HOW AN EDUCATIONAL AID BECAME A FUN GADGET

Sony TC-105

Being visually-impaired wasn’t easy when I was in school. I had to learn aurally rather than from the blackboard. When I printed my words, I had to hold my head so close to the paper that my nose touched it. Then I was sent far away from home to a school for the blind. My level of vision meant that the teachers didn’t know whether to teach me braille or writing. I also lacked a good hand-held magnifying glass then and when I was put back into the public system.

It was while I was being “mainstreamed” that counselors read book assignments on tape to me so I could write book reports and the like. The tape recorder, pictured above, was easy for me to operate. I also could rewind the tape if I didn’t understand something or if I just wanted to hear a humorous part over again.

As with any gadget, it often becomes useful for fun pursuits as well as scholastic endeavors. Since a microphone was included with the machine, I began using it to record my silly stories on tapes which my family had.

Then I purchased a patch cord from a local stereo store and began taping shows from my radio onto a seven-inch reel which I also bought. Since the Sony machine had three speeds, I used the lowest one in order to record more material on my only tape reel. After all, money was tight then because I relied on my father for  food money.

In the mid seventies, I bought my own Sony TC-105. Again I had to scrounge money and cut back on treats. Even so, it was worth it. I could record whatever I wanted and I didn’t have to return the machine to the CNIB.

Ten years later, my recorder began showing its age. It had trouble rewinding and fast-forwarding tapes. Near the end of the reels, it began slowing down too. So I replaced it with a second-hand model that a friend found at an auction. It worked well for a few years before succumbing to wear and tear. By then, nobody made open reel machines anymore.

I wrote about my educational struggles during high school and adult years in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. This story of God’s marvelous providence in my life is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual bookworm Publishing in paperback and e-book form.

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Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

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