Monday, August 25

Official announcement

Greetings. Well, today I made the official announcement to everyone at work. We have what we call the "Monday Morning Meeting," where all students and staff gather in our auditorium and announcements are made by students and staff. I was debating whether or not to make my announcement. No one said I had too, but I thought it would be fun. I had decided not to but then I observed someone from the public throwing question after question to a guide dog user on the bus this morning, and when I heard this, I smiled. So I let the student who was running the announcements know that I had one, and wouldn't you know that they called me as the second person. Glad they didn't say my name first. To clarify, even though not all students or staff may be present on any given day, or may even go to the morning meeting, there's still a good 125 plus that do. I'm not sure anyone noticed, but one of my legs was shaking slightly the whole time I was up there.

So I got up there and told everyone that I'll be going to The seeing Eye this Saturday and that I'll be gone for 3 weeks. I then threw in some guide dog rules. I said that our center was very cane aware, and that this was good since one needs good cane skills to have confidence in traveling. However, that even though we knew about guide dogs and certainly were aware of them, there's room for improvement. I then offered the following: "First, guide dog owners love to talk about their dogs, whether it be: the dog's breed, type, color, (could have thrown in height and weight here, but forgot), where they got the dog, how long they've had the dog, how old the dog is, what the dog had for dinner last night, for breakfast this morning; and on and on. Second, when greeting someone with a guide dog, and let me stress to only do this when the team is stationary. When they're in motion, the dog is actively guiding. When they're stationary though, greet the dog lavishly by name; and then to the person say, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?"" That got a good chuckle out of several people in the room, then I said, "Yes, those who have guide dogs may truly know what I'm talking about here." Then I closed.

I didn't want to go on too long, so as not to hold up classes, however as it turned out, the meeting lasted for at least another 25 minutes or so, if not more. Oh well.

Toward the end of the meeting, a student who happened to be a guide dog user, got up to make an announcement but before he started, he answered all of the questions I posed earlier. He even spoke on the food question. So, right when he was getting started in making his announcement, I called out from the front row where I was sitting and asked, "What kind of food?" To which he quickly answered and then went on with his announcement. I told a fellow teacher later that there's simply no end to the kinds of questions one can be asked regarding their dog.

So, now I feel like its official. I've known for months and my team and the people I regularly associate with have known for awhile, but now the whole Center knows. I had been thinking of various things I could do during that announcement period, but ultimately decided to offer up some suggestions for interacting with guide dogs. Perhaps I'll post the full list, or a more complete list, of those later this week before leaving. Until then.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you have a wonderful experience at TSE when you arrive. I remember the training like it was yesterday. Good luck, and I can't wait to hear about your dog!

    I loved your announcement at the center.

    I was a student in the same class you are enterring now so if you see Jan Abbott, Jeff McMullen, Kris Schmidt, or Walt Sutton, please greet them from Julia and me. Also, say hi to Judy Deuschel (I can't spell her last name, but she's the director of student services)), Shannon Manahan (night instructor), and Pauline Alexander. Oh yes, if you see Lukas Franck, greet him from Julia and me.

    In addition, one another student i nthe class, Judy Burch, is another friend of mine. Please greet her from us too if you see her.

    Safe travels,
    Alexis and Julia