Playing Catch-Up in the Sighted World

Let the record show I entered the new world at 1:17 pm, March 7, 2012. I presented my new iPhone to the Apple Store with one modest request: teach me how to place and receive phone calls. Texting and data and fancy apps can wait. With help, I got the hang of speaking into my phone and being spoken to. Even when overwhelmed with details, I kept the faith. I left the Apple Store feeling optimistic if not confident.

Now it’s twelve hours later, the middle of the night to be exact. I’m so agitated that I cannot sleep. I can’t place a call. Or receive a call. Even Siri won’t speak to me. The screen locks up. My finger swipes are ineffectual. These are the times my character defects overpower me. Blame and self-pity erode my spirit. I feel the defeatism of playing catch-up in the sighted world.

I need a sense of balance. I need patience and instruction. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated,” writes Ernest Hemingway in “The Old Man and the Sea,” and he had much bigger fish to fry than I. Modern spins repeat the theme. Blind or sighted, there is a learning curve. I am not alone. I will prevail. Accessibility rocks.

Still, wise counsel and tired clichés fail to mollify the roiling in my gut, the tension at my temples. In this midnight hour, I am prone to extreme, reactive thoughts. To hell with technology – I’ll count on my fingers, and when I get to eleven, I’ll use my toes. And if I weren’t spoiled, I wouldn’t be stressed. This is kooky talk and I know it, even in my darkness. With dawn, I’ll gain fresh perspective.

I feel better now. It helps writing things down. I’ll take an aspirin for my headache and baking soda for my tummy. I’ll put my old Samsung Haven phone and my new iPhone under my pillow and pray for peaceful sleep and accessible technology.

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5 Responses to Playing Catch-Up in the Sighted World

  1. bethfinke says:

    Your old Samsung Haven phone in bed with your new iPhone? Hope one of them is using a condom. I shudder to imagine what might come of that match-up.
    BUT SERIOUSLY NOW, FOLKS – I have had my iPhone for a year and am still crawling ever so painfully slowly up the learning curve. Took one class with Micki at the Guild and may sign up for another one.
    I *can* make phone calls, and I *can* text people, it’s a lot easier once you have them in your phone as contacts. Still very difficult to “cold call,” though.
    Good luck.

  2. Andrea Kelton says:

    Bravo, Jeff, for forging ahead! I just got a Jitterbug cell phone last year…talk about being a technology turtle!

    As a teacher, I’m always trying to be a novice at something. I want to keep that feeling of beginner’s frustration fresh in my experience. I think it helps keep my skills focused on clear, direct, repetive instruction.

    • Carl D. says:

      Me “I just got a Jitterbug cell phone last year”. I pasted up the three button version for one with a keyboard. I make 1 to 5 calls a month.
      It would help if I had any friends.

  3. Stella says:

    I know how you feel! I still have trouble putting a call on wait and switching to another incoming call. It’s all about patience and don’t be too hard on yourself.

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      It’s great how these comments work. Caring and sharing. Now – Beth, Andrea and Stella, please call Carl so he’ll know he has friends.

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