To See Me "Walk"/Roll...

Posted 2:38 AM 9/10/2008
Revised 3:16 AM 9/16/2008

The question "are you going to walk?" when asked to a "normal" college student means "are you going to walk on stage when you graduate?"  I cannot currently ambulate in a traditional sense, but I did graduate and rolled across the stage in the O'Connell Center at the University of Florida.

Revised: You can see (and hear) when I rolled across the stage via UF's webcast of the graduation ceremony (commencement) at either of two links.  To see all the action regarding me, click HERE for the commencement page; then scroll down to Summer, August 9, 2008 and choose Morning Ceremony and your desired player.  If you advance it to about 1:21:30, you'll see the UF Official in the Orange & Blue robe who is ushering students through.  At 1:21:50 he stops everything; that was the first attempt to raise me and the stage was coming up (see the next paragraph if you don't already know about that).  It happened again shortly after 1:24:30.  I am announced (William Allen Miller) and roll across at 1:25:30.  OR click HERE if you just want the 19-seconds of audio/video with me rolling across the stage!  A classmate of mine made the short Windows Media Video clip for me (thanks Phillip!).

I almost did not get to roll across the graduation stage.  My wheelchair is extra long, largely due to the ventilator on back.  UF has a hydraulic lift to raise wheelchair users to the stage, except it wasn't designed with chairs like mine in mind.  I was barely in what was like a metal box, and my feet were pushing the door forward.  As they tried to raise me the door caught the stage -- and the STAGE WAS COMING UP! That happened twice!  Finally, on the third attempt, some people pushed the door back away from the stage and the lift cleared.  The webcast video shows when the Official stopped the attempts to raise me as described in my second paragraph--and there are several thousand witnesses!

Also, if you go to the Online BSBA web page, you'll see a picture of the summer graduates and I'm on the right side of the picture (OK, they apparently already removed the picture, but I captured it with a "print screen" command; click HERE for the picture!).

If you want to know more about my educational journey and where I'm planning to "go" from here... click HERE! Thanks...

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 206 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
My blog: http://powerwheelchairusers.blogspot.com
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net


 
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