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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Saying Hey to the Wrong People

May 4, 2023
Ben Griffin

The Nearsighted Experience

Ben Griffin

College goes by in a blur, especially when you’re myopic. 

Which students receive the least empathy on campus? A tricky question. Here’s the answer: students with easily correctable vision. Well no longer! It’s time to see what they go through, time to see what they can’t. Here’s a week in the life of a myopic student: 


Walking to the cafeteria 

You’re walking to the cafeteria, and someone is approaching. Their bodily outline and face blur seem familiar. “Hey Lindsey!” They don’t respond, and now that their face blur has sharpened, it’s not Lindsey at all. Now you have to tell them about your friend Lindsey, even though you know they don’t care about Lindsey. At this point, your sweat glands are pumping, and you hope you’ll never see that person again in your life. Except they have the same class schedule as you... 


Watching the lecture  

You’re in Music Theory 1 and the professor asks you what the root of the chord on the board is. You say it’s B, but it’s not. To everyone else in the classroom, it was clearly a C. Embarrassment like that may never be resolved.  


Walking to the apartment 

You’re walking to your apartment, and one of your neighbors is leaving their apartment. Because of your last myopic greeting experience, you’ve adopted a new tactic: avoid eye-contact.  

They’re getting closer, so you take in the beauty of the road to the left. Three steps later, it’s time to explore the sky to the right. Exultations, they’ve just passed. Oh no, but they’ve said hey, and they used your name. You realize too late it’s someone you know, and now you’re asking them how they are from fifteen feet away. 


Identifying birds 

You can hear the black-crowned night heron, but you can’t see it. You left your middle school glasses at home, so you whip out the only eye-correction you can stand: your binoculars. You still can’t see anything. Oh wait, it’s night-time, that’s why. The only bird you’ve identified this time is a silly goose, and it’s you.  

That’s either a yellow light or a pedestrian. Photo from, by Own Filters.

Walking to class 

You’re walking to class. At this point, you’re saying hey to everyone in case you know them. Nobody is that friendly though. Greeting everyone kindly is fake. Inclusive in intrusive.  


Being asked to read a passage from your assigned textbook 

Finally, a task your lens was made for (by the slow and continuous distortion of the eye). The text stands out in glorious focus. Times New Roman itself squirms under the intensity of your scrutiny. The 12pt characters plunge into the depths of your pupil as you prepare to contribute to class the way you do best: upon request.  

But wait, you don’t know where the last reader ended. “Where are we?” The professor moves on to another student who knows where the rest of the class is.  



  1. Glasses: Eww, get that vision correction away from me. Photo from, by Bud Helisson.  
  2. Blur: That’s either a yellow light or a pedestrian. Photo from, by Own Filters.  
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