Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Lights. Camera. Take 2.

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 2:00 pm on Monday, July 23, 2012

Since doing the on-camera interview last week, I have been wondering how I can minimize “MASS” – “media-amplified spaz syndrome”, a term offered by fellow CPer Spashionista, that I am so stealing!

MASS bugs me. Every time any camera in the vicinity is turned on, MASS kicks in. It doesn’t allow me to put my best self forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have spaz out moments when there isn’t a camera around, because I do. Peanut butter often goes flying off of the knife at breakfast time in our house. Sometimes I think I could have acquired Parkinson’s Disease and not even know it by of my shaky cerebral palsy. MASS is more pronounced than the everyday spaz outs.

Anyway, the interview was done in two parts: 1) the question and response segment, and 2) the online demonstration segment. For the first part, the interviewer sat off-camera and asked me the questions. I responded with my prepared responses that were on my iPad, on my lap. The thing is, once I tapped play, I wasn’t sure what to do while the device spoke my response. I knew not to look at the camera, but rather to look at the interviewer. But what should I do? 1:30 minutes is a long time to sit still, especially with athetoid cerebral palsy. I remember Roger Ebert being quite animated while using his device when being interviewed by Oprah. I am sure that had I tried that, it would have looked like an extreme spaz out.

Likewise, during the demo, I went through a section of my previous week’s presentation because it addressed one of their questions. (Did I re-use content? You betcha!) Typically when I deliver a presentation, I make eye contact with members of the audience. That seems to (slightly) minimize the spazing. But this time I didn’t have an audience; only a few people watching from behind me, trying not to make a sound. Once again I didn’t know what to do. Do I stare at my computer screen and laugh at my own humorous bits? Or do I stare mindlessly out the window? What do I do?

After much thought and pondering, I have concluded that a portion of (perhaps an extremely small portion of) MASS in this particular situation is due to not knowing what to do, where to focus my attention. When talking people give an interview, ideally they focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it; that might help to divert some of their nervousness. Butt when a device on my lap is speaking for me, I don’t have the same diversion; I have time to focus on the fact that a really expensive camera is capturing every jerky movement, which, in turn, makes me even more self-conscious.

Once again I need to learn the rules and then figure out how to adapt them to fit my own jerky needs. Either that or write my dang own rules…before the next film crew encounter…!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Lights. Camera. Action! …But not quite that much, please!

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 6:51 pm on Thursday, July 19, 2012

Glenda demonstrating her computer while the camera man recordsYesterday I had the pleasure of welcoming the film crew from the Fetzer Institute into our home and my home office.

This wasn’t the first time a film crew had been in my home. The first was many, many moons ago when the National Film Board of Canada filmed On Top of the World. (Oh, that brings back happy memories!)

And yesterday was likely not the last time I will welcome a crew with a mondo video camera into my home, but that is another post…quite possibly in the not distance future… Smile

But it was the first time I had done an on-camera interview! Once again my iPad was put to the test. I was given the interview questions ahead of time and, after writing my text responses in Microsoft Word, I used TextAloud to convert the text to speech. I then emailed the audio files to myself on my iPad.

Audio files in an email on my iPad

When I was asked a set question during the interview, I tapped the appropriate audio file and “Kate” spoke my response perfectly. I so love my Kate! We have done so many wickedly awesome things together.

But the one phenomenon that I really, really, really don’t like is how my body goes into “spaz out” mode whenever a nearby camera is turned on; the more expensive the camera, the more pronounced the “spaz out” mode. And telling myself to relax only accomplishes putting more focus on my body’s unintentional movement, which amps up the movement even more.

I have often wondered whether mastering a few acting techniques would aid in muffling this mind-body disconnect. This is something I would like to learn before I interact with the next film crew, so that when “Action!” is called, only intended action is put forth, or, less unintended action is caught on video.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Jet Planes, Universal Design, Love and Forgiveness: Connected…Somehow

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 3:04 pm on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bags are packed and two presentations are about to be loaded onto my laptop, assuming I can resist this compelling urge to rewrite the rote-feeling introduction. Tomorrow I am off to San Jose to present to a group of web engineers at a large financial institution, and then at Open Web Camp IV on Saturday. I’m definitely getting my geek on this weekend!

I am then home for less than two weeks before heading out for my Philadelphia-Pittsburgh adventure. Climbing the “Rocky” steps in the midst of a heat wave: who’s brilliant idea was this?

In those few days in between trips, I am not only unpacking, washing clothes, re-packing, and getting re-organized; I am also getting my home office and adjacent living space ready for a film crew. Yep, a film crew!

The Fetzer Institute is producing a short (5-minute) documentary on web accessibility, which will be shown at their Global Gathering For Love and Forgiveness in Assisi, Italy in September, then subsequently made available on their website, YouTube, etc. Their production crew for the film has impressive credentials. The script writer in particular has done work for Frontline, MacNeil/Lehrer, NOVA, and others.

I am one of their interviewees. How I get myself into these things, I know not. Smile

Thankfully I have already received interview questions and I will prepare my responses in text-to-speech, likely to be played on my iPad during the video interview. But one question requires some deep, reflective thought, which I haven’t had a chance to do, yet. I pose the question to you, my wise and insightful readers; consider this crowdsource thinking…

The Fetzer Institute’s work focuses on realizing and cultivating the power of love and forgiveness in people’s lives. Do you feel there is a connection between universal design, love, forgiveness?

Discuss in the comment section below while I go triple check that I have my passport, iPad charger, and…

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Photo Wheel Outtakes: The Shots Not Typically Shared

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 5:56 pm on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On beautiful days Darrell and I grab our respective cameras and head out somewhere we can easily get to. These photo wheels have become an outside activity we are able to enjoy together.

I frequently share a day’s best photos in a post, like the Easter bouquet a few days ago.

What I don’t share are the umpteen shots that don’t make the cut because of my shaky cerebral palsy and my not-quite-perfected camera mount. That is, not until now…perhaps there is beauty hidden somewhere in the outtakes…

Clear blue sky with a tree top in the bottom corner

My palm, seriously!

Looking up a tall evergreen tree

Looking part way up two tall evergreen trees

Looking into the branches of two tall evergreen trees

Then I get the one I was aiming for…or almost, which only means I still have something to keep shooting for and isn’t that what photography is all about…

Evergreen trees towering toward the blue sky

Once Darrell and I get home and have had time to go through our own photos, we show each other our successes (and failures).

I love this one Darrell took me trying to look through my camera with it mounted to my scooter and tilted upwards. It explains why I have so many outtakes.

Glenda peering through her camera mounted to her scooter with Gorilla tripod

What makes me grateful is that, because of the technology, I now have photography as a hobby. I would have never had the freedom to take so many outtakes for those few decent ones had I needed to pay for film processing.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Hey Doc, Where’s the Laughing Gas?

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 11:56 am on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The final chapter of the molar broke by an extra hard chocolate-covered coffee bean gets written on Friday. The ending is the one I was really hoping to avoid: extraction under general anaesthesia in hospital.

Since learning the date of this unhappy ending, I have been oscillating between Eckhart Tolle’s “being in the now” and Gary Zukav’s “allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling”.

Right now the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the radio is on and I am doing what I love – writing. Nothing else at this time matters.

In the next moment, I am thinking how hospitals are my least favourite place to be;  the lack of dignity, privacy and respect as an intelligent being leaves me feeling depleted and devalued. But what I am dreading most are the sensations of being put under: leaving my husband and Mom, the less than cozy warm operating room, the sight of torturous-looking equipment, the smell of the black rubber or clear plastic gas mask…in all of the times I have been put under, I’ve yet to encounter laughing gas in my mask, but rather a claustrophobic, uneasy, tingling, numbing sensation that I can not fight off. I succumb, hoping that I will wake up and without any further complications. The memories make me shudder and bring tears to my eyes, again.

I will be relieved when this molar’s final chapter is complete and I can get on with writing my next one.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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