First, thanks to all of you who wished me happy birthday and celebrated it with me by sending me birthday wishes. It was really neat to get all of the e-mails.
Tony planned what was supposed to be a surprise dinner out for me, but I found out about it a few hours before it. I always find out about the surprises
that Tony tries to plan. I’ve challenged him to plan a birthday surprise that I don’t find out about before the event. I had a lot of fun! There were 13
people there. We went to a nice Italian restaurant. Tony got me talking crayons, a tactile coloring book, and a 16G SD card for my birthday. I’ve thought
since then that I should do some coloring, but unfortunately I haven’t had time.
During the week of July 21-27, I helped out with a Junior Science Academy at the National Center. We hosted 28 blind kids from grades 3-6 and their parents.
While the kids did science related activities, the parents worked on learning about how to work with their kids to enable them to be more independent.
We taught the parents cane travel, Braille, advocacy, and more. We taught the kids science by helping them use alternative techniques to explore and experiment.
We had 10 blind mentors to be role models and work with the children. I was much more involved in the program than I had originally anticipated, and most
days I was at work until around 11:00 PM. It was a really neat learning experience for me, and I had a lot of fun. It was really exciting to see the kids
learn from me and other blind mentors. I was also really amazed at the growth that I saw in the parents.
Last week I caught up on some mentoring work that I had neglected during the previous week. Then on Friday I went to Utah for a mentoring event there.
I had a blast. They had there event on a lake at Jordanelle State Park. The Utah contingent persuaded me to go tubing. I tried to convince them that the
mentors and mentees all needed to go before I went, but they ignored me. I really need to have more control over them. ?? It was actually amazing. I’d
never been tubing before this. I kept telling them to make the boat go faster. However, I’m paying for that because my arms are sore today.
Tomorrow through Wednesday I’m headed for what I think is going to be a boring but necessary conference in Arlington VA. It’s a conference hosted by the
Rehabilitation Services Administration, which is a government agency. Hopefully we’ll learn about more funding oppertunities for the mentoring program.
On Friday I leave for another mentoring event that is in Austin, TX. This one is going to include us working with mentees on some job readiness and travel
skills. Maybe when I get back from that I’ll have time to take a break. Ha ha! I do love all of the traveling for work. I’ll keep all of you posted on
where I’m going next.