Last night, I attended the final event of FSCJ’s 2016-2017 Author Series: a live presentation by Dr. Temple Grandin! If you’re not familiar with Dr Grandin, she is an autistic animal scientist, famous for her humane redesign of U.S. slaughter plants. She has written several books on animal behavior, such as Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation. She has also written several … More Temple Grandin Live at FSCJ!
April Ogden, age 45, is a full-time manager with the Florida Department of Education in Northeast Florida. She enjoys reading and traveling. You can learn more about her on her LinkedIn page. How would you describe your vision or blindness? Is it congenital or has it developed recently? I was diagnosed with Glaucoma during December … More October Interview: Faith in a Life After Loss
Literary scholars, mark your calendars for SAMLA 88! The South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s annual conference is coming to Jacksonville in November—with the theme of Utopia/Dystopia: Whose Paradise Is It? And guess what? They accepted my workshop proposal! Michele and I will be presenting a fabulous workshop you won’t want to miss! Don’t believe me? … More Appearing at SAMLA 88!
Krista Waters, age 29, is a DeafBlind Human Services major at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She has found her passion working with other disabled people, and she currently holds two positions in disability services organizations. She enjoys discussing assistive technology, self-advocacy, and accommodations for disabled students and employees. She agreed to talk with me … More October Interviews: Krista from FSCJ
I have always been a front-row student. Drawn to the first row of desks or tables by temperament and visual disability, I preferred to be as close to the teacher—and presumably the action—as possible. I never questioned this self-placement: to me, the front row was a reverential space, sanctified by scholarship and enthusiasm. Plus, the … More Divining the Catalyst: A Response to the Writing of Oliver Sacks
In my freshman composition courses, the students read a variety of scholarly articles, poems, short stories, style guides, and essays. During our discussion of the writer-reader relationship, I like to work in a chapter from Margaret Atwood’s Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. I choose the chapter “Communion: Nobody to Nobody,” in which … More Immortal Welcome
This semester, I am living out one of my long-cherished dreams: teaching a series of intensive grammar workshops for multilingual learners and struggling student writers. On Friday afternoons, my colleague and I face a group of students who willingly admit their bad relationship with grammar. So far, we’ve had four sessions, teaching anywhere from 2 … More Total Revision: Conversations in the Red
As a blind woman, I do not court silence. The absence of sound in the presence of other people often makes me apprehensive. With no audible messages, I’m left to wonder what others are thinking and doing. This anxiety intensifies when I stand before my students. Are my students texting? passing notes? sleeping? While they … More Fear and Form
Just before lunchtime, I receive an urgent call. The colleague, whose class I’ll be taking over in two weeks, needs me to start tomorrow. Tomorrow!? I’d planned to go in and observe tomorrow; I’d given the assigned poems a cursory reading. I wanted to sit in the back and be unobtrusive. I must dispense with … More Blind Teacher II: The Saga Continues
On final exam day, I sit at the front of a quiet classroom, listening attentively for the sound of my students writing. Pens are a lot quieter than they used to be; I can barely hear them marking their papers. The test, four pages of literary terms and grammar exercises, is free response, so I … More Blind Teacher
If you are a student in my freshman composition class, you will be asked to analyze the title of any given reading on the syllabus. I tell my students, “Titles mean a lot; writers choose them deliberately.” I don’t say this because I’ve read extensive theory validating this claim. I say it because I, as … More Three Little Things
Before time pulls a fine, shimmering mist over my academic experiences, I must write from the perspective of the blind student. Though my studies pass beyond each graduation, I find myself in a new role, the teacher’s role, and my ideas about students are changing. So, meet me at the door of all my classrooms, … More Blind Student
Today I began my first experience of teaching independently at the college level. I’ve spent several semesters as a TA and delivered seminars and presentations to younger students, yet I was untried as the authoritative educator in a college classroom. I considered myself prepared for the opportunity: I had a plan for the day’s lesson … More A Cane-User’s Education: First Lessons