Friday, April 1, 2011

Why they were saying among themselves that it cannot be done, it was done.



Naomi building up the courage for a big leap.
"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." - Helen Keller

Simone is working on a report about Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller.  Though Helen left a legacy of accomplishments, co-founder of the ACLU, activist and renown author, Simone found herself particularly interested Helen's tutor, Anne Sullivan, and focused on her and their relationship.
Anne Sullivan became blind when she was five from untreated trachoma.  By eight, her mother had died and her abusive father had deserted her and Jimmie, her brother. They were sent to the poorhouse in 1876 and soon after Jimmie died.
Anne was oddly able to prosper even in the horrific orphanage environment and one day when Frank Sanborn, the chairman of a charity visited the Tewksbury orphanage, Anne threw herself in front of him crying, "Mr. Sanborn, I want to go to school."  
Not only did she go to school but in 1886, she graduated as the class valedictorian.  She was able to regain enough of her eyesight to read normal print for short periods of time through a series of operations but her still quite minimal vision made it terribly difficult for Anne to find work and when she received the offer to teach Helen Keller, a deaf-blind mute (although she had no teaching experience) she accepted and somehow was able to break through.  It was a lifelong relationship.  The two lived together until Anne died in 1936.  (edited and transcribed)
Helen Keller Quotes Simone found:
Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.

People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.

I am only one, still I am one. I can not do everything, still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
Madeline, Simone and Lola performing a fiercely focused "Helen Keller".