Dues Paying Blindness Analysis

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Dues Paying Blindness
The phone rings around 7:30 on a cool, breezy night in early June, and since the Talking Caller ID announces, “Call from … Mom,” Tracy Greene answers the landline, which he keeps because his mother Helen Greene is 88 and several months, and she does not know his cell number offhand and probably never will. He has been sitting around the apartment binge-watching Season Three of The Walking Dead on Netflix in his white tank top and blue striped boxers for the better part of the afternoon, washer and dryer running, a batch of yogurt culturing in the slow cooker with another four hours to go, and a batch of chicken stock simmering on the back burner, a typical Sunday evening. He is about to turn 51 and still gets a kick
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Maybe we could do this tomorrow? That whole Orlando thing has really gotten me depressed. The media isn’t sure whether to call it terrorism or a hate crime.” He’s fumbling around the kitchen for a pen and a pad of paper. “Is there a difference?” she asks and then adds, “I can’t tomorrow. Jeff’s coming over in the afternoon, and Eilene and I are going to Cavotta’s after that. Besides I’ve been thinking about what I was going to say the last couple of days while I’ve been working in the garden.” Jeff is his oldest brother, Eilene is his sister-in-law’s mom, and Cavotta’s is a garden center on the East Side of Cleveland.
“Still spry enough to garden,” he thinks, but sighs out loud, catches himself, and says, “Thanks for doing this. Are you ready to start?”
“Ready when you are.” “Well, first, we have to get your Grit score.” Getting up to grab his iPhone 5 with the olive Otter case, he walks across the living room and clicks on the URL he emailed himself the week before. He reads her the questions and the options, and it still only takes five minutes to complete the survey. Her answers do not come as much of a surprise to him, since she answers in the middle of the options almost the same way as he did the month before when he first heard about Angela Duckworth and Grit as a potential marker of academic success on NPR. She scores a 3.6, in the 50th percentile. Immediately, he says, “That’s pretty close to me. I was a 3.3, but that’s the 30th
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I’ll just sit in the dark. I remember that you really took it like a trooper.”
“That’s how it appeared, but I was terrified. They had to use cold lasers to stop the bleeding and it made a big black spot where my vision used to be. It was like, I was living alone for the first time ever, still mourning your father, and now this. I couldn’t read anymore, which is usually what I did to get me through bad times, and I thought it was going to kill me. Luckily, I found the Library for the Blind at the Library of Congress, and my tech-savvy son started to put books on those things for me to listen to.”
“Jump drives? You know I still have the list of the first twenty books your read. I was afraid they’d run out of ‘em and I didn’t want to repeat.”
“Really? How sweet. So far so good. I remember how much I resisted listening to books instead of reading them. Now I call it reading and don’t see the difference at all,” she says with insight.
“All in all, I’d say that it’s the same kind of story: It sounds like it had a real shape when you look back, but getting there was far from following a clear direction.”
“That’s for sure. So what’s the next question,” she

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