Blindness and Hot Rods


Blindness and Hot Rods

The annual Hot Rod auto show is a popular event in our town. Each year it Seemed to grow and attract more cars and bigger crowds. This years extravaganza promise to be no exception. My friend and I liked to go, not just to stand back and view all the uniquely modified old and new models, but we liked to talk to the owners, the people who built these beauties. As people do differ in interest, where my friend tended to ask for specific technical details, I went more for the aesthetic or the philosophical.

"Any make and model can be altered, no matter its age or design." Was an answer one builder gave me to a question dealing with potential.

On a question of choice, one owner said, "Older models can be worn down some, but they are made of stronger stuff. A good foundation to start from." Where another responded, "The newer models with their modern materials are easier to modify."

One exhibitor of classic sports cars said, "Some of these babies came from the factory already hopped up. You might say they were born to it."

"Human, Human, Human." My friend mocked my single word response to the people I had asked questions of. "What are you talking about?"

"Blindness," I gave him another one word anser.


e-mail responses to

**1. "The two messages I seem to be getting from your short story are endurance
and adaptability. These themes may be universal and not just regarding
blindness. Young people have much energy and adaptability and many of us
are able to quickly adapt to new situations when they arise. Older
people are often slower to change because they are more set in their ways
and have lived through a number of life-choices which mold their
experiences. It is a common belief that older people have a much more
difficult time dealing with blindness if it comes upon them later in life/. Yet, like the older cars you mentioned, I think many of us younger people
tend to underestimate elderly people and their endurance. We live in a
society that is constantly changing, evolving and growing. I often feel
it is a shame that we choose to sweep our elderly under the rug and
dismiss them, unlike other cultures like Japan and Germany who value their
elderly because of their wisdom and experience. We as a younger
generation could learn a great deal from them and they could learn much
from us as young blind people who are able to adapt."

Ryan Osentowski (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

From Me: "Though I don't consider myself as being "old," I am nearing fifty and do fine myself not swaying from some of my ways than I would have at a younger time. But I have a hard time thinking I'd not do what is smart to do if in deed I needed to work out some alternatives in order to go on at the highest level of independence. Is there someone else out there (even Older) who may think and act differently? Why?"

**2. "Well, as I read this latest thought provoker, I was mystified at first but
then, an idea came to me. I do not know if I am on the same wavelength
as you, but here goes-

I was teaching a college class at Louisiana Tech in early June of this
year. I told you all in the last Provoker that I was switching jobs and,
in between the old job and the new one, I spent 2 weeks in Ruston LA
teaching a class called "introduction to Orientation and Mobility for, sounds a little like Parapetologist babble but it was
laced with all of the street smarts and good Nebraska common sense that I
could squeeze in. Anyway, I have never taught a college class before.
What's more, I did not really have any time to plan as I was, as usual,
behind at work and trying desperately to finish everything up on Friday
(Which turned into Sunday) so that I could fly to Ruston on Monday. So
there I was, completely terrified and wondering why I had ever agreed to
do such a thing and why they had ever wanted me in the first place.
At the end of the thing, after giving, and grading, 2 quizzes, a term
paper, an oral presentation and a final exam, Joanne Wilson, the director
of the Louisiana Center for the Blind (which also just happens to be in
Ruston) asked me to speak at seminar.
I talked about the images that we have of ourselves throughout our lives
and that, at long last, is where I thought this provoker was going.

I believe that we humans have a remarkable ability to change ourselves,
our outlooks, our careers, even our personalities, as we go through our
lives. For some of us, our blindness comes in the midst of life and
causes many changes. Some of these are good, and perhaps some are not.
Hopefully, the longer we experience blindness, the more able we will be to
craft an image of ourselves that is everything we want it to be.

I have a friend in New Mexico who is a wonderful example of someone whose
image continues to be enhanced with age. When I met her, she had just
graduated from the orientation center. She was beginning to emerge from
her shell of shyness and shame but she did not often let us see her real
self. She was like an old car that has been cleaned up and painted with
primer. The rust is gone and you can see that it is going to be a gem,
but it is all brown and somber. My friend today is like that same car,
with shining new paint, probably in 2 colors, for extra zip! She has
worked hard on the transition and continues to do so. There is that
wonderful potential in each of us. Those of you who are young, have the
energy and enthusiasm to change the world. That energy can do marvelous
things in your own live's! Those of you who are seniors have wisdom,
patience, and a wealth of experiences to enrich your lives and the lives
of those who are fortunate enough to know you. Those are treasures to be
graciously shared and gratefully received.
So it is with blindness. Hopefully the veterans among us can share some
wisdom with those who are still new in the game. On the other hand,
sometimes it is the newly blinded person whose creativity solves an
age-old nuisance by coming up with a fine new alternative technique from
which we all benefit."

Christine Boone (Mechanicsburg, Pensylvania, USA)

From Me: "There are several major points I see to this response. The one I am going to key in on is the one called "potential." In deed, when I speak to anyone or group about blindness, I speak of the human potential, that we are intelligent and adaptive, a combination that can't be beat.

Second thought, did you see how many times response 1. And 2. crossed trails?"

**3. "I guess my thought on this one would be that blindness does not make us
that different than everyone else. First off, we can still enjoy the same
things with just as much interest. Secondly, I think we all have our
assets and need to incorporate them into our lives for the good of all. It
is important to think of what we have to offer rather than what our
disadvantages are. An older person, for example, has more experience than
a younger one. A younger person probably has more energy and sense of
adventure than the older person.
Any of us can win the race. If we emphasize what we can offer to our
communities, our places of employment, our families and society we will be
more of an asset to the world and happier with our circumstances."

Have fun with this one. It should result in some interesting discussion. I think the big theme here is that as blind people, we are not so
different. We can be hot-rods too."

Nancy Coffman (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

From Me: "I like your big theme: "Any of us can win the race. If we emphasize what we can offer to our communities, our places of employment, our families and society we will be more of an asset to the world and happier with our circumstances." Also as you said it is important to think of what we have to offer rather than what our Disadvantages are. So then to a newly blinded person of any age, they must re-learn what their assets are (may be the same or different, more or less) and to do so is to learn about blindness. This goes for the parents and/or family of the newly born blind child as well as for the people close to a person who has gone blind. We are all in this together. Do seek out a local chapter of the National Federation Of The Blind and try it on for size.

Finally, like Nancy said "We all could be Hot Rods!" Right?"

**4. "I think it would be easier for a younger person to cope with blindness. I'm old and tired. They would have much more to live for."

From Me: "I Robert personally interviewed this lady. She lives in a nursing home where she will do some daily activities for herself like dress, watch TV, but not much else. The staff does all the rest for her. She has macular degeneration and is in reasonably good health for a person in their upper seventies. I used my full repertoire of logic and positiveness to try and motivate her to want to change and live to the fullest of her personal potential. But as you can see, she's stuck. I'll get her to meet others who are doing well, but please give me more in our Provoker on aging to share with her."

**5. "Regarding that elderly woman in the nursing home: I recently read a Kernel
book which talked about an older woman who became blind, went on to get her
education, and was busily changing the world. Or maybe it was the Braille
Monitor. It was in there in the last two years. Maybe you can track it down.
It might help."

Lori Stayer (Merrick, New York, USA)

B. "David says the article was in the Braille Monitor a couple of years ago. The
woman had been at convention and her convention speech was reproduced in the
Monitor. She had gone to the Colorado center, probably paying for it herself,
though you could ask Dianne Mc George if the woman actually got the commission
to pay her way. That would be a first

From Me: "Thank you Lori. Thoughtful and practical suggestions are always needed and welcome. For us all. And, "get it folks?" She mentioned two other great reading/writing forums, the "Kernel
Book" series and the monthly "Braille Monitor, both publications of the National Federation Of The Blind."

**6. "I was so sad to hear of that lady, she should live with Jim and my
mom. Anyhoo, I have been thinking about being older and starting over. My
friend came from India with all the enthusiasm in the world to a country
where he could redefine himself. is this not what we face? A refugee type
existence? If we take our" potential" and run with it, can we go as far as a
sighted person? Sure, maybe not as neatly, but our gumption should drive
us. I will bet she knows gumption when she hears it! Does she read at all?
Talking books is a start.

From Me: "is this not what we face? A refugee type
existence?" What an interesting parallel; the newly displaced and the newly blinded...How do you out there like this one? And can it be possible that a person can lose the ability to be jump-started by someone else's show of gumption? We'll see, its that by example or peer counseling thing again, right (in 5. And now in 6.)?

B. If you are talking about the reply to the old lady, I don't think age
matters at all. Money does and attitude and opportunity and brain mass and
plain old guts. What am I lacking?? I would talk much more differently to
her ina different circumstance. She needs motivated from where she is, not
where I am. That is the tricky part and why self-motivation is the best. Age is not in it at all. I personally fight depression, not due to
blindness, it always lived in me, but aggravated by it and my raging
hormones. Is this printable??"

From Me: "You answer Pam, here."

**7. "I have read the Hot Rod story and have come to this conclusion. Although new or old all cars need some repair. Some more than others. Even the oldest car can be removed from its place of dormancy and restored to a new life and vibrancy. Even as many times the builder must take their time especially with cars in poor shape, for with time, patience, and love any car can be made to look and run as new."

Rick O'Malley (Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

From Me: "Amen and so goes it with people. Right?"

**8. "Robert,
That is a hard question to answer. I have no idea what it would be like to
be blind. Being around people like you gives me thought that you don't
miss much. I think when you get older ---like I am now---blindness could
be more acceptable. It is the accepted that older people start breaking
down and blindness would not be as traumatic in older people. I think you
were lucky you had the 16 or 17 years you had before the accident. Mary has
told me you think being deaf and not being able to communicate is far worse
than blindness. Now I never thought about that before---and I don't know if
I agree or not. We who have site take so much for granted. I get my
emotions from seeing and hearing--. Since you had site---you know what
blue color looks like---what if you had been born blind---how do you
explain that to someone. Well my response is definitely--when you are
older because you have seen and experienced the emotions through seeing. You see through Bonnie and Em's eyes---and you are so damn well adjusted. Look at Cristopher Reeves----tragedy strikes and one minute he is a big
strapping fellow and the next second he is unable to move. That--too
me---having someone to care for your most personal needs would be the worst
tragedy of all. I'm afraid this is not very deep---but just off the top of
my head that is how I feel."

Dan Mullis (Bermmingham, Alabama, USA)

From Me: "Here is an answer from someone who is new at disability, non-disabled and is thinking. Practical minded I'd say. Who knows if this person will ever need to handle blindness, but it so different? Do many of the same rules apply?"

Later: On my statement to Dan about my statement" I'd rather be blind than deaf. Because the person I am needs that easy communication that comes with hearing. Communication is of value to me. So could you say that at times this debate ends up being a value judgement? But let me also say, if I were deaf rather than blind, I'd handle it okay; even deafblindness."

**9. "In your last message you asked what I thought about becoming
blind now or at an earlier age. Well that's an easy one. It would be
worse for a younger person with a whole life ahead of him. Going out
into the streets, finding satisfactory work, finding a wife, raising a
family--yeah, that would scare me to death! On the other hand, an
older person would not have those worries but would have a lifetime of
happy memories to help him over the rough spots. As a matter of fact,
blindness strikes many older people. But, in either case, I think most
individuals would find a way to cope with it. That's the story of the
human race--no matter what the challenges, man has always found a way to
get by."

Leonard Mullis (Denver, Colorado, USA)

From Me: "Well, here is one vote for the older person having an easier time of it or was it a less tragic one? What do you say? Is it one or the other or either or neither or both or a mute point?"

**10. "Well, try this on for size and age: In spite of my sixty-eight years
of life and fifty-seven
years of blindness, I don't think I have much to say about age
and blindness. Aging and blindness has become a
professionalized subspecialty in the field of blindness work and
resists reasonable reflection. I do know this, however:
equating older with wisdom is an illusion any more. When each
generation did the same as the generation before, the experience
of the elderly could be passed on to the successors and have
some relevance to their lives. Now, this kind of connection
between generations is broken and experience cannot translate
into wisdom. Indeed, the wisdom we think we gain in one decade
of our life can hardly translate into wisdom for the next. If
you remain intellectually active during the earlier years of
your life and keep on learning as the world changes, you might
have some of the equipment to deal with the new circumstances.

When blindness sets in, you will find that coping absolutely
requires that you have your cognitive faculties intact and ready
to run, like a well-oiled hotrod. If you have become so locked
into a visual orientation to the world that you can't shift
gears to a cognitive orientation, you're in deep trouble.
"Follow the yellow brick road" or "follow the blue line" or
"follow where the arrows point" won't work any more.

Anyone who
has devoted any thought to the subject can tell you that you
have to be prepared to use your reasoning ability, keeping track
of where you are and how you are planning to get somewhere and
making decisions and solving problems as you go along. In this
way, experience can translate into wisdom, but the visual wisdom
won't work. Incidentally, our word "wisdom" comes from the same
Latin root as "vision". No wonder we have stereotype problems!

So spake Nyman, James Nyman) (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

From Me: "Isn't this what I wrote about in my thoughts to number 2 response?"

11. "I'm new at this and don't know what to say. about cars. Before I
went blind from diabetes I was a certified auto tec. I figure people are
kinda like cars from there own era, They get forgot about and put in the
corner like older people with blindness do. You take it and you reform
It and re tune it and help it to adapt it to today's new technical
things and help it where we can.

As to being easier to adapt to blindness I find some times being very
hard when I got two kids ages five and seven and it is hard to explain
what is the matter with my eyes. But like a song said I get knocked down
and I get back up and you will nevver keep me down."

yours truly Tim Olmstead (Fremont, Nebraska, USA)

From Ee: "I get knocked down and I get back up and you will nevver keep me down."" Isn't that just one of the best attitudes? What else does it take?"

**12. "I think it would be harder for an older person to be blind." The ten-year-old boy answered my key question about who could better handle blindness, the young or the old? "Why?" I next asked.

"Because we are yong and can grow with it and they're more tired."

"Well, will that be true for you when you get old?" I asked and he told me he'd have to think about it."

Robert L. I interviewed this kid.

**13. "About whether becoming blind when you're young or old: From
David--There's no definite answer. There are adjustment problems either way. The attitudes have to be adjusted. Whether you are sighted or blind, you grow up with the attitudes of sighted society."

David Stayer (Merrick, New York, USA)

**14. "I go to an annual hot rod and classic car show in one of the close towns here too. There are cars from all decades and all kinds of cars and conversions. Some are original and some are modified. Some are really nice and we admire them, some need a lot of work yet, but are in one stage or another of being restored to usefulness. That is just like people. Some of us are old, some classic, some in need of repair. We all are at different stages of life. No one can tell us when we are done or what needs to be done because we are the ones who decide when we are what we want to be. We can get ideas from others who are at other stages in their development. That is really helpful. Life is ever learning and never
being completely done, whether we are blind or not. We all have something
that isn't perfect about us, that needs work on. The most important
things, we think, are to go to the "meets", see what can be done, see where
we are and learn from those who have been before us. We can also share
with others what we have learned and admire the beautiful people around us.

Everyone has something important to contribute to others. Never forget
that too."

Rory and Pat Conrad (Dunlop, IOWA, USA)

From Me: "No one can tell us when we are done or what needs to be done because we are the ones who decide when we are what we want to be." WOW!!! Someone else out there what is your read on this statement? Free will? Are people that self-aware? And/or where does this line from an old Beatle song fit in?... "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."

**15. "Where do you get that old stuff? I have been around a while, but I ain't that old.
I have noticed that the job situation has sure gone down hill in Nebraska. It reached a high in the late sixties, and early seventies, but sure has gone down hill. There is jobs out there, but as far as I can find out the blind are not getting them. I didn't want to get on the employment situation, but I just had to say something about it, I don't like it. As far as other things I don't see a lot of difference. It still seems like the blind want to be first class citizens, with second class responsibilities. Asking for special cab rides, I mean having a discount because of blindness. It is like having your cake and eating it. Well I had better get out of here.
good bye all."

Hank Vetter (Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

From Me: "Heare's a comment from a guy in his seventies. He worked all of his life and is now into computers, among other thins."

**16. "When I was younger my uncle made his living restoring antic cars, and I remember feeling a little sad at the sight of a Hot Rod, thinking it was a shame that this car could have been restored to its original quality and appearance, if the owner had just chosen to make it happen. As I matured I began to realize that some older cars really couldn't be restored, others weren't worth the investment to do so, and in any case there is a certain art that goes into the creation of a hot rod. There is nothing sad about a hot rod, the only old cars to feel sad about are the ones that never made it to a restorer or a hot rodder.

So where is the parallel with blindness for me in this story? Well, I
think it is several layers, and much of it has to do with attitude. When
people lose something in their lives, especially something to do with their
physical being, they naturally seek to have it restored. Sometimes that
works, and sometimes it just doesn't. When it doesn't, some people give
up, and they become like that old car rusting away in the middle of a
field. But there are others that are lucky enough to become a person with
the attitude of a hot rodder.

A hot rod is a mixture of original parts, and some new ones as well.
sometimes the old parts need to be repaired or modified, and often the new
parts take a lot of effort to be made to fit just right, but over time it
all starts to come together. The keystone of a hot rod is the engine, and
it is usually not based on the original. It is usually bigger, more
powerful, and specially built to meet the demands of, well you know what
hot rodding is all about! Hot rodding is an expression of a philosophy,
and the engine is the attitude that makes it go.

Very few blind people will ever be restored, but a lot of them can become
hot rods, if they are willing to take on the philosophy, make a few
changes, learn a few new things, and get a new engine."

Jeff Altman (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

**17. "When I went blind at age 76 I thought the world was over, it was time to die. Then I met a 84 year old, a forty-nine year old, a twenty-three year old and a nine year old who were all were doing well with blindness and my mind and sole said stop! If they were able to do it, then why not me!?! What did they have that I didn't? Logic told me I needed to look into it.

What I found was they all had been exposed to and took advantage of rehabilitation and counseling. They learned alternatives, some that you would think only a totally blind person would need; two of them could still see to do some things. Meeting these people and being encouraged to visit, look, listen and above all try, made the difference in my life. My parents lived to be ninety-five and ninety-seven and I plan to do so and live in good style and most certainly have my independence.

I'll note here, I have also met several other older blind and found them to be stuck in negative frames of mind. I am trying to help them to over come their ignorance and dilemma. I am happy to have been fortunate to have not fallen into their mists when I first went blind. I guess this is a case of "who you know," but also "what you know."

I Robert L. interviewed this person and wrote up their statement.

**18. "Blindness if uncontrolled is devastating. But if you work with it, no matter your age you can control it. As for your age, each stage in life has its pluses and minuses. It's a toss-up if it is harder at one point or another. You need to be strong at all stages. You always have to play with the hand you are dealt."

Marvin Jirsa (I'm 82)

Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

From Me: "Not to just be sitting here writing the obvious, like "Great, I agree," type of thing. Yet wasn't there a lot of living proof presented thus far and through out this list of responses to blindness across the age groups that no matter the age we can successfully live with blindness. Granted, we had a few writers who thought the other group may have an easier time of it, but we had examples of this from both sides of the fence. There again, clearly up to this point the majority of this sampling felt "all persons" could successfully adjust to blindness. Furthermore, wasn't it refreshing to see how many felt that one group could and would help the other!"

**19. "I think people in different age groups have special needs. This is true
for the blind as well.

Young children need to learn to adapt to blindness at home and in School.
They work their Parents and Educators to find the best techniques that will
help him/her learn as well achieve their goals.

He/she may be concerned with learning how to read, socializing in School,
and with the issue of not being able to drive, or ways to play sports or
other activities.

Blind People of working age, have other needs.

Those of us, whom are of working age, have to think of such as Career
opportunity's that we can do as blind people, learning how to use adaptive
equipment on the job, consider financial status in finding a home, raising a
family, or supporting ourselves. We also have to be concerned with being
able to do such things Reading mail, shopping, and public transportation
just to name a few.

Senior Citizens whom go blind later in life, have special needs of their own.

It is always much more difficult, to learn and adapt to something new, the
older you are.

It has been my observation, that someone who loses their sight later in
life, struggles with the loss of sight more than a young person. he/she
may have been able to see fully for 70 or 80 years, and now not able to
drive or read mail.

These people, are usually more resistant on learning such things as
Braille and cane travel. Though, I have met a few Elderly people , who
have a lot of spunk, and willing to learn these things.

Although, each group, has separate needs, we all have things in
common---Blindness. It should not be treated as much as a disability, but
rather as a characteristic of us.

Society, places many of
the barriers in our path.

Things are improving, with more resources out there for blind people.

For all blind people whom lose their sight later in life, it's a grieving
process. II, myself, whom had partial sight, went through this process
when I became totally blind. One usually goes through all stages of
grieving--denial, rationalization, depression, and anger.

I also believe, if we have the support of Family, and friends, it will make
the adjustment to blindness a little easier. it may be helpful too, if
one attends some kind of training program to learn alternative techniques
of Blindness.

Take care.”

Karen Hughes (USA)

**20. I used to believe that older people would have a harder time with going blind than younger people would. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago when I
learned otherwise. My husband, John, who is forty-seven years old, my seventeen-year-old daughter, and I were all sitting around talking a couple weeks
ago. Somehow, blindness became the topic of conversation. She told me, "I couldn't handle being blind. I don't know how you do it, Linda, but I don't
think I could do it." She was not only referring to how I cope with being blind, but she was also referring to how I do things sighted people do as a
blind person. Even though I've known her for seven years and have even disciplined her and gave her advice on how to deal with different kinds of relationships,
it is still admirable to her how I do so much as if we'd just met yesterday. In response to her comment, John said, "I could cope with it even though
it may be hard at times", referring to the adjustment of having no sight at all. When she made her comment, I didn't know what answer to give other than
the fact that I've been blind all my life and I just do what I do as best I can.
In lieu of the conversation two weeks ago, my thought is that the difficulty or ease it is to cope with going blind really depends on the individual
rather than their age. In our daughter's case, she's a very visual person; thus, she learns best by reading and seeing, so going blind would be very difficult
for her to cope with. As it is, the idea of going blind scares the hell out of her. In John's case, while he's a very visual person in most cases, he's
become more of an audio person due to many things in small print or the inability to read print for long periods of time. He finds that he learns more
from books on tape or if someone is reading something to him. Because he's slowly losing his sight due to diabetes, he's been teaching himself to use
more audio and tactile techniques by watching me.
Whether young or old, a person has to have the wherewithal to cope, the will to want to keep going and want to live life to its fullest, the determination
and gumption to push themselves to want to learn adaptive techniques, and want to be surrounded by other blind people as positive role models and teachers.
I've seen and personally met blind people of different ages who were either blind from birth or went blind later in life who still had not learned to
cope with their own blindness. They sat on their pity pot and expected people to cater services to them. On the other hand, I've also met blind people
of different ages who were either born blind or went blind later in life who have and continue to do well professionally and raise families of their own.
In both groups of blind people--those who continued to sit on their pity pot and those who strive and are doing well--they were surrounded by other blind
people as role models and teachers. Now, whether those role models and teachers of the first group were positive or not, I don't know, as I never met
them, but I can assume that the role models were good unless I'm told otherwise. Of course, this is not to say that support of and encouragement from
family is not important because it is. Either way, though, even if the individual going blind has the best support system, the individual, themselves,
has to have self-determination.
I, myself, did not have a good support system or encouragement from my family in some areas except for in independent-living skills, but I had a lot
of support from some blind friends and many sighted friends in school.

Linda USA

**21. I am talking to my sister about joining Thought Provoker, but she is very new to email and the Internet.
I thought I'd take a moment to respond as the roommate of someone who is going blind, and who appears to be in an extremely negative frame of mind. My roommate
is older, and it has indeed been a huge challenge for him to adjust to a new way of doing things. A lot of this, unfortunately, seems to reflect on how
he treats me and other residents in our apartment complex. I could be mistaken, but it doesn't really appear that he is feeling sorry for himself, at least
not yet. But what does appear to be happening is that he thinks he is right all the time, and that we are wrong. Situations have arisen in and around the
apartment where he doesn't let me have any say whatsoever in the matter if you will. For instance, a couple nights ago I invited two of our female residents
to the apartment for dinner. One of these residents just moved in about two weeks ago and does not feel that comfortable yet. I had bought some food that
was pre-cooked, so that all I had to do was stick it in our microwave and heat it up. I set the packages down on our dining room table, and before I had
a chance to do or say anything my roommate snatched the packages and got out plates. At this point I attempted to tell him that I wanted to prepare dinner
that night for a change, but he wouldn't have any of my argument. I finally did give in and let him take over, but only because some of us were going bowling
that night and time was running short. He proceeded to warm up the food, and he went on about how I couldn't cook. Mind you this comment was made within
my presence at the dining-room table. I will honestly reserve my own judgment as to whether I can cook for another time. Or perhaps I've already touched
on this subject in another Thought Provoker. The food was great but I would've really liked to have had a chance to prepare it myself. Another thing my
roommate has been doing a lot lately is cutting me off when in conversation with anyone. Not only does he do this to me, but I have heard him cut other
people off right in the middle of what they're trying to say. I think this, too, has to do with the fact that he thinks he's right all the time. I am by
no means trying to shy away from sympathy for my roommate because I know for a fact that he's going through quite a lot right now, but I really think he
could use some more counseling. Yes he is getting some already, but I'm not that convinced that it is helping. I am no therapist, nor will I ever claim
to be a therapist, but these are merely my observations from having lived with him for a little over a year. I have been struggling with the idea of either
getting a different roommate, or just living in this apartment by myself. I have talked with other neighbors here and they all seem to echo my thoughts.
They seem to think that I'd be more sociable if the situation was changed. What do I think? I totally agree with them. After all I am one who really enjoys
hanging out with my friends, and getting to know other people. Being as I am still young I think this is within my realm. With all this negative talk about
my roommate, though, must come the positives. He is a good guy some of the time, and one really must feel sorry for him. We used to be neighbors several
years back, and he had much more vision back then. We got along much better. I think he'd do well to attend an ACB or an NFB meeting, depending upon his
personal preference. I think he's actually discussed this with me a couple of times.

Jake Joehl