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Down in a Blaze of Glory

July 7, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Packets: Sent = 25, Received = 22, lost = 3… Oopse, wrong ping!

That’s right. We’re not talking about the console output from the TCP/IP ping command; we’re talking ping pong! I participated in another office tournament this afternoon, where I was narrowly defeated 25 to 22 by a very worthy opponent. Two significant exceptions to the traditional game rules enable me to participate: first, a coworker guides my hand to the ball and, second, I earn two points for each successful play to the opponents single point. A blast was had by all!

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2 opinions on “Down in a Blaze of Glory

  1. Regarding th pingpong match, I maintain that blind people participating in such activities simply reinforces the perception of difference and disability. the whole point of functioning well as a blind person is to do things a blind person can do, not find ludicrous ways of doing things we can’t. Having someone guide your hand means that they, not you are playing. the fact that your hand is being moved has no relevance. Someone else is moving it. If you wree unconscious, the results would be the same.

    Allowing two points instead of one simply compounds the farce. You’re not playing and you are getting extra points because it is less efficient for someone to play for you. Why not simply assign someone to play in your hame? It would make about as much sense.

  2. Wow! I’m quite surprised at this response. On one hand, you are correct in saying that I am not fully able to participate in this particular activity, as it definitely is necessary to guide my hand. I am, however, able to perform a number of functions somewhat on my own. I am able to serve the ball independently. Also, when my hand is guided to the ball, I feel and hear the ball hitting the paddle. I am providing the power behind the response. I also move my feet as necessary to get into the necessary position to make the return. My colleagues are doing their best to enable my participation. They’re making it as accessible as possible. A lot of my coworkers enjoy ping pong. They apparently enjoy my attempts at participation. It is fun for everyone, so what’s wrong with this activity? No. I can’t fully participate in everything. Some issues are inherent to blindness. Ping pong really does require sight, but, hey, we’re all doing the best we can. I’m honored that my coworkers think enough of me to try to enable me to participate in an activity they enjoy!

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