The book I chose to read is called The Touch of Magic written by Lorena A. Hickok. The story was about Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Kellerís wonderful teacher. I had never heard of Anne before I read this book, but while looking in the library my mom explained to me who she was and she seemed like she would be an interesting person to do it on. I was right.
Anne Sullivan Macy was born on April 14, 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. At the age of nine she was taken to the outskirts of Tewksbury, Massachusetts with her three year old brother Jimmie. There, they were sent to the Massachusetts State Infirmary. Not because they were mentally sick or anything, but because they had nowhere else to go.
Their mother had died of tuberculosis and their father had left them. None of their relatives wanted them because Annie was nearly blind and Jimmie had something wrong with his hip and had to walk with a crutch. Annieís one year old sister was taken right away by her aunt and uncle because she was darling. Nobody knew where to send them so thatís how she ended up at the infirmary.
A few months after they had arrived, Jimmie got deathly ill. The doctorís couldnít do anything for him and unfortunately he past away. Annie took this unbelievably hard for she had realized that Jimmie was the only thing she had ever loved.
Annieís attitude then worsened even more because she felt she had nothing left. She would throw hissy fits at the nurses and kick and scream. Believe it or not, this is one of the character traits that I most admire about Miss Macy. She was aggressive and didnít let anyone tell her what to do. Even though she could hardly see, she lived her own life in her own little world.
Another trait that I admire about her is that she was a dreamer. I know I am a big dreamer and can get lost in my thoughts sometimes, but her dreams werenít like mine. Annie dreamt of being able to see, but most often dreamt of going to school. Annie wanted to learn but had no one to teach her.
One day, about a year after Jimmieís death, the State Board of Charities came by to look around. Annie was so excited because she heard they might be able to send her to school. When they were leaving she jumped in front of them and yelled out that she wanted to go to school. The men asked her what was wrong with her and she explained to them that she was nearly blind.
A few days later, after Annie thought she had blown her chance of ever going to school, a girl from the ward came saying that Annie was to go to school. Annie was ecstatic and couldnít wait to go. This is the first major event that I think led to Annieís success.
The day finally came and Annie arrived at the Perkins Institution for the Blind in South Boston around noon. She didnít like it at first but later became quite popular. While the other girls stayed in nice cottages, Annie stayed in an old cottage with fifty year old Laura Bridgman. Laura was blind, deaf, and dumb.
Laura Bridgman had gone to that school forty some years earlier and was taught the manual alphabet. This is where you communicate by spelling words on each otherís palms and then feel an object to know that the word spelled is the word felt.
Annie was simply fascinated with this way of communicating that she learned the manual alphabet. Thatís why I think Laura was the person who had the greatest influence on Annie. Annie would spend hours ďtalkingĒ with Laura. She would tell Laura what was going on in school and things around them and Laura would share her thoughts and feelings back to Annie.
Annie was good in school and her teachers saw that. She had a hard time with Braille but after a lot of hard work, she got it. I think that is another admirable trait about Annie. Her eagerness and willingness to learn. an education was what she wanted all her life and her dream finally came true. After