hqmhqm
10:56AM
Hi. I applaud your courage and persistence. I think you might want to rethink the math major though. My dad is a professor at MIT and a mathematician. He suggests people take as much math as they can stand, and then do something else. Math is mostly a means to an end, a hobby, but not a full time career for most people. There's so much more great stuff to do when you're in college. I also went to MIT, took some math, and then majored in something else.
dwill517
10:56AM
Emily, I think your story is an inspiration to everyone who reads it. have you thought of what you want to do when you leave harvard?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
10:57AM
actually, i guess the answer to this one might be the answer to that first question.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
10:57AM
i think i want to go to graduate school--hoping to get a phd in either math or statistics and then become a statistician.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
10:58AM
i'm working on the design of research studies. either in the medical field or in environmental public policy.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
10:58AM
that's pretty much what i think i want to do--that's been my feeling for several years.
mtmac77
10:59AM
Emily, You are an amazing woman. You gove the rest of us such inspiration. I sit here complaining about my wieght or my hair color or that my fiance is being a pain. Then I read a story like yours and I realize, how dare I complain, when you have faced so much diversity, yet you have prevailed! You have made me look at life a little differently.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
10:59AM
thanks. that's very nice.
freemantle
10:59AM
Hi Emily! Like a lot of people, I've enjoyed reading your story and have really learned a lot about courage and persistence from you. What made you decide to share it with a reporter?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
10:59AM
hmmm. that's another tough question.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:00AM
actually tom farragher approached me last summer after reading a story his friend paul della valle had written about me.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:00AM
so the reporter came to me and i had no objections because he seemed like a nice guy. and he bought me a bunch a meals.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:01AM
i have to say, one of the biggest problems with tom is that he's such a nice guy and easy to talk to that sometimes you forget he's a reporter and you say things you wouldn't usually say to a reporter
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:02AM
and the same goes for scott lapierre at boston.com
chris
11:03AM
Hi Emily, Your story is an inspiration to us all. I work in high tech serving as the accessibility program lead for developing software products that are accessible to those with disabilities. I am constantly looking for ways to make information accessible. Have you heard about the Pivot project involving re-vamping MIT's introductory Newtonian physics class to make the course accessible to blind and deaf students? Have you experienced anything similiar to this at Harvard?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:04AM
thanks. no, i don't think i have heard about pivot. but it sounds interesting.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:05AM
harvard hasn't done anything quite like that, but they've been wonderful in doing whatever they possibly can making materials accessible. i get a cd every friday with all of the upcoming week's readings and assignments in electronic format that my screen readers can read. except for in math.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:06AM
i'll mention it to the people at harvard to see if they've ever heard of it.
mtmac77
11:06AM
Have you found the story has helped you meet more people?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:07AM
that's kind of a tough question because the story just came out. but tom farragher has forwarded most of the emails he's gotten as responses to the story, and there have been several offering to read math to me if i need it. which is really kind of people. and also got a couple responses from other freshman that i knew from this year, which was nice to see--that are actually people who remember me!
chris
11:08AM
Here's a link to the project: http://ncam.wgbh.org/webaccess/pivot/summary.html. I provided some feedback and found it fascinating.
dwill517
11:09AM
I'm curious, do you have to alter your diet to accomodate your situation? Are there certain foods that trigger symptoms?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:11AM
i am undoubtedly the world's pickiest eater. there are very few foods that i actually eat. and every time in my life when the tumor has been growing i've liked fewer and fewer foods. and if i eat something that doesn't taste good or smell good, i get extremely nauseus--hence my living out of the vending machine for most of the year.
kyle
11:13AM
Hi Emily. Your story is amazing, and its great to hear that you have continued at Harvard. Having lost my mother to brain tumors two and a half years ago, it was hard to accept the fact that they told us there was nothing that could be done for her. What are the doctors saying can be done to treat the remaining issues left by the last tumor?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:13AM
a big chunk of the tumor is still there--it's inoperable. i think the damage is probably permanent.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:14AM
but the tumor's been stable for 6.5 years--since i met garth brooks actually!
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:14AM
right now it doesn't seem like any treatment is necessary because it's not growing at the moment, and we're hoping it doesn't start growing again.
pauldv
11:16AM
HI Em Is your dad Walter the greatest songwriter in the world or is Garth Brooks?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:16AM
Garth Brooks.
mtmac77
11:16AM
What foods actually taste good to you? Do you still keep in touch with the Dr. in Cleveland?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:17AM
i do still keep in touch with big al.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:17AM
he calls every so often. and shares his dirty jokes.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:18AM
he's been in close contact, especially since tom and scott flew out to cleveland for the story.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:19AM
he was really a big help when i was having headaches--one of the first people to understand that i might know better what was going on than the doctors did.
dotfivemom
11:20AM
Emily, You know my son from Perkins Outreach -- he wanted to say, "Hi" but JAWS is having trouble navigating the chat room, so I'm going to say it for him. Your story has been really inspiring to my husband and I who have watched him also struggle with blindness and the late-effects of a brain tumor.
kath
11:20AM
Hi Emily, I just finished reading your story and am so impressed! I wanted to encourage you to stick it out at Harvard. I just graduated from there last year, and I think you'll find that being a part of the House community next year will make SO much difference. It provides a built-in network of supporters, advisors, and friends. Even for the average student at Harvard, freshman year can be challenging and isolating. But my experience improved so much in the following three years - and I hope yours does too! Best of luck.
chris
11:21AM
I'm glad to hear that Havard is providing the information to you. I wonder if there is any software out there that would make the Math information more accessible? I believe that I came across something at some point for children for a request from a co-worker.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:22AM
as far as i know, there isn't really anything out there that's a great solution. harvard hired someone to try and make the voice on the software we do have better. and people at the adaptive tech. lab have been in touch with just about everyone across the country who have been working on making math accessible to bline people.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:23AM
but there's nothingg out there right now that works for me.
fred
11:24AM
Hey, this is her Dad, posting under the pseudonym "fred". Let me just say that Emily is mistaken about which one of us is the greatest songwriter in the world. It's me.
pauldv
11:25AM
When and where will you be singing live with your folks again. Their shows are great and when you come and sing they are really something special.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:25AM
my parents' band will be playing at elm park in worcester on july 14 and i plan to sing with them again.
david752
11:26AM
Emily, have you considered using LaTeX or another simple encoding system to make math symbols accessible easily?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:28AM
i'm actually going to try to learn LaTeX this summer since it is a pretty universal code, but it is cumbersome and not always taht easy to read with a screen reader because there are so many characters that don't add directly to the meaning of the math. however it does make it accessible and would provide me with a way to produce written math and read what other people have produced. if anyone has a suggestion on how to learn it, that would be great!
pauldv
11:29AM
What time is the show at Elm Park? Is there an admission charge?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:29AM
6:30 and it's free to everyone.
dotfivemom
11:30AM
I totally agree about the software for math. It's one reason that my son has struggled through math classes and the math MCAS. If the situation could be improved it would be of enormous benefit to blind and visually impaired students. Math is especially challenging to students who are trying to work on math using video magnifiers, I think.
matthew
11:31AM
Hi Emily, I'm a rising junior at Harvard. I remembered seeing you from Warren Court this year, and looking back, I feel bad that I didn't say hi to you in class at some point. Do you have any advice to your classmates about better ways to approach you? Also, I feel your pain about learning LaTeX -- I've tried to teach myself before and failed miserably! Best of luck with that.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:33AM
the most important thing for me when i meet people is that for the first few times i meet someone i need them to remind me who they are--i'm not very good with voices yet.
mtmac77
11:34AM
This may be too personal of a question, but has harvard provided you with grants, scholarships, etc... Or will you be in student loan debt at the end?
david752
11:35AM
Emily, I notice from the photos that you have a refreshable braille display on your computer. Perhaps you could use that to view LaTeX. David
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:36AM
harvard gave me an excellent financial aid package and that's another way they've been really great. almost all was scholarships and grants.
karak
11:38AM
Hi Emily - I read your story and am so impressed! My husband graduated from Harvard and it's a tough place. Based on everything you've accomplished so far, I have no doubt that you'll not only graduate, but will enjoy many successes in life. Stay strong and best of luck to you.
Jen C
11:38AM
Hi Emily your interviews were incredibly enlightening thanks for sharing with us. Are you taking summer classes? Or are you back in Worcester for the summer? I am from Charlton (close to Worcester) but work at Harvard now.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:40AM
i am at home for the summer. not taking any official classes, but i'm hoping to learn a lot this summer to prepare for next year. i have an internship in the mental health research department at umass medical center.
Kevin H
11:40AM
Emily, good luck with the internship!
kay
11:43AM
Hi Emily, your story was very inspiring and your dedication will motivate me to keep on working at law school. I was impressed by how your your health issues became a family problem to overcome, but a little disappointed not to read very much on your brother (the focus was on your parents instead). Can you share more about him?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:44AM
my brother is great. we get along very well. still fight over the tv when he's home. he enjoys giving me a hard time whenever i'm not sick (and sometimes when i am). i always feel bad all the focus gets put on me when he's a really great person and sort of gets left out of things. he's a math major at umass-amherst right now, going into his senior year.
jenn23
11:46AM
Emily - great story... very inspiring! I tutor a high school student recovering from a brain tumor. While she still has her sight, she's facing many academic challenges... do you have advice for her? what obstacle are you most proud of overcoming?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:46AM
the first part is very hard to answer because depending on the location of the brain tumor, the effects differ greatly.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:47AM
the most important thing is to make sure the school system doesn't have too low expectations of the student. that was always my biggest problem in high school
dotfivemom
11:52AM
What helped you to keep believing in yourself in the face of those low expectations?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:54AM
that's a tough one to answer. i guess i really just had things i wanted to do with my life. and i knew i was capable of achieving them. and my goals have not changed all that much from when i was very little and didn't have any physical problems.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:55AM
in high school, part of it was that i wanted to prove people wrong who thought that because of my disability i was incapable of reaching the same personal and academic standards of other people.
david752
11:56AM
Are there any support groups for students with physical and vision disabilities?
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
11:58AM
i'm a member of the MA alliance of visually impaired students (MAVIS). they have conference calls and occassional activities, but i don't know of other local support groups for people with disabilities.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
12:00PM
i want to thank everyone for their support and i want to make sure i recognize harvard--everyone i've dealt with there has been tremendous and great support.
Emily Crockett (Moderator)
12:01PM
thank you everyone for chatting. thanks to tom and suzanne and scott for the story. and thanks to everyone who read it.
16 Chatters, 41 Lurkers