[nabs-l] Report on the football/basketball game

Joe Orozco jsorozco at gmail.com
Tue Nov 23 01:21:20 UTC 2010


Excellent news!  I'm very proud of you, and just keep doing what you're
doing.

Best,

Joe

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,
some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."--Sam Ewing 

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org 
[mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Kerri Kosten
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 7:17 PM
To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nabs-l] Report on the football/basketball game

Hi All!

Sorry for the long delay.

Things for the basketball/football game went okay.

For the basketball game I did excellent. I used my cane the entire time.

I got directions in when I was dropped off and walked in by myself.
There were a million people around to follow and I could tell when I
was nearing the door because the sound of my cane changed and I could
smell the inside of the building (the Coliseum has a distinct smell.)

As soon as I walked in someone took my ticket. I was introduced to a
man named Jason who would walk me to my seat.

Instead of taking his arm though, I asked him if he could walk beside
me and give me directions. We had to walk all the way across the
Coliseum to the other side to get to the seats.

While we were walking he said "You do good with that stick." I
explained that it was a white cane and that it helps me get around,
and that I am much more independent when I use it and it conveys much
more information to me than when I take someone's arm.

We arrived at my seat and I was so excited...I had just walked all
across the Coliseum by myself without being guided.

I thanked Jason for giving such good directions and allowing me to use
my cane...some people don't like giving directions or act strangely
but he did really well!

At halftime, I was starving so decided to get a hotdog.

I wasn't sure where the concession stand was but because I had used my
cane I had some idea of where to go.

After asking a few people for directions (they all gave directions and
did not guide) I made it to the concession stand, got my hotdogs, and
went back.

Again I was so excited with myself.

When the game was over I knew I needed to get back to the door I was
dropped off at and I knew it was on the other side of the coliseum.

There is a walkway between the seats. On one side are the seats, and
on the other is a wall with openings to hallways you can turn down.
There was noone around, so I just guessed which direction to start
heading. I had a pretty good feeling I was going the right way because
I had used the cane to get to the seats so was pretty sure of how to
reverse.

I ran into several people along the way, and they reassured me I was
going the right way. I walked fast, confidently.

After walking a while, I ran into someone else who told me I had
passed the opening to turn down to get to the blue gate. I turned
around and it was right there;I had just passed it.

I turned into the opening and began walking toward the door.

Just as I had done with coming in I sort of followed all the people
who were also going to the door. I could also feel the cold air coming
from outside.

As I was at the rug that led to the doors, I heard a little girl from
somewhere amongst all the people say something like "Mommy where is
she going? Does she know where she is going?" tThere were a ton of
people around so it was hard to hear, but I thought I heard the mother
reply "Shhhh, let her walk."

I also ran into three people I knew.

I went outside and found the curb with no problem. Again, because I
used my cane I vaguely knew where to go.

The next day was the football game. At the very last minute, my mother
decided she wanted to go to the football game with me since we did
have an extra ticket. Because it was my birthday, and I wanted to
spend time with Mom, I decided she could come with me. However, Things
did not go so well at the football game. I tried to compromise with
Mom to let me have some independent travel, and I tried to do what you
guys suggested: pay attention to where we were going. To make a long
story short, I did get to use my cane with Mom giving directions to
get out of the stadium and it went okay. I think looking back I
could've done the entire thing by myself...there are ushers at the
bottom of the steps to every section, everyone ws very nice, and they
even have a texting program where you can text the word "aid" to a
certain number if you need assistance and someone will come over to
help you. I found out later the reason Mom did not let me use my cane
more during the game was because she doesn't think I am good enough
with it in "dangerous" situations. She was mainly afraid I would fall
on the concrete steps and hurt myself, however as I pointed out my
cane is long enough that it comes to steps two steps ahead and I cover
very well so I get plenty of warning. I have never fallen or gotten
hurt when using my cane;if anything it has prevented many injuries.

I was initially very upset with Mom for not trusting me. However, last
Monday was my actual birthday and I was determined to make up for the
lack of cane use during the football game and use my cane the entire
day since it was my birthday.

We first went to a restaurant for lunch. There were three of us;me, my
mother, and her friend. After I had ordered (I was first) instead of
standing around waiting for the others to order, I took off and went
exploring to try to find us a table. I came to the cluster of tables
and went around to each table and checked to see if there were three
seats. Eventually I came to one which had three chairs and sat down.
So, for the first time I had found us all a table on my own.

After we had finished, my mother was talking to her friend outside
before they parted. I was going to go with her to Target to get some
new clothes. I wanted a refill on my drink so again got up, tand took
off in search of the fountain. Soon, and after asking a couple of
people I found it and got more Coke.

At Target again I used my cane the entire time. I had to try on
several pairs of jeans and since we could not find any pairs that fit
we had to go from the dressing room across the store , to the isles of
jeans and back sevral times. With mom giving directions I used the
cane. It came to every obsticle;the isles were very narrow with racks
of clothing on each side and various obsticles sitting between them
where you could walk. The cane to everything; and each time it hit an
obsticle or I successfully went through a very narrow isle I called to
Mom, who was in front of me "See how the cane comes to these things?"

Even though I did not get to use my cane as much as I would've liked
at the football game, I'd like to think I made up for it on my
birthday. I hope my mother saw and really realized how the cane
prevents me from getting hurt and how it comes to every obsticle and
how I can navigate narrow isles/passageways without runnning into
anything with my body.

I learned a lot from the three days. You do never know who you run
into; the people who saw me at the basketball game and target saw a
blind girl who was using her cane independently; they did not see a
blind girl holding onto someone's arm.

I wonder what kind of discussion that little girl and her mother had
afterwords in the car. Maybe the mother was able to educate the little
girl on independence of blind people.

Now, if Jason ever escorts another blind person at a basketball game
he will know the stick is actually a white cane and that it symbolizes
independence.

I now know how to manage my mother when she is worried or is
overprotective;I just take off.

I am very proud of myself for not only using my cane but for the
independence I was able to show to those who saw me, and to those who
encountered me. This makes me want to work even harder to not back
down to those who want to overly help and really really use my cane in
every situation.

Thanks for all your help;without your encouragement and advice I'm not
sure I would've been able to do the basketball game by myself.

There is one more home football game left on Dec. 5. Who knows, I may
just take off with my cane and try doing it alone just like the
basketball game.

Kerri

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