Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Blind Cook

Have your heard about super awesome masterchef, Christine Ha? If you haven't, get OnDemand and watch her! She's amazing (and I think that is an understatement). My post this week is to highlight her. There seems to be so many things to like about her. My favorite reason? She's not a gimmick. She's totally real. She's a beautiful color palate of creativity, human and oh yeah, she's blind and the girl can cook!

This is why I wanted to share her site with everyone. I was reading her blog post about winning masterchef. I love how she described her experience! From her blog post (that I highly recommend you read...): "Yes, I had an aid on the show. Her name is Cindy. I did not know her prior to coming to L.A. To film the show. The producers hired her in order to level the playing field. And how can anyone deny that I went into that kitchen at a glaringly obvious disadvantage? Cindy was not there to give me a leg up; she was simply there to make the challenges fair on my behalf. She was never allowed to taste my food or give me advice. She could not tell me if my food was burnt or raw. I had to ask her prior to her being permitted to answer: “Cindy, is my steak black or red?” or “Cindy, is the crust on the pie pale yellow or dark brown?” or “Cindy, where on this plate is there extra liquid that I can wipe off before presenting the dish?” I had to ask specific questions, I.e. For the color of a food item and not even if it’s burnt or raw. When I needed a food processor or a mixer from the equipment room, I had to step back from my kitchen station and not touch a single thing while Cindy was away grabbing my requested appliance. She was an extension of myself and therefore I’m obviously not allowed to stir or cook or clean while she was away from my station."

I know you may be reading this excerpt and thinking "why is Robbin posting this?". Here's what was in my head--this is an awesome example of the right kind of advocacy. She consistently uses specific questions, demonstrates excellent independent living skills and she takes initiative. This is how I wish our paraprofessionals interacted with our students!! The aide was an extension of the Christine. The aide didn't cook or fix or anything to help Christine cook. Keep reading her blog post about using her aide and how she won. Just an interesting perspective on her writing and her example. Finish reading it. Here's the link:

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