Was there one particular person in your life, when you were growing up, who gave you some wonderful advice or helped change your life? Mine was Professor Loetta Hunt, who taught Special Ed in the College of Education at Arpse Hall at the OhioStateUniversity. She was the head of the department, and at that time, since there was no such thing as an office for students with disabilities, she was the one and only person assigned to the task of offering advice to students with disabilities. She let me borrow a Perkins Braille Writer, encouraged me to ask fellow students to read my assignments to me, gave me the number to call to get my text books recorded on tape, told me where to buy a good tape recorder, and introduced me to another visually impaired student, who happened to be in her office that day. He carried that braille writer across the campus for me, and we dated for about a year. But that isn’t the reason Mrs. Hunt made such an impression on me. She was my mentor, not just as a professor, but more personally, as a woman.
She knew that I cared about my appearance, and she noticed that my eyebrows needed to be tweezed and shaped. She understood that since I could no longer see myself in a mirror, I wouldn’t know this needed to be done. She didn’t just tell me this. She made an appointment with her own beautician, and she walked me over there for my first appointment. She made sure I knew the way and had the traffic patterns memorized, so I could cross the streets safely. That was a very long time ago, but I shall always be grateful to her for taking an interest in me to the point of helping me to be well groomed in addition to being well educated. I was thinking about Mrs. Hunt today, as I had my eyebrows waxed for the umpty-thousandth time.
Mrs. Hunt was the most important person to me as a young college student. Even though there was no formal service in place for students with disabilities, she was a steady and steadfast support to me in those trying times.
Kids nowadays. They have no idea how good they’ve got it. But they don’t have Mrs. Hunt, and that’s a shame.