That New … Smell

Book? Car? House? School? You name it, for some reason we have a big thing with the scent that emanates from a product at its initial use. Brings back a bit of nostalgia, right?


My new shoes. Even they smell good initially haha

Like the newscasts, I’m kind of out of material because not much is happening, but I think it a good idea to try and come up with something anyway. So let’s be all about that new life!

Currently, the scent that is wafting over me is that of freshly cut grass. That would be pleasant, except it is accompanied by lawn-mowing equipment that sound just short of jet engines. I keep ducking, in fear of being clocked by the massive tires of a commercial airliner as it wooshes by. Why hasn’t technology made this stuff quieter yet?

The one thing all of this equipment, and the fall in temperatures, does portend is the arrival of yet another season: Autumn. Yeah we still have a month officially until it begins, but already I have disabled my air conditioning probably for the year, cold-natured person that I am. I do enjoy this period of temporary refreshment though, as it always gives me the sense that the possibilities are endless. Something like back to school for adults.

And speaking of school, I’m nowwrapping up class number 4 at Queens University, all about leadership. I’ve groused some about whether I felt I would truly gain anything from this course, but in reality it is probably the most relevant I’ve taken yet as it is giving me the tools both to try and strengthen my contributions to the NDA and to prepare for some other, eventual career change.

And that likely brings me to my final point of this post: aiming to create new opportunities in this year. Thus far, I would have to say I’m disappointed with my outcome, but as the text of my graduate course helpfully points out, I have a tendency to set high, probably unrealistic, goals. But how do I figure out what IS! realistic. That, I would say, is the great struggle of my time.

Other than that, not much. Just watching as another year of my life rolls to an end (my birthday is September 13, don’t forget!) and looking forward to yet one more journey. In the 365 days since the Norie Comference, I’ve stayed in seven different hotels! No overly exotic travel, but some great trips nonetheless. I’m pretty sure that’s a NEW record for this broke man as well, and one that might stand for a while.

So, what’s new with you? Any exciting career changes? I know some of you have taken great vacations. I’d like to hear about it.

REVIEW: What Every Blind Person Needs You To Know

DISCLOSURE: I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the author so that I might give my honest thoughts regarding it. I shall do that.

I have for the past week been reading What Every Blind Person Needs You To Know, by Leeanne Hunt. This handbook is an intricate collection of scenarios that are intended to aid a novice sighted person in acquainting him or herself in best practices when interacting with an individual who is blind or low vision, and especially a family member. Each chapter is laid out in a similar fashion: Beginning with a section header (Attitudes, confidence-building, encouragement, etc), introducing it with a bit of her personal experience, and then supplementing with subsections that help clarify how one might strengthen the specified area. Finally, the section wraps up with a list of suggested questions that one can ask in order to determine the degree to which one is working to help the blind person cope with a particular life goal/area.

As one who was born blind, I find this book to be insightful. I have often wondered how persons who have to adjust to blindness later in life, what I would say is its target audience, manage to do this with varying degrees of success as I have seen). I am sure that it does help to have someone who cares enough to invest in guides such as this, as well as just going to get appropriate exposure and access to organizations that might offer further assistance.

While heavy emphasis is indeed placed on blind people within families, I think it could also be good for people who are interacting from a different social standpoint, such as a close friendship or romantic relationship. Especially if one’s condition changes once such a relationship has already begun, it could be quite important for the sighted individual to alter his or her attitude toward disability and what it is likely to mean, especially given that blindness as a disability is the most feared. If you wish to stick around and help your friend or partner, then you have first to come to grips with your own thoughts and perceptions thereof.

Anyone who grabs a copy of this book will find themselves moved by the degree to which Hunt searches herself, drawing on personal vignettes to demonstrate the concepts that she then lays out. The book even has a certain order, taking you from ancient/modern beliefs of blindness all the way through goal-setting and building hope with and among others. I have pondered whether I could construct such a piece myself, and think that she has managed to do a great job in doing so.

The book is available via Amazon at the above link as of August 16, or can be pre-ordered at the time of this entry’s posting. Please do take a look, and if it serves your needs or those of others you know, feel free to recommend.