I hit.

I still had trouble with the elevator buttons. Those who invent
"universal design" just don't understand about braille. Sure, I
know the buttons need to be low for people in wheelchairs. But
that makes the braille too low to be read by people who are
blind.

The third floor looked the same at first. I made it to the
classrooms. I was struggling to remember how many doors I need
to pass to get to room 315. I stopped and asked my dad if I was
right. He took my hand and placed it on a braille sign. I was
wrong... But, oh, how cool! They added braille signs on all the
classroom doors. That will make things so much easier!

I crossed the hall to start my trek back. Kaboom! I banged
into a bench. Those are new on the third floor. As I got
further away from the classrooms, things got stranger. The wall
disappeared. I felt a line of carpet. Beyond that, I found
chairs and couches. I didn't make a mistake yesterday. They
just changed everything! Once again, my walls and landmarks are
gone. I no longer know when to cross the hall to get to the
elevator.

Well, Kent State unknowingly decided to make my life harder.
PARTA and a couple of wacky girls aren't helping. Yet, I'm
still me and that means I won't give up. We'll see how I do
tomorrow.

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