I found this while accessing a seminar from Hadley via podcast. The link to
the past seminar page is,
If you access this link shortly, the seminar is found under the second
The following about UEB was included.
By Sally Martin
(Aka the teacher formerly known as dot 6 S dot 6 Y)
Dedicated to Jason Vo and Cameron Knotts
Miss Sally and Miss Karen walked out over the grounds of the braille
apocalypse. They scanned the area and saw nine green tents. "Those must be
where the contractions that are no longer usable are going to die," Miss
They scanned the field and saw AND, OF, THE, FOR and WITH looking lost. AND
kept trying to hug WITH but WITH was shouting, "We can't do this anymore!"
Miss Karen and Miss Sally knew that they would need to talk to the
Miss Karen put on her stern teacher face and told them they could no longer
snuggle together. AND protested, "I've been cuddly my whole
existence! It isn't fair!" Miss Sally patted AND on the dots and
said, "We know. This change is hard. It will be difficult at first but we
will all get used to it." AND pouted but stood alone. THE, FOR, and WITH
seemed near tears but stood strong and alone. "We'll still be close to
other letters when we're used in words," The said.
"It isn't the same!" AND lamented. "It will have to do," said THE with a
finality in his tone.
"Let's leave them for a bit and look in on the tents," Miss Sally suggested.
"I suppose we should," Miss Karen said as she led the way.
BLE was in the first tent. A thermometer hung from his mouth. He saw the
TVIs and immediately began his delirious rant. "I'm not that easily
confused with the number indicator. I'm not bad for the reader. I'm not!
I want to be part of UEB!! It can't end like this!"
Miss Karen and Miss Sally exchanged a knowing glance. "We are so sorry BLE,
you will become a zombie contraction," Miss Sally delivered the grave news.
"What does that even mean?" BLE asked in a panicky tone. "It means you will
continue to be read in old Braille but we won't use you when we write new
Braille. It isn't really death but you aren't really alive anymore either.
" Miss Karen explained in a calm voice. "Will I eat brains?" BLE asked.
Miss Karen and Miss Sally laughed and thought to themselves that the change
would kind of eat the brains of the transcribers who were new to UEB.
readers would be just fine. Miss Sally answered, "No, you won't eat
brains. You'll get used to being a zomie though. Try to think of it
as retired instead of dead. You'll have way less work to do. " BLE
seemed calm as the TVIs left to go to the next tent.
The next tent was the first of the "cling ons". Little TO was in his cot,
looking rather pathetic. "I know, I know, there's probably no saving me. I
was never all that great at saving space anyway," he said with resignation.
Miss Karen replied, "You were everywhere.
Sure, you weren't saving that much space but you did a lot of good work.
We'll still see you in old Braille but when we write new we
will have to spell out T-O. The TVIs parted and headed to the next tent.
BY was waiting in the next tent and he had a similar reaction as to.
He seemed to know his days were numbered. "The best thing I can do is
accept my fate and hope I don't scare any little readers when they see me
doing a zombified cling on move in old Braille text," he sighed but looked
accepting. Miss Karen and Miss Sally gave him a big hug and thanked him for
his selfless dedication to little readers. "Don't worry, we'll explain it
to the kids that all you zombies were heroes.
You've all sacrificed yourselves in hopes to create better Braille for
The next tent was shaking. INTO seemed restless and frightened. "I don't
know what to think! On the one hand my IN lives on. On the
other hand we all know TO doesn't make it. What's to become of me?"
He shook as he asked. The TVIs knew they had some explaining to do.
Miss Sally used her most comforting voice and said, "IN will live on.
However, TO is now spelled out. The word INTO will still have the in
contraction but the TO will be spelled out. Also, there will be no
more clinging." INTO let out a huge sob and whined, "Clinging was
my favorite part of my job. I'm a snuggly type. This will be
awful!" Miss Karen attempted to cheer him up and explained, "You'll
still cling and snuggle in the old text but you'll have to follow the
space rules going forward." INTO conceded, "I suppose we have to
follow the space rules. As much as I like snuggling, I love Braille readers
more than anything so we will just have to put them first."
The TVIs were grateful and parted, feeling like the contractions were being
really great sports.
In the next tent the TVIs found COM hiding under his blanket. "COM, we need
to talk to you. Things are changing and we know you're scared
but let us explain. You were getting confused with the hyphen and
the new Braille is going to eliminate some of that confusion." COM
popped his head out and pleaded, "The readers have always figured me
out." Miss Sally agreed, "They usually did but there are also issues
with back translation. We thought about it long and hard and this is what
is best for our future. We surely do appreciate your service and
we'll be sure to tell kids how well you served us all." COM seemed to
accept his fate.
DD popped his head out of the tent as the TVI's walked up. "Don't come in.
I already know I can't carry on because I look too much like punctuation.
Obviously the period beat me out. He's everywhere!
Everywhere!" DD zipped his tent closed and the TVIs decided to move right
At ATION's tent there was a thudding sound. As the TVIs went in they
realized ATION was trying desperately to raise her dot six. Miss Sally
intervened and explained that the dot six could not be changed and it was
too confusing to have what looked like a capital indicator in the middle of
a word. ATION stopped her thumping and looked defeated. Miss Karen offered
further words of comfort, explaining that back translating was difficult
when two symbols meant different things. ATION asked how often that was
even an issue. Miss Karen explained that technology was becoming a primary
means to produce and read Braille. ATION let the TVIs tuck her into bed.
The weary teachers walked over to the o'clock tent. O'CLOCK was packing a
bag with sunscreen and shorts. The TVIs asked what o'clock was doing.
O'CLOCK replied, "I'm not crying over less work. I'm out of here; I'm
heading to Florida. I'm not sad that my work is done!"
The TVIs chuckled and wished him well.
Before entering the last tent Miss Sally looked like she was going to cry.
Miss Karen patted her on the back and said, "I know this one is going to be
hard for you." They walked in and found ALLY weeping.
Miss Sally held ALLY's hand as she found the courage to tell her favorite
contraction the hard news. "ALLY, you are a part of me, my name just won't
be the same without you. I'm so very sad that you won't make it." ALLY and
Sally shared a hug and the TVI's left the tent, feeling accomplished.
They walked toward the main area of the camp and heard quite a ruckus.
Miss Karen wondered aloud, "What could that be?" Miss Sally picked up a
monocular and looked out toward the gate of the camp. "That's the changes
to composition and punctuation and indicators. They look restless. What
should we do, Karen?" Miss Karen replied swiftly, "RUN!"
They ran as fast as they could but knew they would soon need to face the
remaining changes. For the time being, they had done enough! The END!