I haven’t much time to write today as I have a major proposal due to reviewers by Friday. I did want to make a few quick points in light of yesterday’s post and various comments that people sent both publicly and privately.
Southeastern Guide Dog School is, in my mind, an absolutely wonderful institution and, someday in the future, when it’s time for me to get another dog, I will return to Palmetto (if they’ll have me ) and stay in their dormitory – odd rules and all. I resided and learned to work a guide dog at Southeastern for nearly a month. If you read through the message I posted yesterday, I stated that someone scolded me about three times and improvised on the reasons and weirdness of the concepts that formed the rules.
I do not feel that, in any way, the rules that we lived by at Southeastern were either draconian or exceptionally difficult to follow. The staff, as I’ve pointed out in both of the Guide Dog School Chronicle pieces are an amazing group of people who deserve nothing but praise. The food is good and we learn to handle our dogs very well. Like any institution, Southeastern has its own set of rules and regulations. They have their reasons for maintaining some rules and not others that may exist in other schools. These rules were not “oppressive” nor did they cause any of us even a slight distraction from the task at hand – namely, learning to live and work with a guide dog.
Blind Confidential represents my weird and often distorted, cynical view of the world. Thus, if I choose to riff on rules, the article will come out in a manner that focuses on the peculiarities thereof and will not contain many of the truly joyful moments we students had while at the school. Regular readers should see that this device appears in my writing, personal non-fiction, essay, expository and fictional. Please do not take the item I posted yesterday as a statement on the entirety of the experience at Southeastern as I’m fairly confident that, no matter what school I had chosen, I would have found a way of creating a “summer camp” story out of it and, what kind of letter from camp does not include fascist counselors?
So, when shopping for a guide dog school, please, include Southeastern in your list. I had some fun with rules and regulations in yesterday’s article and, while there is truth in everything we might say, the “Are We Not Adults?” item intended to amuse far more than inform. I apologize to anyone who took it too seriously.
On other fronts, I would like to thank the people on the blind programming list for giving me a few quick tips on using Visual Studio 2005 with JAWS 7.10. I had been hacking furiously using the Express edition of VS and doing so successfully but, when I moved to standard, in order to build programs for WM5 devices, things started getting strange. I haven’t had the time nor inclination to explore the VS DOM but I have been pondering making a self-voicing plug in for it so our friends who use screen readers other than JAWS can also use my work. Of course, I have about a million projects on my list so this one probably won’t get done either…