Hanni Unleashed

My apartment was filled to the brim with future scholars!Scratch, scratch, scratch…depaul-students-4.jpgEvery semester I give a guest lecture for a disability awareness class at DePaul University in Chicago. This semester, though, the class decided to come to me.
Twenty or so students piled into our apartment this afternoon to see where I live, how I manage in the house, and what my talking computer sounds like.
As an added bonus, they got to pet and play with a Seeing Eye dog. Hanni doesn’t wear her harness in the house – I know my way around, so I don’t need her to guide me. And when Hanni’s harness is off, she’s fair game – you can pet her, play with her, talk to her. The second her harness goes on again, though, she’s working. I ask people not to pet her or talk to her while she’s at work. Quoting Hanni from Safe & Sound:
“I like people, but they shouldn’t pet or talk to me while I’m working. That way, I can pay close attention to Beth. That way, we’ll be safe.”
Back to the DePaul students. I enjoyed having them over – they had lots of good questions. “How do you deal with trust? You have to trust a lot of people!” “Here’s a whimsical question: do you and other blind people dream differently than we do?”
A few students arrived early – one was thinking of majoring in journalism. It was fun to talk to her about writing, and her interest in journalism provides a segue to my next subject: my nephew Brian Miller is a writer, and he got a story published in an on-line magazine today!
Brian teaches English as a second language in South Korea –he has lots of interesting stories about life in Jeju. One of them was published today in World Hum. Brian and I found out about World Hum through my writer friend Tara Swords, her story “An Island in Costa Rica” was published there last year.
Obviously the editors at World Hum have good taste – congrats, Brian. Your aunt is very proud of you.
And now, it’s time to put Hanni’s harness on to take her out. Back to work –

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8 Responses to “Hanni Unleashed”


  1. 1 Charisse October 24, 2007 at 1:17 am

    Hi, I was the one early today during our visit. I read some of your posts and I really thought they were interesting. I especially like the one about the cab drivers. Thanks again for having us!

    Charisse

  2. 2 Beth October 24, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Charisse, Thanks for taking a look at my blog. And especially thanks for coming over yesterday, It was a fun visit, justt too short!
    Be sure to look at the blog again later today, there should be photos up by then –who knows? Maybe you’re in one of them!

  3. 3 marilee October 25, 2007 at 12:41 am

    What a great “hands on” learning experience for these students! Congrats to DePaul and you for sharing “real life” with our future generation. Great insightful questions- would be interested to hear some of their reflections.

  4. 4 bethfinke October 25, 2007 at 11:02 am

    You know, I’d be interested in hearing some of their reflections, too. DePaul students? Any of you out there?

  5. 5 Sumaiya Vahora October 27, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Hi,
    I was also one of the students at DePaul who came for a visit. I didn’t talk or ask questions because the class was doing a great job at it without me. I was really impressed with the visit and I definitely learned a lot. Thanks a lot for having us, it was a great pleasure. I can’t wait for your other books.

    Sumaiya

  6. 6 Beth October 27, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Sumaiya,
    I love that you put an “s” at the end of the word “book.” — you can’t wait to read my other bookS — I hope you are right, and that there are more bookS in my future! I like researching them, I like writing them, and I even like promoting them once they’re published!
    Thanks for coming over to our apartment last week, it was fun having you all there. And especially thanks for responding to my blog – it makes me feel good!

  7. 7 Natalie Lech October 31, 2007 at 4:09 am

    Hello!
    I was one of the students who visited you at your home last Tuesday and I just wanted to thank you. It was an amazing experience because not only was I able to learn from your book but also from you, personally. Thank you for presenting my class and I with this wonderful opportunity!
    -Natalie

  8. 8 bethfinke October 31, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Natalie, The pleasure was all mine. Hanni and I had such a nice time with yu last week, in fact, that we’re goig to do it all over again today — another DePaul class is coming to visit later this morning, this one taught by Janie Isaacson. Uh-oh, guess I’d better go clean up the house a bit…!


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