[nabs-l] The "state of the student divisions"

Albert Yoo albertyoo1 at hotmail.com
Thu May 7 02:10:58 UTC 2009


Joseph Carter, I don't think people want to listen to whatever criticism people want to give each other. Even if some one is sighted it doesn't matter. People don't want to listen to feedback or criticism. It is just people think their opinions are better than the next person. People just have to think of different ways of saying things so it won't sound like criticism. Not all criticism and feedback is all bad. Albert
 
> Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 18:38:37 -0700
> From: carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
> To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] The "state of the student divisions"
> 
> Joe,
> 
> I hope that you're right about me knowing where my weaknesses lie. I 
> think as a culture we are moving toward the notion that we just 
> cannot give or receive constructive criticism. Everyone's too afraid 
> to bruise an ego or risk compromising self-esteem. It's not a 
> blindness thing, it's a society thing.
> 
> The problem is that we blind people can't afford to do that. We just 
> do not have the luxury if we are going to compete with the sighted 
> world on terms of equality. The reason for that is simple and 
> obvious: Blindness is a disability. By definition it means there is 
> something we don't do--even if that something is as non-essential as 
> being able to see.
> 
> A lot of things are understood and conveyed in the sighted world 
> visually. They don't offer useful constructive criticism, they just 
> give you a look you're supposed to interpret as "You're doing it 
> wrong" and magically figure out how to do it right. Well, that's 
> really unfair to the blind, because we're not going to see the 
> unspoken criticism. It's there all the same, we just don't respond 
> to it correctly.
> 
> No, we need people to have the courage to actually speak up and tell 
> us constructively when we're doing something that sets us apart or 
> draws negative social attention to ourselves. When someone offers us 
> constructive criticism and we know that we can trust their viewpoint, 
> it seems imperative to me that we cultivate that person's courage and 
> trust in doing so. The benefit can be direct and immediate, if we 
> take what that person says to heart.
> 
> Honest feedback tells us our strengths and our weaknesses. Along 
> with some creativity, we can use the former to compensate for the 
> latter--we all have some notion of doing that by virtue of adapting 
> to blindness. The really creative will find a way to make their 
> weaknesses into strengths.
> 
> An example of this last point, last week I met a speaker who has 
> ADHD. And I mean she has ADHD bad. It's so clear she has it that 
> it's not even funny. And were she doing any other job, it'd impede 
> her ability. Doing what she does, and given the cognitive 
> development she gave herself, she managed to turn what in extremis is 
> a significant disability and make it her strength. We can do the 
> same, if we work at it.
> 
> Random thoughts. Sorry for my own ADHD-like moment.
> 
> Joseph
> 
> 
> 
> On Tue, May 05, 2009 at 01:07:43AM -0400, Joe Orozco wrote:
> >Hello all,
> >
> >Grants are mistakenly seen as just free money to sponsor an activity.
> >People overlook the value grants provide to help groups organize themselves
> >to make the activity work. There are many benefits to learning how to
> >clearly define your mission, how to explain your community need, to spell
> >out how your group is making an impact... Grants, if nothing else, help
> >people learn about drafting and managing a budget. In general, there is no
> >greater exercise in teamwork than in the preparation of putting together a
> >proposal. For my office I will say we are far more interested in your
> >complete story than we are in the perfection of your proposal.
> >
> >I do not at all buy the argument that some divisions are too young to apply
> >for grants. Divisions are formed because the affiliate felt there was a
> >sufficient number of people and a sufficient need to allow the student
> >division to be established. If neither factor is present, it is okay to
> >have a group of students minus the formality of a student division. There
> >are plenty of benefits to an informal group, but at the point a division is
> >formed, the students are saying they want to be taken seriously as an
> >organization. As such they should be treated like an organization. To
> >expect anything less is to say we are okay with forming divisions for the
> >sake of forming divisions. People are quick to be fascinated with the
> >notion of becoming president of this or treasurer of that but are not very
> >amused when the pressures of these positions come to bear.
> >
> >Yes, even fully developed divisions face their own troubles with recruitment
> >and retention. I would never claim the work is easy, but the greatest
> >obstacle you have to overcome is taking the first step. If you need help,
> >ask for help. If you don't get the answers you want, keep raising hell.
> >Pick up a phone. Don't give up if your e-mail is not answered. You know
> >there's a NABS board. They keep talking about regional representatives.
> >Make them work. That's why they ran for their positions, to be put to work
> >for your benefit.
> >
> >I completely respect Oregon, because Joseph Carter understands where his
> >weaknesses lie and is carrying out a plan to address those weaknesses. I
> >don't hear Joseph bitching about how things are just so hard. Students from
> >California and Michigan have written me off list asking how they might be
> >better prepared for the next opportunity. They weren't somewhat offended by
> >my tone. They took their rebuke and are using the opportunity to do
> >something to improve their status. They and others understand there are
> >enough examples of the good things that can happen in state divisions when
> >students decide to quit whining and start acting. The founders of
> >Invisible Children were nothing more than a few guys with a camera, and now
> >they lead one of the most influential grassroots organizations benefiting
> >children who are on a completely different continent, and they were students
> >when they began their venture. Don't give me this nonsense that as students
> >we're too busy to do anything of substance.
> >
> >Here's the interesting point I have not seen anyone mention. I have told
> >you I was disappointed in you for not applying for one of our grants. I
> >told you in my most recent opportunity announcement that I did not want you
> >to let me down a second time, but consider this thought: Who am I to tell
> >you to do anything? What if you were so confident in your ability to do
> >great things that you could write to me publicly and say, "Screw you. I
> >don't need your stupid grant to kick ass!"
> >
> >Think about it...
> >
> >Joe Orozco
> >
> >"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the
> >crowd."--Max Lucado 
> > 
> >
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> >
> >
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