Test Drive 2 Day 1

Hello from Perkins!

 

For those who don’t know, this week I’m staying at Perkins School as an advisor for their Career Launch program. I’m taking part in test drive 2. Dad took a photo with me by the school building before he left. I was the first one to arrive on campus so I got to talk with some teachers. They told me they read a couple of my blogs so that was pretty neat. One let me see his guide dog! I’m rooming with my twin so that worked out.

 

Today was an orientation day. We were informed about the Career Launch program that will be launching in September. The first test drive tested week one of the program while this one tests week five. Career Launch teaches students tech skills among others. They learn about working in a call center and work an internship. Then after the two months, someone from the program helps work with the student and companies to help them find work. The person teaching mobility to everyone this week was working at the school when I was here so that was nice to see someone I knew. We talked about the school now and how different it is these days. Interesting when I hear teachers feeling the same way. I’ve told people here that it’s not something you quite understand unless you’ve gone here as a student or worked here before. After I was shown the cottage, I was shown how to use their kurig and electric kettle which was nice but after showing me the microwave, I’ll use that for tea. We were told that someone will take video and posed photos for their marketing for the program. I’m really impressed with Perkins upgrades. Our room has AC which I’m still shocked about because when I was a student here, the rooms didn’t have AC. We also have a wall fan which is new.

 

We each were shown a work station with a phone and a computer. It is a mock call station. Go figure, mine was the one where Jaws wasn’t always working! Everyone has been friendly, but I’m still learning windows 10 and Google Crome, so I’ll get a little lesson tomorrow. Since we are testing week five, we aren’t getting training on the technology like the students will in the actual program. By this point in the program, students would have had a few weeks of tech training. We learned how to use Google Drive and were given a Perkins email address to use for the week. We worked on opening different files like PDFS and Word documents. It was a little frustrating because I was a little behind in some of the tech, but I’m happy to be learning something new. I figured I’d take some notes here, but they told us beforehand we would use their technology and not our personal devices. Today we were asked to take notes using our technology so I’m not a fan of these last minute changes. It’s happened a lot lately. I’m not knocking the program but it does seem like things are just decided day by day rather than thought out. I’m sure it won’t be liked that I’m so open at this stage, but I’m honest. We were asked to share any negative feedback with them first before doing so in a blog, but I’ve already started sharing my thoughts with the team. We opened documents about Harry Potter, the Hobbit and Game of Throwns. I’m probably the only one who hasn’t seen that show.

 

After our little tech lesson, we did a team building activity. We had two teams and we had to pitch our ideas to someone like the Shark Tank show. We got to use objects like paper clips, Legos, and silly Putty to make our device. My team made a necklace that was a device with a button you could push to make it cold or push the other side and you’d have heat. We used Legos as buttons and putty to make the round part of the necklace. We marketed it to everyone. We said that it took 80 dollars to make but we sold it for 200 dollars and we gave ten percent to charity. The other team made an easy bake oven where Alexa cooked everything and nothing ever got burned. We mentioned that our product could be given to shelters, hospitals etc. to help people. We won the activity so that was cool. =) Amber and I talked to the overnight staff a bit who is really nice and blind so that’s cool. I mentioned that Perkins could consider hiring me to help plan for this program because lots of planning before we came was extremely last minute. Amber and I have had fun learning our way around here but it is similar to the cottages I stayed in. The side of campus I’m on is opposite than what I knew so that’s interesting. I think that’s about it for now. I’ll do my best to post again tomorrow. Questions? Reach out. Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, on Facebook at Miranda Oakley or leave me a comment on my website. If you find me on Facebook, please send me a message telling me how you found me and who you are. Thanks.

Best,

Miranda ❤

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day! I figured since I have a blog now I would make a post reflecting on Father’s Day. Okay Holy Spirit, Whatever you’d like me to say in three, two, one…Go. I pray and hope what I write here doesn’t offend people. If you disagree with anything written here, that’s fine, but let’s all respect one another. I have to be honest and say for the longest time, to me, Father’s Day was one of those days that I didn’t give much thought. I grew up without a dad and learned how God has perfect reasons for everything. Don’t worry, I won’t go pushing religion on you, but that’s how I feel. Father’s Day was one of those days I always said to my mom and my aunt. ❤ Most of my life, my mom was Mom and Dad. That changed when I met who I call my other mom and dad. Clarence and his MWFL, Pam. By the way, I know they have a lot of “adopted” kids, so thanks for sharing them with me. In case you’re wondering, MWFL is what Dad says is, “My woman for life”. In a nutshell, conversations with Dad go something like this. “Dad, please fix my computer! Oh! So…Laurie said…Phillips changed my life because…Billy Gilman and Taylor Swift! And more Taylor Swift. You’re busy? Let me text you ten text messages.” I tell Dad everything.

 

Let me tell you about my dad. We met when I was a freshman in college. He’s good at basketball. He could have made it big, but the father of all father’s had bigger plans. Thank God! I mean, who else can I send long texts to? Dad loves old school music and always introduces me to so many artists because I love music. I always know when Dad pulls up because most of the time he’s blasting something. In fact, he’s one of those dads who tells me his kids always used to say, “Dad, turn your music down!”

 

He teaches me about Paul, Romans, Psalms, and when I talk to him about guys, he always reminds me that, “I don’t care how cute he is, actions speak louder than words.” We have great conversations that always provide me with a new perspective and scripture to relate to what I’m going through. One of my favorite things about him is that he’s not a traditionalist. We come from a very tradition based church. Dad always talks about what the Bible says and doesn’t get hung up on things that don’t matter. Like me, he is against foyerism. Want to know what that is? Reach out and let’s start a conversation.

 

As a writer, I wonder sometimes when to give information and when to let people do some homework and research themselves. I think having a balance of both approaches is good. Thoughts anyone? Dad taught me about one of his favorite Greek words, agape, which is a type of love that can really touch people. Even if you don’t know God but love people, learning about agape is a good thing. Love makes our world brighter. I’d love to explain agape, (my good friend Helene says she loves when I explain it to people) but I think I’ll see if anyone does some research. If you follow my blog, thanks! Look up agape and let’s have a discussion about it. I know many people who turn agape on and off like it is a light switch they use whenever they feel like it. Yes, even people at church. Now, if this bothers you, calm down. I’m not saying all church is bad. I’m not saying don’t go to church or you shouldn’t find one. There are great people at my church, but if I’m being honest, not many treat me quite like Dad and his WFL. Dad doesn’t know exactly what Jesus looks like, but he loves him and shares the good news with so many people. I find in life, with people, in school, at Rotary, at church, everywhere really, I always have to prove myself. But I never have to prove myself to the Holy Father and to my dad. So many times people wonder how I can help at church or any events elsewhere because of my blindness and to be frank, it gets really tiring. I’m thankful my God blessed me with a dad and his WFL who take me for who I am and don’t overcomplicate me. I wanted to focus on Father’s Day because even though his WFL is awesome too, it’s common for people with disabilities to have Dad walk out. Sometimes people have Dad and no Mom, but most cases it is the other way around. Why do you think that is? I guess it’s true what they say, a mother just knows. Sometimes, Dad’s do stick around though.

 

Dad is there to embarrass me with old interviews, (at my graduation party he decided to play this one from when I was seventeen, sounding really little on repeat. Thank God it’s been taken off the internet. He could have chosen another Perkins one I was proud of but no. I’ll forgive you.) He prays with me about many things. He and his WFL were there as I cried and prayed for a reader to come forward my last semester of college. He is there for everything. Dad’s agape for me covers the fact that sometimes when I’m mad enough, I can be a little or a lot mouthy. Thanks for not walking out on me, Dad. It is crazy to think about that tomorrow, he’ll take me to Perkins to test the Career Launch program. Life was so different for me when I was at Perkins and he wasn’t in it. To anyone who needs a father figure, I pray they come forward. Remember that no matter what, someone is always listening. Now, this post has been sappy enough. Back to me sending too many long texts!

 

Is there anything you’d like me to blog about? Let me know. Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, on Facebook at Miranda Oakley or feel free to leave me a comment here on my website. I’d love to connect. If you find me on Facebook, I just ask that you reach out and let me know who you are and how you found me. Thank you.

Have a great week!

Best,

Miranda ❤

My Thoughts On In the Dark Episode 9

Before I share my thoughts about the 9th episode, I wanted to mention a few things I liked from the 8th episode that I left out of that post. Because Murphy finds out that another person is involved in Tyson’s killing, she leaves her night with Max to get information out of Dean. I go back and forth with liking Max, but I see both sides to this situation. He made you a meal and you can’t stay for dinner and talk to Dean another time? Girl! That’s mean. Poor Max. After talking to Dean for a bit, he ends up forgiving Murphy for going to the mall with Chloe. Dean allows her to spend the night for movie night, and I was happy that Chloe reunited with Murphy so quickly. Anyone else excited about this? Lastly, I wanted to say how shocked I was when Murphy told Max she loved him. Wow Murphy, you’re really stepping it up! I’m not surprised he had to say, “I love you,” first, but I figured she would brush him off. Did you have a moment of feeling bad? Maybe slightly? You know, maybe you do have a heart, and you felt bad for leaving your boyfriend after he made dinner for you guys?

 

 

Moving on now to episode number 9, watching this particular episode was special because I got to watch it with my twin! We freaked out over the same things. Anyone surprised? Let’s talk about Dean. It’s very clear that he likes Murphy in this episode. I still don’t know how I feel about him getting together with Murphy. What are your thoughts about Murphy and Dean? Could you see them as a couple or are you for Murphy and Max? The episode opens with Murphy requesting an Uber because she fell asleep on Dean. Even though they didn’t have sex, that’s still weird. I don’t blame Chelsea for getting upset about that. I feel like anybody would find that strange. Chloe teases her dad and Murphy about her staying the night and they quickly brush it off, telling her it’s nothing. You can tell Dean likes Murphy because when she comes to talk to him, he thinks it is about the night they had, but it is about Tyson’s death. Are we really surprised? I sure wasn’t. Wishful thinking, Dean. When Chelsea and Dean were out at dinner one night, she expresses to him how upset she is that he always drops everything anytime Murphy calls him. Can you blame Chelsea? I’d be upset too. He could easily talk to her for a second and then say he needed to call her back. Chelsea breaks up with Dean and I don’t blame her at all. I can see sometimes dropping everything for someone you care about, but every time? No, that’s not okay. You could also just not pick up the phone all the time. Good for you, Chelsea! Way to know what you deserve!

 

Let’s talk about Jess and Vanessa. Murphy calls Jess, trying to figure out if she has the right deodorant. Really? I know sometimes it’s easier with people you know, but you know, there’s an App for that! She could have also asked someone at the store. She later tells Jess how she is upset because she wasn’t there for her emergency. Girl, calm your dramatic self-down! No emergency there. When Murphy calls, Jess tells Vanessa she can figure out whatever it is on her own. This is very good of Jess to do. We all need help sometimes. Yes, even those without disabilities need help sometimes. You should not put all your needs on one person though. Spread it out a little. People do that in real life though. I know plenty of people who pass off disability related stuff like it’s a plate. They figure that since that one person has always dealt with any assistance the person might need, that means they don’t have to. This attitude is so wrong. Get over it and stop it. If you’re upset by that, maybe take a look at why you’re upset and how you really feel about disability. It will take time, but this is why we should never stop talking. I’m happy Jess handled it this way because Murphy needs to realize she can’t use Jess for everything. Plus, even if she does feel bad, she does deserve a date night or whatever time away from Murphy she can get. In the long run, it’s good for both of them.

 

Jess feels guilty for cheating on Vanessa so she has a seven month anniversary dinner with cupcakes that she made. When they were out to dinner, Felix serves them drinks and comes to hit on one of Vanessa’s friends. Of course it doesn’t go well. What does go well for Felix? Poor guy. It was really funny though when he was asking Jess about when the dinner was so he could go. Much funnier in the show than here in this post. I thought it was silly, but seven is also my favorite number so I thought the dinner was sweet. Jess and Vanessa were making up all these hashtags about their relationship which was cute and Jess finally blurts out that she cheated on her. They break up and I’m actually okay with that. Jess can do better. What do you guys think of this?

 

Let’s talk about Max. I didn’t like him in this episode. Max helps Murphy go through security footage and based on what he tells her he sees, he thinks Darnell could be an informant in Tyson’s case. Speaking of Darnell, let’s back up for a second and talk about Jules. She has always been conflicted between dating him and doing her job. I’d say this time your emotions got the better of you. This part is a little confusing because I don’t have audio description so somebody please correct me if I’m wrong. Jules finds Darnell’s DNA is linked to evidence in Tyson’s case. Darnell is very upset and asks Jules if there is a way out of the situation. Thinking she will protect him, she arrests him on her own terms. You cannot do that! She thinks he won’t run into anyone if she arrests him herself so she can remove him from the situation as quickly as possible. I’m glad she breaks up with Darnell because clearly she cannot do her job and date him at the same time. Plus, it wouldn’t be good if anyone knew he was dating a cop or that she was dating him. I’m here for all the breakups so far. What about you guys? Jess and Murphy sneak into Guiding Hope over the weekend so she can help Murphy look up a witness list. Felix catches them and asks why they are using company WI-FI. Felix tells them that if the informant was a minor that information would have to be disclosed. They laugh it off when he tells them he went to Harvard law, so that is how he knew the information about minors.

 

Jess tells Murphy how she feels bad about what she did to Vanessa and that she is sad about the breakup. Murphy, being typical Murphy, blows her off and starts going on about how she’s worried because she hasn’t heard from Max all day. I understand being scared because you don’t know what happened to your boyfriend, but give the girl a moment! She is always there for you! Felix, Murphy and Jess take Felix’s car to Max’s house and realize he isn’t home. They can’t find his phone, but Jess explains to Murphy that his computer also receives text messages. Murphy tries getting Jess and Felix to read his computer and they won’t. Finally Jess gives in as always and ends up reading the computer for her. Girl, you need to learn to stick up for yourself! I can understand friends are always there, but she gives into her way too much. Anyone else feel this way?

 

Felix helps them figure out that Max is at a hotel, and Jess convinces Murphy that despite what Felix says, Max isn’t cheating on her. Felix drives them to the hotel and Murphy tells them not to follow her to meet Max. Felix and Jess end up at the Indoor Pool laughing and singing over drinks. I love this scene. I love their friendship. Felix is so underappreciated and it isn’t okay. He’s so awkward, sweet and I wish people were better to him. Max is shocked to find Murphy and admits to her that he is an informant. She is upset and this is actually something I actually don’t blame her for. I understand that Max has to look out for himself, and if he doesn’t do the work he could go to jail, but give it up dude. Murphy flips out, saying that he killed Tyson. Anyone else think Max was getting a little defensive when he said he didn’t kill him? If nothing was going on then why act that way? What do you guys think? Do you think something is up with Max?

Until my next post, thanks for reading.

Miranda ❤

 

My Thoughts On In the Dark Episode 8

This show gets more intense with each episode. I had to watch this particular episode a few times and watch the After TV Buzz cast talk about the visuals a few times because I found this episode somewhat confusing. That being said, this post might not have everything in order. I really feel for Jess in this episode. It opens with Jess’s girlfriend, Vanessa, trying to convince Jess to go to yoga with her. I mean, yoga is wonderful, (Seriously, try it if you haven’t.) but you know, hug your girlfriend! Do something! Jess tells Vanessa that she has anxiety pills for dogs because she doesn’t want to bother Murphy about her anxiety so that is why she doesn’t have human pills. Girl! No. Just no. I hope to God she didn’t actually take dog anxiety pills! I can see not wanting to bother your best friend when she has a full plate, but at the same time, true friends will be there no matter what’s going on. You should never be taking something that isn’t for humans. Especially medication! Plus, I mean, she has a full plate too considering Wesley was in her trunk! Anyone would lose it after that. Jess has nightmares and can’t open trunks and I feel like Murphy and Vanessa need to be more sensitive to that. Jess tells Vanessa she can’t get out of her own head and Vanessa tells her to breathe. This would be nice, but she didn’t mean it in a, “Breathe, it’s going to be okay,” way. She said that in a way for her to brush off what happened and her feelings about it. Vanessa would tell her to manifest positive things which I understand, but that’s not what Jess needed at that moment. Vanessa tells Jess she doesn’t consider herself a real lesbian and Jess explains that she needs Vanessa to validate her feelings. Can you blame her? Anyone who had a dead person in their trunk would need validation that that was a terrible experience. I know I would want someone to validate my feelings. Plus Jess is always there for everyone. Somebody hug her!

 

This next part was confusing, but it appears that Tyson was shot, put in a car, and then left in the alley where Murphy found him the night he was killed. Not only are Dean and Jules trying to find out who else killed Tyson, but they are also trying to figure out how Wesley was killed. This part was also confusing for me because I’m doing this without audio description. Let me know how you like my posts so far since I’ve written all of them without any audio description. I only receive visual help from people discussing the show on Youtube. Jules and Dean question the guy who ran over Wesley, and he tells them that he saw a girl run away. They look through footage and figure out that the girl is Jess. Jess freaks out over the fact that she has to talk to Dean and Jules because she knows she should have gone to the police right when everything happened. She didn’t because Darnell and Max told her not to. Poor Jess. That’s not cool that she was stuck in the middle like that. Jess freaks out because she realizes Wesley’s watch was left in the trunk of her car. She is afraid to touch it because she doesn’t want her fingerprints on it. Murphy could have been better about understanding why Jess didn’t want to touch the watch but has Jess guide her hand to it. Murphy tells Jess she’ll get rid of the watch like Jess needs her to do. Max and Murphy go get Jess’s car cleaned to remove anything that would link back to Jess. At one point in the episode, Murphy makes Jess open the trunk of the car and she freaks out. This is where Murphy should have been more sensitive to Jess and what she’s going through. If you need help, okay, but you should have had your boyfriend do it. On the other hand though, if Jess hadn’t opened the trunk, she never would have realized that Wesley’s watch was still in her car.

 

Jess is really bad at lying, twitching her nose when she tries to, which makes her not be able to do anything but be honest. Which by the way, honesty is the best, so that’s not really a bad thing. Good for you, Jess. Darnell talks to Jess about how she feels bad about what happened and he tells her to let Dean and Jules see the fact that she is feeling bad about everything. Jess practices the story a few times before finally sharing it with Dean and Jules. She is crying, telling them how she tracks Murphy’s phone, got nervous when she was out of town, and that when she caught up with them, she was afraid Wesley was going to do something to Murphy. She explains that because she was afraid for Murphy, she didn’t go to the police about the accident like she should have. She tells them that Wesley wasn’t looking where he was going which is why he was killed, but she leaves out the fact that he was put in her trunk, escaped, and got run over.

 

Next I want to talk about Jess cheating on Vanessa. Of course I’m against cheating, but Murphy was so funny in this scene! Jess ends up having drinks and hooking up with this girl and the next day the girl wants to go for breakfast. Jess ends up feeling horrible about what she did and cannot get the girl to leave. As much as Murphy needs to be more sensitive to the fact that Jess cannot currently handle opening trunks of cars, Murphy really did pull through for Jess in this situation. Very good Murphy! I always knew you had it in you to care for people when you want to! Murphy comes home from a night with Max, and Jess quietly tells her she needs her help. Murphy goes outside, comes back in, and starts acting as if she’s Jess’s girlfriend who had just gotten home early. Murphy flips out and goes off about how terrible it is that Jess cheated on her. She flips out about how Jess must have cheated on her because she is blind. Hilarious! The girl says how cold that is and ends up leaving. The best friends start laughing and I found myself laughing along with them. It was much funnier to watch than to read about it here. Once the girl leaves, Jess ends up running into Chelsea at the bar where she works and they frequently visit. Chelsea tells Jess that Dean and Jules don’t think she is Tyson’s killer. Let’s back up for a second and talk about Chelsea. I like Chelsea a lot. Until this episode. Before Jess runs into Chelsea at work, Chelsea is found visiting Dean. The problem with this is that no one told Dean Chelsea was coming. Hello red flags. You don’t just let anybody back at a police station where there is lots of sensitive information. Chelsea ends up asking Dean all sorts of questions about why there is information about Jess among others. Dean tells Chelsea to act like she hasn’t seen anything and wishes he had a heads up about her coming before they headed to dinner. It’s really sketchy to me that someone would let Chelsea go back so easily. I really feel like that is connected to something somehow. At the bar, Jess starts telling Chelsea that she has had a horrible day. Chelsea blurts out that they don’t think Jess is Tyson’s other killer and Jess doesn’t know what Chelsea is talking about. Jess tells Chelsea she was talking about Vanessa and wants to know why she is telling her all this information. Chelsea explains that she thought Jess was having a horrible day because they thought she killed Tyson when she didn’t. Chelsea explains to Jess that she isn’t supposed to know this information, not to tell Murphy, and that Murphy needs to let Dean figure out the case. Jess ends up telling Murphy about her encounter with Chelsea, because she tells Murphy that she can lie to Vanessa and the cops, but she can’t lie to her.

 

Next, let’s talk about Felix. I love Felix more and more with each episode. One thing I love about him is that he doesn’t take Murphy’s irresponsible behavior. In this episode he ends up officially buying Guiding Hope. Murphy’s mother, Joy, is very upset about this for a while. I can’t really blame her because even though you know someone else could do a better job, if you care about the company the way she does, it still isn’t easy to give it up. Once the school is signed over to Felix, he ends up talking to her about what to do about Murphy. Joy approaches the situation with a “Good luck with that,” type of attitude. Felix ends up doing away with performance reviews and gets rid of Murphy’s bench that she used to nap on. Of course Murphy gets upset, but Felix tells her she either comes to work or has no job. I say good for Felix for calling Murphy out on her behavior.

 

At one point during the episode, Murphy explains to Jess that her way of getting rid of Wesley’s watch was to throw it away at work. Jess gets mad because she wanted the watch to be burned or disposed of another way other than throwing it in the trash. I can see (Yes I’m blind and said see. We all do it actually. Go ahead and start using that word around blind people. Really, it’s fine.) Jess getting upset about Murphy throwing the watch away because she was scared and wants anything linked to those memories out of her life. On the other hand, I can see why Murphy threw it away. I think that there’s a lot to take in here. Murphy could have easily given the watch to Darnell or Max to get rid of it for her, but that may have caused trouble. If Darnell or Max disposed of the watch then their fingerprints would be on it and the watch would be connecting them to Tyson’s death. Murphy does live with easy access to Uber or Jess to drive her, so that could’ve been an option. Jess would have probably not wanted to be around while Murphy got rid of the watch but Jess ends up always giving in so I’m not sure why nothing like that happened. On the other hand, if Murphy got to the ocean, the lake or a river somehow, what if someone found her (and any assistance she may have had) throwing the watch into the water and she didn’t want anyone to know about it because there is already so much going on with this case? Jess ends up driving Murphy to Guiding Hope, but Jess doesn’t see the watch in the trash. Who do they end up finding? Felix! Jess ends up asking Felix about the watch he was wearing and she and Murphy figure out it is Wesley’s. Felix is busy with the watch and work, so they never get to tell him the watch belonged to Wesley. Felix explains that he found the watch in the trash and the guy who it belonged to keeps getting all sorts of texts. He tells Murphy and Jess how he is flirting with girls and hasn’t told them that he isn’t the original owner of the watch.

 

Lastly, to wrap things up, I want to talk about Max. Max is one of those characters who I like and then can’t stand him in the next episode. Well Max, I loved you this time. I will say though, as sweet as he was in this episode, I thought he went a little fast with their relationship. If you’re still with me by this point in my post, what are your thoughts about Max giving Murphy a key so quickly? Max definitely gets major boyfriend points in this episode for showing Murphy around. He googled how to orient a blind person to a new place so she could become comfortable with his apartment. He didn’t just give her any tour, but the fact that he thought to himself to help a blind person? Sorry, what? People don’t usually do that. That’s so nice. Not only that, but he moved his couch so it was the way she had hers in her apartment. I mean who does that? No one! You can’t blame them though because it takes a second to move a couch. I feel like Max’s actions show he’s trying to put himself in Murphy’s shoes and make things easy for her, no matter what that involves for him. Good for you, Max. Way to be a good dude. I don’t know anyone who would google orienting a blind person, let alone move a couch! Definitely a clue that this guy is a made up character which I like and then end up wanting to yell at him. For my blind/VIP readers, what are your thoughts on Max and how he handled Murphy staying at his place? It was interesting when she bumped into a coffee table. I mean we all as VIP or blind people do things like that. It was nice to see them shopping for a blender and coffee table, and I thought he was very inclusive of her, having her feel tables to pick one out for them. That was nice. Way to go, Max. I feel like Max making Murphy a key to come and go as she pleases is welcoming and kind, but this was her first night at his apartment so I thought it was a little too soon. I mean, they say you know when you know, so good for you, Max. Talk about jumping in though. As my dad would say, slow your roll Max, slow your roll!

 

This was a long post for sure! If you’ve stuck with me, thanks! Any thoughts on the show you’d like to share? I’ll also be posting my thoughts on more episodes soon. I’d love to connect with you. Please reach out! You can find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, on Facebook at Miranda Oakley or you can always drop me a comment here on my website. If you find me on Facebook, please send me a message telling me who you are and how you found me. Thanks.

Until next time,

Miranda ❤

June 4th Talk at University of Rhode Island

Miranda Addressing Students

Miranda Addressing Students

On June 4, 2019, I spoke to a class at the university of Rhode Island about the importance of discussing our differences.I share my experiences at URI and the importance of never settling. A special thank you to Susan for having me and to my friend Amy for spending the morning with me. Some of this is heavy, some of it is lighter, but we need to talk about the negative experiences to get to the good stuff. Together, let’s raise the bar on blind students graduating college. Photos from this talk include me talking to students.I have a pink shirt with flowers on it. Thanks for listening to my talk and I hope it changes how you see people with disabilities.
Miranda ❤

Navigating Public Bathrooms Blind

The bathroom. It’s something we all use, but we don’t often talk about the challenges of public bathrooms when you have a disability. Last month a mother of a child who is blind wrote to me and asked about navigating public bathrooms. She asked me the following:

How do you navigate public bathrooms? Are stalls or single bathrooms easier? Any barriers or things that make it easier or more difficult?

For me personally, I hate public bathrooms, but as I have gotten older I have gotten better about handling them. For those of my readers who are sighted, please keep in mind that every blind person has their own way of doing things. What works for me may not work for someone else who is blind. Public bathrooms can be kind of scary and dangerous when you are blind because not everyone is as clean as you might be. When you are blind, you have to touch everything and if the bathroom is not clean, obviously that’s a problem. My disability allows me to use the bathroom on my own, but I feel much safer if someone is with me who can see.

 

In some situations, I am brought to the door of the bathroom and am left to figure it out with my cane. Because of the mobility challenges I particularly have, it is harder for me to leave a place than it is for me to find it. If someone drops me at the doorway, it is easier for me to meet them in the hallway than it is in a classroom or office I am working in. I can eventually figure out how to do this but it takes me a little while to learn it. If it is a single bathroom I will use my cane from left to right, figuring out where the toilet and sink are located. Once I have oriented myself to the toilet, felt along the left or right for toilet paper, and found the sink, I search with my hands around feeling for soap, paper towels, and use my cane to let me know where on the floor the trash is located. While we’re on the subject of toilet paper, I’m not sure why, but people online like to ask blind people about using it. Please think before you ask your questions. The answer to this question is that we all use it the same way. The only difference is that you with sight might find it quicker with your eyes than we may with our hands. Not many blind people talk about this, so I hope this finally puts this weird question to rest.

 

I discussed mobility in another blog, but when I was in school, there was only one mobility teacher in Rhode Island teaching everyone from children through college. My mobility teacher would walk around and tell me where everything in the bathroom was. She might direct me by saying something like, “When you walk in, the toilet is straight ahead, the sink is on your right when you first walk in, and the trash is past the sink on your right.” I have heard that some blind people bring Sanitizer because it is easier than trying to find a sink. I have used both, so do whatever works for you. If I am in a stall I use my cane to find the toilet and find the paper with my hand. Of course just make sure you teach your child to feel for the lock on the door. Of course using the bathroom is easier when it is someone you know, but we have to teach completely blind kids that they must use their hands because that is the only way they are going to get important information.

 

Do I find single bathrooms or stalls easier? I have a hard time answering this question because I find them both challenging. Space wise, because of the mobility challenges I have, single bathrooms are easier for me. I would say single bathrooms are easier because there are not as many stalls to go through to find one that is clean. I can use smaller stalls as well as ones designed for people in wheelchairs. I find smaller stalls easier because they don’t have as much open space.

 

Any barriers or things that make it easier or more difficult? One barrier that makes any public bathroom difficult is that you don’t know what you’re walking into. If you have complete blindness like myself, (there are different types of blindness) you don’t know if the bathroom you are walking into is clean or if you should find somewhere else to go. If you are alone, you really take a risk and at least for me, pray to God. I hate to say it, but I feel like people are a barrier sometimes. People can be incredibly mean, but they can also be really nice, too. I think honesty can be a challenge. You hope that people are honest about clean bathrooms, but anything is possible. I didn’t go public with this for a while, but I decided to recently at a talk I gave at URI. I’m saying what I’m saying not to get back at anybody, but if it happened to me it can happen to someone else. One day in college, no one told me I had bled through what I was wearing. As blind women we have ways of figuring this out, but we are human and like you who are sighted, sometimes we miss something. I went the entire day, seeing classmates, professors and readers, and nobody said a word until I got home. My mom and I were really upset. I know that the time of the month is an uncomfortable subject depending on your maturity, but don’t. Ever. Be. That. Mean. Just don’t do it. I laugh at myself now because of how much my life changed for the better my final semester, but for the longest time I was not open to having a male reader because that happened. I say that to say, it’s scary to think that if someone could keep that from you, they could also let you figure out the wrong way if a bathroom is clean or not. For every terrible person in the world, there are more nice people. The key is to find them.

 

I feel safer and find it easier having someone sighted with me who can be my eyes, but it is challenging going with someone you don’t know. One challenge for me was that I wasn’t taught where every bathroom was so to make it faster, I would sometimes ask a classmate to take me. I had an aid when I was in public school as a child, but I was on my own most of the time in college. The hard thing for me was that not many people in college talked to me. This meant I had to ask someone I didn’t talk to for help, hope they were being honest, and I would have to explain that I would need them to wait for me because I did not know how to get back to our classroom.

 

My final points are these. Society makes disability a huge deal when it doesn’t need to be. Because of this, I think we as people with disabilities are our own barrier sometimes. Because of situations we’ve been through, we start acting like what we are asking for is a big deal when we know it really isn’t. I know that some people have felt funny about who helps them to the bathroom, including myself, and for good reason. We all deserve respect and privacy. A professor friend reminded me we are all the same. We all have to remember that. I have seen blind women who share their story as well say they were concerned about a guy helping them find the bathroom. I was really worried about this when Phillips was new. The thing to remember is you just have to find those people who don’t make you and your decisions into a big deal. We shouldn’t have to publicly thank people, but right now it is more important than ever that we do. We have to show people doing the right thing if we want to change how people with disabilities are treated. Thankfully I found a handful of students in college who my blindness didn’t faze. If a guy ends up helping a woman who is blind like the situation I was in my final semester of college, respect their choices. If they would rather someone go with them to the bathroom, walk around until you can find someone for them because they deserve it. You would want to be treated like a person if you had a disability. Just because you can do something on your own doesn’t mean you should or have to. I’m sure this might upset some rehab teachers in this field, because the disability field has many people who have a “Do it this way or no way” attitude. I’m at a point in life now where I am comfortable saying these things because if you are in the field, you know they are true. I also say this because we’re all adults and we don’t always have to agree with each other. You absolutely need blindness skills, but if you found a way that works for you, you do you and not what someone says you should.

 

I took my time with this post because I didn’t want to have this discussion with a “here’s what the books say you should do,” approach. Growing up there was not as much available for parents of blind children as there are today. I’m blessed I can use my life to help people and I hope this is helpful to anyone who is raising a blind child or who may have lost their sight. If you lost your sight, please remember that you only lost your physical sight, and that you are still able to keep your vision for life. I’ll end with this. If you are helping someone who is blind or has other special needs, please be that person who says something when everyone else doesn’t. If you are uncomfortable, please find it within yourself to go there because you would want someone to go there for you. After all, you may lose your sight one day when you get older. Trust me, trust me, trust me.

 

If you liked this post or want me to blog about another topic, you can find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, on Facebook at Miranda Oakley or please leave me a comment on my website.

Best,

 

Miranda ❤

My Thoughts On In the Dark Episode 7

Boy oh boy was the tea hot in this episode! Let’s break it down. It starts with Murphy going through the possibilities of who killed Tyson. She lines up condiments, pretending they are certain people. For example, she knows Wesley killed her friend, so she uses a bottle of mustard to represent him. Darnell doesn’t buy it at first but then gives it some consideration. Because Wesley is so dangerous, Jess, Max and Darnell tell Murphy not to go to the police. Murphy, being Murphy, ignores them and goes to the cops. I can see them trying to protect Murphy because he is dangerous, but I also completely see Murphy’s side. If it were me, I would go to the police but I would make sure I told them that this person is known for being dangerous. Dean explains that they cannot just arrest Wesley because they need proof he actually killed Tyson. Next, we are in Jail, where Murphy has to listen to six guys say the sentence she heard the night the flower shop owner was killed. We learn that the same gun that killed Devin, the flower shop owner, is the same gun that was used to kill Tyson. Murphy is the one to point out that there is a connection between their killings. I personally believe Wesley killed Devin. One by one, each guy says, “Give me your stash,” the line Murphy heard while in the bathroom the night Devin was killed. She tells Jules Wesley’s voice is number three. I guessed three also so it turns out I was right, too. The crew over at

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2J7masgTZkHUiVowVJi6eg

 

Had a discussion about how impressed they were that Murphy could hear all those voices and know which one belonged to Wesley. Maybe it’s a blind thing, but I mean, once you know someone’s voice it isn’t hard to know who is who.

 

Darnell ends up talking to Nia, the businesswoman involved in dealing, and tells her about Wesley. He starts telling Jules how Nia must have bailed Wesley out of jail and takes off. I’m not quite sure what to make of Darnell at this point. Part of me feels like he is trying to figure out who killed his cousin, but part of me also feels like he’s not really that sad about it either. He either doesn’t want to come off too emotional for fear of not seeming like a man, or he killed him and we haven’t learned it yet. I think Nia also has something up her sleeve. She bailed Wesley out of jail because she knows he didn’t kill Tyson or because she knows he did but wants to keep her business running.

 

We see more of Tyson in this episode which was nice. We learn that he teaches Murphy how to write print and helps her make a birthday card for Jess. Jess tells Tyson that she cried when she got the card because she knows Murphy only lets herself and Tyson help her with things. I liked this because it shows that it is things like the card that make Jess love Murphy. It’s a nice reminder of the good qualities Murphy has inside her. We really see Murphy’s good qualities come out in this episode.

 

I like how this episode shows more of Felix. He is so cute! How can you not like Felix by this point? He is talking to Murphy’s dad, Hank, who ends up having Felix buy weed for him. Felix freaks out and tells Jess to come with him. Jess has plans to go, but ends up not making it because she’s going after Chloe and Murphy. Felix was funny because he buys the pot from this girl and asks if she was hitting on him. He says that if she is, they can exchange numbers but she says she wasn’t. It is way funnier in the show than reading about it here. We then go back to Felix and Hank smoking. Felix ends up buying Guiding Hope from him and explains to Hank that his family has money. He tells him how he will use his trust fund to buy the company. At first Hank doesn’t believe Felix because he knows how much he pays him to work for him, but later ends up believing him about his family and lets Felix purchase the company.

 

Dean ends up spending a few hours with Chelsea so Murphy offers to watch Chloe. I love the sister bond shown in this episode between Murphy and Chloe. Murphy tells Dean she and Chloe are going to stay in her apartment, but Chloe convinces her to take her to the mall. At first we see Murphy actually acting responsible, trying to keep them home, but she gives in and this is where things get pretty intense. I feel like I say that for each episode, but it really does get more intense with each one. Chloe expresses to Murphy that she has a crush on a boy named Billy and Murphy tells her that it is people like herself and Chloe who are the coolest. We see Murphy taking on the role of an older sister, offering Chloe advice on how to talk to him, and she takes her to pick out a different outfit from the one her dad picked out for her. Thanks to the awesome YouTube channel mentioned above, the episode shows them feeling for clothes. I liked this mall scene because it shows people that yes, people who are blind actually live normal lives. Billy ends up talking to Chloe, not caring about her blindness, so that was nice. Good for you, kid. Way to be a kind boy.

 

This next part is where the tea gets pretty hot. And I mean hot! I was freaking out for them! Murphy and Chloe get into what they think is their Uber back to her apartment. Once inside the car, Murphy’s actual driver calls her looking for them. Wesley then pipes up, asking Murphy if she knows his voice. Obviously they are in a scary situation, but Murphy remains calm for Chloe, who is freaking out and keeps asking Murphy what is going on. Tyson teaching Murphy print comes in handy because she ends up writing 911 with red lipstick to get someone’s attention. This episode is when I found myself thanking God Jess put a tracker on Murphy’s phone. I’m sure a lot of people felt that way. Max comes to their apartment, and when he can’t find her, he tells Jess he hasn’t heard from her. Thanks to the tracking app, they figure out Wesley had them and drove to find them. This craziness is what kept Jess from going with Felix like she told him she would. Wesley tells Murphy and Chloe to get out of his car and leaves them in the middle of nowhere. Can you say every blind person’s worst nightmare? Murphy says if he’s going to kill either of them to kill her because Chloe is a kid. He points a gun at Murphy’s head. Chloe freaks out and Murphy tells her to do what he says and get out of his car with her. Max, Darnell and Jess catch up to them and Wesley starts shooting at them. Max and Darnell start punching Wesley. Darnell puts Wesley in Jess’s trunk and naturally Jess tells him not to. Can you really blame her for losing it? Wesley escapes from the trunk, gets hit and run over by a car and dies. I think after the next episode Jess is going to lose it and have enough of the trauma and drama because it scared her so much. Jess has such a strong friendship with Murphy though that even if she takes time away from everything, I think eventually she’ll be back.

 

Murphy knows Chloe isn’t okay but asks how she is doing anyway. She says she is okay but Murphy tells her that situation they were in was scary and it is okay to be scared. I like how Murphy kept calm for Chloe and reminded her that it’s okay to feel scared. Dean tells Murphy she is no longer allowed to see Chloe. Murphy, being Murphy, tries changing his mind, but Dean tells her again to stay away from him and his daughter. I can’t blame Dean for this and think it was a good idea. It is sad they won’t have that sister bond anymore, but I honestly think it will be short lived. I think at some point we’ll see Chloe and Murphy together again. I feel like Murphy will have to keep seeing Dean anyway because of the Tyson and Devin situation. We find out that there are two people involved in Tyson’s death because the hands that strangled him were from a different person. Part of me wonders if it’s Darnell, and as much as I don’t want to, part of me wonders if it might be Max. I’ve seen this talked about recently and can’t help but wonder if it is him or not. Maybe Max killed him but got with Murphy because he knew people wouldn’t expect it from a guy hanging with a blind girl? Oh God I really hope it isn’t Max! I will say though, Max grew on me these last two episodes, but now I’m back to not really liking him again. He’s still involved with dealing when he said he was going to quit being a part of it. Actions speak louder than words. You’re certainly not proving yourself at this point. Get it together, Max.

 

Man this episode sure had some pretty hot tea to spill! What did you guys think? If you’re watching the show, do you think Max or Darnell killed Tyson? Anyone else? Whether it is about the show or not, I want to hear from you. What else should I be blogging about? Please let me know by leaving me a comment. Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley or on Facebook at Miranda Oakley. If you find me on Facebook, please message me and let me know who you are and how you found me. You can also leave me a comment on my website. I reply to each one of them. Also, if you know anyone who might be interested in my blog, please share it with them.

Until the next episode,

Miranda ❤