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60 Seconds with Paul Rowland

Name: Paul Rowland, Jr., Ph. D.

Age: 72

Where do you live? 

Raleigh, NC

How many relatives do you have with BCM? 

About a dozen, with varying degrees of acuity and color vision. I’m the only one who has not been able to drive.

What is your job/would you like your job to be? 

For more than thirty years, I was the psychologist for North Carolina’s Division of Services for the Blind. Since retiring from that position, I have worked as a lay pastor, serving Berea Presbyterian Church of Four Oaks NC. Check out our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BPC210/) and listen at https://soundcloud.com/berea210 .

What are your hobbies? 

I love to bicycle our city’s greenways with my grown children; I call their safety assistance “sighted ride.” Photography may seem an odd hobby for someone who is legally blind and has severely attenuated color-perception, but I enjoy posting photos on my Facebook page. Back in the day, I developed my  black & white film and photos myself. Current digital cameras provide screens ideal for the myopic, because we, the near-sighted, can hold camera screens very close.
I’m a cook and baker, making sourdough bread, waffles, and pancakes, as well as pizza, fougasse, cakes, brownies, etc.
I enjoy public speaking (for example, listen at https://soundcloud.com/berea210/blind-idol-honors-dinner-speech-61618) and am proud to serve on the Speakers Bureau for the NC Reading Service.
As an avid reader, especially of NLS Talking Books and Kindle books, I enjoy writing book reviews for the magazine Presbyterian Outlook; see https://pres-outlook.org/?s=Paul+Rowland.

What is your most useful BCM tip? 

Vision problems present practical problems, and practical problems usually have practical solutions…or, at least, workarounds. My experience is that those of us with limited useful vision have limited choice: we can be seen as competent, capable adults who need no help at all or we can be seen as incompetent, incapable, child-like creatures who can’t do much for themselves. I choose independence.

Greatest achievement/proudest moment so far… 

In our 39-year marriage, my wife and I have raised two wonderful children who are kind, loving, smart, and delightful adults.

Not many people know this about me but…

I was one of the dancers in a world premiere of a commissioned piece at the American Dance Festival in 1976.