During the trust walk, I felt like my whole life was in Jade’s hands. Because I was last to go, I had the hardest task. We didn’t have time for me to go on the walk the first day, so I had to do it on the next day. When it was my turn, first I had to put on my blindfold. I had to listen to Jade’s voice, but she didn’t make any sense. Her directions were not very clear, so Ms. Moretti helped everyone in the group be more specific guides for me. For example, Ms. Moretti said “Put your hand on the door and try to find the knob.” I started searching for the knob. Turns out, the door didn’t have a knob because it was a door that needed to be pushed open.
When I was led out the door of the library, I started to hear Jade’s voice. Jade told me to walk north. I walked north, and almost fell back because I was still blindfolded and couldn’t see where I was going. In my head I thought about the commercial that says “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” I thought to myself that I hoped I wouldn’t have to say that if it happened to me during the walk!
My major task was chosen by Ms. Moretti. I had to walk from the library to the faculty bathroom and wash my hands with soap and water. I felt so challenged because I have only been to Churchill for two and a half years, so I still don’t know where some of the rooms are located. I was walking along the wall by using my hand to feel for the doors. Then Ms. Moretti pulled a surprise task challenge: I had to unlock the bathroom door with a key from her. Then I tried to move the key in the lock. I didn’t get it on the first try. I didn’t get it on the second try. I didn’t get it on the third try. I didn’t get it on the fourth try. I didn’t get it on the fifth try. Then Ms. Moretti helped me unlock the door to the faculty restroom.
Once I finally got into the bathroom, I had to go find the soap. The soap was one of the hardest parts of this task. It was an automatic soap dispenser, so movement around the dispenser would cause it to squirt. When I was trying to wash my hands, I had to be careful because I almost put my hands inside the toilet!
Next time there is a trust walk, I think people should remember to move slowly and feel around for clues. The guides should be more specific when they give directions so their partner knows what to do. I would have trouble trusting someone who does not tell me enough information or give me specific clues. I would not feel safe if someone didn’t guide me politely, slowly, and carefully.
Most importantly, think about being blind. A trust walk is life. Every day, every second.
Next time I see a blind person on the street, I plan to help and to be a very specific guide. #
Jamie Landis is a 6th grade student at the Churchill School in NYC.