Thursday, December 31, 2009

Article: Student's idea led to large print bill

Always tell my young writers to write & find out. That's how we got yellow markings at Lee High. One of my kids wrote the admin about it. The student in the article below is not my student but my kind of kid! What are you encouraging your students to do? Just worksheets?


Student's idea led to large print bill

For those who have a hard time seeing the small print on those monthly bills, you can thank a former Forest Hills High School student for suggesting an optional larger type size so you can stop straining your eyes when paying your bills.

In the auditorium of Forest Hills High School, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Joseph Addabbo awarded a Pen Certificate to the principal, Saul Goodnick and the students, on Thursday, December 17 – signifying that the large print bill had been signed into law by Governor David A. Paterson.

For more of this story, click on or type the URL below:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family Blessings and Family Miracles

[I started this on December 29, 2009]

My family has just celebrated the third Christmas without my dad's physical presence. Christmas day and again last night we were laughing about something Daddy had said and some of the things he did. We have a lot of outrageous and humorous recollections of family-famous sayings. My father had an awesome sense of humor. No one was having a sad recollection of him. He'd started having strokes in 1980 and had about ten in the years following up until 2007. In the last years he walked slowly or on a walker until he became bedridden and we took him almost everywhere until it was not possible. That is a miracle. No one has so many strokes and is still able to talk and joke...and in most cases--live. That was one of our family miracles.

My dad's stubbornness was another family miracle. He once told my sister that he was ready to go home but he wanted the youngest of his four grandchildren to be old enough to remember him. I believe that grandchildren were the vehicle God used for my dad's saving grace. Doctors said he was dead twenty years ago. That is a miracle.

All of us have been together this Christmas/NewYear's holiday. Usually there are other blessings we celebrate during this time. My niece's birthday is two days after Christmas and my oldest nephew's birthday is three days after Christmas.

My nephew has a testimony and knows it. He was a miracle baby.

About the time he was born I'd just been transferred from a self-contained classroom for preschoolers with ROP to being itinerant. My youngest sister had moved to Texas where she was a speech therapist for a retirement home. My mother admonished her for driving that long distance home alone at five months pregnant. A bit after getting to my mom's she was not feeling well and later my parents took her to Woman's Hospital where she was admitted.

After a few days of drugs to strengthen the baby's lungs and make him remain in utero he decided to come anyway.

There were all types of complications that arose for him. He weighed only 1 pound and 12 ounces. One of the pediactirc ophthamologists who sees a large number of my students had diagnosed him with retinopathy of prematurity. He developed heart/lung bleeding and had surgery to have that defect repaired. Then he had a stroke which led to mild cerebral palsey on his right side.

When he was allowed to come home the following April, it was the original time that he was supposed to be born. The ROP had gone into remission. He came home with a nasal candula that he had to wear most of the day. He was on a respiratory monitor which was to sound an alarm if he should stop breathing. He also had swallowing difficulties up until he was about one year old.

That was about the time that during a visit to a doctor, my sister was told that he would never walk, talk or sit up on his own. His home nurse had accompanied them to that visit and reassured my sister that the doctor didn't know what she was talking about. She saw something else in my nephew.

One day when my sister came home from work, the nurse said, "Let your son show you what he can do." My nephew, who had been crawling around on the carpet, got up and ran across the room to his mother. When he started talking it was nonstop business!

A few years later he was sitting in my lap at a local library computer. He was too tiny to sit in the chair without me as his booster seat. The librarian thought he was a baby playing on the computer until he stopped to watch him operate the mouse. Because his right hand was weaker from the cerebral palsey my daughter and I had switch the mouse pad and the keyboard around and taught him how to use the mosue with his left hand.

The librarian said, "WOW! That baby can use a computer!"

Grumbling under his breath without looking up from what he was doing, my nephew said, "I'm not a baby. I'm four years old."

These pictures are from his fifteenth birthday. He still has a mild problem with the CP on his right side, however his educational re-evaluation showed his reading level is that of a college graduate.

Sometimes I wish the doctor who said he would not walk, talk or sit up could see him now. She did not take into consideration that he was born into a praying family. He's definitely another family miracle

Monday, December 28, 2009

School Reunion Party

Saturday my high school alma mater had a reunion party. It was very interesting yet quite fun. I attended a university laboratory school. If you know anything about them they are kinda sorta semi-private/semi-public sometimes. Usually university professors' kids go there and it's called a laboratory school because it is a training place for internist educators to practice under seasoned teachers before getting out into the real teaching world.

Anyway, I went with my husband and my siblings. I was excited to meet up with one of my school mates named Paul. He and his brother came from Taiwan to attend the school for two years. Paul was a year ahead of me while his brother Eugene was in my class. Paul and I have been sharing emails for a few years. I always thought those two boys were very brave when they arrived at a predominantly Black school with English as a second language. Their parents worked on campus with my father. A group of us were very protective of them but their personalities were such that everyone liked them.

The alumni association is run by the next generation. I'm not complaining. That's just the way it is. Anyway, the party was open to all alumni and a larger amount of the younger folks were there. My Hunnee was joking that as we all sat in seats that had been placed on the stage area, our group looked like the faculty table overlooking the student population. When they called for classes of different decades to get together, we were the smallest and oldest there.The classes of 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1977 were represented in about seven of us.

We had a good time reminiscing with each other. Paul took some good photos of the group and the rest of the crowd. His lovely children came out to share with us. He'd also made some xerox copies of photos he had from high school so we could help him put names to some of the faces. That was a very cool thing for him to think of. That got us all to talking and looking back at those times with great fondness.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Article: Expanding Possibilities for People with Vision loss

AFB American Foundation
for the Blind TM

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Dear Friend,

At the American Foundation for the Blind, it is our mission and
guiding force to help individuals with vision loss redefine the
boundaries of what is possible.

As a reader of our publications, you probably already know that
for nearly 90 years AFB has brought innovation, support and information
to people with visual impairments, their families and the professionals
who serve them.

What you may not know is that AFB relies on the generosity of the
community -- of people like you who understand the importance of our
mission -- in order to provide much-needed programs and services such

Information Tools -- available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to people
across the country and around the world, our award-winning website, and the tremendously successful online communities we have built
through our Senior Site® and Family Connect™ programs, provide
cutting-edge resources and a wealth of information to millions of men,
women and children with visual impairments as well as their caregivers
and families.

Assistive Technology -- a field AFB has pioneered since our founding
with innovative research into the next generation of devices and
adaptations for people with vision loss from cell phones and computers
to iPods.

Advocacy Efforts -- to ensure the law as well as regulations, from
Washington to state capitals to communities around the nation, address
the unique needs of people with vision loss.

If you'd like to join us in our efforts to make real difference in the
lives of people who are blind or visually impaired, please make a
contribution today. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.


Carl Augusto
President & CEO

P.S. We understand that you may not choose to support AFB at this time;
therefore, if you wish to opt out of receiving fundraising solicitation
emails from AFB respond to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject
line. This action will not affect future messages from AFB Press.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fw: [Past Expiry Cartoon] [CARTOON] Tiger Woods as Santa

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724

Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

I confess, I borrowed the punchline from a verbal joke I heard, but I removed the original riddle's question to better suit a cartoon of mine featuring special gueststar Confucius."

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Really Proud of da Boxcutta's Blog

I'm really proud of the "Boxcutta's Blog.' That is what one of my students calls himself.

Sorry I can't let you go there. We made it secure so that only family and close friends can view it.

Uploaded one of his videos there the other day.


You know what? Why don't you let your students keep secure blogs here? It is a good way for teachers to document student work and parents can access them any time. Make your self one of their admin. Why, that's a good idea! Glad I thought of it!

Yahoo! Green Article - Find the best filter for your tap water

mskathy has sent you a news article
(Email address has not been verified.)
Personal message:

Find the best filter for your tap water

Saturday, December 12, 2009


That is just too funny. Thanks for sharing Brother Jules! I'm sharing with others in this reply.

--- On Fri, 12/11/09, Jules M Arceneaux II wrote:
From: Jules M Arceneaux IISubject: DecorationsTo:Date: Friday, December 11, 2009, 7:37 PM

Make sure to read story at bottom…
The Good news is that I truly outdid myself this year
with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is
that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more
people come screaming up to my house than ever.
Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause

traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when

they drove by.Second, a 55 year old lady

grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed

herself putting it against my house and

didn't realize it was fake until she climbed

to the top (she was not happy). By the way,

she was one of many people who attempted

to do that. My yard couldn't take it either.

I have more than a few tire tracks where

people literally drove up my yard.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lazy "A" Teacher

Most classes I visit confirm that one cannot be lazy and be a teacher. It cannot be done! Teachers have so much they need to do and the children will not allow it!

However once in a while I see someone who ticks me off royally. I come into their classroom and they are sitting behind their desks in the same place I left them last week. Some older teachers still think that they sit behind the desks while the kids work--usually doing seat work after a boring lecture. That time has past. I'm not talking about the paperwork/computer work that has to be done from behind the desk. I'm talking about those who park their tuchas behind the desk at 8:00AM and don't move from the spot except for lunch, fire drills and break time. If they need something from across the room, they usually bark at a student or wave a finger at a paraprofessional. They are few and far between but they exist these lazy "A's."

I had a kid in a classroom where the teacher sat with her favorite para on one side while the other paras did most of the work. Did I say "most of"? I should have omitted that phrase. I gave her the benefit of a doubt at one time, thinking she may have been overwhelmed by a new situation. I gave her several ideas and showed her how to include the student with visual impairments. My that would be like too much work! I noticed that after I brought some materials in to the room they were used to rearrange her room so she could see who was coming into her class but those arriving would not see her immediately. She could jump up or turn to her computer keyboard and look quite busy to those unfamiliar with the situation. To keep the kids quiet in the mornings until they left for their inclusion classes she had prepared a binder of worksheets for each student. Did I ever explain how much I loathe an improperly used worksheet? That's a later discussion.

Even though the child was on my related service caseload I pulled the kid out to work with him so that he could learn something and not lose what he'd been taught the years before under a couple of excellent teachers. There were no lessons going on in there that I could observe and help her with modifying for a student with visual impairments, so for the sake of the child, I had to pull him out.

There is another teacher who has considered herself as mastering not looking as lazy as she is because she doesn't sit behind a desk. She does, however have several rolling chairs placed about the class and she will roll herself between the children's desks. She does not allow the children to get up or do much that is different. They must conform to the way she teaches or fail. The three or four students read on different levels from the same reading series with no modifications or outside sources. HELLO! YOU HAVE A COMPUTER TO LOOK UP THIS STUFF! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE THE ROOM TO FIND SUPPORTIVE LESSON MATTER!! LAZY "A."

I need to write one of my lists. I think it should be called "You Know You're Lazy 'A' Teacher If..." Yeah. I'll do that.

Fresno Teen Hopes for a Taste of Sight

Ms.Kathy has sent you the following story:

Posted on Friday, Dec. 04, 2009

Fresno teen hopes for taste of sight
By Barbara Anderson / The Fresno Bee

An experimental device that uses the tongue instead of the eyes to "see" could be on the market next year, and a blind Fresno teen hopes to be among the first to take one home.

Researchers say their BrainPort device does not replace the sense of sight, but lets the blind perceive images, making it easier for them to navigate their surroundings.

One group they foresee benefiting: Troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are blind because of brain injuries.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recommended article on ScienceDirect

Go to ScienceDirect® Home
Recommended Articles

Sent By: Ms. Kathy
I thought you would find this useful on ScienceDirect.

1.Visual experiences in the blind induced by an auditory sensory substitution device
Consciousness and Cognition, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 1 December 2009
Jamie Ward, Peter Meijer

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prayer request

My supervisor is going to be out for breast cancer surgery. After the surgery her physicians will determine if she will need more treatment in the form of radiation and/or chemo.Please list her up in prayer and add her to your prayer lists.

Hmm. Blindness is a low incidence population and those of us who specialize in educating those with blindness/visual impairments are of an even lower incidence population. Yet she is the third of us in the last year to have some form of cancer. You think this area of the country is called "cancer alley" for nothing?

My sister, the one who returned to Denver, has just started her treatments for a form of leukemia that is closely related to the lymphoma for which I was treated last year. PLease lift her up as well.

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724

Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Mon, 11/30/09, Kathy wrote:

From: Kathy Michael
Subject: Re: FYI
Cc: mskat
Date: Monday, November 30, 2009, 3:36 PM

I will be sure to lift you up in prayer. We have a long list of prayer warriors who will be more than glad to do the same.

Mrs. K
Visual Impairments Specialist
W Elementary School