A different point of view

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A different point of view

LHS Freshman Jaela Lammi hopes that others understand her disability.

LHS Freshman Jaela Lammi hopes that others understand her disability.

Chloe Houwman

LHS Freshman Jaela Lammi hopes that others understand her disability.

Chloe Houwman

Chloe Houwman

LHS Freshman Jaela Lammi hopes that others understand her disability.

Chloe Houwman, Staff Writer

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Genna Sheriff

From playing the violin and piano to journaling and poetry, there is nothing that gets in the way of LHS freshman Jaela Lammi. Lammi is able to do all of the things she wishes to do without something that one might take for granted: the ability to see. 

 

 

Lammi has been blind since birth, but there is not much that she cannot do. She has many different hobbies that she does in her free time.

“I have been playing since I was about three years old,” said Lammi. 

In addition to her musical talents, Lammi also enjoys reading and writing on her BrailleNote, a computer made for people with visual impairments.

“It is kind of a computer except it has Braille on it,” said Lammi. “It is easier than a computer. Like when I am reading a book sometimes, I can push a button and then the BrailleNote reads to me.”

According to an article published in Live Science, a new study has discovered that visually impaired people have enhanced abilities in their other senses. 

“The research used detailed brain scans to compare the brains of people who were blind to the brains of people who were not blind,” said Sara G. Miller of Live Science. “The study involved people who were either born blind or became blind before age 3. The scans showed that these individuals had heightened senses of hearing, smell and touch compared to the people in the study who were not blind.”

“I can hear things a lot better than most people,” said Lammi. “Say I am sitting in my bedroom, I can hear cars zooming by, or I can recognize people by their voice. When I hear a voice that is familiar I know who it is. Once I know a person’s voice it will stick with me.”

In addition to her heightened senses, Lammi’s memory is exceptional. She remembers events from months ago, and in great detail. 

“My memory is really good for the most part. I will always remember stuff that has a big impact on me,” said Lammi.

With more responsibilities and more independence, being a freshman in a larger school is difficult for Lammi. 

“It is hard getting around new places, but it just takes some getting used to,” said Lammi. “[When I am learning to get around new places] I get directed a little bit, but when I am in a familiar area, I remember when I am approaching something.”

There are many different classes Lammi takes throughout the day, but her favorite part of the day is Lifetime Wellness and Yoga. 

“Yoga is the most relaxing part of the day,” said Lammi. “I love corpse pose.”

Even though Lammi is able to do most things, not everything is easy for her. The crowded hallways at school can be overwhelming. Due to the large number of students at LHS, the hallways can become pretty chaotic during the six-minute rush in between classes. 

“[In the hallways] a lot of kids aren’t being mindful of me of my cane,” said Lammi. Sometimes they bump into me which is rude because it means they don’t care that I am blind. They expect me not to be blind. They expect me to see them.”

Poetry is a creative outlet for one to express their emotions, and Lammi enjoys using the art of poetry in her free time. One of her best pieces is entitled What if:

 

What if When I’m afraid someone might get mad, I feel nervous. My body feels like it is about to explode at any moment. My brain runs like a train with no brakes. I wonder what’s going to happen. Will I get punished? Will someone be disappointed and mad at me? And then the what-ifs begin. What if my mom yells and the neighbors have to put ear plugs in? What if I fall into the angry river or the shark-filled ocean? What if someone forces me to eat a billion bowls of ice cream? I start feeling out of control. It’s like my heart stops beating. What if a teacher says I can’t go to school? What if my mom takes away my food? What if I starve? I’m feeling as crazy as a little kid who is trying to eat a shoe. What if I fall into the toilet? What if I take a shower and lose my balance? What if I get sucked down the drain? What if I couldn’t hold on to anything, and I keep falling, falling, falling? What if I touch something as tickly as a koosh ball? My head is spinning as fast as a fan. What if I burn myself? What if I type something and my mom sees what I am typing? Boom! Stop! These what if’s have to get out of my mind. There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m acting like it is a real big deal. If I listened to all my what if’s, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. What if I wasn’t able to do anything at all? I would be as frozen as a statue. Here they all come again. What if, What if, What if!”

— Jaela Lammi