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Location: Hawaii

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our need for electricity

I have been wanting to make an entry in the blog about strategies and tips and techniques for communicating with faculty about a disability. More specifically things and ways that I have been using throughout my career to communicate my disability needs with my faculty. I think however I'll hold off on that entry until next time. Because of, well, current events that have happened here in Hawaii. For those of you who may not know, just this past weekend, we had two major earthquakes here in the Hawaiian Islands. Fortunately physical and property damage were relatively minimal, some damage to a port on the big Island, and some structural damage to several houses and buildings on several of the islands. We were also very fortunate in that there were no fatalities related to the earthquakes. The main thing that happened, at least for most Hawaiians, it's a lot of power for most or all of the day on Sunday. I for one, was without power from about 7:30 a.m. until about 11:30 p.m.. Now you may be thinking, "big freaking deal, you live in paradise so you don't have power for a day." And ordinarily I would agree with you on that statement. However it just so happened that it was pouring rain on Sunday. It is kind of difficult to go to the beach or on a nice hike when it's pouring rain. So I like most people was stuck inside now again this wouldn't be so bad, I happen to have a midterm coming up on Thursday, perfect opportunity to study. Now here's the catch, as mentioned in one of my earlier postings I listen to all of my textbooks, fortunately I had converted most of my readings onto my iPod. Unfortunately I had drained the power of my iPod, making it relatively useless until I can plug it in charge it. The backup of course is I have these files saved on disk on my computer. Now I do have two computers, being the technophile that I am, well actually three computers but that's another story altogether. One of my computers is a desktop which is completely useless during a power outage, the other computer is my laptop, which is three years old and need a new battery. The battery lasts for all of about 10 minutes before it dies. Just a side note the third computer is my work laptop, which did have a couple hours of battery life but, was in my office and didn't have the files needed anyway. So sitting in a dark apartment with no assistive technology available to me freely brought home the message of how reliant I have become on electricity and technology. It also made me really aware of how unprepared I am for a natural disaster, I do have some candles, but no matches, most of the food I have in my cabinets and refrigerator required cooking and all my cooking apparatuses are electric. Fortunately, I had several flashlights and actually came up with a rather ingenious way of lighting my living room by reflecting a bicycle light off of a mirror and some aluminum foil to reflect around in the room. But that's neither here or there. The main point I think I want to emphasize today with this story was how dependent I become on technology for me to do even the littlest studying. I have been complaining lately that I have been g stressed and overworked and it was kind of nice to take the day off on a vacation day so there is the plus there. As much as I promote assistive technology, and I have been promoting it a lot and will continue to do so. Assistive technology is not the end-all be-all and does have its drawbacks.


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