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Spring 2003 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Frustrated Student at an IEP

by Erin Byrne

Reprinted with permission from Future Reflections, Summer/Fall 2002

I sit for an infinite age,
Wondering just how loquacious a person can be.
Seems even stranger when a stranger is talking;
After all,
They're discussing me.

I sit for an infinite age,
In a room of seven or eight,
Wondering when, or if, I'll ever get my say,
Or is it too late.
Indignantly, I think,
"How can a goal ever be set, if not by oneself,
By other persons in a team of two or three?"
Strange, it seems,
Not right,
After all,
They're discussing me.

I sit for an infinite age,
Restlessly, shifting my feet under the table,
Anticipating the onset of freedom,
When the pen is passed to me.
"Sign, sign." they say,
"Everything is done."
And, as I touch the pen to paper,
I wonder if my presence in the room,
Is really known.
Suddenly, I realize with a start,
I've lost track of much of what was said.
Signing my name,
I wonder, in my heart,
What is in store for me in the year ahead.

I sit for an infinite age,
A frustrated student at my IEP.
How unusual the meeting is;
I think, next time,
I will speak!
After all,
They're discussing me.

Erin Byrne is a 19-year-old entering freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she will major in Music Education and Spanish. Among her many accomplishments, Erin is one of the youngest members to be inducted in the Stark County, Ohio, Women's Hall of Fame. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, and a NFB of Ohio Scholarship winner. Blind from birth from a type of osteoporosis (she has used a wheelchair since 5th grade), Erin wrote this poem when she was a 17-year-old student at Glen Oak High School in Canton, Ohio. Theresa Byrne, Erin's mother, reports that Erin was a full and effective participant in all her IEP meetings throughout her middle and high school years. Evidently, Erin did learn to speak up! Erin reports that she still likes to dabble in creative writing regarding disability issues. Hopefully, we will see more of her thoughts in future issues.

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Last Revision: August 21, 2003