Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – College Life Lessons

During my senior year, I had some life changing experiences. I took a Geography course and the first month of the course consisted of learning some basic Meteorology. Since that had been my major and something I was still interested in, I figured it would be an easy exam at the end of that section of the class. I received a C on the first exam. The professor invited me for a private meeting. She said “I know how much you love Meteorology and I also know that it is difficult for you because of your vision. I’d like to have you take my next exam, by recording the entire exam onto an audio cassette. You can take the exam in my office with your reader.”

Sure enough, at the time of the second exam, I brought my reader along. She read me the questions and instead of writing them out, I dictated the entire exam onto a cassette tape. I handed it in and when I received my grade, I went from a C to an A. The interesting part about this was the second section of the course didn’t deal with Meteorology; we were studying something I hadn’t learned in the past. This reassured me that audio was my strength. This is a lesson that I’ve been able to use for the rest of my life!

Also during my senior year, I had to finish up some gym courses to complete my requirements. I spoke to the Physical Education department and they reminded me that they had recently completed a new building on the West Side Campus. This building contained a brand new swimming pool. I had never learned to swim and this was my opportunity to accomplish this skill. The gym teacher, coach Hynes, was more than happy to teach me to swim. Every Monday and Wednesday morning, I rode the bus over to the West Side Campus and coach Hynes gave me individual instruction, as the rest of the class worked on their activities. Coach helped me to overcome a few major fears. My biggest fear was going underwater. One day, he had me go under for 5 seconds. I think the worst part of it was the seconds leading up to doing it! On the final day of class, my final exam was to swim from one end of the pool to the other and then return. Up to this point, he taught me how to float, how to tread water and how to do some other basic things. His major goal with me was to make sure that if I ever fell into the water, I could keep myself from drowning and I could save my own life.

As the rest of the class watched, I did swim the length of the pool and back again, even though when I got to the other end, I reminded myself that the water was 15 feet deep. I did look down and it sure looked like it was a long way to the bottom! I was thrilled when I got back to the shallow end and I had accomplished a good life skill. The class gave me a standing ovation!

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