. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: March 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hi Everyone

Well my friends, you're not going to hear from me for a while. The love of my life has been diagnosed with a serious blood disease called TTP and I'm taking time away to care for him and get him healthy. As soon as our life gets some normalcy returned to it, I'll jump right back in the saddle.

Until then, I will miss chatting with you all and look forward to returning to The Bits.


Friday, March 6, 2009

The Good News and the Bad News

Sorry I have been so late in updating you about Sean's progress.

(Houseguests. What can I say?)

There is some good news to report.

Sean experienced recess as a blind student and felt the awesome helplessness that comes with being unable to see.

Would it be wrong of me to say it was an eye-opening experience?

The mobility teacher took him around with a blindfold and a cane and helped him struggle around the playground for 15 minutes.

He reports feeling lost and disoriented. He mostly felt nervous though because he couldn't see what might be flying at him at any moment.

We related that to the feelings the child he was bullying might have, and he really seemed to connect with his victim for once. (Yeah!)

The next day, we visited with our VI teacher and a VI student in third grade. Sean and I had developed interview questions ahead of time, so he just jumped right in with the questions.

He learned that our VI teacher, who is blind himself, likes to work with power tools, play catch with his kids at home (called "Bean Dad with the Ball"), skis in the winter, and loves to go bike riding.

Sean did not expect that.

He learned that his VI peer plays on a soccer team, loves reading, and wants to be a police officer when he grows up (just like Sean).

Sean did not expect that either.

Thank goodness, the kid he interviewed is just a ball of personality and a joy to chat with. He really made our experience fun!

Following the interviews, Sean and I talked about what he had learned and he found that he had still more questions for them like:

  • How does the teacher ski or ride a bike when he can't see?
  • How does his peer play soccer when he can't see the ball? How does he know when he's scored?
  • What kind of police officer would he like to be because Sean wants to be a K-9 cop.

So we went back for a follow-up interview and Sean learned:

  • The teacher skis with a partner who warns him about trees and other dangers. He rides a tandem bike with his wife (but he's pretty sure his wife doesn't participate in any of the peddling.)
  • The student's soccer team is comprised of blind children and the soccer ball has bells in it so they can hear it. He knows he's scored a goal when he hears the goalie say, "aawwww."
  • He would like to be a police dispatcher since they probably won't give him a gun.

Sean and I talked some more after the follow-up interview and we spoke about what Sean would like to do if he could hang out with either of them.

He wants the teacher to teach him how to read Braille, and he wants to play soccer with the student.

Ah Ha! Now we have things he can earn with good behavior and good choices! Currency! That's our next step.

Sean also feels like he's found a friend in the VI student. When we walked in the door for the follow-up interview, the kid said, "Hey Sean! Is that you? I was hoping you'd come back!"

When we left, Sean said, "That kid is really cool! I feel like we're friends now!"

Coming from a kid with no friends, that's quite a realization.

All and all, I think we're on the right path here. I have hopes for him. Not high ones yet, but hope is good enough for now.

Oh… the bad news?

Since Sean and I began working together, he's karate-kicked a kid, dug his fingers into another kid's back, and jammed his butt into someone's face. He's been banned from waiting in line with any other children now.

Hopes…not high ones, but hopes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sx3 Rocks!

Good news, ya'll!

Well, good news for me anyway.

I won The Scholastic Scribe's Silly Sunday Sweepstakes prize!

For those of you not in the know, The Scribe hosts a weekly photo caption contest. I participate every week because it's just plain fun, but last week she offered up a prize to the winner with the best caption.

To my shock and surprise, I was selected! Yipeee!!!

To see my wit in action, read my blog.

No, what I meant to say was click here. (Wow, was I just rude!)

If you don't currently participate in the Silly Sunday Sweepstakes, or Sx3 as it's affectionately called, let me encourage you to give it a go next Sunday. It's always good for a giggle.

A great big thanks to The Scribe for the dandy Target Gift Card, or as I like to think of it, several new pairs of pants!