Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

As part of my initiative to refresh my programming skills, I attended this Java class offered to Master of Science students. In the first class, I sat down at the back of the class and listened to the lecturer teach. I am in the opinion that he teaches Java very well. At the end of the class, I decided to ask him where I could get his notes and lab exercises.

It was then I saw her. She was accompanied by another student and they had something to ask the lecturer as well. And so, because I feel myself being an intruder in this MSc class, I let them speak to the lecturer first. All this while, I kept staring at her. She talked with a stutter and she was trying to explain to the lecturer about the difficulty of understanding Java and writing the codes. I was in awe with the determination shown on her face. Though as difficult as it might be, she kept asking if there were other alternatives that could make her understand Java more. After the short discussion with the lecturer, she took out her white cane and was led away by the other student. Yes, she is blind. She is a totally blind student, studying Master of Science and doing programming in Java. How can you not be in awe with someone with so much determination and will to improve herself in life?

After that, I sometimes bumped into her in the department. She is always accompanied by someone and I observe that it will be a different person every now and then. It was then I realized that the person accompanying her might be a helper or assistant. She helps her take notes in class, leads her around the department and brings her home. Then, I found out that she lives in the same area as I am.

Somehow, this got me thinking. We are all blessed with perfect sight and yet we complain so much about our life, about our studies, about everything. She, who has no sight, seems contented and determined. She is even accepted to do postgraduate studies. Certainly, where there is a will, there is a way. The next time when I have the chance, I will go up to her and ask her her name and befriend her.


Susie said...

Just go up to her and say hi..she will be more than willing to get a new friend, believe me :-)

Lina said...

Hi. Lucy pointed out this website to me.

Yeah, all if not most universities in the UK have some sort of support for disabled students. I was once a note taker for various students - some had hearing or mobility problems. Quite enjoyed the chats and discussion on the lectures!

Good luck with the PhD years...enjoy it, it's a once in a lifetime experience!

chuasteph said...

susie: yes, i'll do that the next time i have the chance.

lina: hi lina. have not heard from you for quite some time. thanks for the wishes. i reckon this is the beginning of a long and painful journey. hehe...

Lina said...

Hey's like bitter chocolate: bitter but satisfying (if you are a choc connoisseur). So, it as a bitter sweet experience. You'll definitely think of it in many years to come. Look me up if you happen to pop in S'pore one of these days and we can share the rollercoaster experience over coffee, perhaps?

chuasteph said...

lina: yes, lina. hope to meet up one day in spore. i didn't know you were there before this. i have been frequenting spore over the past 2 years.