I started learning braille in April of this year. At first I did it with gusto, the newest cool thing I was learning. Then I started getting frustrated as it got harder, and then the lessons just got kinda boring. So I haven’t been the good student when it comes to braille lately. Its so slow and tedious and oh so hard.
First I have to feel the dots, then interpret into a letter, then remember the letters I’ve read and put them into a word, and then a sentance and then a paragraph. Sometimes a letter or punctuation mark might take a minute to figure out, and then I’ve forgotten what I’ve already read. When learning new things like the punctuation I’m on now, my teacher and I have found that if I feel it on her little plastic refreshable braille cells first, I learn it easier. So thats what we did last week, with all the punctuation. Its really getting difficult now, because some of the punctuation is like letters, but dropped in position on the cell.
A braille cell is 6 dots. Like 2 stoplights next to each other. The first stoplight is dots one, two and three, the second stoplight is dots four, five and six. Each letter, symbol, punctuationmark, is reprsented by different dots in the cell.
For example, the letter D is dots one, four and five. The period is a “dropped D” so its dots two, five and six.
I’m almost done with grade one braille, which is a braille cell for each and every letter. Grade two is contracted braille, with braille cells for combinations of letters, so that a braille book takes up less space. Most books are published in contracted braille. I have a Harry Potter book in braille, and its 5 books of braille, just for one book, and its the third book, so its not even the longets one. I’m pretty sure its in contracted braille.
My teacher is off in Boring, OR getting her third guide dog. So I don’t have class for 2 weeks. Instead, she brailled me a copy of Goldie Locks. She could tell the old teaching book, written forever ago, was boring me, so she found Goldie Locks, which includes everything I’ve learned. So I have 2 weeks to read it.
I’m actually looking forward to this. It will be a challenge, but I think it will be good. Maybe if I decide to blog my braille reading, it’ll be incentive to do it hehe! Since I don’t go to classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, those will be ideal days to get in some reading. I am writing here that I will read some today and report back. Yes. I think this will help me to stay accountable.