Victoria Grenier and her father Edward make a handsome couple strolling together, she with her hand on his arm. She's almost his height, slim, with short brown hair cut softly to frame her face and a hint of sparkling eye shadow that matches her dark pink dress.
She laughs at what he tells her and gives him a quick retort.
On Sunday, Victoria, or Tori as she is called, will graduate from Smith College with an average that she has figured out on her special talking calculator at "about 3.73."
"Tori never leaves anything to chance," her father teased her.
She's been accepted in a PhD program in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts, and this week received an award from First Lady Nancy Reagan for scholastic achievement.
Tori Grenier has been blind since birth, but at 22 she is a picture of optimism and ambition.
"I want to be a part of the mainstream," she said. "I don't expect people to make exceptions for me."
Grenier, who grew up in Potomac with her parents Edward and Patricia Grenier and two younger brothers, attended the Connelly School of The Holy Child.
She chose Smith College, the elite women's school in Northhampton, Mass., because, she said, "I wanted to go to a school where the majority of students are sighted. Otherwise (at schools for the blind), it's like a little group that sticks together."
She studied at Smith by listening to tapes of all the assignments, which her family paid the school to have students make. She said she often turned up the speed on her tape recorder, making the voices several octaves higher, in order to get through the material more quickly, and wrote her papers on a Braille typewriter.
Her senior thesis was about women's job-related productivity.
Asked whether she considered herself a feminist, Grenier said, "I believe in careers for women and intend to have a career myself, but I also respect the good qualities of being feminine."
One of the questions asked her when she applied to graduate school was how much of a handicap she thought she would have working as a clinical psychologist, and if a person's body language is an essential part of an analysis.
"Yes, it's an important clue," she said. "But if the person is shaking because he is nervous, there's usually more than one clue. I just have to be more sensitive to vocal clues, that's all. Some people don't hear vocal clues at all -- that's why staffs work together."
She was one of three blind college graduates selected by the Recording for the Blind Inc. to receive its annual $1,000 scholastic achievement award in a presentation at the White House. William Gibson, 22, a graduate of Rice University, and Michael Deinhardt, 30, a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, also were honored this week.