Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's comments like these that keep me going.

There are times that I feel overwhelmed and frustrated with my life. And it would only be the truth if I admitted that sometimes I really feel like giving up. But when I do feel like giving up, I think about all the people I would disappoint if I threw in the towel. I think about all the people that depend on me to be an example of what god can perfect in a person that is seemingly broken. I think about all the people that I inspire to keep going, even when life is sitting on their necks. I think about all the people that, because of their contact with me, now realize that disability does not mean death.

This week was the last week of the fall semester. Some of my students sent me some very nice e-mails. and I got them just in time.

In the last couple of days, I was feeling overwhelmed with all the things I have to do. And I was even feeling a little frustrated about this blind thing. But when I got these e-mails, I perked up and got my strut back.

Here's a few of the nice e-mails I got this week.

“Happy Holidays Ms. Angela! So far, you're the coolest instructor I’ve had. Everyone’s been so formal and teachery. Its fun to have an instructor that feels like a friend, not just a teacher. I hope I can have another class with you.” E.P.

“I would just like to say that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from an instructor as amazing as you. I want to say thank you for bringing speech to life for me, and making class so much fun. I have never had an instructor make me want to learn or even make me want to come to class in the way you have. Every day in your class was a different experience, and I truly am honored to have been able to call myself one of your students.” S.L.

“She has a great personality and truly is a special person whom I would recommend anyone to take her interpersonal communication class or any future classes she chooses to teach.” A.B.

“When I came to the first day of school, I didn’t even really know that Professor Braden was even blind until about half way through the class period. She was just walking back in forth and talking about herself and making the students say something about them. I’ve never had a blind teacher before and honestly I never really thought that a blind person could be a teacher. But I was proven wrong. Professor Braden is a very good speaker and a good teacher. She speaks clearly, makes sure everyone understands, and has a passion for what she does.” S.C.

“I was honored to sit on the last row in the last left hand seat. I had the best seat in the class. I was allowed to watch you and the class as if it were a stage presentation. At times the interaction left me speechless. The way you communicated and presented life span communications in such a way the whole class should have been able to relate to. And, I believe they did. I would like you to know that I observed my classmates hanging on to every word that you spoke.
I believe that you accomplished what you set out to achieve. I believe you have made an impact on each student rather it is on culture sensitivity, gender communication, or disability awareness. I know that you have empowered me with all of the above and much more.” C.B.

It's comments like these that help me understand the importance of a "blind chick" being a teacher at a college. So, when I feel like the stress of being a blind teacher of sighted students is too much, I'll come back and read these comments. When I feel like my presence is not a "big deal", I'll come back and read these comments. And when I feel like my life has no real "purpose", I'm going to come back and read these comments.

**When you feel like your life is a waste, a failure, a let down, think about all the people who depend on you to be you. They need you. Heck, all of us need you. What in the world would the world do without you?

Stay encouraged. Stay strong. And stay prayed up.

Relaxing in the palm of God's hand,
Angela Braden
Adjunct Faculty at Lone Star College
Kingwood College


Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Gee Angela, I didn't know you taught. Your students' feedback is wonderful. Indeed, you've given them a new vision for a new day. Amen.

Angie-Nuvision said...

Thanks KIT. Yeah, I'm glad I'm there to provide them with an experience I know that they would otherwise not have. Hopefully, my presence has a true and definite impact on them.