Author: Annie Lauren Harris
Title: It's Easier to Dance
Website and Blog: http://www.annielaurieharris.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/psuannie
Annie Laurie Harris, the oldest one of her ethnicity who lives independently, was born with cerebral palsy. She has defied the odds and challenged the medical prognosis since early childhood. She continues to live a full and active life in her 6th decade. After achieving her Master's Degree at Penn State University in 1985 she worked as a counselor and advocate for those with a history of chemical dependency. In 1990, she was recruited by the prestigious World Institute of Disability to be the Assistant Director of the first HIV/Disability Project. Her grant writing expertise is second to none as private foundations funded her innovative research projects again and again. Since returning to her home state of PA where she lives near her beloved alma mater, Ms. Harris continues to be involved in her community and avidly supports the Penn State athletic program. Once again,her love of writing helps to supplement her income. Her groundbreaking memoirs, It's Easier to Dance, is provocative and thought provoking.
Tags/Labelsinspirational, self help, disabilities, cerebral palsy, african american women, virtual book tours, blog tour, author tour, virtual book tour café, its easier to dance, annie laurie harris
Ticket to Freedom
My mother always stressed great importance in having an education. From early in my childhood, she insisted that I go to school like any other child. She became my first teacher. But never was college considered a possibility. After getting my high school diploma, I went to a rehabilitation center where I entered a typing program. No one bothered to tell me that in order to be a clerk typist, you needed to be able to type at least 40 wpm with a maximum of 5 errors. When I learned this, I felt betrayed, and I quit the program, returned home depressed. There was another reason I wouldn’t see my vocational rehabilitation counselor. He wanted me to go to a sheltered workshop which was for those whose diagnosis was primarily “mental retardation”. I didn’t get dressed; I don’t even remember eating regularly. I wondered what would happen to me. Finally, my brother, who was a graduate student at PSU, asked one of his professors if there was some way that his younger sister could go to college. The professor had influence, and recommended to the appropriate people (I assume was Admissions) that I would be able to attend the branch campus for 2 terms and then my acceptance would be based on my GPA.
In Sept. 1972, the year congress passed the Right to Education Law which allowed children with significant disabilities to attend public schools; I became an adjunct student at Penn State University’s Shenango Valley campus. I excelled academically, making the Dean’s List and that next fall, I began my undergraduate degree at Shenango Valley. Being older than the typical undergraduate, I made friends among the young instructors, who loved having me in their classes. My academic advisor recommended that I be exempt from taking a language (something I later regretted), and she also thought I should not take the undergraduate speech requirement, which included giving public speeches. I went to talk to the instructor, James Elder, who said “Annie, you have important things to say to the world so you might as well start in my class.” Except for statistics, college, was easy for me… not particularly intellectually challenging.
She is also hosting this amazing giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you had to choose, would you rather..? (why?)
- live in a house that is black or pink?
Pink. I want light to come in
- keep only writing books for the rest of your life or do another job?
I love writing more than anything!
- be an fish or a bird?
Fish so I could live in water.
-be an Olympic athlete, a popular musician or a famous actor?
Olympic athlete. I like the discipline it takes.
- eat only meat or only vegetables for the rest of your life?
Vegetables with a little grains and fish. I felt best when I was a vegetarian practicing yoga regularly.
- have been a character in the movie Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings or Braveheart?
A former colleague told me that I reminded him of Yoda because he found my outward appearance is so deceiving. I never saw any of these movies.
- join the band Iron Maiden, Green Day, Backstreet Boys or the Beatles?
Backstreet Boys. I like their music.
- live in a country where it always rains or where it´s always sunny, no clouds and really hot
I lived in Central Texas for 6 months. Loved the weather!
- live in a castle or luxury cruiser?
Luxury cruiser. It would suit me well!
- be an amazing cook or an amazing baker?
I AM an amazing cook! Learned most from my mother and the yoga community that I was part off for many years.
Thanks for hosting my tour!
Book Review Video:
Annie Practicing Golf Video:
Annie will soon have a new and improved Facebook Page.
She has a website and blog: http://www.annielaurieharris.com.