Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jen Experiments, Part II

So here it is. Lately I've been spending way too much time in front of the computer and it is wreaking havoc on my eyeballs. I have mega-eye strain and feel it almost the second I sit down in front of the computer. I try to maintain good posture but I know I fail at times. I have been starting to get some headaches and neck pain and even an eye twitch... don't look at me, i'm hideous! The problem is that I need the computer. So I've thought a lot about it and I've decided to give my eyes a break. The way in which I will do this is to not use them for a day. And this is my experiment. I, jen, will go 24 hours without seeing once, blind for a whole day.

What does this mean? Well, many things.

First, i want to do most everything totally blind which means no preparation before, i.e. laying out clothes, etc. I will go about my daily activities as anyone who was actually blind would. Except they've probably got their clothes more organized than I. But this will make it interesting. I have made some preps, however. One is i've assigned a ringer to Sean's number. Should he call, i will know it's him. Also, I would like to document this in some way. I'm not sure how to do this. Right now i might just have a Word document up and feel my way to the computer (funny that i still can't stay away) and type. You never thought you'd need those little bumps on the F and J keys. Well i will be very grateful for them.

Second, I'm excited about this experiment but I'm also growing very nervous. The main thing i'm scared about is going out of my mind. I've never not seen for a whole day. I might become very disoriented or bored or something. So we thought i could listen to a DVD. At first i suggested Lord of the Rings since I basically have it memorized anyway. But then Sean brought up Pride & Prejudice which is a dialog-heavy film--brilliant. Plus it's like 70 hours long so if I am going crazy i can just park it. I hope to be able to do some activities. I can still play the piano and again, write in my "Blind Journal."

Interestingly, I have often wondered what it would be like to be blind. Ok, that's not very interesting. What is, however, is there have been times in my life where I've sort of "practiced." Have you ever done this? Once in 8th grade I was caught by my teacher as i was returning from using the restroom during class (so in an empty hallway) feeling my way alongside the lockers with my eyes closed. Ha ha. Wow. I'm a little bit ashamed about that now that I type it out loud. But I'm conducting this experiment so am apparently not too ashamed. Anyway, I'm sure he thought I was a freak. I am what I am, Mr. Green.

Another time was in college when I had my sister Ashley lead me around campus with my eyes closed. I remember saying, "if i go blind, i'll need to know my way around." Good times, Ash. And, i've practiced at home. I'm sure we've all gotten good at knowing where light switches are, and walls and chairs and furniture so that we go around them without giving it a thought. Two nights ago, to practice for this, I got ready for bed with my eyes closed. From the point of getting up from the couch to hitting the lights and walking to the bed. I did it. It was hard and there are things i'm nervous about but I did it. (for example, how do i know where to drop the toilet paper?? I can't tell and i don't want to feel for it. Sorry for the tmi.)

Thirdly, I need to have some kind of device to cover my eyes. So I bought a few items to try out.

Exhibit A: the night time mask

Exhibit B: 2 eye patches

Exhibit C: blindfold

I really like the night time mask. It is super comfy except there's this huge gap in the bottom and I can totally see down. I can't think of a way to cover that up without taping it to my face or something.

The two eye patches did an excellent job of covering my eyes completely. I really couldn't see a thing. Unfortunately they squeeze my brain and don't adjust so those are out. Plus Sean said he would disown me if i wore them. But I do have some eye patches here, so if anyone needs one...

Thus, I have decided on the blindfold. I can make it as tight/loose as i want and block out everything.

Other things that might be a problem:

1-brushing my teeth. I have no idea how much toothpaste is coming out. I did it the other night. It was clumsy and messy but i guess i'll figure it out. It's so true what they say though, those blind people, that your other senses become much more heightened. I always thought I had a freakishly good sense of hearing so we'll see if that improves.

2-The aforementioned TP problem.

3-Going crazy, as mentioned.

4-Putting on make-up might be a task. Everything else getting ready-wise should be easy. I will probably need to relocate specific bottles so i don't put facewash in my hair again... drying my hair will be no problem. Dressing myself... I can't do worse than how I already do it with sight, i figure.

5-One problem is i have yet to figure out how I'll know what time it is. I'm not sure how to do this. I feel totally disadvantaged here because at least blind people know braille! I'm just kidding, i did not just compare my life to a blind person's. So no offense to anyone blind who's reading this. HAHA! ok, i'm sorry. I am.

Anything else I need to keep in mind?

So yeah. This takes place tomorrow. I will try to document it and possibly take pictures. I'll probably put it up for Monday so get excited.

Some of you may be wondering, why don't you just not use the computer for a day, Jen? I could, but that would be such a boring experiment, no? Stay tuned!


Joel said...

I am impressed. That is a really cool eye-dea.
The closest I have come is taking a shower completely with my eyes closed, which wasn't very hard. I do often walk around at night with no lights on, though, which annoys my wife to no end.

KamilahNYC said...

This is exciting. I can't wait to hear how it all turns out. I hope you have some really funny stories, like you thought you were grabbing the salt and you grabbed the sugar instead or that you wore a mismatched outfit. Best of luck!!

)en said...

I will try to take pictures of all of those funny things, like maybe the potentially disastrous make up job. I could just not wear make up but this will be funnier. Yeah! I'm getting a little nervous, to be honest. But it should be pretty entertaining. And I am up for the challenge. That i've given myself. for reasons unknown.

Lianna said...

So, you don't have any obligations, appointments, or responsibilities tomorrow? Wow, that would be nice. My husband says you won't last an hour. But he doesn't know you... I say 5 :)
Is Sean going to be there with you all day to help? I hope so. Needless to say I am interested to SEE how it turns out.

)en said...

Oh ye of little faith. :) a report is coming soon. It was a crazy time.

I shirked my responsibilities so i could do this experiment which in many ways was more important to me than anything i had to do.