Velma Allen and J. J. Jackson

Recorded November 8, 2019 Archived November 8, 2019 48:34 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: cte000184


J.J. (69), a student in the 1950s and 1960s at the Michigan School for the Blind shares stories with Dr. Velma Allen (79), the school's superintendent during the 1980s and 1990s.


  • Velma Allen
  • J. J. Jackson

Recording Locations

Michigan History Center

Partnership Type




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00:02 My name is Velma Allen. I'm 79 years old today's date is October 16th, 2019. I am in Lansing Michigan and my relationship to my partner is friend.

00:18 And I am J J Jackson and I'm 69 years old. I hate to say that and I am here in Lansing Michigan trout on October 16th to be here with my dear friend and colleague at times and a person that I have admired Velma Allen.

00:45 And all

00:49 I would like to say that it is my pleasure and honor to say a few words about Velma. So you as the audience can no background of these both of us.

01:03 Dr. Velma

01:05 Perkins Allen receive degrees from Michigan State University her PhD Mississippi State University where she achieved her Masters, Mississippi Valley State her bachelor's and a doctor Allen studied English at the University of Iowa and Kansas State. She has been an English teacher special education director superintendent of the Michigan School for the Blind, which is where we became connected.

01:38 Program officer for the Mott foundation and president and CEO of Mott Children's Health Center during her 15-year career.

01:51 Velma I will call you that is also a singer. I saw a writer I record producer and author and I'll let her tell you a little bit about her recent book that she has but dr. Alma a Velma Allen currently resides in Flint, Michigan her biography and links to her CDs are available on her website V is invoice b e a l l e n. So that's V and Lola. I'm so happy to be here with you. And today we're going to share stories about the Michigan School for the Blind which brought us together, but I

02:39 Am associated with the School for the Blind in the 19 fifties and sixties and seventies in the eighties and nineties, I believe so let me say that JJ is the illustrious person here today who has the information and experience regarding the Michigan School for the Blind. That is so relevant to what we're going to talk about today. I JJ went graduated from the Michigan School for the Blind as its first.

03:10 African-American valedictorian

03:14 Then he went on to work at General Motors in Lansing. You went on from there to spend some time with his best friend still today is best friend Stevie Wonder. How did Los Angeles trying to help Stevie with his organization with a business? And then also some other personal assistants that he was able to provide then I went on to Michigan State University to handle the office of handicap Affairs where he worked with a number of individuals helping them to get the most out of their college experience at MSU then at 5. I think it's last out-of-state experience might have been the Amoco Oil Company when he worked in Chicago with Amoco for many years. He served on the Michigan commission for the blind. He does all kinds of volunteer work with the United Cerebral cerebral cerebral palsy palsy organization where he's going to receive an award coming up I think next weekend.

04:14 And he's also worked with the other volunteer organizations in the Lansing area think he's going to get her in a Ward's from the Tri-City. Is it the Tri-City volunteer organization? JJ this in the next few days. Interior of the month, I believe. So JJ is truly an illustrious person who's done so much work on behalf of the blind community and I am honored in day to be here with JJ and delighted that he invited me to join him for this recording some of the kind things. I'm turning red and you can't see that all the recording but I'm blushing. Let's talk about the School for the Blind, you know, I was born with it, but I'd Age 5, I went blind. I was just about to start public school and get a garden.

05:08 And I became blind so I have to switch to join the Michigan School for the Blind which I've been open and serving Michigan students since around 1900 and I've seen many Evolutions during that. Of time, but well, I started their kind of garden that I went all the way through 12th grade. It was a campus that serve students throughout the state of Michigan. So you might have students from the Upper Peninsula that extends from Lansing from Detroit all around the state. That's all they had a dormitory life situation and I my family lived in Lansing just about 10 blocks from the school. So I was the kind of student that came in in the morning and left in the night. I'll late afternoon. And so we called us day students as opposed to rolls a lived in the

06:08 Life for the students was very itchy and crucial in terms of developing Independence as blind people and turning so just learning to sort out your clothing and have some sense of what you were wearing. We have to adjust to fix you breakfast. California. So those are life skills that a lot of sinus turns take for granted that were taught and incorporated into the day today programme and it is in addition to the academic education. I have a friend for example who I was learning to put hair cream in his hair and one more T dead that I got this class and discovered. He had put the Crest toothpaste in his hair instead. He had to go back to the dorm and wash that out.

07:07 So liberal learning experience of those blind person they the day but let me talk for a moment about the I can do a program if that's alright, and I

07:21 We had a teaching staff at the school for the blind all about 35 teachers and prop 6 of those teachers are blind. What are the things that we were taught was Braille and I discovered as a surprise that decided teachers all the blind read Braille with her eyesight. They could not develop a sensitivity and their fingers like the blind students were required to do and so the teacher would grade our homework, which would be in Braille, but they read using the site to read the dots.

08:00 We had all the classes that anyone would have in a public school as well. My favorite class was mathematics for example and chemistry and those calorie classes. But in addition we have the opportunities.

08:20 To explore music

08:25 Had music classes where you learn to sing together and develop your Rhythm patterns will then we could learn a particular instrument and join a band now the School for the Blind band had met won many awards and what were major differences I should point out is that

08:48 As a band of blind students, we could not read the music score a while. We're playing our answering so we have to read it in a separate and practice and then come together as a band and play our parts now and just another band director himself was by mr. Jack charge and I admired mr. Charged greatly because he was a role model for us not only directed the band and talk each person there instrumental play.

09:26 But he also arranged for this band to travel throughout the state of Michigan and two other states as well as ambassadors. We would go to for example Houghton Lake as a town in Michigan always go to buy Traverse City and mr. Tried. It would arrange that each one of these that is with a Lion's Club to host in their homes two or three lines Tunes to live with them for that day that we were in Traverse City, then the same thing would occur at the next city.

10:05 There was a chance to socialize away from our home to learn to love and fit into a normal society or regular society and we developed I'd like the band because I developed skills. Well, I should say there's I was an introvert and nice side and traveling with the band allowed me to get to know people on to come out of my shell. So to speak. In fact, I started doing comedy in the bad stuff started doing a lot of Luke Wilson episodes in those kind of things and I began to become known.

10:53 I want over them to do sauce and a new city. They saying J Jackson a comedian is with the band for the band was about more than playing music, but we will demonstrate mental mathematics skills where you would speak a whole lot of sequence of

11:16 Calculations in a real rapidly and then the student has to follow that mentally and Shout out the answer at the end of about 10 mathematical the complex computation.

11:31 Mister chard

11:33 I said was a role model and forever will be in my mind in terms of developing me and others into adults that we are today.

11:47 And talking about the school.

11:50 In the fifties and sixties that were 300 students that kindergarten through 12th grade.

11:56 And I'm in my 30s crazy Year my brother Milton became blind and he joined the skillful by so there were two of us there. It was interesting to

12:11 How do you spell sad will a family member that I could count on to help me out until situations? I said say that's a school to buy in here in Michigan on the 300 students.

12:26 Only nine of them were African American students and

12:32 That pulls some problems when you have a living community of dormitory still know all about 220 of them were living in the dorm of the other 80 were day students, but they going to have a tailor they socialized together and there were times.

12:53 And the difficult civil rights times of the sixties and racial unrest across the country. We experienced that at the school for the by now you might say is so why would race come into play when you guys blind students students don't who don't see the color of their neighbors skin?

13:17 And roma I I like your reflection on this in a moment, but let me see my feed take on that was.

13:27 The students even though they couldn't see what color you are. They learned from their parents and family in from their upbringing who was black and Hooter how to feel about that little just life who the stairway from who to put down and I remember when Stevie Wonder became a star and joined the School for the Blind in 8th grade.

13:54 Because the Detroit Detroit school system

13:59 Refuse to educate and they said you have to make a choice either you're a star or you're a student while the School for the Blind and Lansing said no, you don't have to make that choice. We can make arrangements for you to have a private tour travel with you when you're on tour for my Motown and that Totowa teach you your homework and education gives you the exams while on the road when you come back to school as you'll be right in lines TV with your classmates, but once TV first came until school people did not know if he was black or what.

14:41 Until you find this scenario you find a white student sitting next to Steve and we're pretty touchy as well and it was a way that we touch each other and that's good what place has handles TVs are more than creep up to his older and then eventually to side of his head and I never once considered Steve. I didn't know you had a soul hair that was the comments but they wanted to know are you back in there for the question or pigeonholed because they haven't talked on the home. Have you experienced things like this in your past, You know, I grew up in the Deep South

15:28 So, you know those kind of feelings and didn't the questions and all of that. We're always prevalent. But I remember when I was a little girl, I thought I thought that I saw some white girls doing the split and I thought oh my God, that's so I can't do the split because you have to be white to jump up and come down with me when we're young. We don't know what to make of it. You know, we know some people look different in that different I can do different things but we learned that it's all learned behavior from from our friends and families and parents and I think it's don't even at the school and I'm sure your kids were told given instructions about who to watch out for who to play with the who not to play with back in the day, you know back when you were there when I was the superintendent. We did not attend we didn't have too many issues of that sort. I don't remember anybody bring any issues to me around raised. So the children having problems I mean

16:28 Where of who was who was white and who was not white but I don't remember it being a particular issue but I think children are just naturally curious and I think that's probably part of it. But that was the other part 2 back when you were there that you have probably had to content with being a chance of situation in dormitor isn't kids learning their son kids would go home. Whenever you two weekends of every other weekend somewhere there from September till Thanksgiving and then again, I might have a break-in at Christmas time. Monday was a living situation 24/7 and so the administration of the school was responsible for the students role and responsibilities of parents as well and salt

17:21 Unfortunately in the sixties the School for the Blind took a posture keeping the blacks and license separate socially that is lame or not allowed to date one another and if you did date me if you went to roller skating in one of your New York if you went bowling with a white girl in New York scene with a white girl, let's go with separate you Unfortunately they had that attitude until some of the African American students.

17:59 Oh, I would Americans have got together and reported it to the n-double-acp who contacted the school and said you are a state-funded agency organization and also Federal funding and there's no rules in our state government that say keep blacks and whites separate and that made the school administration take note and have to adjust their policies to match the state government.

18:37 I want to talk just for more about because you were superintendent in the 80s and 90 day for that. I think about 1957. Dr. Robert Townsend was our superintendent. And dr. Thompson had come from St. Louis School for the Blind. He had a lot of innovative ideas around here and had built a new gymnasium, which was regular gymnasium. He even put a basketball hoop at each end of that job and he put a device on the backboard all the basket that click.

19:26 Like that and Wheels by people that are far can a aim for the sound and learn to shoot baskets. Another thing. He did in the gymnasium was to put speakers and all all the four corners of the job and we were taught to put on roller skates in the roller skates to music that have the music playing and you will hear the speaker headlights stay on the right hand corner. So you roller skate toward that and you can tell when by the sound when you were getting 15 to 20 feet away from it, so you turn left or the left corner speaker and you never get the whole gym roller skating like that around and knowing where you were in the gymnasium. Dr. Thompson also built as a part of that gym and indoor swimming swimming pool and we are all of us swimming

20:26 Play it later on in adulthood. I was fortunate to win some gold medals in adult swimming for buying next myself, but it's because of those experiences at the school. They had a three lane bowling alley and we were taught to Bowl as well as talk to set pins for other student.

20:51 Al's and so I would never learn to Bowl if if I had not had these friends of the School for the Blind

21:03 Our math teacher and math is a very visual concept and I'm a teacher was buying himself. And so he was an inspiration for me. He told his mental Right by Drake. He said that as why people you can't pick up a pencil or pen and write down figures and doing them visually, so you have to depend on your memory for you.

21:28 Tesla's or challenge does with who can do the fastest computation in your head and has a blind person roll Molly like that. That's why I went to Michigan State University of my bachelor's was in mathematics and primarily because of mr. New Fred Newman.

21:55 What have I left out here. Did you did you experience Camp t y?

22:00 I did in fact all the swivel by and bought the property. I think it's three hundred acres on the west side of the state near Grand Rapids and

22:12 Sunglow teachers on sale along with the Boy Scout groups went up to this property and built the first cabin on the property for the blind students had that experience on the Super Sizer supervision how to construct a building that they then lived in and they built the dock because there was a lake there that we could swim off of our take little paddle boats off of and so it was I thought it was really need that. They included the blind students in the construction of the facilities does having an erected and how many oz come up there that camp is still in operations in the summer. They still run programs and

23:02 Later in my life when I became acquainted of services at Michigan State University for students with disabilities. I established a support group for the Blind and one of my major activities was to go to that camp Chi they called it. I will say the real name was Camp touch mahina and is sound like a Native American name, but it's actually a combination of touch hearing smell and taste the senses that we are not together.

23:45 I was saying at Michigan State University. I took the support group for the lineup to that camp and we went to learn how to fix meals. I sell harder and go down to the lake and swelling and Orient ourselves in the trails. It was just a great experience all around you had something to do with count t

24:10 Dr. T superintendent that you mentioned earlier. I think he was the person who was instrumental in getting all that set up and I think it was privately endowed to I think I had the funding base to keep it going. But you know, if we want a Segway answer when I ended up at the school when I went there in 1984 things were drastically different than they were when when you were there. I wish I had to experience the school in its Heyday, but by the time I arrived the population had dwindled significantly and they gets the cost was astronomical but I was reminded of on a regular basis by the department of management and budget and others at the State Department of Education. But if the cost made it for him to do for a lot of districts to send students there because the the charges were billed back to those local districts, and also we had a new

25:09 In Michigan the public act on 198 which required that I'll children be educated in the least restrictive environment. And for a lot of people that met well then they had to go to a regular school down the street with all the other kids. I thought the least restrictive meant the environment that would be least restrictive or more supportive of the students needs and will provide for that student to develop and grow but a lot of people interpreted that to mean you had to be in regular education and they had to be a significant reason to bring you out of the regular classroom. So people were fighting for children to have access to regular education classroom switch which was understandable. But by the same token they were having trouble justifying having children go away to essentially a boarding school for blind children and they saw that as the most restrictive it is my fact I think

26:09 Play some classes. I was taught now. That's the most restrictive, you know all the way to regular Ed placement. That's the least restrictive. So give them that they drop off in the enrollment in the astronomical cost of sending people. There. We were we were down to I think 60 or 70 students when I was there.

26:30 And programs would curtail significantly. So it was just a totally different kind of experience for me as the superintendent.

26:44 And where the students under you.

26:48 At 2 they have multiple disabilities.

26:55 Copy spelled

27:01 Did I can make it go away?

27:06 I knew it was going to happen at some point. I just didn't know how that you know.

27:21 Coughing into my shirt J J not flying

27:30 Would you like a mental mental be good for another few minutes, but I think I was just saying things have changed you remember what I was saying things have changed dramatically when I am and I was I was asking you whether still multiple impaired when you a difference because I was I was in the 50s 60s oldies blindness was there only disability all of the 300 that Solera level the blind station and we had some students who was severely multiple impaired. So we had several levels of children, you know what to do with levels of disabilities there, but I guess the biggest problem was the lack of support

28:22 And the lack of financing programs and they keep the school afloat.

28:31 I'm sorry, we wondered about the closure and especially when the Department of Corrections placed. It's a training program on a campus and they are old Alliant all the major, but I guess the thought of the did the centerpiece of the campus the Department of Corrections started training individuals there and then we had a daycare center open up and it looks like close your for us was going to be a minute and we had to worry about that and I even though we were able to start some new programs summer programs to get children to come back and we got Katie going again.

29:11 But it was not enough to Stave off the you know, the efforts of the powers-that-be to look for ways to get children back in the local districts and also to save significant money for the state instead of operating school.

29:33 You going to ask something else about the time JJ that I was there?

29:38 Yes, what were you what would you say where your major challenges and you mentioned me the cost and let me just one minute make sure we stay clearly.

29:52 The Ridge at least restrictive environment law was utilized for local school district to keep the money for serving those blinds guns and their counties are in the end Art School District. I'd rather than sending my money to a special School for the Blind. For example, I am letting this go by and have the money to educate the blacks for my money in the public schools and they were built back for the game for children to be housed at the school.

30:33 You know, I was surprised Velma and I'm and there's always things you can learn in this world. And since I was a day student and did not live in the dormitory. I did live in my sophomore year old lady, but that was the only I live on campus. That was something that I wasn't keyed into unwind I learned recently that one of the blind students from Western Michigan who came to any state in the dormitory. He really resented his parents from taking him out of his house until the strange place and just dropping them off and I'm leaving him there and he developed a lot of anger and hostility around feeling like his parents were dumping him off somewhere that that hadn't occurred to me as a possibility for students to react that way.

31:32 Another thing I learned is there was a

31:36 Woman who lost some Vision in some of these grade level so she suddenly came to the school by

31:46 She had always been in a public school where learning was a visual medium and now Summer she was in the school for the blind. Where are learning was caught on toilet.

32:00 At the end, so it was a big adjustment to her to learn to you learn from your years and educational and I have never thought of that as an obstacle challenge for 4 for some students Sunday adaptive being taught auditorily.

32:25 Picture of the whole concept of least restrictive environment and I'm sure many kids probably did not appreciate having to leave the neighborhood to go away to a boarding school and I used to try to think of a way to present the school as an option that didn't have to be a full year option for everybody. It could just be a summer school program for some kids. It could be a semester for some kids. But if we could take a look at what's available locally and then see what was missing so if the children needed to go away to do the School for the Blind for some special program are some special Workshop or activity we could provide that it didn't have to be all or nothing and somehow we would just never never able to communicate that it's no to the extent that we wanted to we did get a few kids who would come for summer school, which was quite nice. They could come and brush up on some of the skills of blindness the orientation and Mobility classes that they might not have locally.

33:25 And they also socialize with other blind children so that that help to some extent but we never got the semester of the quarter system going like of the University you go for term and you work on something and you go, you know, you can go back home. I often thought if we could have gotten that accepted State why didn't might have had a lot to do with helping the school keep a place, you know in the Continuum of education for children.

33:55 You know that brings to mind for me the concept that I feel I came around at the perfect time for for my educational opportunities.

34:12 I need it and I saw the value of.

34:16 I Community campus where we could compete with each other is blind people while the weather's musically or sports or whatever the reason we can compete and feel like we could be the champion. Where is if I had been stolen Public School setting I never probably would have been able to play the saxophone like I do I certainly wouldn't have been captain of the football team or basketball team.

34:53 Mi out of school for the blind which specialized in that education and allow me to find my own level of an independence and confidence and that enabled me there for the go out confidence confidently into the public world and enter college and compete in feel like I had something that contributed MSU Michigan State University was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the world. But without the base I received at the school for the blind in terms of the skills and how to adapt my skills and adapt is the keyword how to use my son says to adopt and do the same thing my sight appears we're doing and that's what the score was all about it they weren't about

35:49 Pamper your house or one of those Escape work there about you are blind but you are a person and you will learn to do this. We have shop class as I forgot learning to use tools. I saw saws electric saws and drills and things like that and you work with them safely and build things out of water out of metal are we do transistor radios those kind of experiences pay off in the long run and I feel bad that blind students who are in public schools all over live may have missed some things that specialize in teaching you might have given them the skills to do math is not easily taught in public schools to buy and students cuz even at 1

36:49 Look at Michigan State and got my degree in math. I had to conquer the fact the most of the Math teachers at in college wrote on the bike part not on the overhead transparency and I can see the equations and saw it was a real challenge, but I was glad that you came along when you did in the eighties. I think that's really needed someone with your background of your perspective as an administrator to guide them through those tough Waters. Thank you so much for endorsing me when I when I showed up there I met you right away and you came onto my advisory committee. And I think you helped it to open doors for me to the blind community and gave me some credibility that I didn't have as a superintendent, even though I had been trained and in special education.

37:49 Grecian I have had very limited experience working in the field of blindness, but you know through your involvement and you're giving me advice and people like Fred wurtzel and Mary words and others who took me under their wing and said, okay we can will help you with what you don't know if you listen we can we can help. I think you provided a lot of support for me. I wish I had been able to do more to keep the door open. I remember well after you introduced me to Stevie he said well, what can I do to help the school? And I said, I don't know how to how to ask you to help the school because I think it's the state's responsibility to support the school and I don't believe it should be your response should feel that you should have to come back and provide money to keep the doors open at the school. I just I just don't know how to do that. He said of course what if I want to I will I said was sure you will but I'm not going to be the one to suggest that to you. I think the state needs to

38:49 Commit to keeping the school you knowing and having it become whatever it needs to be for 4 today, even though it may not be the same MSB that it it was many many years ago and it's a day.

39:03 It all when I introduced you to Stevie it was the occasional 100 Year historical marker being placed at the school for the Blind and I was excited because you're a songwriter. You're a singer yourselves. You have some CDs out. Do you mind about the book title that you just roll with? What I say is this I wrote A Memoir and it's about my brothers who are all musicians and then my mother who is a very strong woman. However, there is a chapter in my book about JJ and Steve that just shows you how significant you guys were and still are in my life and I think meeting Stevie and being with you and Steve and being friends and talking about all the things we talked about the MSB. I think it was certainly a highlight of my life and my career

39:57 I thank you for mentioning else in the bulletin. I'm in the process of writing my book to which is called the rings of friendship and it's about many of the stories of Stevie and I growing up together. What is the number one? I went out to Michigan State University and living in the dorms there. He would come from the tribe and stay over the weekend and the doorman We Jammin have a part in the life of but I want to end with some humorous kind of reflection about the School for the Blind.

40:30 And on a positive note many people think the blind folks don't have any fun at the what a dark world and they can do anything. Let their own lack of knowledge about a situation, the vision of what we can and can I do but I want to say that blend spends more like anyone any other students we had the same walls and the desires and you know, what we had fun. We pulled trick pranks on each other. That was a friend of mine named Alex who that who won the fountain in front of a school library and at 1 Saturday. I'll took a huge box of Tide laundry detergent love bug powder guide for today in the fountain and they just love to see the wind blowing besides the bubbles off across the lat long.

41:30 Chi-Lites TV and I got to tell the story Stevie Wonder have a sweet tooth and he still does and he lived in the dormitory for a while and admit 10 lights were out for once the lights. Where are they take the screen off his window and he climb out and he'd go go across the street to the little store and buy some pop and candy cookies while one night.

41:58 When he's coming back from the store you find the corner of the building and then you count the windows and he counted the wrong window number declined in some other students web bedroom window and they were Hollow. How are you? I'm sorry. And so we'll see you at the quiet them down and get out of

42:20 I'm sure they were many fun days like that with with you and Steve and the other friends and MSB.

42:36 So we can go on.

42:40 Is a.

42:44 Oh, well if you want to keep on going and then I'll ask a question for you. JJ. I love the stories you told about an hour and and and

43:00 A particular story with any of those teachers who you said we're Inspirations and like something they said or Young Thug like about the way they spoke to the boys something in particular that have set you on on your way to get rid of any of them. Well, I do in fact my blind. My math teacher was why? Mr. Fred Newman, he always called me the king because I routinely I guess I can do with the answer before everyone else or you say bye bed chairs for the king and it made me feel special and I think that's was an influence on me. What are the band director I've mentioned many times in 1966. For example, Michigan State University had a Summer music program from students all over the country 50 states.

44:01 All temperatures by it and it's 66 Jack charged. The first group of students from the School for the Blind to join in that participation and we had some Summer music camp at Michigan State and we played in bands. Of course. I was predominantly side of foes. We were only blind students in them and it's through Innovative efforts like that to Showcase buying folks and expose us to the world and the world to us that help us to grow. I'll never forget a van. We were up Northern Michigan performing in far for it was a small town and I said, we stayed in the homes of local people when we perform the

44:51 One night. I'm sitting at the home of this family and I had a five-year-old daughter and all of a sudden. She said what the parents didn't want to hear. She said to me see that you're an African aren't you should I know I can tell cuz I seen some of you on TV and her parents were stuff like that. They don't know what to say really as a sixteen-year-old. I was got a surprise, but I said well, yes, you're right and things like that. Does that help you?

45:30 Absolutely, and I have if I may have question for those are great stories. I always say 40 minutes isn't enough for you. Were you at the at MSP when it closed know I left about 5 years before it closed but it was obvious to me that that was the direction that it was going in after we had those other programmes moving in and I feel we failed to launch this specialized kind of 1/4 deal where kids would come for. Of time for services and then go back home, but I could see the handwriting on the wall the numbers just we're not increasing. So I left about five years before then. They had one other person come in after me for a while.

46:20 You don't know if he was ever named superintendent might have been acting but pretty quickly, you know, it's closed and I think the services for the blind are now on the campus of the school for the deaf in Flint, Michigan. They also have services for children with visually impaired it true and I don't I don't know the status of those services are who's who's really served what you know, what kinds of children with disabilities but anyway, that was I was

46:50 I was there for the ending.

47:02 Something that you feel that you were happy and accomplishing while you were there, you know for a while our room wanted introduced to the student body in the library. And I told them that I'm going to try to get kids to come back. We're going to have more students who have more programs. They were so excited and they would see me in the hallway in the city. That's rather than more students coming up. You know, how's it going, you know, like week or two later. They'll ask me again so far off while you know things perked up a bit. I was there for six years. So thanks perked up a bit and we got more involved with local special education directors and I tried to explain what would we could do and make it easier for them to access I'll services but when they do, you know, the handwriting just became more obvious on the wall and the other programs moved. And as I said, I could see that it just wasn't going to go anywhere than the Union's we had grievance.

47:59 This file delivery of things and it just was not a pleasant place after a while and I could see that it wasn't going to go but the kids are beautiful. Like I really just enjoyed being with them. They were so capable eat too many of them had other disabilities, but then they got around the campus aide socializing interacted with one another and with you no friends and visitors. It was a great place to be in the kids were great.

48:26 Was great.