Happy Birthday Shout Outs
Before I get into buying a bed for the first time, I wanted to post about some very important things on my heart today. If you’re only interested in my bed experience, that’s perfectly fine. Feel free to skip ahead to that section of my post. Part of this post will reflect upon the passing of a loved Perkins teacher who is missed by so many. We all share memories of her, so the Roz part of this post is for those of us who had the honor of knowing and learning from her. I started this blog to reflect on things and start conversations and sometimes self-reflection is included in that. I wanted to give a birthday shout out to my sister and my number one fan! Happy birthday, Morgan! I hope when I’m 33, I’ll still look like I’m in my early twenties! 😉 Love you and I’m your number one fan! ❤ My good friend Jessica has a birthday tomorrow! Happy birthday, Jess! I’m so thankful to have a lifelong friend like you. Love you and I hope it is filled with lots of your favorite Starbucks drinks. ❤
Reflecting On a Very Special Teacher
I always think of my high school English teacher, Roz, and I know so many of her students do too. Some of us like to remember her by talking like her. Never gets old. This day in 2016 flashes through my mind like it was yesterday. I’ll never forget my good friend, Laurie, blowing up my phone. When we were at Perkins, Laurie and I used to send each other urgent messages to get each other’s attention and mess with one another, but a year or two into college I told her we shouldn’t do that anymore. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to anyone else. Just a silly thing Laurie and I had. This day came around and on this particular Friday in 2016, I was with Phillips and kept declining Laurie’s calls. Once Phillips and I were finished with my audio project we had been working on, I asked him to submit my work onto Sakai for me. Sakai is an online platform professor’s use for students to upload assignments. I called Laurie thinking it would be a quick call. I figured it would be something silly or if it was something we needed to talk about, I’d say, “I’m sorry, I’ll call you back when I get home,” and that would be it. When she picked up she said, “I have to tell you something. You’re not going to like this.” Again I figured I’d say something like, “Oh that sucks, sorry. I’ll call you when I’m done with Phillips.” I said, “Okay, what?” She then told me Roz had passed away. Her passing was a hard loss for so many Perkins people. Yes, even guys cried over it. Laurie and I chatted for a minute and I cried a little but said I’d call her once I got home. This is something you could only understand if you knew her, but I felt like my world stopped. I knew I’d pick myself up, but I was in such shock. I don’t even remember what I told Phillips but I knew I was done for the day. He asked if I was okay and I told him a little about her. Waiting for my mom to pick me up, Phillips made me laugh so incredibly hard. He made a silly comment about flip-flops and how blind people have good hearing. I called Laurie once I got home and we cried. I told her about Phillips silly comment and she laughed just as much as I did. I did learn a lot about life from Phillips yes, (Promised the good Lord I’d always share about him since he came forward when I really needed a reader) but part of why he is special to me is because he made me laugh so hard when I felt like my world stood still. Much like surprising me, that’s definitely not easy. Thank you Roz for giving so many students the gift of reading, Braille and so much more. And thank you, Phillips. God is sure interesting. For whatever reason, the few times something really emotional happened to me my final semester, it almost always happened on Phillips shifts. He’s the lucky (maybe crazy for sticking it out Haha!) duck I guess. “Alright!” Definitely sounds much funnier in person than in writing.
Buying a Bed for the First Time
This weekend I experienced buying a bed for the first time. I tried more mattresses than I can count! Now before any people freak out about me not buying a bed, let me say it was never because it was handed to me because I’m blind. Different situation. People think blind people are handed everything and that’s not always true. Let me say, if you are blind or in a wheelchair living in Rhode Island, DO NOT (in caps) go to the Wakefield Cardi’s location. The place is so packed you can hardly move around. I understand they have to sell as much as they can, but this makes getting around a bit difficult. If someone went there in a wheelchair they wouldn’t be able to move around either. My other issue with stopping in at this location is I was judged on my blindness from the moment we walked in. The woman there told me she could only sell me one or two different beds and that was it. She said they weren’t having any sales and she wouldn’t sell me anything else. If you were there you’d tell how judgmental she was. She went quite ahead of us, not offering to guide me to ones I should be feeling. Now before any blind people freak out, I’m not expecting everyone knows how to guide, but they can make a choice to do it if they want to.
I went to a Mattress Firm location to look around. Anjelika was wonderful! She dealt with me for pretty much everything. This is so important because people often don’t speak to the person with a disability but rather to whoever is with them like they aren’t there. The particular Mattress Firm location I went to has plenty of walking room which is great for easy access. Anjelika answered tons of my questions, guided me around and had me try many different mattresses. She even told me about any upcoming stairs! She took her time and wasn’t pushy. This is great because I don’t like when people are too pushy selling you products. The fact that Anjelika didn’t rush anything is amazing. Even though people need to sell what they can, you’ll find when it comes to people with disabilities, (and without too sometimes) they can’t be bothered. I had difficulty with Yelp, but when I tweeted Mattress Firm about her, they told me they receive training on dealing with customers with disabilities. This is great but even greater that someone like Anjelika is actually following through with her training. I had such a great experience with her I had to tell people about it.
Thanks for reading. How do you find people treat those who are out and about with disabilities? Anyone have any Roz memories to share? Please do so. Anything else I should be blogging about? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, on Facebook at Miranda Oakley or leave me a comment on my website.
My best to you,