Thursday, February 21, 2013

Around Town with Sam

Oh  man, I am SO excited!! Why? Because another one of my super fab students has agreed to blog with me---yay!! This is another ongoing column written by one of my students. Please welcome (drumroll......) Sam to the independent little bee!! I am excited for Sam to share his experiences "around town". Sam is one of my older students, a Braille reader, sports enthusiast and all around nice guy. 
Sam and Cody at Camp Abilities 2011
 Enough from me, now here's Sam...
     Hi, my name is Sam. I am 20 years old and live in  Connecticut where I am a student at the town High school.
     I was born with sclerocornea, microophthalmia, and aniridia. I had corneal transplants in both eyes at the age of 5. Soon afterward I developed glaucoma, and lost the vision in my left eye. After several glaucoma surgeries, I have light perception in my right eye. 

     My preferred reading mode is Braille. I started learning Braille when I was in Preschool, but hated it. My Mom remembers me throwing my Perkins Brailler on the floor. It made a dent. I'm not sure why but in second grade, I finally decided to read, and now I love it. I read everyday, especially novels, ESPation magazine, sports schedules, classwork brailled by my Para, Rolling Stone Magazine, and the New York Times. I also follow Facebook on the refreshable Braille display on my Braille Note.
     I stayed in public school until the end of 7th grade. I then went to Perkins School for the Blind because my district thought I would get good schooling there. I was there for for 6 years, I loved it very much. The hardest thing for me was being 2 and a half hours away from my parents. And my dogs. And my siblings. I liked doing sports there because all of the sports were blind friendly. Many of my teachers there were blind, which helped me learn how to be a blind adult. I still think of them as mentors.
     When I first started going to Perkins I was driven there and back. Eventually I started taking the train by myself. It made me feel free. Staff at Perkins would take me to the train. I would ask the conductor which car I was on and then I would call my Dad to tell him so he knew where to meet me.
     Moving home from Perkins was very hard. I left a lot of friends and teachers at Perkins. My town friends I knew from elementary school and middle school had already graduated. I was excited to start at the town high school because it was a new chapter in my life. Now, 5 months on, I've completed a semester at my town high school and made new friends. The academics are challenging but I'm getting used to them now. I am also getting some work experience working at the Town Senior Center.
     I am in Best Buddies, an after school club for typical and disabled kids which I love because we have a lot of social activities. I am also working out with a trainer 3 times a week. I will be starting to coach Goalball for 5th graders in another town, Greenwich. I ski several weekends each winter, I am also in the BESB Student Advisory Council. And I like hanging out with friends. But I still go on Facebkook and text old friends.
     I hope to write a lot for this blog about my experiences. If you have any questions for me comment, and I'll get back to you. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sam and Craig, a fave PE teacher at weekend programs

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