Future Reflections                                                                                      Summer/Fall, 2002

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Frustrated Student at an IEP

by Erin Byrne

I sit for an infinite age,
Wondering just how loquacious
 
a person can be.
Seems even stranger when a
  stranger is talking;
After all,
They’re discussing me.

I sit for an infinite age,
In a room of seven or eight,
Wondering when, or if, I’ll ever
 
get my say,
Or is it too late.
Indignantly, I think,
“How can a goal ever be set, if
 
not by oneself,
By other persons in a team of
 
two or three?”
Strange, it seems,
Not right,
After all,
They’re discussing me. I sit for an infinite age,
Restlessly, shifting my feet
  under the table,
Anticipating the onset of
 freedom,
When the pen is passed to me.
“Sign, sign.” they say,
“Everything is done.”
And, as I touch the pen to paper,
I wonder if my presence in the
 
room,
Is really known.
Suddenly, I realize with a start,
I’ve lost track of much of what
 
was said.
Signing my name,
I wonder, in my heart,
What is in store for me in the
 year ahead.

I sit for an infinite age,
A frustrated student at my IEP.
How unusual the meeting is;
I think, next time,
I will speak!
After all,
They’re discussing me.

Erin Byrne
Erin Byrne

Erin Byrne is a 19-year-old entering freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she will major in Music Education and Spanish. Among her many accomplishments, Erin is one of the youngest members to be inducted in the Stark County, Ohio, Women’s Hall of Fame. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, and a NFB of Ohio Scholarship winner. Blind from birth from a type of osteoporosis (she has used a wheelchair since 5th grade), Erin wrote this poem when she was a 17-year-old student at Glen Oak High School in Canton, Ohio. Theresa Byrne, Erin’s mother, reports that Erin was a full and effective participant in all her IEP meetings throughout her middle and high school years. Evidently, Erin did learn to speak up! Erin reports that she still likes to dabble in creative writing regarding disability issues. Hopefully, we will see more of her thoughts in future issues.

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