What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you?
Hm, there were lots of very nice things that people have done for me… I don’t know whether nice is an appropriate word for that, it sounds a bit like an understatement, but one particular thing comes to my mind right now. When I left the school for the blind at the age of 17 which was quite a sudden thing, I was sure that I’m not going there again, but since I was still a minor I had to go to school somewhere, which was hard not only because of my blindness and lack of preparation of mainstream teachers for teaching blind students here, but also because of my additional difficulties, at that time especially emotional which were quite significant, so, honestly, there weren’t many other options, if any, and it looked like I’d have to either come back there anyway or take a risk and just wait until I’ll be 18 when I won’t have to go to school anymore. Because of my awful depression at that time and my brain being a mess, as well as that would be just practically easier for everyone, I got an opinion from the psychiatrist that I need individual education at least for the time being until I’ll be doing some higher education. But yeah my Mum and me had a real trouble finding an actual school that would be willing to accept me and that would be doable for me. After weeks of fruitless looking around and research my Mum went to some meeting for parents in my brother’s school, and after that, completely out of the blue, my brother’s class teacher asked Mum how is her eldest daughter doing. Maybe it wouldn’t be that strange but actually Mum could have sworn that she had never told him anything about me or even my existence, quite unlikely that Olek would do it, so it felt a bit like paranormal. 😀 So Mum told him everything about my situation, and he was the sort of guy who was full of enthusiasm, to the point that he was slightly naive, and when Mum told him everything he dragged her to the headmaster’s office and told her that he’ll certainly agree for me to go to their school as well, especially that, if not my blindness, that would be my sort of default school because it’s nearest in the area so would I choose them they’d have a duty to approve me. And, indeed, with a lot of help from Olek’s teacher (who ended up being my teacher too because although I’mtwo years older than him, I was two years behind with school stuff) and willingness from the headmaster, who unfortunately got fired before I even started going there because of some nasty drama or intrigue or whatever that was going on there and in which he got unfortunately involved in, I started going to Olek’s school. I was in the same class as him although I had individual education just twice a week so only interacted with his class occasionally. I was lucky because despite a rather low educational level and complete lack of knowledge about people with disabilities in that school, my previous school’s educational level was high, and the year when I changed schools was the year when I had exams before choosing further education, so it was a lot of rush, but I had a lot of knowledge from previous years so it went very smoothly, especially that I was doing much better in individual education than I earlier did in class and finished the year with great results, better than ever before. And despite those exams being ahead of me I completely didn’t feel any pressure or even much stress, I was just very laid back and didn’t have to care too much. Because of individual education, I had a more sort of personal contact with teachers, they knew me well and I knew them, one teacher was fascinated by my fascination with Vreeswijk so in the last months of school when we had practically all the syllabus done I read my translations of his poems to her. As I said, people didn’t have the slightest idea about blindness and possibilities that blind people might have, so I experienced some rather condescending attitudes from them and I could see that they were absolutely gobsmacked that I could even write, and the same teacher who would a few months later be delighted with my Vreeswijk’s translations, was close to passing out at my first day of school when she learnt that she’ll be teaching a blind student, while the art teacher gave me an A just because I knew who Leonardo DaVinci was (while my brother who did a whole presentation as it was required of the rest only got an equivalent of a C), but because other than that they were nice to me, and because I was and still am incredibly grateful to them, I could distance myself from it and not take it personally or something. I think in my whole education it was the happiest year for me in many regards, and I regretted that I didn’t know it could be like that some two years before I changed schools, so I could go there earlier. Though I’m glad I didn’t go only there, because if I did, I would probably not learn much of neither academical knowledge (Olek’s classmates didn’t know in which country Finnish is spoken 😱 ), nor any other skills, so I guess all experiences we have are for a reason. I really don’t know though where I could be now if not that Olek’s teacher, I’m not sure I would even like to know as that certainly wouldn’t be the nicest place unless some other miracle would happen. He was an utterly weird guy, the kind that people always make fun of, and they did, like all the time, but at the same time he really cared about people. So yeah, that would be probably the nicest thing.
How about you? 🙂