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Look, Don't Touch ...

Had a bit of a surprise yesterday (although when you expect the unexpected ... ). Work is really drying up in yonder Exec Center, and my friends in the General School are more than willing to help me out, if there's work. I went into school knowing that I had a lunchtime class this week, with an outside chance of picking up a low-level group in the afternoons*.

I wasn't in the teacher's room two minutes when one of the boss-types comes up to me and says, "I just wanted to let you know that you've got a blind guy in your 'Let's Talk' class."

"Oh, do I have a 'Let's Talk' class?"

To which he goes to another boss-type and asks if in fact I'd been timetabled into the class he thinks I'm teaching.

Which I had. So, yes, now I have a blind guy in the class. He's really sweet and his brother (who has about the same level of language ... not much) sits next to him and acts as his eyes. So I just have to work in more listening than look-at-the-pictures exercises, and be careful when describing things in purely visual terms. Which is a bit of a challenge, but nothing too taxing. I just can't rely as much on pulling up photos with Google images to teach new vocabulary.

Anyway, we were doing introductions yesterday. I was having the students get to know each other, using a pre-scripted questionnaire. One of the questions was "Are you good at sport?"

One of the boys, an eighteen-year-old Italian who looks a bit fashion-modelly, answered yes. I asked him what sport he liked and he said swimming. Turns out he's in the pool three times a week. I asked him how long he swam during each of those sessions.

"About two hours," he answered, which elicited the collective appreciation of the class. Lots of oooh-ahhs interspersed with multiple wows.

And the blind guy chimes in, "does he have lots of muscles?"

Imagine my temptation to be all Annie Sullivan and ask Michael Phelpzio if his sightless classmate could give him a feel. That temptation was quickly overruled by my internal censor, who proffered the option "why don't you feel Michael Phelpzio and let the blind guy know." Again, overruled.

Instead, I stammered a bit and said, "Well, um, he's wearing a heavy jumper, but he looks fit enough."

And we moved right along.

* Either way, it's cool ... I like having my mornings free and am getting some good writing done (well, at least several hundred words on the page) along with knocking back an extra hour or so of reading over a leisurely half-pot of coffee.