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Showing posts from November, 2010

Week 4, ILRC Fall 2010

The last class of the first-ever Write To Connect series ended the way it began—cold and rainy on the outside, warm and bright with creative energy on the inside.
Melissa steered her electric wheelchair into our meeting room, drops of rain scattering from her lavender poncho. I was thankful that she had come to the last class, seeing as how it was so stormy out. I admitted that I had been fantasizing, earlier that day as I drove my mobility scooter along Market Street while getting drenched,  about the possibility of zipping myself into a giant plastic bag—the kind that comes with dry cleaning.
Sarah Funes was able to take some time out of her busy schedule as a disabled youth advocate and an intern at the ILRCSF to join us. I first met Sarah this summer when I wrote this Proyecto Vision article about her. In class yesterday, she read Elizabeth Barrett Browning “How Do I Love Thee” to us. When I asked her why she had chosen that poem, she told us that she had first read it in a novel by…

Week 3, ILRC Fall 2010

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Conversation bounced from National Library Service for the Blind narrators’ voices (not hot—depending on how bored they sound I’m guessing) versus Jeremy Irons reading Lolita (hot—depending on what you are into).Humbert Humbert, Garcia Marquez, eye surgeons requesting that you keep a journal after an experimental ophthalmologic procedure—Aug 1, Itchy. Aug, 2, Very itchy—, to Belo’s encounter with Braille graffiti (“This bump is for you” was tagged on a bench in Berkeley). Since most of the folks in class 3  were visually impaired, I asked for some help brainstorming as to how I would lead a class that focused on scrap booking and collaging in one’s journal—how could I make that accessible AND applicable to blind people in class? Belo shared his experience with teaching the graphic novel Mouse as a student teacher at Cappuccino High--after he lost vision.
My friend Leah Gardner, spoken word poet and adaptive tech trainer, joined us. This meant a lot to me, since I know meditation is not…

Write To Connect at ILRC, Week 2

I find that I dread writing the recap of Write To Connect classes. (Let that be known to my students who are would-be-bloggers. In an effort to be encouraging, I sound casual about it in class, but in fact…it is not easy for me either.) This is only number two as class summaries go, so I imagine it will get easier.
I maintain four blogs: one for the LightHouse for the Blind, one for a women’s poetry press, one for my personal projects as a freelance writer, and now, the WTC blog. Much like the LH blog, the Write To Connect blog resists a tone, a voice, a form that suits the posts and the virtual space. Why? Because it is not really my blog; it is a collective blog that belongs to the synergy of a group of students. Life writing (as in recapping each WTC session) is slow going, delicate even, when what there is to document belongs very much to the moment, to the two hours we spend together as a group of seven or so participants in awriting class. And the writings that are produced--well…

Write To Connect at ILRC SF, Week 1

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The first-ever Write To Connect workshop began at the IndependentLivingResourceCenter in San Francisco this Friday. It was rainy and the city felt exposed, clangy—things were grinding forward for the Halloween weekend. I was tired from a busy morning, working at the LightHouse. These factors contributed to me being pretty high-strung. I worried over how my visually impaired students who were new to the city would navigate from BART. I was also unsure of how my personal, non-standard sense of direction had come across in my emails. Perhaps students with cognitive disabilities might find my directions to be totally squirrely?? I tend to worry about all friends and friends-yet-to-be—their arrivals, departures, visits, how we find ourselves together in space. Good thing I am leading a workshop on writing-back-to-the-body.
It did feel somewhat ironic that I was preparing to lead a word-pouring meditation and introduce the idea of restorative writing. But, as the students trickled in, I was …

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