Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Reading Machine

I have a friend who is blind; she comes to my “English Books Library”. How does she read these books? Easy, She has a reading machine.
I had once read in Time magazine, as a teen, that reading machines could be set to read in a variety of “voices”. The first time this lady came to the library, and explained that she had a “reading machine”, I was glad to know about it, and remembering the article, asked her which voice she had chosen, perhaps “Perfect Paul”?
“How did you know?!??” ( Ahh, nice to be considered intelligent and on the ball….)

This morning she paid the “Library” (My “library” consisting of only some 24 shelves of books, plus an additional 3 shelves on “special needs”.) a visit. She mentioned how much she enjoys listening to taped lectures (of Rabbis), much more than hearing it from a book with “Perfect Paul”. Because “Perfect Paul” is not human. He is a machine. And no matter how well he is programmed, he just can not give the same inflection to his speech as a human can.
So for all of our slowness, our forgetfulness, and our inaccuracies, we are still that notch—a human notch--- above machine.
So I , for one, will try and use my voice wisely and not carelessly today….


Anonymous said...

Indeed. I work diligently with my boys trying to embed the importance of tone of voice in speaking to others.

And thank you for you beautiful comment on One Mean Mother at 5M4SN.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful post.

Today, I took Gabe to his last Early Years drop-in. He begins nursery school and Wednesdays will be a day of his attendance. Anyway, his friend, Michael, at the drop-in, has autism. I don't think I've ever heard Michael speak, but today, he was humming and singing to himself.

It made me sad because I long to hear his first hear his voice and to hear what he means.

Anyway, a great post!

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

That was inspiring, it's cool how you found a lesson in that. But it's true.