To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Year 3: Part 2: Post 10: Frustrations

As a follow-up from my last entry--

I should clarify that Ebony does have a treatment of sorts for her eye problem--as I've described before, part of her problem is that she cannot control her eye movements and cannabis helps with that--she can see a little bit when she's stoned. But for all the obvious reasons, she can't use that treatment all the time and she can't use it on campus. She does use it in order to learn to see--the more experience she gets with being able to see, the more her brain can make sense of the light she gets and the better she can understand descriptions of what things look like.

She doesn't do these practice sessions alone. She goes out to lunch with Allen every week or so, and sometimes she comes back raving about her discovery of the color blue ("there's LOTS of them!"), or some other new fact about vision ("eyes follow moving objects automatically! It's like being grabbed by the eyeballs!"). Of course, Allen officially doesn't know that she uses an illegal substance, and the rest of us officially don't know that he does know (does that make sense?) and speculation is rife on campus as to whether or not he partakes of the substance as well--he doesn't need to, obviously, but we wonder anyway.

We also don't know where she gets her medicine or where she stores it, since she respects the rule about not bringing illegal substances on campus.

But all of this is not a cure for blindness. The drug effects fade and she can't see. It's weird, you look around, in the media and so forth, and you see two overriding messages about blindness--one is that blind people are to be pitied (and admired for just being able to get out of bed in the morning), and the other is that blindness doesn't matter at all, that it's just a sort of alternative lifestyle. The second of those actually has blind proponents, but Ebony isn't one of them, and both those narratives make her twitch. I never really thought about any of this before. I was kind of in a bubble about a lot of things. But anyway, actually knowing this woman, pity is not really what comes to mind--it's more like frustration.

It's frustrating as hell I can't show her things.

Anyway, while Ebony is spending lots of time with her teacher, I'm hardly talking to mine. I see Charlie in class, of course, and at Paleolithic Dinner and sometimes on the groundskeeping team (on a day-to-day basis the team is lead by a student--Lou, who has been on the crew longer than any of the rest of us), but I hardly ever see him one-on-one anymore. He seems to be busy with other students. I've asked him several times if he has any new assignments for me, but he just tells me to "keep up the good work."

It's not like I don't have anything else to do, but I kind of miss him.

He did ask me, a while back, if I'm available to be his assistant on the Island again this year, and of course I am.

"But I'm not invited to camp with you this year, am I?" I asked.

"No, you're not," he replied, with a touch of sadness, but of course there are other things he needs to do and solitude he needs to seek.

"Where am I going to stay, though?" I asked. "I can't camp with the yearlings, I can't camp with the masters, and I don't have the money to arrange my own site. And I don't have a car."

"You don't need a car. I suggest you talk to Allen. His family usually comes up during the school trip and you may be able to ride and then camp with them. Otherwise, talk to Sharon. You'll be working for the school for the week, so we'll cover your expenses."


So I'm doing my jobs, on campus and off, doing my school work, and starting to prepare for the Island trip. And I'm working with Joy on Reiki and on magic. Life goes on.

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