I’ve often written about the funny conversations I’ve had with children in schools and when I’m out and about with O J. I’ve worked in a couple of primary schools recently, where some very entertaining conversations took place. Here’s an idea of how they went.
Teachers spend a lot of time teaching children the rules of the road and how to stay safe, and it obviously pays off, because they are obsessed with how on earth a blind person can possibly cross a road. They sometimes seem disappointed when I tell them that it’s me, not my guide dog who decides when it’s safe to cross. How can a blind person possibly know when it’s safe, sure they can’t see?
Before handing children their names in Braille, I asked them if they knew who invented it. A boy put up his hand enthusiastically and asked,
“Was it Jesus?”
Trying to hold in the laughter I told him that it wasn’t, and then his classmate wanted to know,
“Was it God then?”
The real answer, Louis Braille seemed boring when I told them.
In a class of almost 60 children, I explained how technology helps me to do everyday things, just like they can. I told them that my phone talks, so I can make phone calls, read and send text messages and go on the internet. A small seven year old boy gasped when I said this. And by gasped, I mean this kid was in complete shock! I turned up voiceover on the phone, slowed it down so that they could understand it, and showed them how I write a text message. When I’d done this, the boy put up his hand again and said,
“You know when you said your phone talked? I thought you meant that it had a mouth!”
No wonder the poor kid was in shock, trying to imagine what a phone with a mouth would look like.
I have a talking colour detector which I often pass around the classroom to let children have a go. Basically you put it up against something, press a button and it tells you what colour it is. I explain that I might want to use it if I have two tops that are the same but different colours, or if I want to make sure I’m not wearing too odd socks. One girl was worried that the colour detector might let me down.
“If you put it on your sock and it said black. Then you put it on the other sock and it said black, but maybe another part of the sock was white, the part that the colour detector didn’t touch, you’d still be wearing two odd socks!”
I was exhausted. These kids think of everything.
We went for dinner yesterday evening for my mum’s birthday. I was trying to keep my 3 year old nephew Harry entertained on my knee, convincing him that playing hide and seek around the room really wasn’t a good idea. Firstly, I told him that it’s not allowed, and anyway, if we could play, how would I know where to find him because I don’t know my way around. He’s an intelligent kid and I love challenging him and making him think. His answers make it worthwhile.
“Oh yeah, if you had Dougal and O J with you we could play, because they would sniff and find me.”
I doubt Dougal would be much help, but I agreed. After that he asked me,
“When are you ever going to learn to see?”
The answer is never Harry, but I’m not sure I would even want too. If I could see, all these funny conversations would never happen, and I love them.