Blind College Graduate Gives Tips On Going Back To School


It’s that time of year again where in New England the mornings are getting cooler, and many people are going back to school. People suggested I make a post sharing my tips about going to school so let’s get into it. This is going to be long (Surprise right? Haha.) because I want to be accessible and real with people. If you only read this post and decide a different blindness blogger is for you, that’s okay. But please, please, read this one. Break it up into sections if you need to because it’s that important for you to read this entire post. For that reason, I’ve broken this up into section headings so you can read what you have time for and come back to read more later when you’re not so busy. I’ve decided I’m not going to hold back on this post, so I hope and pray this doesn’t offend anyone. If this is too harsh for you, then maybe think about why that’s the case. If not, awesome. I hope that this post inspires people to help make the educational system better for people with disabilities, and a whole lot better for blind people who made the crazy, yet rewarding choice to go to college.


Whether you admit it or not, while school can be great, whether you’re just starting out, coming from public school, or a blind school, it can also be pretty scary. I have learned it is perfectly okay to acknowledge your feelings out loud to people. I’m not saying tell everyone your business, but find a few people to share them with. As blind people we know our school stress gets pretty confusing and complicated for those who aren’t around disability, but I promise if they care, they’ll learn how they can help. I know, I know. You’re already not accepted. People won’t talk to you and people think you’re weird, right? You don’t want to share about that professor who won’t accommodate you, you’re struggling to get your state person to support you, that your books aren’t accessible and you might need a reader or a note taker. You want sighted people to know you for you and not all this stuff right? I felt that way, too. But sighted people talk about horrible papers, awful boy stuff, everything. Find a way to talk about and deal with your disability related stress. If you’re happy and you have great teachers and professors and students willing to help, celebrate that! Go ahead and talk about that awesome experience! Not many people who are blind graduate college and as blind people I personally believe we need to share our stories with other people who can’t see to show them that if they want a degree, they should go out and get it. We hear so often about horrible services, but we need to share with people that yes, people are helpful and want us to do just as well as those who have sight. I am not here to speak for every single blind person, but I know that many of us feel that when we get real and share how we really feel, (Despite what the feel good stories tell you, blind people aren’t always bubbly all the time.) lots of times those feelings are used against us. That’s a whole different topic about services for a different post. The thing to remember is that everyone gets overwhelmed. Sighted students, teachers, it happens. You’re not alone.  I’ll say that a few times in this post because my story is proof you can walk through hell and come out the other side. You’re not alone. Because we have so much to deal with as blind people going to school in a system often meant to fail us, it’s a little too easy to feel very alone. As blind people we almost always have to prove ourselves and why we belong in the classroom, but believe it or not, you’re going to eventually find those people who know we are just as smart as people who can see.

Taking Notes and Introducing yourself

 First let’s talk about introducing yourself and taking notes. Before every semester, I would find my professors emails, email them and tell them who I am, what course I was taking, and that I am blind. I explained that I would need book titles sent to me so I could see if they were in an accessible format and that I would need handouts or anything they shared with the class emailed to me so I could read them. Once class started, I would have someone guide me to them or find them by listening for them. Show your professors or your teachers you are interested in the material and that you want to make being in their class work for the both of you. If you need someone to take notes for you, you won’t know what to expect right away and neither will they. After a few weeks, you’ll learn what is important for each course. You might find different parts of the course important than the person taking notes for you, so exchange contact information with them if they are willing to do that so you can be clear about what you need from them.

It’s Okay To Get Lost

If you get lost, it’s fine. One time I thought I made my way to one of my English classes and I ended up in a Spanish class I had no clue how to get out of. Thankfully the professor helped me figure out where I needed to go. Sighted people get lost too. When you have mobility challenges that make it difficult for you to leave a place you got yourself to, you’ll be okay. You’ll eventually get yourself out of the situation you got stuck in. I found it helpful to record routes to my classes. My mobility teacher (for more on mobility, see my blog called So What Is Mobility Anyway?) recorded directions to my classes on my recorder and I also Brailled them as another way to get them stuck in my memory. When I was in college, the RA’s liked to mess with freshman and purposefully send them the wrong way because they found it funny. I told them to never do that to me and thank God they didn’t. Tell your RA’s! Do not send a blind person the wrong way with other freshman because you think it’s hilarious. It’s not. And while we’re on the subject of not messing with a blind person and their mobility, if they or someone helping them places markings on something to help them navigate, LEAVE THEM ALONE.(in caps) Really. Don’t touch them. I had felt on the wall when I started my Freshman year so I could find my way from my room to the RA office, and students thought it was funny to take it off even though my RA friend, Chelsea, told them not to take it off. I eventually learned my way and could walk there with or without my cane.

My Note To Voc Rehab Professionals

Next, let’s talk about state services which is different from school services. They both can be great or your worst nightmare. Not many Voc rehab people are going to read this, but I’m talking about it anyhow. Voc rehab people. Ease up on the stress. I can’t tell you how many times I had to fight with Rhode Island to get technology I needed or readers for classes that weren’t accessible. This is already long enough so if you’re not educated about voc rehab and you are interested, feel free to look that up. Before each semester, they would expect me to have everything figured out. I would always have to tell them I didn’t know how many hours with readers I would need each week because classes hadn’t started yet and each semester was going to be different. They say they want to help people, but anyone in the blindness community knows they don’t often actually do that. This gets people going I know, but no matter how you feel, please be nice. The last thing I would say to Voc rehab people is don’t shame people for doing things differently. Because there are so few blind people going to college, the schools all talk to each other. This is good if they’re going to help get creative about working with students, but it isn’t good to compare them. To any school or state voc rehab professionals, don’t shame people for working differently than the way you might get work done. That’s right, I went there. Don’t shame me. Don’t shame her. Don’t shame him. Don’t shame them. Don’t shame us. Technology is great and I used it to do certain work myself, but if I chose to have readers along with technology, that’s what works for me and you shouldn’t always try and take them from me. If you are blind and you need a note taker or a reader, whatever it is, don’t be ashamed to do what you need to do for yourself.

My Note for Readers

Speaking of readers, if you make time to be one, thank you. If you decide reading assignments is too much on top of everything you have going on, treat it like any other job and give two weeks’ notice. I had people who didn’t, and you don’t want to leave the person behind because you know you don’t like that feeling either. Before you quit on that person you’re working with, give it a month to figure out if the job is for you or not. If it isn’t, that’s okay, but don’t waste time. It often takes a while to find someone else so the sooner you can tell the person you can’t handle it, the better it will be for both of you.

If You See Something, Say Something

This post is going to focus on students, but I’m going to make another post for teachers that will be shorter. That said, students. You’ve heard of the saying, “If you see something, say something,” right? Please, apply that to people with disabilities. Sometimes my reader used to ask me why people kept looking at me while we walked around campus. I told her I was used to it and people do it all the time so it really doesn’t faze me anymore. She said she didn’t want to start anything if she said something about it. If you call people out for staring, it isn’t going to start anything but a much needed conversation about why people of all abilities belong on campus. I know people who used to see it and openly, right in front of them say, “I see you staring at a blind person! Miranda, people are staring at you,” and that’s not rude to call them out for it. People liked to watch me like I was a tourist attraction. Whenever URI would have tours and I would walk with my cane, people would watch me like I was famous or like I was some kind of pretty, cute animal they could look at but not get too close to. People could watch whenever they were curious, but they couldn’t talk to me? I’m not a tourist attraction and neither is any blind person you come across. We have white canes or guide dogs, and like you, we’re people too.

The Need for Normalcy

The next thing I want to address is the need for normalcy. As students who can see, you have a heavy college load just like we do. Some of you take tons of classes, work a job or two, and are trying to pay off loans or your car, the list goes on. As awkward as you might feel talking to a blind person without it being your job to be around them, it also can be uncomfortable for the person who is blind because we’re the ones often excluded. Until you prove yourself to us, we’re often wondering things like, Are they actually enjoying my company or are they just being nice because they feel bad for me? People do that and no one is going to actually admit they spent time with someone because they felt sorry for them. I had a few readers in college who unknowingly brought a version of normal to me that was missing because people couldn’t get over my white cane. Lots of blind people have trouble with balance and there’s a time and a place to laugh about things. Thankfully when I worked with Gianna, she learned quickly that I’m still a person even though my eyes don’t work. She knew that I made a funny face once when I almost tripped during a recording we were working on for one of my audio classes and that it was okay to laugh about it with me. Then there was Kaylan and Selena, who would talk about guys, schoolwork, and concerts. Phillips would tell me about who is sister liked to listen to, that he was playing video games, or what he was doing with his weekend. It’s too easy to get caught up in services BS, so it’s good to keep things light for people who often have a lot of heavy stuff to deal with. Do your part to bring people with disabilities some version of normal and before you know it, including us won’t be weird anymore.

Learning To Speak the Language of College Students

As blind people, we need to be aware that we are scary to sighted people until they get to know us. We live in a generation where many people have a, “What’s in it for me?” mentality. Because of this, I believe it is important that we learn to speak the language of college students, that language being, “What’s in it for me?” Offering opportunity to people with disabilities is often rewarded with incentives and I believe we need to be doing that for students who do really well with people like us. Anyone who knows me knows the kind of person I am, but I believe in giving people, particularly college students, something to remember. Here’s why I believe this isn’t wrong. Readers can decide if they will get paid from school or if they will get their pay from the state which is a little more, employers get tax breaks for hiring people with disabilities, and students sometimes get extra credit for writing about a blind person. Not to mention, being a reader or saying that you helped a blind person looks good on your resume. I believe in being nice to people, but when we find young adults who treat us the way we should be treated living in a world that tells them they shouldn’t, we need to thank them for living out what the world isn’t. If you’re blind and have a helpful reader or classmate, write them a note, get them lunch sometimes, buy them a coffee, whatever. Find a way to find out what they like without making them feel like you’re getting too much in their business. If you are sighted, let the blind person you’re around know you’re friends or helping them because you want to, not because you feel bad, you’re bored, or because you need to pay for your car or your student loans. It’s good to hear every once and a while because going to school can be so intense at times. Find a balance between helping them and accepting little thank you gifts, but also don’t take advantage of them because they can’t see.


I know this post is really long, but the topics written about here are important and we can’t bring about change if we don’t discuss them. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you, whether you are blind or sighted. Please share this with students or anyone you know who needs to read this.

My best to you,

Miranda ❤

“Can You See That?”

Happy back to school! I hope everyone going back to school this week has a great first day and a great year. Today’s post is going to be a story time post with a few questions thrown in.

To give a little background for those who read or follow my blog and may not know, sometimes those of us who are blind have to prove we are actually blind. Yes you read that right, even though it is obvious, we still have to prove we aren’t faking it. It’s been quite a while since I’ve proved myself, so I guess I was in for an update. Surprise! Things are still the same. I still have no sight. Or do I? Go ahead and think about what different sight means.


When I got to my eye dr.’s office this morning, one of his assistants was out so they had a dr. from another office helping out. Having just met me, I asked her to guide me to the room for my appointment and she was happy to do that for me. I have to say, everyone there is great about guiding me and giving me time to get my keyboard out and write down my next appointment. Once she guided me back to the room I would be in, she tells me, “I’m sorry, but I have to do it,” and has me cover my left eye. She asks me, “Can you see that?” I tell her I can’t. Now keep in mind, she knows I’m blind because she just guided me. Next, we move onto my right eye. She covers it and again asks me, “Can you see that?” Again, I say that I cannot. Imagine if I said, “Yes! I can see the light! Can I drive now?” The eye dr. is the only place I don’t joke about my blindness when I get this sort of thing done for obvious reasons, so they don’t question me about things when I can’t actually see. She told me to look straight (Hahaha) I guess to see if I could follow with my eyes. My dr. who I have seen since I was a little kid comes in and I tell him what happened. I was his first appointment back after having the summer off. I decided to learn a few things so I asked a few questions. I don’t ever take things like this personally, think they are stupid, and I get a good laugh out of them. Anyone who has been with me for a while knows that I used joking as a way to cope with my URI crap and sometimes laughed things off when they really weren’t funny. This time though, I actually find stupid things like this worth laughing over. My dr. told me he found it insulting that blind people have to prove their loss of vision.


My dr. is great because he knows about blindness and most medical professionals who aren’t specialists don’t know about disability related things. He knows sighted guide and that blind people are known for poking their eyes before stopping it. If you ask a blind person why they poke their eyes, they will say they don’t know. Coming from a previous poker, go ahead and include me on that list.


I asked him if people who can see follow flashes of light when they test like that, and why they cover your eyes when they are figuring out what you can see. He told me that your vision is in the back of your brain and that sometimes people who can see have a different pathway in their brain that gives them vision. He said they cover your eyes because people who can see out of one eye need them closed so they are not seeing with one eye, making them think they are seeing out of both of their eyes. So see kids? Learning never stops and nor should it.


We all prove our blindness. My friends have and I’ve seen (yes I’m blind and just said seen. It’s fine.) People on YouTube talk about doing the same thing. I have readers and followers from the UK and around the world and was wondering if this sort of thing happens there too? I would think so, but I never want to assume anything.


So now I want to hear from you. What do you think of things like this? Do you find them funny and stupid like I do, or do you find them upsetting?

Have a great day and thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts with me. And remember. If you see a blind person, please know that we can see differently and we do it in other ways. If there’s anything else you’d like me to blog about please reach out. Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley, leave me a comment here on my website 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.

Until my next post,

Miranda ❤


My Thoughts On In the Dark Episode 11

Happy August! I can’t believe it’s the end of the month already. Anyone else feel like this summer went quickly? I’d like to take a second to thank everyone who reads my blog, from the readers, to the followers, to the people who leave me comments. I haven’t blogged in a little while and my views are still great! Thank you God and thank you to all of you. Part of the reason these posts have taken me so long is because I’ve had to watch the episodes a few times because they’ve been wicked visual. Believe it or not, the CW Apps are not that great either. Funny right? I mean the show is about a blind woman.


Episode eleven opens with Murphy and Pretzel making their way across the lake. Pretzel wakes her up by licking her face because their boat hit the riverbank. We see clips of her with Tyson and he asks her if she ever gets lonely. She tells him she isn’t lonely when she is by herself but she feels lonely when she is with people. I think this is something we as blind people (or anyone who is different for that matter) can relate to, am I right? I know for me, I understand the feeling of being around tons of  people but feeling like you’re the only one because people choose not to talk to you.


We go back to Murphy struggling to make her way to the road where she can get help back to Guiding Hope. Murphy, realizing she is in mud, gets out of the boat but her shoe gets stuck so she falls. She is seen yelling for help and keeps walking through the woods with one shoe. Anyone still upset that Max left Murphy without a phone, in a place she has no clue about? Murphy talks to herself, expressing that she’s upset at Max for throwing her phone out the window. I mean if it were me, I would say, “Damn it Max!” too. She tells Pretzel it is times like these that make her wonder why he signed up to be a guide dog. She tells Pretzel he could have been chasing squirrels and that if anything happens to her as she makes her way towards the road, he can eat her. Something we should talk about is the fact that she doesn’t ever listen to him. Girl, when your dog won’t go forward like you ask, obviously there’s a reason. For anyone wondering, here’s a little lesson for you. When guide dogs do not perform commands, it is for the safety of their owner. They are taught by the school when and when not to listen to commands. Murphy ends up finding a sign which makes her think they are at the road. Because the sign was not brailled and she had no phone with any Apps to read for her, she has no idea that the sign is for hunting. Murphy, hearing a gun go off, runs with Pretzel and ends up falling down a hill.


She makes her way to a trail that lead to the road. Cars pass by and she yells again for assistance but no one stops. Murphy ends up yelling, “I hope you crash!” Girl! Karma is real! Have you heard of it? Eventually she catches the attention of a school bus with kids singing about Jesus.


Murphy makes her way to Guiding Hope, finds Jess and tells her she should think about re-evaluating her relationship with Jesus. Girl, I definitely think you should. We cut to Felix who tells Murphy and Jess to act like adults that day because his mother had a guy (I think a lawyer but someone correct me if he plays someone else.) watching him to see if Guiding Hope was a good investment with his trust fund. In typical Felix fashion, nothing goes his way. Poor guy. Sarah, the detective, shows up and asks to speak with Murphy. She tells Murphy that they can protect Max if he comes back and that she needs to do what she can to have Max come home. She tells Murphy that if she doesn’t get Max to come home, Nia will walk around as a free woman. Felix tells Murphy that Max cannot call the work number and that he is alive, and she should not go looking for him. Of course Murphy being Murphy, doesn’t take no for an answer. Anyone surprised? Jess looks through call logs at work, does a search and finds Max’s ex-girlfriend, Jenny’s, number. Murphy ends up convincing Jess to drive her to the ex-girlfriend’s house. Jess explains to Murphy that she hasn’t driven since Wesley’s death and ends up having a panic attack. Murphy, in typical Murphy fashion, isn’t sensitive to her friend’s feelings. This is really sad because of everything Jess does for Murphy, and Murphy is fine with Jess always giving to her and her giving nothing in return.


Felix ends up talking to a woman about getting puppies, but she isn’t comfortable giving them to him because he has a car rather than the Guiding Hope van. He ends up telling the lawyer that he gave Murphy and Jess permission to borrow the van for the day when in reality they stole it to fulfill Murphy’s wishes. The lawyer ends up questioning Felix about his time with Jess and Felix explains that he didn’t force himself on Jess. Poor Felix! This was not okay to talk to Felix about his night with Jess. This is wrong in my opinion because it had nothing to do with Felix’s ability to invest in the guide dog school. Murphy makes fun of Jess for her time with Felix and Jess tells her he isn’t as bad as she thinks he is. She tells Murphy that when she is with Felix, they are doing anything but thinking about Tyson’s death. Jess has been through quite a lot so I can completely see her needing and wanting to spend time with Felix. It’s always good to have that friend who keeps things light when things feel a little too heavy.


This episode also focuses on Jules and her love for Darnell. If this post is all over the place it is because parts of this episode confused me and I watched it without any audio description. Jules tells Dean that she has known Darnell since they were fourteen and that they had been dating for most of that time. She ends up telling Dean she arrested Darnell because she panicked, she was taken off the case and that she was placed on desk duty. She apologizes to Sara for her actions with Darnell and ends up looking through evidence even though she is no longer on the case. She finds out that Darnell is linked to the dental floss that was in the evidence locker and ends up talking with a guy who was there when the gun that was used to kill Tyson was found. Because she is no longer working on the case, she can only talk with Dean about the information she has. She shares with Dean that she believes someone is framing Darnell and that she doesn’t believe he killed Tyson because Darnell was with her the night of Tyson’s death.


Once at Jenny’s house, they talk over food and beer. Jenny tells Murphy Max stayed at her house the night before but she doesn’t think he will be coming back. She said Max is the type of guy who is with girls who he thinks he can fix. She says that Murphy is an addict, (alcoholic) is hot, and tells her about how Max’s mother died from drinking herself to death. She told Murphy and Jess about how Max was the only one in his family to try and help his mom deal with and stop her drinking problem. How sad. Murphy doesn’t want to look stupid in front of Jenny so she plays along, acting as though she knew about the passing of Max’s mom. Jess expresses to Murphy that they should leave because she is uncomfortable and again, Murphy brushes her off. I don’t like that she treats Jess this way.


Felix calls Murphy flipping out that she and Jess stole the work van. Can you really blame him? Murphy and Jess are at a bar and find Max. Max and Murphy hug and leave Jess so they can talk in the van. This turns into quite the emotional conversation because Murphy and Max realize they won’t see each other again. Felix pressed charges on Jess and Murphy for the stolen van and I don’t blame him. Murphy tells the police that she just met Max in order to protect him. Jess freaks out and the police arrest her and Murphy. When they are in jail, Jess tells Murphy that she needs to cut her out of her life because she has been enabling her. She expresses to Murphy that she thinks she is an addict over Tyson’s death. Felix ends up dropping the charges and doesn’t know what to do now that his mother cut him off and he can no longer own Guiding Hope. Jess is at Felix’s apartment while Murphy is at her apartment with Pretzel, sleeping in Jess’s bed. I think it is sad that Jess cut Murphy out since they’ve been friends for so long, but I completely see why she did. I would too if I were Jess.

The episode ends with Nia, who has left prison and is now a free woman.


I would like to thank Dianna, from Dianna with two N’s, (her channel and a link to one of her videos is below,) for helping me with the visuals of this episode. She has great videos so everybody go check her out.


 Thanks for reading. Is there anything I should blog about? Let me know. 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, all I ask is that you please send me a message telling me who you are and how you found me. Thanks.

Until next time,

Miranda ❤

Summer Photos

Hi friends!

I’m out door knocking today but wanted to share some photos of the summer. For my blind friends: photos include my nephew and I at the pond playing catch, my twin and I at a Billy Gilman concert and my twin and I volunteering at Rhode Island’s first Hope Day (more about that in a future post), me in my cousin’s Ferrari, some photos from my time at Perkins when I was testing that career launch program. Ot includes a photo of me on the couch at Perkins, a photo of the Perkins radio number and a photo of the door to the radio studio. Fun fact- I’ve included a photo of a wooden carving that students used to use to identify their rooms. You can also see a special textured map from Perkins. There is also a photo of me speaking to a URI class. Check out my June 8 post to hear it. Finally, a photo of me with a paper plane on the beach. Hope you’re all staying cool today! Best, Miranda ❤️

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.

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

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.

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.


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.


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.


Miranda ❤