Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Modest Proposal

I have a modest proposal. And I promise that it is not that we should all start eating babies. It is quite a bit less gruesome than that. I propose that we go on a field trip. We, being Mr. Glenn’s entire first period AP Lang class. Since we are in the midst of the “Body Unit” and have been constantly studying pieces of writing that discuss various disabilities I believe that we should take a trip down to Atlantic Station and go to the “Dialogue in the Dark” exhibit that leaves Atlanta in March.

“Dialogue in the Dark” is the brain-child of a German scientist ( I believe ) that worked extensively with blind or seeing impaired individuals. He set out to create an experience that would allow seeing individuals to briefly step in to a world without sight in order to create a greater respect and understanding for members of the world society who function with either severely impaired or non-existent vision.

I had planned to attend this event last Friday but was checked out of school with a high fever and thus was unable to go. But I feel as though it would be a moving and possibly life-changing experience for members of this class, including myself. Visitors are immersed in complete darkness and placed in groups no larger than eight. Each person is given a cane, identical to those carried by the blind, and each group follows a leader who is either blind or has severe seeing disabilities. Each group is led through a street scene, a grocery store scene, a boat scene, and a café scene. Entirely without light. The “museum” is plunged into complete darkness and visitors must rely on their other senses and their group guide to lead them through the multiple rooms and perfectly recreated experiences. In the final room, the café scene, visitors are able to purchase and consume a drink, still in total darkness, and find a seat in the café and discuss with their guides what it is like to go through life without the gift of sight.

The exhibit has toured the world and is quickly becoming known as one of the most interesting and educational experience available. The reviews are off of the charts and I have spoken to people who have attended and they have nothing but positive things to say about it. I believe that it is truly and unique and fascinating exhibit and each of us should take advantage of it before it continues its tour and leaves Atlanta. I understand that it may be impossible to attend as a class, but I do believe that it would fit snugly in with our recent topics for discussion and open up a whole new level of understanding to each of us as individuals. Whether or not we have a field trip it would be a wonderful experience for each and every one of us to attend “Dialogue in the Dark”. Do not forget, it is currently in Atlantic Station and will be leaving Atlanta in March.

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