The Master of Perception

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Copyright 2012 by David Lafleche.  All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction.  Any similarity between the events and characters portrayed in this story, and any actual events, or actual persons alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Chapter 1   

    “Attention class,” the teacher said.  "It is with mixed emotions that I must make this announcement: our star pupil, Caroline Pedersen, will be leaving Rhode Island School for the Blind, effective immediately.”

 The classroom was immediately abuzz with comments: some excited, some disappointed.  Finally, one student had the courage to blurt out, “Why?”   

Because Naomi needs help, that’s why, Caroline thought.     

Caroline stood up, and made her way to the front.  She knew this place like the back of her hand, even though she had moved here only a few years earlier.  She was the best navigator in the school, and often tutored other students in their mobility training.  Those students would certainly miss her the most.    

    “To put it bluntly, I’ve got plans,” she answered.  “I still remember my second day in school, in my Braille class back in Minnesota.  On the day I brought home my first homework assignment, I knew I wanted to be a schoolteacher.  “Now, I understand that some of you may miss me,” she admitted.

     “But you must remember that the first step to independence is to learn from your teachers…and the second step is to take what you learn, and go forward on your own.  I’ve worked with all of you, and I know you can.”

 At this, the class shouted.  For some of them, that was the most encouragement they had ever received.  Coming from one of their crowd, it wasn’t just encouraging, but downright amazing.  Caroline would never admit to them that she was a little sad to go.  Why ruin the moment?  But she knew she had to do it.  She was determined to teach in a mainstream school.  And, if she was going to be a teacher, she knew her own students would move on as well.  She had to get used to that.

     Most importantly, all this planning on her part was rather depressing to Naomi, her older sister.  She had practically raised Caroline.  Although Naomi was thrilled at Caroline’s academic progress, all this talk of attending Teacher’s College (even if at Ocean State University, only a few miles away) sent her into a blue funk.  She knew Naomi would be lonely; and, even worse, seem to lack purpose.  She couldn’t move forward till Naomi did.  She needs help; but one thing at a time, Caroline thought.  You can’t do everything.  Stay focused: for the moment, you are here and it is now.

     “Thank you, Caroline,” the teacher said.  “Since this is your last day here, I have a little surprise for you: go to the closet door, to its left.”  She knew the layout of the room, and so was surprised to find an unfamiliar object.  “What’s this thing?”

     “A Corti Organ.”

    “Wow!” she exclaimed.  “A Corti Organ?  Awesome!  They’re the best on the market!  I love the sound of those things!  I tried one out at Lincoln Mall last week!”     

    “I knew you were there, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise,” the teacher explained.  “It’s not ready yet, but we can include it in your weekly lessons as soon as it’s set up.  Now scoot over, and play the piano.”

     “What, that beat-up thing?”  Caroline asked.  “Did you have those missing black keys replaced?”

 “I’ll do you one better!” she promised.  “Take a seat.”    

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