October 23, 2008

Hello to everyone!

Right now I’m dealing with about a million things at once — I have a Greek quiz tomorrow, a Latin midterm Monday (over which I’ve been freaking out for weeks), and a philosophy paper due next Thursday. To top it all off, this weekend is Family Weekend, and my dad and sister are coming up. That leaves me with one day, Sunday, to get a ton of studying done and a paper started, as well as normal assignments. I’ve spent a lot of time in Dinand in the last couple days doing work, and I must say that I am in awe of the sheer size of the place! I decided to venture into the study rooms on the sides of the grandiose building, and ended up two flights down in a cozy little nook under a staircase – a perfect spot to crank out some Greek and to read a whole heap of Plato.

Last night I attended my second required Self cluster event for Montserrat. Our entire cluster read and discussed Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life in class this week. I wasn’t sure how pertinent this was going to be to my Montserrat class, Memory and the Past in Ancient Greece, but as it turned out Professor Joseph used as a segway the Greek tragedy Oedipus the King, which explores the issues of literal vs. symbolic blindness. Through Keller’s account of her history, we determined the role others play in the development of our own Selves and the process through which we become more fully who we are. Quite interesting!

At the event (which was kindly located in Mulledy basement…the nights are getting insanely cold up here), we did an activity which required some of us to become blind, deaf, or blind and deaf like Helen, and others of us to play the role of Anne Sullivan, Helen’s guide. My role was to observe the interaction between the guide and blind/deaf individuals in my group. It was really interesting because our guide (my friend Amy) had to lead our “Helen” to retrieve a family portrait from her room- all without saying a word. Amy used finger spelling in order to communicate, and we successfully made it back to Mulledy basement, picture in hand. It’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t the deaf/blind individual, because we all would have come back to the lecture with some bumps and bruises…I’m clumsy enough even with my 20/20 vision.

After this activity we listened to two deaf/blind women speak. They used sign language in order to make their speeches, and an interpreter would say aloud what each woman was communicating. It was quite an interesting experience, and the women both spoke honestly and from the heart about both the difficulties they face and the amazing steps they have both taken in order to overcome their limitations. I took from them a message of hope, perseverance, and courage, and most of all, a true sense of the many blessings I have been granted throughout my life.

A quick nap, dinner, then back to Dinand for (it seems like) the rest of the night… valete!