3.06.2008

The Extraordinary Accomplishments of Helen Keller

Recently when this picture was found of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan it reminded me of my lifelong interest in this remarkable woman. The old black and white photo shows her with a beloved doll that helped break the language barrier between words and objects.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." Helen Keller
Even though Helen Keller was deaf and blind I saw that humble person and honest worker. When I was in elementary school I recall reading my first biography about her. As I lived the lives of Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, and Amelia Earhart through books, Helen Keller was the person that stayed with me.
I also remember watching "The Miracle Worker" and being in awe of the patience Annie Sullivan displayed toward Helen during the famous dining room scene. We didn't have many handicapped people in our town. Patty Duke so skillfully played young Helen Keller it almost scared me to see somebody with disabilities.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller

The famous scene when she spoke "wa wa" still brings tears to my eyes whether I am watching the original or the remake when Patty Duke played Annie Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert was Helen. As she continued to speak out for people with disabilities and be a strong voice for women she had to have felt her passions in her heart.

I never lost track of Helen Keller. I wrote a research paper on her life in high school. I have used her as an example numerous times while teaching as somebody that showed courage and perseverance. She learned Braille, graduated from college, and did speaking engagements around the world. When I saw that old picture flash on my news page online this week it was a perfect time to reflect on a life of an extraordinary woman.

"When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. " Helen Keller

18 comments :

  1. I have had to go to the back of my classroom when that scene comes in the movie. No matter that I know what's coming. No matter that I know the whole thing by heart. It always moves me to tears. Particularly when she says "I love teacher." That kind of relationship...it's one of the main reasons I teach...Same with you, I suspect =)

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  2. I am amazed again every time I revisit the story of Helen Keller. I can't imagine overcoming her obstacles with such spirit and imagination. And you're right; that scene is awesome.

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  3. Helen Keller has always been a hero of mine and you did a great job with this tribute to her.

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  4. I saw this photo the other day. I grew up very near where she was born and have always been inspired by her.

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  5. I've seen and heard this before... but in your telling I got chills down my spine. Again.

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  6. I to saw the discovery of this old photo on yahoo news..... and Ive been reading this week all about Helen and clicked around all the links to her complete life story...... its been a wonderful read in a busy stressful week.... what a great reminder on what can be achieved in life....

    x

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  7. I was so glad I found others that had similar feelings about Helen Keller. Knowing that Patti Duke lives in my area now I have always wanted to run into her and ask her about those experiences. Perhaps I still will!

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  8. Anonymous25.2.09

    I am nine years old, i am doing a biography of Helen Keller and i think she was pretty amazing. I love the pictures!! I really want to see the move though.

    MAGNIFICENT!!

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  9. Anonymous21.4.09

    Wow, I just learned that Helen Keller was a socialist and that she was only intersted in serving the blind formall countires but her own. She is no longer a favorite of mine. My daughter has to portray her in class and I am not thrilled about it.

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  10. Anonymous11.4.11

    Well I have to say Helen Keller is a pretty amazing person to be able to overcome obstacles like that. And I wish I had enough courage to do what that young little girl had to do. I can barely overcome my obstacles now without all this drama I have to deal with. =( But she has encouraged me to get through all of this without being afraid or scared. =^)

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  11. pranati10.10.11

    She was a great author.....i'm soo glad that with her all faith, never decided to give up... i mean thats the biggest thing to achieve the life.

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  12. pranati10.10.11

    She was a great author.....i'm soo glad that with her all faith, never decided to give up... i mean thats the biggest thing to achieve the life.

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  13. Anonymous19.3.12

    I have to do a report on her and im looking for her accomplishments!!!!

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  14. Anonymous26.5.12

    Doing a bio on her this info is very good.

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  15. Anonymous25.4.13

    she didn't really say what Helen Keller's accoplishments were.

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  16. Tina (the REAL Tina)!25.4.13

    yes she did

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  17. Anonymous25.4.13

    She didn't really say what Helen Keller's accomplishments were.

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  18. Tina (the REAL Tina)25.4.13

    yes she did

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