Monday, September 15, 2014

Risk Taking Researcher - Thiago Rossi

Book: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Author: Alexander Solzhenistyn
Page section: 106-133
Job: Risk Taking Researcher

Stevie Wonder

          To begin with, one of the things that most stood out to me as I read this section of the book was how Senka, one of Shukhov's squad members, is able to really know what the prisoners are saying among each other, in spite of being deaf. This really shows us that people with a certain disability are not necessarily unhappy and abnormal. This lead me into further research inside this subject. Actually, these people with certain problems in one of their senses have as much potential to do extraordinary things as regular people. In fact, some can even do things that even those that are completely normal cannot do. After consulting various sources in the web, I found plenty of people this way. Let's take a look first at the famous classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Even though being completely deaf by the end of his 46th birthday, he continued his regular life until his heart stopped beating, continuing to compose songs. This is due mostly to the fact that even though he wasn't able to listen any sound, he already knew the sound the musical notes would make, facilitating his composing techniques. Though it is very tough for these people to do these type of things. Many other musical artists have a certain disorder as well. As an example, the famous songwriter Stevie Wonder, was born premature, without any nerve connections between his eyeballs and his brain, which leaded to the extraction of his eyes.
Ray Charles
          Another example is another famous musician, Ray Charles, which by the age of seven became blind for an unknown reason. Some say it was because of soap being constantly rubbed against his eyes while he bathed, while some others say it was due to a serious case of glaucoma. In spite of both of them being blind, they made an extreme success in their solo careers and accomplished things not many can, which is to become famous, and, can you believe it? They actually play(ed) the piano! Stevie wonder himself also played harmonica, for god's sake! Just the fact that they are able to play an instrument in this condition is just absolutely incredible, now, to be honest, finding a talent like that is extremely rare. Moreover, some more occasions like this exist as well. For instance, a little over a month ago, I watched a documentary called The Boy that Sees Without Eyes, which tells the story of Ben Harper, a young man that by making clicking sounds, can have a sense of where he is in the space, by a process called echolocation. This involves, making sounds that reflect on objects in the surroundings and go back to his brain in form of visual information, conveying information enough for him to be able to live his life to the fullest and do outdoor activities such as skating! Just like this, bats and dolphins use the same system to find themselves in the environment. Even though this doesn't mean the boy is a musical genius or anything of the type, it truly shows how these people can do amazing things in their lives. Furthermore, one of the most famous, modern Italian singers, Andrea Boccelli, is also blind due to a football that hit the back of his head when he was twelve years old. Before being hit, he actually had problems with glaucoma. Accordingly, he was able to start piano, saxofone, flute, drums, harp, singing, and guitar classes even though not being able to see, making him a truly notable individual.
Sam Berns
          Moving on, coincidentally, last week, my mother showed me a video in TEDx Talks about a little man called Sam Berns that has a very rare disease called progeria, which involves a person getting older much faster by a certain disorder in the cell structure. Truly, when I first looked at him, I first thought he was about "ninety-ish" years old. Shockingly, he was only seventeen. Anyway, his speech was especially about how he was able to accomplish his own happiness by following his own way of life or philosophy. The announcement is truly inspiring and worthy of mention in this post, as I was really admired of how he fights to live a normal life. Sammy passed away just this last year due to old age. More, we have the very famous Helen Keller, who became deaf, blind, and mute just before turning two years old. However, she was able to overcome all of these challenges she had throughout her life, and, with help of her remarkable tutor, Anne Sullivan, she was able to learn how to speak, write, and read in braille, the language of those visually disabled. Surprisingly, all of this knowledge was transmitted to her just with the sense of touch! Later on, she began to write books and became famous worldwide for her reflective and insightful writings. Last but not least, worldwide famous science genius, Stephen Hawkings, also has a very grave disease called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, making him unable to move the majority of his body, with an excpetion of his lips, of which he uses to move a computer mouse and write on his computer. Overall, all these people I cited above, despite having certain vision (and) or auditive problems, are (or were) truly amazing and unique people in this world that deserve to be recognized here.
Helen Keller

         Please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts, connections, or ideas related to this post. Thank you for reading!


Helen Keller. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available from: [Accessed 15 Sep 2014].

Steveland Hardaway Morris. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available from: [Accessed 15 Sep 2014].

Helen Keller. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available from: [Accessed 15 Sep 2014].

Rolling Stones, Mark Kemp. "Ray Charles Biography." Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone Magazine, 2004. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.

Andrea Bocelli. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available from: [Accessed 15 Sep 2014].

Ludwig van Beethoven. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available from: [Accessed 15 Sep 2014].

Stephen William Hawking. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available from: [Accessed 15 Sep 2014].

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