I’m sitting here, minding my own business and contemplating the failure of the LHC to cause a black hole sucking in the earth and instantly annihilating all life as we know it, you know, a typical day, but I digress, and I am listening to the radio, not streaming, mind you, but a real radio thing, and not that satellite thing, and it happens to be NPR, which, I know, shows my age, but I happen to catch the beginning of This American Life. Talk about depressing. Or thought provoking.
Host Ira Glass talks with a bunch of special ed students. By and large, they thought of themselves as regular kids—until each experienced a shocking moment of revelation when they discovered that they were not the same as other kids, and that the other kids already knew that…and had known for a long time.
Give this a listen, even just the prologue, since that is all I needed to hear … Listen Here. (The transcript is here if you don’t want to listen, but listen, it is much more powerful.)
I wish I knew if Pearlsky knows. Does she know she is … ummmm … severely disabled? Does she thinks she’s a retard?
My dad was a hunter, and he taught hunter safety courses, etc. Not a wacko, I think he was successful maybe twice! He said something once when I was very young that I remember to this day, and think about often. The problem is, I do not remember the context. It may have been while discussing that if you wound an animal you are obligated to follow and find it, and not allow it to suffer. Anyway, the quote that has stuck with me is “The deer will run and keep going, for it does not know that it is going to die.” I don’t know if it is true, supposedly elephants can sense their demise, but it would be nice to not know that we were going to die at some point.
Non sequitur? No. I don’t want Pearlsky to know that she is so severely disabled. But yes, I want Pearlsky to know that she is so severely disabled. She has to know she is different, no? She sees everyone else walking, does she wonder why she doesn’t? Does she wonder why she can’t talk? Many of us believe she has a high level of understanding of the world around her, but does she know she is going to die? Does she know she is … fucked up?