Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 04 — Time Marches On

Okay, for serious this time, a short post. For real. I promise! Today was a pretty relaxed day all in all, something that was definitely needed. I accidentally slept all afternoon…instead of finishing my thesis…whatever, I’ll just do another year of school, no problem, right mom? We got up early and grabbed some continental breakfast from the Comfort Inn lobby–I had a bowl of Raisin Bran for the first time in like 40 years. For those of you who don’t know me, this likely seems pretty obscure and of questionable significance, but without going into graphic detail, I am an unbelievably picky eater. So much so I leave many people wondering how I’m even alive to this day. My diet generally consists of meat (I’m a Bruce County boy, we love our beef), what I like to call the anti-vegetarian, and have a personal vendetta against fruits and vegetables. More proof that I am a young child stuck in a grown man’s body, as if the fact that we are DEFINITELY going to Chucky Cheese tomorrow night for dinner isn’t enough (Whack-a-mole here we come!!).

Anyway, post-breakfast we headed over to Avenue Road Public School for the very first school presentation of the trip. They were a great group of kids who were really excited to hear what I’m up to on my way to Ottawa. I also had one of the toughest questions ever from a girl in the audience, who wanted to know the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m pretty sure that is officially the hardest question a kid has ever, ever, ever asked me. How much do I weigh? No problem. How do I go pee? Simple. What does it feel like to be in a chair? Terrific. Best thing that’s ever happened to me? Wow. That question was way too philosophical and introspective for 9:30 in the morning!

Once again, the legendary Sam must make another appearance on this blog. As we were walking to the gymnasium we started hearing whispers in the classrooms that we passed, the normal type of excited buzz when strangers are walking around a school. Except this time, we clearly heard some kids say “I think that’s Sam!” Now at the time, Sam figured this had nothing to do with her and must have been about something else, but of course, during the question and answer period after my presentation a young girl raises her hand and asks: “Who is Sam?” At this point, Sam does her best face-painted hockey fan impression and I almost find out what it feels like to pee my pants from laughing too hard in front of an entire elementary school.

So make a note–in 4 days, Sam has now been called out two, arguably three, separate times. The best part about this is that it is becoming a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy because as more hilarious events occur involving Sam, they will be written about in the blog, which will lead to more people asking about her, which will lead to more blog postings about her. After I’ve fixed up this whole accessible transportation mess I think I may be able to just live off “Sam Burton Celebrity Foundation” royalties for the rest of my natural life (and probably some of my unnatural one too). Good news mom and dad, looks like your retirement pension is safe for another few years!

Tomorrow is going to be a big day and I hope Cambridge is ready for it! I’m presenting at Stewart Avenue Public School tomorrow morning, followed by a mini-rally at Cambridge City Hall and a meeting with Mayor Doug Craig starting at 11am. All are welcome and we will have all kinds of post cards for people to sign and rally posters for people to wave around and place in the windows of their house or business. I will be making a very brief speech and the rest of the time will be dedicated to just chatting with everyone who shows up.

Well, it’s about time for me to pack it in. See? I can be brief when I want to be! Oh one more thing, we just got the rest of our decals for the vehicles, so keep your eyes out for some of the coolest looking vans cruisin’ around Cambridge tomorrow night!

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.