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My Blinded Experience

Shengjia-Ashley's picture

On the blind field shuttle tour of Bryn Mawr Campus, Carmen showed us that being blind does not mean being impaired but possessing a different way to perceive the world.

I was first at the back of the line. I could feel (or I thought I felt) the girl behind me shaking as we walked in the woods. I could hear a big humming engine right beside me as we crossed the street. Any small vibrations turned into big swings in the back of the line, as I consistently stepped on and off the paved trial onto the grass during the “peaceful” later part of the shuttle. Though I didn’t open my eyes during the whole trip, I couldn’t keep myself from aimless waving one of my arm for branches or imaginary obstacles. My shoulder is now a bit sore from all the sketching and waving in the air.

On the way back, I was at the beginning of the line. Knowing the route I was going to walk on, I felt easier and paid more attention to the flickering of lights on my eyelids.  I even noticed that the paved trial on front of the English house was more “rough” than the paved trail parallel to senior row. However, it was still terrifying when I heard a car shooting through my front as Carmen called everyone to cross the street again.

I was actually “blinded” about three to four weeks each summer from 4 to 6 years old by a special eye drop that dilates pupil to allowed more accurate eye examinations. During the worst days, I can only see “mists” and vague contour of objects hidden in it. To keep a close eye on “blinded” me, my mother would send to grandmother’s old house. I always thought that three month of my life were totally wasted, I couldn’t watch my favorite cartoons and I can’t go outside to play. However, after today’s blind shuttle, I started to recall nonvisual features of grandma’s old house that I am surprised that I even remember: hard and scratched wood cardboards, soft and bouncy sofa, cold and slippery ceramic floor, the appealing smell of grandma’s special sauce blended with the sweet scents of flowers grandpa kept and the sound of steps: the rushing one is grandma’s the one more steadier is grandpa’s… Although limited to areas, I did perceive something during my “blinded” three months.