Job Insights Extra #3: College Advice from Michael Hingson, Best Selling Author, Advocate and Inspirational Speaker. Transcript Provided
Welcome to Job Insights Extra, part of the Job Insights Podcast with Serina Gilbert and Jeff Thompson, a podcast focused on the world of employment, career pathways and gainful and meaningful employment.
The Job Insights Extra podcasts are success stories, interviews and demos that enhance the experience of reaching that career you want.
On Job Insights Extra #3: we bring you College advice from Michael Hingson, Best Selling Author, Advocate and Inspirational Speaker.
Michael Hingson joins us in the studio and shares his advice to students transitioning from high school to college and the workplace. He refers to some of his college experiences and how he transferred those skills into his workplace. Michael tells us how those very skills attributed to his successful navigation down the 72 flights of stairs to safety with his guide dog Roselyn. Michael led many others to safety that 11th day of September back in 2001 and shares part of that story with us here on Job Insights Extra.
We previously interviewed Michael about his book, “Thunder Dog” and you can listen to that podcast on Blind Abilities.
You can learn more about Michael Hingson on his web site www.MichaelHingson.com
And follow Michael on Twitter @MHingson
Here is a short bio taken from his web site:
On September 11, 2001, a blind man escaped the World Trade Center by walking down 78 flights of stairs with his guide dog. Days later, America fell in love with Mike and Roselle and the special bond that helped them both survive one of the country’s darkest days.
Immediately after the 9-11 tragedy, Michael was featured on the Larry King show five times. To quote Larry King…
“This media exposure changed the course of Michael’s life and launched him into a speaking career that has spanned over a decade. He now travels the world as a keynote and inspirational speaker that can motivate audiences to action.”
Full Transcript Below
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Job Insights Extra #3: College Advice from Michael Hingson, Best Selling Author, Advocate and Inspirational Speaker. Transcript Provided
Jeff: Job Insights is a podcast that is helping you find careers and gainful employment through innovations and opportunities.
You can find the Job Insights podcast on BlindAbilities.com, part of the Blind Abilities Network, and as part of the Job Insights podcast we will be bringing you the Job Insights Extras, consisting of interviews, demonstrations, and news surrounding employment, careers, and jobs, with hosts Serina Gilbert and myself, Jeff Thompson.
sAnd you can contact us by email at jobinsights@BlindAbilities.com, leave us some feedback or suggest some topics that we cover, on Twitter at Job Insights VIP.
Micheal: Everyone just turned in ran as we heard this Rumble that became this deafening roar in like about a half a second which was tower two collapsing about a hundred yards away from our position.
The airplane hit 18 floors above us on the other side of the building, we had no clue what had happened.
Jeff: Those are the words of Michael Hingson, he’s the author of Thunder Dog, a book about 9/11 where on September 11th 2001, a terroristic attack took down the World Trade Center towers.
Michael happened to be in one of the towers and led a group of people along with his guide dog Roselle to safety.
We did an entire podcast on this topic and we put a link in the show notes where you can find it on Blind Abilities.
Once again we caught up with Michael Hingson and asked him the question about transition age students, what advice he would have for someone transitioning from high school to college to the workplace?
Michael was so kind to share with us some advice and some of his experiences from his college days as well, so we hope you enjoyed this Job Insights Extra.
Micheal: We have some unique advantages now and we have some real serious problems now compared to when I went to college.
For high school kids going on, learn all that you can, learn to know yourself, learn skills.
Jeff: And now, here’s Michael Hingson.
Micheal: I think that college is an adventure.
I think that becoming more independent as most people will if you go to college and leave home to go to college live on campus or an apartment, but typically on campus, maybe not too far away from home, may be a long way from home, but that’s an adventure and, and accept it and embrace it as an adventure first and foremost.
Live every life moment to the best that you can, live to the fullest because you won’t have that opportunity again.
Everything that you do will be a memory but it will also be a learning experience for you.
I know that when I went to college, went to the University of California-Irvine which was a hundred miles away from where I grew up.
I lived on campus for three years and I remember a lot of what I did on campus because I just considered it a great adventure.
We have some unique advantages now and we have some real serious problems now compared to when I went to college, the advantages are there’s a lot of Technology, there are a lot more books available, and again if people aren’t proficient in Braille, they ought to get proficient in Braille, but we have some disadvantages.
Most colleges have an office for disabled students and they have these people who are hired to basically do everything for us, they hire our readers, we don’t get to do that like we used to, which means that we lose the opportunity to develop a skill that will help us in the workforce.
The skill is finding readers, finding readers that work for us not that work on the terms of the office for disabled students, and likewise, if we don’t do well with them, we can fire them, we don’t have that option nearly as much as we used to.
So students need to use college to learn that independence and to learn those skills that will help them in whatever else they do in life.
Braille is important because without the ability to truly read and write, people will not function well in college, much less when they leave College, they will not have the skills that they need to be able to compose good articulate relevant sentences and they won’t spell as well and they just plain won’t have had the opportunity that they really should get.
So I think it’s important that students in high school take advantage of all the things that are offered and learn to be self-reliant, and it doesn’t mean you don’t learn to ask for help, but learn to be self-reliant.
I spent time at the World Trade Center learning where everything was, I walked around with a cane, I worked after a while to get, just to get lost, because by getting lost I obviously found someplace I didn’t know before and it got to the point where I couldn’t get lost in the World Trade Center, and as I loved to tell people, you could drug me and knock me out, and I wake up, and you’ve put me somewhere and I’ll know where I am within just three seconds because I knew that complex that well.
I did that in part because I kept thinking, what am I gonna do first emergency and how am I going to get out?
It was the mid-atlantic region Sales Manager for my company that is as the leader of that office I had to be responsible for the people in the office, which means I had to know what to do in order to get them to do what needed to be done on what they had to do.
I could not have done that if I didn’t take the time to learn to be self-reliant and to learn to do whatever I need to do in any circumstance that I could.
So for me every day I went in the World Trade Center I almost subconsciously thought, what am I gonna do if there’s an emergency today?
Well one day I guess I made it happen, and suddenly an emergency did occur, but I knew what to do, and that’s why I didn’t really panic.
People have said to me, well you were so calm, I was because I knew what to do, and I also know myself well enough that, if something different had happened and suddenly it was a real crisis situation, well it was when Tower 2 was collapsing, I could deal with it or or I couldn’t.
You know, yeah we were going to survive or we weren’t, but I knew that I could deal with whatever situation there was to the best of my ability and stay focused.
So high school kids need to learn that, they need to spend that time, especially blind kids, I don’t mean totally blind but I mean blind with eyesight, but kids just who don’t see well enough to function as a fully sighted person, and I think that’s the definition of blindness.
You’re blind when your eyesight is diminished to the point where you can’t see well enough to function as a sighted person and you have to use alternative techniques.
That includes Braille, and I keep emphasizing that because I think it’s so important for people.
So for high school kids going on, learn all that you can, learn to know yourself, learn skills and use them in college.
When you go to college, don’t learn how to just get from your dorm to the library, learn how to get around the campus, learn how to go from any point A to any point B.
What I did after a while having learned that other kids did it on campus, was I learned where all the shortcuts were, that is through the steam tunnels that went underground and that you weren’t supposed to use, but hey we all did because it cut the time to get from one side of the campus to the other by half, so we did it, and I learned how to do that as well as anyone else because I wanted to have those same opportunities.
I didn’t know just how to get from my dorm to computer science or physical sciences or whatever, I learned where every building was so that I could go wherever depending on what kind of class I, I had.
I learned to make friends with faculty.
I was, I never said Dan, but I knew Chancellor Dan Aldrich, and I would, I spent time in his office a couple times because he wanted to get to know me and I wanted to certainly get to know him to, to just understand him and and hopefully educate him a little bit more about me being blind.
My academic adviser was the Dean of physical sciences, Fred Reines who was the discoverer of the subatomic particle of the neutrino, won a Nobel Prize for it, and he was the one who encouraged me to do that, he encouraged me to get to know the administrative staff, he said there will be time that they can assist you and and they may ask you things, but they’ll never do it if you guys don’t know each other, and I think that was an important lesson too.
So again there’s a lot, there’s a lot to do when you get to be a blind college student, but it’s worth doing all of that to make the experience better and to make sure that you have all the power and all the skills behind you that you need.
Jeff: Michael do you have any favorite quotes that you would like to share with our listeners?
Micheal: Well I think in Thunderdog especially, one of my favorite quotes and the one I use most often is, “don’t let your sight get in the way of your vision”, and I try to use that with sighted people a lot who talk about blindness and all that and they say, well you know, but, how can you do that?
Well I’m doing it, don’t lay your sight get in the way your vision right?
When people tell me, well you don’t have any vision, and I say, no I don’t see, but I have lots of vision.
Now I’m certainly creating a play on words, but still it’s true.
We often don’t see beyond our eyeballs, and bottom line is that we have as much vision as the next group of people if given the opportunity to use it and again eyesight isn’t what should hold us back so that’s one of my favorite quotes.
Another one and again I use it in Thunderdog is, because it’s true with Roselle, and was true of others on September 11, 2001, “Sometimes being a hero is just doing your job”, and you know, I was just doing my job, people say you’re a hero, and if they do they do, but I was just doing what I needed to do and I was helping people get out and I got out and that’s what we should do.
But if it helps people to think that it, but, and if it will help them think more possibly about what, possibly about what we can all do then it’s a worthwhile thing.
Jeff: We’ve been speaking to Michael Hingson, number one book seller, author of “Thunderdog”, inspirational speaker, advocate, and you can follow Michael on his website at Michaelhingson.com, and on Twitter at M Hingson, that’s M H I N G S O N on Twitter.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Job Insights Extra and you can find all the Job Insights podcasts and the Job Insights Extras on Blind Abilities.
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Jeff: Once again, thanks for listening, we hope you enjoyed, and until next time, bye bye!
And thank you Chee Chau for the beautiful music.
Follow Chee Chau on Twitter at LCheeChau.
When we share what we see through each other’s eyes, We can then begin to bridge the Gap between the limited expectations and the realities of Blind Abilities.
Jeff: For more podcast with the blindness perspective, check us out on the web at www.blindabilities.com, on twitter at BlindAbilities, download our app from the app store, Blind Abilities, that’s two words, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks for listening.