The story of my life. One of the most inspiring books we can find. The author Hellen Keller, who she was both blind and deaf. Who can believe that such a person could write a this sort of book. But as I mentioned earlier this is one of the most inspiring book we can find among a number of such books. This includes the biography of Hellenkeller.
This books shows that her life was neither a miracle nor a joke. She has showed how she withstood against her disabilities.The best example we can gain from this book is she wrote this letter at the age of twenty and she was the first blind and deaf person who graduated.
Hellenwas born on 27 June 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama and she was the eldest child of her father Captain Auther H. Keller. She was a charming child. As always the first child of the family does she was beloved by every one of the family.
She mentioned here at the age of one she walked and she did everything as every little girl does.But the Happy days didn’t last long. Misery and fate didn’t let the happiness to be last long.At the age off 19 months she was caught by a fever and this caused her to be deaf and blindGradually I got used to the silence and darkness that surrounded me and forgot that it had ever been different”
Little by little Hellen lost both her sight and hearing.But her mother soon realized her change. When she passed by and when the bell rang for the lunch Hellen didn’t respond to them properly.But her mother were always with her, she was cherished by her mother.The only word Hellen could say was water at that age. Her way of communication were her own set of signs, a shake of head for No, a nod for Yes were them.
Hellen was bit angrier and unconscious. The reason was that she could not understand what the others say and the others didn’t respond to her as she expected.Her parents were worried about this matter and they tried to cure Hellen. The accompanied her to an eminent oculist in Baltimore. But he could not cure Hellen. Instead he gave them a hope. That Hellen could be taught. Her parents consulted Dr. Alexander Grahm Bell as Dr. Chisholm said and Dr.Grahm Bell found a teacher to teach Hellen.
A new page of her life started after this.
Ms.Anne Sullivan was the teacher who was once lost her sight almost and could cure it to an extent to read and do her day to day works.Ms. Anne was very kind and generous to Hellen and she was the light to Hellen’s dark life. When she started teaching Hellen soon showed her capabilities of learning quickly.
Anne mostly used finger play and spelling words to her hands. In this way Anne taught the first word d-o-l-l to Hellen. She used a woolen doll and put it on Hellen’s hand and spelled it on her hand.At the age of ten Hellen had mastered Braille and also the manual alphabet.
Water, the word which Hellen couldn’t understand a long time, once she and Anne were at the outdoor Ms.Anne held Hellen’s hand under the flow of water from the pump and spelled w-a-t-e-r to her hand. Suddenly Hellen realized that the word water means the cool liquid which was dripping through her fingers.
To teach Hellen the words Ms.Sullivan used cardboard slips having raised letters
Her first teacher Anne, teach her to use finger spelling, words, to identify objects and so many things. She learnt very quickly. In schools she learn languages, art ect.
Although she is a blind/deaf person and much of her communication was by finger spelling, she had wonderful courage to be graduate. Her graduate life start in 1900. she entered Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf blind person to have ever enrolled at an institution of higher learning. During their time at the College Helen began to write about her life. “The Story of My Life” was published in 1903 . On 28 June 1904 Helen graduated from Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree
Not only that she had earned so many degrees. She received honorary doctoral degrees from, Temple and Harvard Universities in the United States, Glasgow and Berlin Universities in Europe, Delhi University in India and Witwatersrand University in South Africa. Also she had received special awards.
In 1955 she received an honorary Academy Award as the inspiration for the documentary about her life, Helen Keller in Her Story. And also in 1964 she awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Lyndon Johnson. She speech to various people as many organizations invite her.
In 1919, Helen starred in a movie (a silent movie) on her life. This was received well but was a failure financially. Helen had hoped to support herself from the profits, but it was not to be. However, the movie led to a vaudeville tour for four years in the early 1920s which was a financial success.
Foreign Travels Beginning in 1930, Helen, Anne and Polly began a series of overseas trips. At first they went to the British Isles for summer vacations. She met and visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace. There were visits to France, Yugoslavia, and Japan.
In that time Anne Sullivan Macy's health was failing. She lost her sight and there was an "internal disorder“. In October, 1935, Helen's Teacher and her dearest friend died. After loss of Anne Polly Thompson continued as her companion until Polly's death in 1960. Although she missed Anne she continue her social works with the help of Polly. During the second World War, she visited disabled soldiers. After the war she went to Germany, Africa, Latin America, India and other places.
Helen was cremated in Bridgeport, Connecticut and a funeral service was held at the National Cathedral in Washington DC where the urn containing her ashes would later be deposited next to those of Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Letter to Mr. Brookes
Letter to Dr. Holmes
“Sometimes I rose at dawn and stole into the garden while the heavy dew lay on the grass and flowers. Few know what joy it is to feel the roses pressing softly into the hand, or the beautiful motion of the lilies as they sway in the morning breeze. Sometimes I caught an insect in the flower I was plucking, and I felt the faint noise of a pair of wings rubbed together in a sudden terror, as the little creature became aware of a pressure from without.”
What joy it was to lose myself in that garden of flowers, to wander happily from spot to spot, until, coming suddenly upon a beautiful vine, I recognized it by its leaves and blossoms, and knew it was the vine which covered the tumble-down summer-house at the farther end of the garden! Here, also, were trailing clematis, drooping jessamine, and some rare sweet flowers called butterfly lilies, because their fragile petals resemble butterflies' wings. But the roses–they were loveliest of all. Never have I found in the greenhouses of the North such heart-satisfying roses as the climbing roses of my southern home. They used to hang in long festoons from our porch, filling the whole air with their fragrance, untainted by any earthy smell; and in the early morning, washed in the dew, they felt so soft, so pure, I could not help wondering if they did not resemble the asphodels of God's garden.
In 1904 Helen graduated from Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf-blind person to obtain a Bachelor of Arts Degree.She received honorary doctoral degrees from Temple and Harvard Universities in the United States; Glasgow and Berlin Universities in Europe; Delhi University in India; and Witwatersrand University in South Africa. She also received an honorary Academy Award in 1955 as the inspiration for the documentary about her life, Helen Keller in Her Story.
These achievements by her caused to change public attitudes on disable people. She showed that being disable is not an obstacle to the life.And they are capable of doing any thing that a normal person can do.
Through her writing, lectures and the way she lived her life, she has shown millions of people that disability need not be the end of the world.You don’t have to lose your life because you are disable, you still can win your life.
She said"The public must learn that the blind man is neither genius nor a freak nor an idiot. He has a mind that can be educated, a hand which can be trained, ambitions which it is right for him to strive to realise, and it is the duty of the public to help him make the best of himself so that he can win light through work"
She devoted her life to get a better place for disables in society. She worked to improve education facilities to deaf-blind people.
Helen Keller was as interested in the welfare of blind persons in other countries as she was for those in her own country; conditions in poor and war-ravaged nations were of particular concern.Helen's ability to empathize with the individual citizen in need as well as her ability to work with world leaders to shape global policy on vision loss made her a supremely effective ambassador for disabled persons worldwide.
Close your eyes and ears for five seconds……. What do you feel?
She, is both deaf and blind. Who would believe such a person would write books on her own.
This book shows that Helen’s life is neither a miracle nor a joke She published “The story of my life” when she was twenty. Itdescribes how she withstood against her disabilities
• She was born on 27 June 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabam a• She was the child of Captain Auther H. Keller
• At the age of 19 month little Helen was caught by a fever which caused her to be deaf and blind“Gradually I got used to the silence and darknessthat surrounded me and forgot that it had everbeen different”
• Helen’s mother cherished her tenderly while she was loosing her sight little by little The only word she could remember was “Water”, this was her only word in her world at that time A shake of head for NO, a nod for YES was her communicate
She was struggling to be free. Free from the world of misery & bitterness where she experienced failures when expressing herself Her parents suffered too. They searched for teachers having the method to teach a child who’s both deaf and blind. Helen’s parents were able to find Alexander Grahm Bell and with his help they were able to find a way to educate little Helen.
Ms. Anne Sullivan was a light to Helen’s lonely and dark life. Anne was so friendly and kind to the poor girl. Helen soon showed that she is capable and learned quickly
Finger play, Spelling word into her hand First word she learned was doll. • At the age of ten Helen had mastered Braille as well as the manual alphabet and even learned to use the typewriter
Waterwas the word which Helen couldn’t understand easily. Ms.Sullivan put Helen’s hand under water coming out from the pump and spelled w- a-t-e-r to her hand When she realized what water means she rejoiced.
• Ms. Sullivan used cardboard slips having raised letters to teach her words“One day, Miss Sullivan tells me, I pinned the wordgirl on my pinafore and stood in the wardrobe. Onthe shelf I arranged the words, is, in, wardrobe.Nothing delighted me so much as this game”
Primarily her teacher was Ms. Anne Sullivan In 1888 entered to Perkins School in Boston Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City in 1894 In 1896 - Entered Cambridge College for Young Ladies
In1900 she entered to the Radcliffe college On 28 June 1904 Helen graduated from Radcliffe College earning a Bachelor of Arts degree What had she achieved?
Temple and Harvard Universities in the United States Glasgow and Berlin Universities in Europe Delhi University in India Witwatersrand University in South Africa
She also received an honorary Academy Award in 1955 as the inspiration for the documentary about her life, Helen Keller in Her Story.In 1964 awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Lyndon Johnson
In 1919 Helen starred in a movie on her life.But it was a failure financially. But that movieled to a Vaudeville tour for four years.
It began in 1930. At first they went to theBritish Isles for summer vacations. She metand visited King George and Queen Mary atBuckingham Palace in 1931. There werevisits to France, Yugoslavia, and Japan.
In October, 1935 her dearest friend, herteacher died.During the second world war she visiteddisabled soldiers. After the war she went toGermany, Africa, Latin America, India andother places.
Helen retires from public life In October1961 Helen suffered the first of a series ofstrokes, and her public life was to draw to aclose. On June 1, 1968, at Arcan Ridge, HelenKeller died peacefully in her sleep.
To a normal person sun is light and warmth. But to a blind person? In little Helen’s own words“It seemed to me that there could be nothing more beautiful than the sun,whose warmth makes all things grow”
“I learned how the sun and the rain make to grow out of the ground every tree”“She sends the sunshine and rain to make them grow” “I think the sunshine is Natures warm smile, and the raindrops are her tears”
Blindness or deafness is not a problem to love the nature. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."Nature is "a feeling, a love and an appetite."
“I think you will be glad to hear that these poems have taught me to enjoy and love the beautiful springtime, even though I cannot see the fair, frail blossoms which proclaim its approach, or hear the joyouswarbling of the home-coming birds. Sweet Mother Nature can have no secrets from me when my poet is near.”
Few know what joy it is to feel the roses pressing softly into the hand, or thebeautiful motion of the lilies as they sway in the morning breeze.
“Even in the days before my teacher came, I used to feel along the square stiff boxwood hedges, and, guided by the sense of smell, would find the first violets and lilies.” “There, too, after a fit of temper, I went tofind comfort and to hide my hot face in the cool leaves and grass.”
"The public must learn that the blind man isneither genius nor a freak nor an idiot. Hehas a mind that can be educated, a handwhich can be trained, ambitions which it isright for him to strive to realise, and it is theduty of the public to help him make the bestof himself so that he can win light throughwork"
In 1915, the Permanent BlindWar Relief Fund, later calledthe American Braille Press, wasfounded. She was a member ofits first board of directors.
Helen joined AmericanFoundation for the Blind in 1921and worked for the organization for over 40 years.
“I WILL NOT JUST LIVE MY LIFE. I WILL NOT JUSTSPEND MY LIFE. I WILL INVEST MY LIFE."
There are many valuable thingswe can learn from “The story of my Life”
“ I knew that there wereobstacles in the way; but I was eager to overcome them”
“That living word awakened mysoul, gave it light hope, joy, set it free!”“There were barriers still, it is true, butbarriers that could in time be sweptaway”
“I took my "Reader for Beginners" andhunted for the words I knew; when I foundthem my joy was like that of a game of hide-and-seek”
I slip back many times, I fall, Istand still, I run against theedge of hidden obstacles, Ilose my temper… …and find it again and Every one who wishes to keep it better, I trudge gain true knowledge must on, I gain a little, I feel climb the Hill Difficulty encouraged, I get more alone, and since there is no eager and climb higher royal road to the summit, I and begin to see the must zigzag it in my own way widening horizon
…feeling like a fairy on a rosy cloud“I spent many happy hours in my tree ofparadise, thinking fair thoughts and dreamingbright dreams”
She knew the beauty of inner strength and power of the feelings, more than anyone else…
A woman with great patience, compassion, love, kindness, determination & optimistic attitudeIt’s quiet worthwhile to focus on herteacher Anne Sullivan’s characterthrough the words of Helen Keller
“You cannot touch theclouds, you know; butyou feel the rain andknow how glad theflowers and thirstyearth are to have itafter a long day. Youcannot touch loveeither; but you feel thesweetness that itpours into everything.Without love youwould not be happy orwant to play”
A powerful teaching methodologyAdhering to the principles of effective childeducationThe reference to the nature
“She linked my earliest thoughts withnature and made me feel that “birds andflowers and I were happy peers””She knew the best for her…A gradual but effective teaching procedureshe followed
“Everything Miss Sullivan taught me sheillustrated by a beautiful story or a poem ” Creativity and Imagination Key ways of Teaching and Learning