D-105. Between the click clacking of the cane, she pauses and I know she is checking
the Braille bumps on the window panes, searching for the room that marks the spot.
Blind since birth and born as a preemie, Maycie can smell me before she knows I'm in
front of her. Her senses are so keen. Her sound, smell, and taste radar are sharper than
the sharpest tool in a shed.
"Hi Sheila! Good morning!" Maycie exclaims excitedly. "I'm really nervous about
"Oh, I bet you are! Promoting from eighth grade and singing solo the Star Spangled
Banner, this will be quite the day! I'm so proud of you!" I state with pride.
How many people have the opportunity to work with someone who is blind. My job is
unique and I love it! Maycie has enhanced my life in so many ways and I have learned so
much from her. Working with her has been one of my biggest life experiences. Today is a
big day! Maycie will sing in front of her whole class and then promote to high school
with her graduating class as well. As Maycie heads out the door to her first period class,
I'm taken back to the first day that I met this amazing girl.
September 5, 2005 was a day I will never forget. I began working for the Windsor
Unified School District in the hopes of furthering my career in working with children. I
had been assigned to work one-on-one with an 8 year old girl who was blind since birth.
She was born prematurely with a twin at 25 weeks gestation. Maycie was 1 ½ pounds at
birth born on December 2, 1997 and the odds of her living past Christmas that year were
not good at all. Her eyes had not developed, unlike her twin brother whose eyes did. Both
the Vorreiter twins had many problems and underwent many surgeries during their first
days out of the womb. I was being assigned to work with Maycie and the school district
hoped I would stay on with her throughout her schooling in the Windsor School District.
I was given the Braille training that I needed to assist Maycie in her day to day class
and I had felt ready to take on the school year. I brought my Perkins brailler and Braille
paper with me to the third grade class with Mrs. Fitt. I introduced myself to this teacher,
who seemed a bit nervous to be instructing a child who couldn't see. How was this all
going to work out? I could sense were her thoughts. I wanted to come across as calm and
collect, which I did, but inside I was a bundled bunch of nerves. I walked out with the
teacher to the playground so that I could meet Maycie and her parents, hoping that I
looked much more confident than I felt.
There she stood. Her long, shiny, dark hair laying like a blanket over her shoulders.
Her blue prosthetic eyes were glowing and bright, looking straight ahead into her dark
oblivion. Her backpack on wheels stood behind her ready for her to grab at the bells
notice. Her olive skin and petite hands and feet reminded me of a younger child; she was
so tiny. She held her cane in her right hand, rolling it around in front of her like an ant's
antennae feeling for what was in front of her. As I approached her she tilted her ear
towards my footsteps and turned her nose up to see me.
"Good morning, Maycie! I'm Sheila and we will be working together this year! I'm so
excited to get an opportunity to work with you. I've been preparing all summer in my
Braille class so that I can keep up with you. I understand that you are an awesome
braillist!" I said.
"Uhhhhh, hello…. I am a pretty good braillist and I hope you can keep up with me. My
last braillist made a lot of errors." Maycie stopped to sniff. "What perfume are you
wearing?" Maycie said boldly.
"I'm wearing Happy. Do you like it?" I asked.
"I really do like it! It smells...