Did you know that blind people watch TV? They listen to the radio just as sighted people do. And they watch TV. That is because the verb associated to TV is watch. I know this because my roommate in college for three semesters was a blind girl.
I learned a lot of interesting things during those three semesters. One of which was writing Braille. Seriously, how would you leave a note for a blind roommate before cell phones? I would Braille a small card telling her my whereabouts and a return time and Scotch tape it to the door knob to our room.
There were three of us taking Greek together (yes, Jeanie took Greek). We would often take notes in Braille. I often thought this would make Dr. Boswell nuts. The way Jeanie was able to take Greek was that the people who transcribed her text books into Braille showed her the Greek letters in Braille but then used the English alphabet for the Greek words. When we needed to translate sentences I would read and spell the Greek to her and she would Braille it.
How did she do exams you are going to ask? I would go down and take my exam first. Then she would come and I would read the test to her. This often caused consternation when I realized she had answered a question correctly and I had not. And of course if she did not know the answer and I did, I wrote down what she told me. We both got B’s.
One of the interesting things about living with Jeanie brings us back to the first paragraph. She was adamant about using the correct verb. One of my favorite stories she told me was getting to “see” a Cleveland Indians game. She loved to listen to the Indians on the radio. And one day the radio station asked a trivia question. She called in with the right answer and she won tickets. Her father took her to the game. She loved it. The smells, the sounds, everything was more real than listening to it on the radio. But even though she got to “see” the Indians play, she still took her radio so she would know what was going on. It was agreat day for her and she would love to go “see” another Indians game someday.
Jeanie had one year to finish when I graduated. She had to get a dog. But when she graduated I had to walk her through the graduation line. This was because her dog felt it belonged at the front of the line and Jeanie’s last name began with a W.
Those years in college were good and I think made me a more sensitive person to disabilities.