An Interview With Helene Vincent

Hi everyone,

My good friend made the news! As some of you might know, I’m a supporter of the Vincent for Boston campaign. Helene and I have been good friends since we were very young. This means I know firsthand, that even as a child, Helene was passionate about causes she believed in. That passion is what drives her to this day to run for Boston City Council in District 8. I support Helene because she supports inclusion of people of all abilities, high quality education, as well as complete streets. Complete streets means safety for pedestrians and having a separate lane for bikes, for example. Check out Helene’s interview with Chris Lovett from BNN below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kVUQ3M0CKM

To learn and read about the campaign, go to the link below.

https://helenevincent.com/

If you are in District 8, vote for Helene Vincent on September 24, get involved and please help spread the word!

Let’s make change happen. Together.

 

My Thoughts On In the Dark Episode 10

I know, I know. I’m wicked behind  in these posts! These last couple of episodes are pretty visual so I’ve had to watch them multiple times to follow them so I could write about them. Episode ten opens with Jules and Darnell in the car talking about why she arrested him. Darnell, talking out loud, goes through everyone he knows who knows about the drug dealing going on. He figures out that Max was the one to share about the dealing. Jules explains to Darnell that the only way to get him out of the situation is for her to arrest him for killing Tyson on her own terms. You cannot do that! This is a pure example of Jules not being able to keep her feelings out of her work. This episode basically is the police trying to figure out how Darnell killed Tyson. If these last few posts are out of order it is because as I said, these last few episodes were quite visual with an awful lot happening.

 

Jess bags up Max’s stuff and tells Murphy to be mature and return it to him. I like how Jess calls it for what it is and acknowledges Murphy’s immature behavior. She ends up talking to Murphy about being sad because she and Vanessa were only broken up for a day. Murphy isn’t too sensitive to Jess which shouldn’t surprise us, but she really needs to work on that. Your friend is always there for you, you might want to think about returning that for your so called best friend. The episode shows Jess in the apartment talking to Vanessa about why it didn’t work between them and Jess tells her that while they had fun together, she needs someone she can do more than have fun with. They’re crying and Vanessa wishes she could give Jess more. This is such a tough scene. Breakups are so hard. In person it’s difficult because you’re with them but phone ones aren’t good either…So either way, they’re not easy, even if they’re for a good reason.

 

Murphy ends up at the bar, (are we surprised?) and meets this gay couple. They start petting her dog and asking about him. First of all, why didn’t she address guide dog rules? Probably because she was too wrapped up in herself. I have friends with guides and the basic guide dog 101 is you do not pet guides. If so, you absolutely ask first. If you are told no, respect that. If not, you are making things unsafe for the dog and handler. It might not look that way, but don’t distract the team please. Are we clear? Great. Murphy asks this couple to be her eyes and inform her about any cute guys around them. They bring her to a guy that she hooks up with.

 

Next I want to talk about Jess and Felix. I love Felix. For a second, for a minute, I thought Jess might be bi. Anyone else feel like Jess and Felix would have been good together? I love Jess but if she was straight I think they would go together well. Let’s back up. Jess is down in the dumps and spends time swiping on dating Apps. Who does she find but Vanessa! Felix tells her she’s starting to upset the dogs and the boss will look the other way, so she should take a vacation day. He ends up coming over with her favorite Indian food and tells her he is sad because she is sad. Aww. He’s a good one. The part of the scene where they are hanging out before they get physical reminded me of my old friend Peter a little bit. Jess cries and Felix thought it was because he brought her the wrong food, but it was because she found him really sweet. Felix tells her that she takes care of everyone so he came to take care of her. Felix’s visit reminded me a little bit of college when my friend at the time would come visit me. We were friends for years so he was there when I was happy and when I was in a horrible mood because URI really stressed me out. We would have food, watch Glee or go for drives and have the best conversations. Oh and sing so incredibly loudly even though we couldn’t sing. But sometimes you gotta do crazy things like that. Laughter really is the best. Oh and he used to like to make up silly lyrics and put my name in songs sometimes to be funny. Being an outcast in college, it always made me feel better having someone who grew up with me around to be my friend and let people see that blind people have sighted friends for real and not always for money.

 

Jess and Felix end up smoking pot and having a great time. They can be seen laughing and enjoying cookies. What I really like about Felix is that he asked Jess for her consent when they were making out. He wanted to know if it was the pot or if she was actually okay with what was going on. Good man. They come really close to hooking up but Jess freaks out, tells him she’s gay and starts crying. Felix is wicked nice about it, and they tell one another they love each other, but only in a friend way.

 

I’ll spend the rest of this post talking about Max. Watching this again to write about it made me feel all the feels all over again. Murphy goes to give Max his stuff while he is on a call talking about how he didn’t do the deal he was supposed to. He says he can’t do it anymore but is reminded why he stays involved in dealing. The thing is, yes you have to look after yourself, but if you really want out, find a way to make it happen. They make small talk that is anything but friendly and Max forces her and Pretzel into his truck. They end up trying to get away from one of Nia’s men who is after Max. Max makes Murphy text Jess that she’s with him and doing okay because he says Jess cannot come looking for her. After Murphy texts Jess she is talking to Max, he throws her phone out the window. Really? You threw her phone out the window! They end up running through the woods until Murphy tells him she is cold and cannot go any further. He finds a lake with a rowboat, messes up his shoulder, and they enter the boat. He teaches Murphy how to row them to the other side of the lake. Mind you, they don’t have a phone! He may be trying to protect them, but she is blind and somewhere she doesn’t know, without a phone. This is not a good situation. Max finds a cabin with a key so he breaks in. That’s crazy! They eat and Max asks how he can fix their relationship. He tells her he will do anything for her. Liar! If you did anything for her you would have given up dealing a long time ago! He tells her he has forgiven her for sleeping with another guy, for almost breaking his nose, and that she can’t act like nothing happened between them. He commented that she went with him and still hasn’t left him. Hello? You forced her to get in your truck! Also, if she left you, let’s remind you that she really wouldn’t know where to go anyway, so how could she leave you?! Max asks Murphy if she will run away with him and build a life with the stolen drug money he has. Are you crazy? Murphy certainly has quite a bit to work on, but you can’t really blame her for getting upset that Max lied to her about his dealing can you? I know I can’t.

 

Murphy makes the bed while Max takes a shower. She ends up sending him mixed messages because they end up hooking up. Max figures out that they were discovered so they hide in a boat shed. Max finds a loaded gun and Murphy is crying. She tells him that in case they die, she doesn’t really hate him. He promises her she will be okay and he won’t let her die. They end up running back to the rowboat and Max helps her and Pretzel in. He tells her to row away and that this is his problem, not hers. He pushes the boat and a gunshot can be heard. We’re not sure if Max shot it or if he was shot. I understand trying to protect Murphy and himself, but you left a blind woman by herself, with no phone, to row somewhere she has no clue how to get to?!!! I cannot believe that! He said if he went with her someone would find them. Let’s talk about this. You left her alone! In a rowboat! With no phone to find her way back to get help? How can she do that! What an ending to this episode. What do you guys think about this rowboat situation? Let me know. If she sees him again in season two, (she better!) he has some explaining to do.

Until my next post,

Miranda ❤

 

My Textbook Is Out Now!

Hi everybody!

I’m very happy to say the book I had the honor of being a part of entitled Social Justice and Putting Theory Into Practice in Schools and Communities is out now! What a crazy feeling it is to say that. Read about it here.

https://www.igi-global.com/book/social-justice-putting-theory-into/221166

My professor and friend, Adam, wrote chapter 14 so check that out. I am chapter 17. There’s a seven in that which is no big deal for me or anything. Seriously though, I hope the right people find this book and my chapter is helpful. If you can get a copy, thank you! If not, please spread the word and share the above link.

Miranda ❤

 

Happy 4th!

Hey everybody!

I wanted to wish all of my followers in the states a happy 4th of July! To my followers around the world, I hope you’re having a happy Thursday! Enjoy the day and stay safe.

Miranda ❤ 🇺🇸 🌭🍔🌭🌎🎉🎆🎇🎇🎆

Thirty for Thirty

Happy Sunday!

Since today is my last day as a thirty-year-old, I thought I would make a post about thirty things life has taught me (in no order) so far. What better day to do it than the 30th! =)

Everything Happens for a Reason

I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot, but I believe this to be true. I believe everything we go through in life teaches us something. For me personally, I believe only God’s timing is perfect and he has a purpose for everything and everyone.

With True Friendship, distance doesn’t matter

A lot of my friends don’t live near me, and we all get busy, so we don’t see one another or talk to each other often. I’m blessed with a few friends where no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen one another or last spoken, we pick up right where we left off.

Through Everything, Live.

 This is some of the best advice I have received from my good friend Chelsea in college. I believe it’s so important to live life and feel your way through the happy and unhappy moments.

Communication Is Key.

 To me, one of the most important things in life is communication. There’s something about putting what you need out on the table. This makes things better for everyone, whether that’s personally or professionally.

Balance Is Important

For me personally, I think having a balance between work and play is so important. As you will learn through my writing and speaking, the educational part of my life has been quite heavy. Growing up my good friend Helene and I would go on walks singing silly music and make crazy bagels. It’s so important to keep things light. Sometimes you gotta break the rules. ❤

There’s nothing like the Friendship of a Dog

My sister and I grew up with the best dogs, a black lab named Cody and a chocolate lab, Kaylee, “Kay” for short. Dogs don’t care what you look like, if you’re gay or straight, or if you have a disability. They are always there. Oh and you better have a snack for them. Cody and Kay helped me so much. If you can afford it, get a dog.

It’s Okay to Unplug Sometimes

Here we are at number seven. For those who don’t know, seven is my favorite number. In short, it always means good things for me when it randomly pops up. Technology is great, but sometimes unplugging for a little while is so important. Really, kids. Learn how to survive without your devices for just a little bit. I promise, you’ll be fine. It’s so crazy to think how even though it wasn’t that long ago, the world was so different when my sister and I grew up. Without cell phones! Give this post a like and a share if you remember cordless phones or those ones that plugged into a wall. Anyone?

It’s the Tough Stuff That Makes Us the Strongest

I’ve learned that some of the most difficult things in my life have made me a much stronger person. You will most likely only realize it once you come out the other side.

There’s nothing like the Ocean

Maybe it’s because I’m from the Ocean State, but I find being at the beach calming. Many blind people hate the texture of sand on their skin, myself included, but listening to the water and being there is still relaxing.

10 Always Say Thank You

It’s so important to thank people. We all like being appreciated don’t we? One of my friends, Jen, who always gives great advice once told me how important it is to ask people about themselves and thank them for their time and sharing whatever you learned from them. Invite them for coffee, lunch, whatever sounds good.

11 Kindness Really Does Matter

You know what they say right? “Kindness always wins,” and it’s so true. I’m not saying take excuses, but in life you’ll come to learn how important being kind to people really can be. Try it!

12 Give People the Benefit of the Doubt

We all have a story. Again, I’m not saying take excuses. We should try to figure out where people come from.

13 There’s a Song for Everything

I love so much music. Going to concerts is one of my favorite things. You have to be a concert lover to get this one, but there’s absolutely nothing like seeing your favorite bands or artists live. There’s a song for everything. Maybe it’s the English major in me, but I love me some good lyrics.

14 Full Circle Moments Are Real

Full circle moments really do happen. I cannot tell you how it feels to have become friends with my English professor. I never thought after having her in class she’d bring me back to the place she taught me so I could give a talk.

15 Dreams Really Can Become Reality

Okay, I know, this one sounds silly. But I always thought how crazy but great it would be to go back to URI one day and give a talk. And it happened! Crazy right?

16 Hard Work Really Does Pay off

There were so many times I wondered why I should stay in college. In fact, this is what many blind people think. It takes a lot of support and prayer to make it through. I can finally say graduation was worth everything. I’ll be published in a textbook coming out soon! It sounds so crazy to say, but soon enough, the story of my experiences in education as a blind scholar will be printed alongside so many other great chapters in a book.

17 Tell People When You Miss Them

This sounds a bit silly I’m sure, but life has taught me it is important to tell people how you feel. If you miss a friend, love your family, tell them. This is something I feel like people won’t understand quite the same as those of us who have come close to death. In short, part of my time in college taught me what really matters. That was way too heavy I know, but I thought it’s important to share.

18 Laughter Is So Important

I believe it’s important to have humor in life. I wouldn’t have survived college without it. Yes, blind jokes are actually okay, too.

19 Give God the Glory for Everything

This was a ways down my list, but make no mistake, this is important. I believe God is the reason for everything and we should always praise and thank him. If you can’t connect with this, I’d tell you to be grateful.

20 Thank God for Those People Who Shake Up Your Deck of Cards

If you have any experience with services as a person with a disability, or as someone advocating for them, you will learn pretty quickly that dealing with a system is a lot like playing a game. I like to call it a card game. You pick up on patterns and play accordingly. If you need something, you advocate for that need. People respond, or don’t respond, and you learn very quickly what to do next. Sometimes those people come along and shake up your cards. You realize that they don’t play the game you’ve played for so long. Just when you think you know what card to pull next, they knock them over and teach you a whole new way to play. You’ll learn those people are the best thing to happen to you.

21 There’s Nothing Lilacs and Vanilla Won’t Fix

Some of my favorite scents include vanilla and Lilacs. Even when I’m happy, they always make me happier.

22 There’s Nothing Quite like Writing

Well here we are, at twenty two. Remember when I said there’s a song for everything? Take a guess what song just popped into my head. In case you don’t have a clue, Taylor Swift’s “22”! =) Hey! That rimed and I didn’t even mean for it to! I guess for this one I’ll say, there’s nothing quite like writing. There’s something about putting your thoughts out on paper. Yes, the computer counts. I’m told I have a way with words, but I find I can say things better in writing before I do out loud sometimes.

23 Make Sure You Do a Life Check

I believe it’s important to look at who is around us and decide if they should stay or not.

24 Study People in Your Career

We can all learn from one another. Why not study other people who are good at what they do? You might learn a thing or two.

25 It’s Okay to Be Different

While it is important to learn from people, it is also okay to be your own person. We might have similar careers or interests, but we can’t all write the same story.

26 There’s Nothing like Good Descriptions

For me personally, I love when people take time to describe things to me. Colors, people, the moon, whatever it is. My good friend Chelsea used to include funny sounds to go along with whatever she was describing!

27 Quality over Quantity

I personally want a few good friends over twenty five thousand friends. You’ll learn in life friends come and go, but few stick around during all seasons of your life.

28 Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Just because this wasn’t at the top of my list doesn’t mean it isn’t important. People can say whatever they want, but I’ve learned to let their actions do the talking. Like my dad says, “I don’t care how cute he is, actions speak louder!” ❤

29 Take It From Dory and “Just Keep Swimming!”

How can you not love the Nemo movie? Yes, even blind people like movies. In college one of my good friend’s, Tori, used to tell me to keep swimming during all my rough school stuff. It’s so important that we keep going.

30 Take Time to Sip Your Tea

And here we are, finally at number thirty. We made it! I got into drinking tea a few years back thanks to my friend Catherine. I find some of our best conversations about life are over a cup of tea. Whether it’s over a cup of tea, at school, social events, or at work, take time to get to know people. Inclusion really does matter.

 

I hope you enjoyed my list of thirty things life has taught me so far. If you have any blogging suggestions for me, please send them my way. I’d love to hear them! =) Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley and on Facebook at Miranda Oakley. If you find me on Facebook, I just ask that you send me a message telling me who you are and how you found me. You can also drop me a comment here on my website.

Best,

Miranda ❤

Funny Moments At Perkins

Happy Saturday!

I thought I would post about a few funny things that happened during my week at Perkins. They were much funnier in person than they are to read about here, but I figured I’d share.

 

Now that I’m not on campus, I think it is okay I share. As I mentioned in my post on the first day of testing the program, we were staying on a different part of campus than where I lived when I was a student there. We stayed in Bridgman cottage, named after Laura Bridgman. There were four girls and one guy. Whenever something would happen, whether it be we misplaced something or plans for the program fell through, (more about that in another post) my twin and I would say things like, “It’s Laura’s fault!” or “Laura did it!” Eventually everyone, including the teachers and staff, started blaming poor Laura but we all got a good laugh. If you want to learn about Laura Bridgman, you can read about her below.

https://www.perkins.org/history/people/laura-bridgman

 

If you know me, then you know vanilla is one of my all-time favorite scents. In case any of my followers like vanilla as much as I do, during the week I switched between Warm Vanilla Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist and another spray called Vanilla. We were hanging out one night and one of the girls (not sure if they care if I use their names yet) walks in and says, “Someone smells like vanilla,” so of course I told her it was me. Amber decided she’s going to call me Cupcake because I often smell like cake and always make her want to eat some.

 

Speaking of the two others in the program, they told me a funny blind moment story I thought I’d share. They were at Target one night and someone bought Watermelon. One of the girls told her friend that the person was buying a bowling ball. Her friend had to tell her it was actually Watermelon. This is way funnier hearing about it when it happened instead of reading about it here. Blindness has different degrees and some people can see a certain amount while others like myself cannot.

 

During lessons the teachers split us up and had us all work with someone we didn’t know. One morning when they were announcing who was with who and Amber realized we would not be together, she says, “Oh!” This again was way funnier in person. The surprise in her voice still makes me laugh thinking about it for this post. I didn’t mind working with other people because it was nice to get to know the other people on our team.

 

This was a quick post, but stay tuned because I plan to make more posts about each day of the program. Did you see my post about day one? If not, go ahead and check that out. I also plan to make another post about my final thoughts along with some photos.

 

Thanks so much for reading. Is there anything I should be blogging about that I’m not already discussing? Reach out. Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, leave me a comment here on my site, or find me on Facebook at Miranda Oakley. If you find me on Facebook, please send me a message telling me who you are and how you found me. Thanks!

Have a great weekend! For those of my followers in the states, stay cool during this muggy weather.

Best,

Miranda ❤

 

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 ❤