Teaching And Learning (Or – Why It Is Good To Keep An Open Mind)

If you have had a good look at my personal blog you will know that I am involved in a Photography project on the subject of the difficulties my sight can cause me.

I have to admit that I was more than a little apprehensive before I started on it.  This was due to the fact that the photographer I am working with has got a PhD in Photography.  As a result of me learning that I thought he would be as receptive to my ideas and experiences as a house brick.

The project is proceeding slowly – but I got a couple of glimmers of hope today.  The first was when he agreed with the draft introduction I am going to share with you shortly.

The second was when he was talking to some friends of mine about the project and – through something he said to them – he told me he is beginning to understand my reasons for wanting to do the project in the first place.

The draft introduction reads as follows;

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you couldn’t see very well?  How about considering the barriers and challenges you would face?

Little things someone with 20/20 vision can do without thinking about it can turn into big issues.  That flat floor – which turns into a shallow staircase as you walk across it – for example.  Or reading that backlit noticeboard with tiny writing which is “helpfully” attached to the wall behind the counter in front of you.  Or trying to navigate your way through “non-existent” gaps which you have definitely seen other people walk through before you?

There are other challenges which other people with poor vision face.  Namely anything involving doing something without their glasses (or contact lenses) which involves sight.  This can range from ensuring you have applied products to your face (ie, facemask, make-up, etc) in an even coverage – to getting through the Automated E Border face scanners in airports.

Put it this way – if you can only see clearly slightly further away than the end of your nose without your glasses you are hardly likely to be able to focus on a small object 20 ft away without them.

The funny thing is that people automatically assume that glasses give you 20/20 vision.  That is true if your sight is near 20/20 vision to start with.  The further you get from 20/20 vision as your uncorrected starting point the less chance you have got of getting 20/20 vision even with glasses. You may even find you have additional problems caused by the glasses themselves.

I am always very wary of trying to explain my sight to people for that exact reason.

Until you actually spend time in my company you are never going to see “behind the scenes” as it were.  Even then you would have to be someone I really trust and feel I can be my self  around.

I am firmly convinced that the best teachers are willing to be educated by their students – if only because the students have different life experience to bring to the lesson.

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