7 Advantages Of Being Visually Impaired

7 Advantages Of Being Visually Impaired

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So I decided to start writing for Odyssey because I thought I could bring a unique perspective to some issues that people tend to be pretty uncomfortable talking about. I’m a visually impaired student at Dartmouth, and while most people know of me as the girl that always seems to tag along with her guide dog, Smidge, or as the girl who has literally run into you trying to maneuver my way around Collis, I tend to feel like a lot of my Dartmouth relationships are rather superficial. Anyone that knows me well would tell you, I am really open to talking about my sight and my experiences.

Disability has such a negative connotation. I’ll be the first person to tell you there are some challenges that come along with being legally blind, but I would be remised to say that it’s all bad. I think it’s important to be able to acknowledge some of the positive aspects of what might usually be considered a not- so- great situation. So here are a few of the advantages that comes with being visually impaired.

1. I always have an excuse to wear mismatched clothes

Half the time I walk out of my dorm looking like an absolute mess! I’m partially color blind so matching clothes isn’t really my strong suit. Whenever people ask me about why my socks don’t match or why I’m wearing an obscure combination of colors, I can always just tell them it’s because I couldn’t tell what I was putting on.

2. I never have to be the designated driver

No one would ever want me behind the wheel of the car so I’ll never have to stay sober and drive my friends home at the end of a night out.

3. I don’t judge people off of how they look

Unlike most people, I actually mean it when I say looks don’t matter. I base my relationships purely off of personality. I usually miss physical features that are immediately obvious for most people, which I think really helps me because I make my first impressions of people solely off of their personalities.

4. I get to bring my dog wherever I go.

Perks of being blind is that I get to take my dog wherever I go. However, my guide dog is very specifically trained to help me safely navigate to wherever I need to be. Fake service dogs are a huge issue and are not in any way okay, but I would be lying to you if I said I don’t love always having my dog with me. She’s my best friend and I know she’s always looking out for me. She gives me independence I never knew before I had a guide dog, and because of that I am so grateful to have her in my life.

5. I don’t need to obey signs if I can’t read them

I usually don’t see signs that are posted up on doors. As far as I’m concerned that means they probably don’t apply to me.

6. I have the greatest most genuine friends in the world

Being legally blind means that sometimes I leave my house with makeup smeared all over my face, or with my bathing suit on inside out, and the fact that I can trust my friends enough to tell me those things and laugh at me for them makes me realize how lucky I am to have those kinds of people in my life

7. I have opportunity I would definitely not have if I could see.

A lot of people know that I am a United States Paralympic Alpine ski racer, but most people don’t realize how much opportunity skiing has given me. Skiing has shape my character in ways that are unparalleled to anything else in my life. In the last year I have traveled to seven different countries and gotten to explore the world with some of my closest friends. All of my teammates come from different backgrounds and walks of life. I have learned to be accepting and understanding of others and to juggle so many different parts of my life all at once. I would be a totally different person if I had full vision and I am so grateful for every opportunity I have been given.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Frantz

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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