Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Full Circle - Interning with Laura Fogg

The first book I published through my press, Medusa's Muse, was called Traveling Blind: Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers, written by my daughter's Orientation and Mobility Teacher, Laura Fogg. A memoir about her 30 years as a teacher of visually impaired children, Laura shares stories about many of her students and what each child taught her about life, joy, grief and hope. My own daughter's story is one of the chapters. I had watched her for 10 years working with my daughter, but publishing her book gave me a clear picture of what being a teacher of visually impaired people was like. Shortly after the book was released in November, 2007, I applied to the O and M program at San Francisco State.

Last week I started my internship with Laura, riding with her all over Mendocino County, teaching toddlers and high school students, both multiply disabled and able bodied, English and Spanish speaking. She also works with other teachers to help them understand a child's vision issues and parents to help them communicate their child's needs. She eats lunch in her car and rarely takes a break. Occasionally she works 10 hour days. But through it all, she seems joyful and tireless. Even when she's starting to feel the stress because everything happens at once, she has a smile on her face. 

I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Life has come full circle. Queen Teen was born visually impaired. Laura has been her teacher for 12 years. Laura wrote a memoir. I published it. Her book inspired me to go to school. Laura is now my Master Teacher.

Hey, someone tell Oprah. I think our story would make an excellent feature for her magazine.

The other perk to this internship is I now get to work with my own daughter. It kind of feels like cheating taking Queen Teen on shopping trips and nature walks after school. Queen Teen is in heaven. She likes going on outings with Laura, but with Mom in tow, it's that much better.

And this is Laura's office

Anderson Valley in October

And this...

And here's one more shot of Laura Fogg's office, which is mine for the next five weeks...

The Village of Mendocino
No wonder she loves her job.


Rick said...

keep going strong. i know it's very tiring, but you can do it.

leah said...

Wow- that is a really cool "full circle" story- someone SHOULD tell Oprah! What a beautiful "office view." I love California, especially the central/northern coast. I miss my home state!

rebecca said...

you came to me today to speak of mexico and wander lust...
and i in return have come here to you.
my heart has skipped at thousand beats as i see my beloved mendocino, home for nine glorious years.
and your full circle story.
oh full of trials and perfect beauty.
it is all about the deeper meaning.
certainly you are walking yours.
love to you and your perfect muse and queen.