Friday, July 24, 2015

To This Day

This morning I woke up a little earlier than usual, and by that I mean, a whole hour earlier (6:15 A.M.). Our proctor group's plans for breakfast was to meet at 7:20 A.M. and then altogether walk to Starbucks and sit down for a while. Lizzy has started this new activity with the group called Pogo's (positive gossip), where we would anonymously write a compliment to someone else in the group and stick it in a box, and I am assuming that Lizzy will read it out loud or pass them out to us individually at the proctor night meetings. I think that it is a great idea and really spreads the positivity around! 

The walk to Starbucks was around 10-15 minutes and I was really enjoying the nice weather! It was almost like the Bay Area's except, a lot more warm. I realized that I like waking up early for walks like today since the weather is just about perfect. Also, because it is the morning after all, I am able to enjoy the peace and quiet. Once we got there, there was a surprisingly long line. I did not mind the wait since I was not sure of what to order yet, so it gave me more than enough time to choose. I ordered the Mocha frappuccino (since they did not have the drink that I usually have) and a red berry cheese danish. We all shared an open conversation about all of our schools and how they each differ from each other, and the insane fact that there is only a week left of VSA. I am truly going to miss it. 

After everyone had finished eating their food or almost finished, we headed out to come back to the Commons. By the time we were back, there was approximately half an hour left, so I sought out for where my partner was sitting (which was coincidentally near Arnold, Hummd, Gwennie, and the rest of our friends). Once my partner, Angel, was done eating and rolled up to the front of the Commons, I followed her and spotted her to class. 

In class, Monte asked the remaining half of the class for what their experiences were with the wheelchairs. One of the girls had gone out for SOFT night in her wheelchair and told us about her struggle with getting into a restaurant that is not as accessible for the handicapped. Monte told us all that in previous years, there has been students in wheelchairs who go to that same restaurant and tried to use the bathroom, which was not available for the handicapped, so they talked with the manager and evidently they still have not done much about that problem. I found that after participating in this experiment, I have become more passionate about it and wish to advocate for the disabled rights. Although I did not go out while I was in a wheelchair, I deeply regret it now because I could have visited the stores around the university that were not available to the handicapped and proved a point to the managers that it is important for them to allow the disabled to go in too. I want to capture the unfairness and even on the way to the library for my mission, there was a lift for wheelchairs, and Monte also let us know that the lift was not there before, until someone said something about it.

More experiences and thoughts were shared and then we watched the third season, episode 2, of 30 Days, and this episode was 30 Days in a Wheelchair by a professional football player, Ray Crockett. The episode was really interesting since he was already in shape, but not for the wheelchair. He had to learn how to work out again, and the importance and cost of constructing in wheelchair accessible ramps for his house and car. He made new friends and without one of them, he would not have been able to make it through for the rest of the 30 days. He was already struggling on the second day. He visited Baylor's Hospital quite frequently when he first got his wheelchair and check ups for making sure that his legs' blood did not clot due to sitting down for the whole experiment. He also met up with one of the Paralympic Rugby players in Texas and learned how to play with the same people from a previous film that we watched called MurderBall! After the show ended, we went on a break and waited until the last pair were done with their missions since they should have been coming back around the same time as the end of the break. All the missions were completed, and we shared what we thought of the library, its elevator, the strangers that we must have encountered.
The results of my tie dyed Vanderbilt shirt! I attempted to spiral around
the star.

Lunch came and passed by quickly, which then leaded to my partner rolling back to the classroom for the last time ever. I tried to motivate her by telling her to put on a song that she likes (since I know that she is going to sing wonderfully for the talent show tonight) and she played one song. After those few minutes, she went from the Commons to the Wyatt building really quick (and it was fun). The remaining people were transitioned out of their wheelchairs and everyone went downstairs to the computer lab to work on their 2 and a half to 3 page essay reflecting on the experiences from the wheelchair as well as other factors that we have gotten from class. I was aiming for 6 pages, but I reached 5 instead (I felt really passionate about this topic). My Arete class was really relaxed today since the instructor was not there, so I worked a little on blogging ahead of time. Then after dinner, I went to my room to find that my roommate was looking for something to dress up the llama, so I helped her out by contributing my scarf that I dyed last weekend. The theme was hipster, so everyone dressed up to suit it, and some of the girls on my floor even gave me a metallic temporary tattoo (that is really cute). The whole event started off with the students meeting up in the patio to listen to the schedule again and I went to the basement to watch Open Mic. I saw a lot of amazing performances from singing, to dancing, to playing an instrument, and heard great pieces of spoken word. I wanted to spread some inspiration around from one of the poems that I have heard at least a dozen times, called, "To This Day" by Shane Koyczan. It was the very first poem that got me into spoken word and I wanted to have others listen to (my attempted version of) it too. I wrapped up the Open Mic by going last, but I know that I was not the least! I encourage those of you who are reading this blog to look up the famous speech and listen his video, it is truly amazing.
A fellow friend in my proctor group, Claire, that generously gave me the metallic tattoo. :)

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