[nobe-l] New THOUGHT PROVOKER #140- McGoo'd

Robert Newman newmanrl at cox.net
Mon Dec 15 00:29:16 UTC 2008

Educator listers
RE:  McGoo'd

This new THOUGHT PROVOKER #140 was a fun one to write. It came about as a
result of the movie "Blindness" and all the discussion about its harmful
affects. Check out the provocative question, and see who you may resemble.
If you have not read the PROVOKER, it follows.  Recall that I collect
responses and post them upon my web site for all the WWW to read and learn
from and that URL is- Http://thoughtprovoker.info
<http://thoughtprovoker.info/>   If you wish to receive THOUGHT PROVOKERS
sent directly to you, just write me and ask, at-  newmanrl at cox.net 


"Whoa, that's a big honking screen for a laptop!"

"Yeah, I like to be able to sit back and be comfortable." Dempsey was
showing off his computer to a new friend. He was attending a summer program
for blind teens of high school age. Rapidly he reduced the enlargement of
the text he'd been studying. "I was checking out the details of the pics and
diagrams we need to use for our group project," he lied; he didn't think it
would be cool in this group to be the one using the biggest enlargement.
Squinting now, he forged ahead, getting only a part of what scrolled by.
Next to him, a tiny earphone voice running at triple speed told him his
neighbor was back to reading via her screen enlargement software's voice.

"Everyone finished? They want us back in the main hall in five minutes,"
said Kelly, the group's elected leader and the only one of them who was
totally blind.

Dempsey's ego hurt a little for not being chosen for lead. But deep down he
knew he probably would not be able to outdo some of these guys, no matter if
he could see better than them or not.

"Yo!  Done and got my notes Brailled up," answered Mark, putting his slate
back in his laptop case.

That Braille thing was something Dempsey just didn't get. He had visited
with Mark and knew the two of them had about the same vision. Dempsey and
his parents had always opted for print, wanting him to fit into the

"Hey, let's settle on who is going to present which part of the report,"
Kelsey said. "I've got to write out the specifics of what I say."

"I'll handle the second section," Dempsey volunteered. He hadn't gotten much
further than that in his study of the material; he was a good student, but
these guys had gotten through the four sections of readings faster. And
while the rest was being organized, he quickly wrote out a few notes with a
heavy marker. He knew he'd better not even try to read from prepared notes;
he'd gotten teased at the school where he was the only blind student
("Smelling or reading it, Dempsey?").

Presentations completed, the group was given a one-hour break. Someone
suggested, "Let's go to Mickey D's!" 

"I know the way," Kelly said and took the lead.

"Whoa.we going to go to a light?" asked Dempsey. 

"That would be four blocks down," answered Kelly. "We don't have the time."

"We can handle this," Mark said, leaning forward, listening to the traffic
on the four-lane street.

Out of the four of them, Dempsey was the only one without a cane. He had a
monocular back in the dorm, but even with that, this type of street made him
nervous; at home he had a folding cane.somewhere. He never wanted the stigma
of a cane, didn't need one, because he always chose where and when he would
go places by himself.


Heart in his throat, Dempsey followed; he wouldn't be left behind. About the
middle of the street, "Ow, darn!" as he kicked into an unseen cement island
and fell. 

"Better take my arm.hurry." Kelly said.

That evening was philosophy seminar. The topic was the effect of a blind
media character upon an audience. "I have a rather provoking thought," spoke
up one teen. "We all agree that when blindness is portrayed in the mass
media, it has an effect upon how blindness is viewed by society. My question
is, if that influence guides how we are treated and if you view that as a
process that has been worked upon you, can you come up with a single term
that captures the essence of which specific blind cult figure that's been
applied to you?"

Dempsey got it right away, but wasn't sure he was ready to share it. This
day had brought it home to him-these guys had blindness skills, confidence,
knew where in life they were going!  They were competent blind people and he
was basically an inferior sighted person. "Yeah, I've been McGoo'd."

Robert Leslie Newman 
Email- newmanrl at cox.net

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