A New Way To Learn For Blind Students At Michigan State
You know how you read something or hear something sometimes and it takes you back to a certain event in your life?
I saw on News 10 where students who are blind at Michigan State University are going to be able to utilize a new tool that will help them learn and it brought back a memory of one of the most unique things I've ever done in my broadcasting career.
Now, I've done a wide variety of unique things over the years. Everything from broadcasting my radio show live in a hot air balloon, both tethered and un-tethered to live from amusement parks, World Series games and more. That's just what I can remember as I write this article. But what was the most unique thing ever in my mind?
Describing and narrating what was going on during a performance of a three ring circus for children who were blind.
It happened many years ago when I worked in another city before I came here to work for WITL. Me and another DJ were approached and asked if we would like to do this for the kids. We jumped at the opportunity having no idea what would happen or what we were going to do, or for that matter what we were doing. The way it worked is that we sat in front row seats at the circus with mics and headphones. The children sat behind us with headphones and would listen to us explain to them what was going on.
To this day it has been one of the most worthwhile things that I have ever done. But I found out three things that day while I was doing the circus narration that I won't ever forget:
1) It's extremely hard to ad lib for a long period of time and feel that you're doing a good job keeping it interesting for the kids.
2) There are things you would see during a circus performance and immediately "know" what it was or what was happening that are extremely difficult to put into words so the kids would know what was happening. Describing a high wire or animal act is pretty easy, but when it comes to the more intricate performances that involve things that aren't everyday items or things, it can get kind of tricky on trying to describe what's going on.
3) If you are allergic to house cats, you're probably going to be allergic to big cats, too. Yeah, that's right. I'm allergic to cats and since I was so close to the big cats and all the flying dander that day at the circus, by the time the event was over it was almost impossible for me to breath. Kind of scary, but it all worked out. Nobody knew what was happening and I walked out of the venue into some fresh air and was eventually okay. I hope the kids enjoyed themselves. Other than this twist with the lions and tigers, I really enjoyed being there, too.
Back to what is happening to help MSU's blind students. Incoming blind students will get electronic braille displays to help make it easier for them to learn, which is very cool. Get more information here about all of that from News 10.