Future Reflections Winter/Spring 2005
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Editor's Note: Should parents bring their kids to the convention, or leave them at home? That's a common question families ask me when they are considering coming to their first NFB convention. I always tell them that, in regard to babies and younger kids, it all depends upon individual preference and family circumstances. However, there are lots of reasons that families should bring their older blind youngsters-and sighted siblings, for that matter-to convention. Aaron Richmond of Maryland outlines some of those reasons in the following essay about his 2003 convention experience. Aaron was about ten-years-old at the time. Here's what he says:
If you had gone to the NFB National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, you would have had a fun and exciting time. You would have been able to stay in the Galt Hotel, a very nice and very beautiful two-tower hotel. Besides all of this, you would have been able to see and do many things. In the Braille Carnival, there were games and prizes galore. If you had attended the note-taking class (as I did) you would have learned all about the history and progression of the world of technology, as well as how to be a better note-taker. If you had attended the Astronomy Workshop you could have made a model of our solar system and discovered how far the earth is from the moon by looking at your model. I got to see photographs from the book, Touch the Universe. It is a really great book that has raised pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Sensory Safari was very cool. I got to touch a lot of creatures [stuffed animals] from all parts of the United States and Africa. Two animals that I remember are the squirrel and the warthog. The squirrel was fluffy on the body and fuzzy on the tail. The warthog had rough, pinkish-gray skin, and very stiff ears shaped like Trembling Aspen leaves. These are some of the wonderful things that you could have done if you had gone to the national convention located in Louisville, Kentucky.
For leisure time, I did many exciting things. One activity my Mom took me to was the Greek festival. There, I got to try pastries, salads, pies, and smoothies. My Mom, Mrs. Herstein, Mrs. Watson, Mr. Al Maneki, Jessica Watson, Amy Herstein, and I all went together to dinner after the festival. I had delicious rainbow trout and iced tea. Based on the effects of the iced tea, we all told countless jokes that never seemed to end. The next day I found more great stuff to do at the exhibit hall. But the coolest thing that I did was to play computerized UNO. The thing was, if you did something exciting, like play a crazy eight card, it made a sound everybody could hear.
With the workshops and all the fun things I did at this convention, I will never forget it all.
[Note: Maneki is one of the blind leaders of the Federation in Maryland. The Watson's and Herstein's are parents, and Amy and Jessica are blind teens.]
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