Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's about the people

My biggest regret, something that I and many of my friends who supported me have to live with is not going after the administration of the LSAT test to change their procedures. They didn't want to accommodate me in ways every other exam did, they suggested a mental evaluation, like they previously did with Cerebral Palsy applicants, they wanted to flag my scores. Claudia Adrien, a freelance journalist from the Gainesville area gave me an opening. She resourched many other instances, many other lawsuits, a class action with another possibly coming together, investigation and a probation, but I did nothing about it. I got in and I threw the towel. I've had undergrads protesting in my support in the Dean's lobby, I've had my best friend put together a rally that ended up in the papers, but I did nothing. But something good did come from that story. My  friend decided to choose to go to law school. There were so many new forms of injustice he didn't even realize existed, so many problems he didn't know, so many people without a voice. Seeing some of the things I've gone through motivated him to dedicate himself to help other. It is not to say that I'm so amazing that I changed his life. But knowing me and talking to me opened his eyes to some of the things you don't normally stop to think about. He wanted to be a rabbi, but hopefully with  a law degree he can affect so much more people. Years later, one of the kids squatting in front of the Dean's office with a sign that read "A person is not a number" bumped into me as a first year law student. I've had a few people approach me at the school when I was still a student saying how reading about me made them choose this particular profession. One appeared shy and starstruck and even said that he chose that particular school in hopes to meet me. As flattering as this may be, I think it's really not about me. It's about the story. It's about fairness and doing the right thing. Because people are essentially good. And they want to do good. And they get outraged when they hear of injustice they never knew existed, they want to join in, be inspired and have a positive impact. Many of my friends didn't know the first thing about Cerebral Palsy, Conductive education and different forms of rehabilitation. It wasn't something that would pop up in their world. Some became interested, reading up more about it, quite a few ended up volunteering. Another friend decided to launch yardsales for our cause, a cause she really has no personal, emotional connection to. Because in their busy life people don't stop to think how do individuals with disabilities function? How do they educate themselves, how do they improve? What needs to be done? We all need to broaden our horizons sometime. For my friends it started with my story. A story like many others, perhaps more colorful because of the fact that I moved here from Poland. And out of a very dark period of confusion and doubt in my life something positive was born as people felt motivated and inspired.

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