Today, or maybe later by the time this gets posted, I visited a school for the blind. I went in expecting science and I came out with compassion. The principle of the school led us around, showing us where the students eat and how they use the tiles on the walls to guide them. She even showed us the cottages where the students who decide to reside at the school stay.
I feel like visiting a place like that, that is so uncomfortably similar to the life I live yet so contrasting, you always have a preconceived notion of what it’s going to look like and what it’s going to feel like. But it was different from that. It made me feel like I wanted to drop everything I was doing and just spend time with the those whose best years of their lives will be in that building and that place.
As we went from room to room and place to place, we got told how it was harder for the kids to do an activity that we don’t even think about. I think the hardest part for me to grasp is how some of the people who attend this school have never seen a person. Maybe they don’t even know what a person looks like. Can you imagine that? Not knowing what a person looks like. And I think of my elementary school crushes and romance fairytales and how I was so lucky to be able to daydream about these people. Because, for these kids, maybe the first thing they can “see” of their crushes are their hands, because it was the first thing that they touched. Maybe they daydream about their voices and their smells and how they make them feel inside.
Although a cliché thing to say, it’s not a cliché thing to feel – that you’ve gained a new perspective, that is. It’s just strange to me that I’ve only gained a glimpse into the world of the blind and the visually impaired, but there exists a whole world, and people are living in it.