Temple Grandin: Success against all odds

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When Temple Grandin was diagnosed with a form of autism in the 1950’s, her parents were told to have her institutionalized. They chose not to listen to the doctors and now Grandin is a best-selling author, a professor, an inventor and a some what of a celebrity in the divergent fields of animal science and autism awareness.

My sororities philathropy is Autism Speaks so when I needed to pick a non-profit to work with for a class, it was a no brainer. I needed a story that would catch peoples attention and Temple Grandin popped into mind. I remember several years ago, watching Claire Danes win an Oscar for Best Actress for playing Temple Grandin in the movie, Temple Grandin. The film was witty, dynamic and made me fall in love with Grandin.

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Last week, I began to research Grandin when something caught my eye. “Temple Grandin- UNO, March 10th,” read the headline. I couldn’t believe it! I knew right then I HAD to see her speak. The day of her lecture, I heard of an autism awareness fair that was going on in the CEC building on campus. Walking in, I turned to my friend and said, “How crazy would it be if Temple Grandin was in here?”

Sure enough, when I looked up, there she was! I had a little fan-girl moment and got in line to meet her. She was incredibly kind and asked me if I was a student and what I was studying. We didn’t get the best photo together but I didn’t really care, I just met Temple Grandin!

Later that night, a few of my sorority sisters and I went to her lecture. Just as she was portrayed in the film, she was full of energy and was cracking jokes left and right. My favorite lines include when she said she realized “Aksarben” is “Nebraska” spelled backwards and then ended her speech by throwing her hands in the air and yelling, “Thank you, AKSARBEN!”

Although some people don’t even know who she is, it was a very cool moment for me that I will never forget. Enjoy our awkward picture and be sure to check out Temple Grandin starring Clair Danes! It’s a great film!

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