Thursday, 22 March 2012
BEAUTIFUL BLUE EYES
Speaking of heroes (I know. We weren’t.) I have a few….
It’s an odd little list and part of it includes, Gandhi, Jim Dyson (of Dyson vacuums), some prisoners and prisoners who have returned to “the world” and a young woman who was once my student assistant. Let’s call her Leanne, just for the hell of it although her real name is more beautiful than that…Leanne Blue Eyes is how I think of her.
Leanne is a passionate and natural scholar…quick-minded, political, engaged, funny and compassionate. She is an attractive young woman, who has (since her graduation) showed up to visit looking trés fashionable & big city. Scholar, art maker, entrepreneur, teacher. She’s a little whirlwind.
She also happens to have cerebral palsy.
I was astounded by her from the minute she started her job. In spite of the unruliness of CP, I watched her shelve and pull down heavy books, process loans and returns while checking fines and over dues on our user-unfriendly computer system – often with a line-up of none too patient students waiting. The College offered funds for any “special equipment” but Leanne didn’t seem to need any. She was one of the best on staff…filling in when others couldn’t make it, always willing to help, never a complaint.
In her student life, she took on challenging courses – physically as well as intellectually challenging. She has attitude and grit. I marveled at how she adapted to the symptoms of CP, seeming to almost effortlessly control them or even ignore them.
I liked her personally, which was true of most of “my” students.
Now, as I cope with the remaining vertigo – and nerve damage in the soles of my feet that make if feel like I am walking on unbreakable bubble wrap; now, as I lurch into a wall here or there, or stumble over nothing at all or turn my head while standing, only to realize my poor confused body thinks it is supposed to fall over in the same direction, I am beginning to have the tiniest inkling of how quickly a person will adapt.
I mean you can sit there feeling a helpless blob or get up and use what you’ve got, right? And I often find humor in it, too.
I do things to torture my friends, like climb up to get a high curtain rod placed. Hey. I’m still the TALL one. I know they are near having coronaries watching, but I know what I can and cannot do…and I like to tease them.
Thank you Beautiful Blue Eyes. How you doin’ out there, girl?