What was your experience of being physically challenged?
We were brought into a completely dark room and it was really scary not being able to see a single beam of light. I have a bit of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD) Where I always feel the need to look at the ground as I walk, so it felt really uncomfortable not being able to do so. It was also really difficult to cope with the experience of being in complete darkness as I have gotten so used to being able to see everything around me but as the time passas by, I got more used to it. Also as I have my classmates with me, it made the experience more comforting, however it still felt very foreign. Through this dining in the dark activity, I learn of how important my eyesight is to me, and learned to appreciate what I was given and born with. I also got to experience what it is like not being able to see for a few hours and undergo what a physically challenged individual goes through daily. It made me more aware of how they felt going through their daily life.
What challenges did you faced?
As we were in complete darkness, I had to feel around the table to find my utensils and memorise where each utensils were placed at. It was challenging pouring my drink as I couldn’t see my cup and had to judge just based on feeling. I didn’t know which point to stop pouring. It was also challenging eating my spaghetti, I spent quite a long period of time feeling around my plate with my folk to feel for my spaghetti, and as i couldn’t see, there are times where my folk will miss the plate and it will poke the table instead. Overall, it was rather messy as the sauce will be on my face as I ate.
How do you cope with these challenges?
When pouring my drink, I listen closely to the sound to make sure it was pouring into my cup instead of the table. I also place my thumb at the brim of the cup to ensure I don’t over pour. Instead of pouring a large amount of drink at a time, I pour a decent amount of water and refill more frequently so that I don’t over pour my drink. As for my spaghetti, I used my folk to push the spaghetti and meatball to one corner of the plate so that I know whether there were any leftovers by feeling.
How do you feel about the overall experience?
I felt glad to be able to undergo this Dining in the dark session , through this experience I understand how the physically challenged individual cope with part of their everyday life. I feel that it changes our perspective of how we look at them and understand how lucky we are, I also felt respect for them as they didn’t give up on life and instead work hard to cope with their daily challenges. I also felt fortunate to experience this learning process as I got to experience how it feels like to be blind for a few hours and learn how to deal with it, so in any cases in the far future, if it happens to me, I wouldn’t be that afraid and lost.