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I’m not technically bored, but I need a break from homework. October 31, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,deaf — bookwritegirl @ 9:37 pm

I’ve got a lot of things on my mind, and I’m just looking to download the info so I can get to sleep!

Well, I was looking into what I mentioned in my previous post, a ASL degree at Gallaudet. According to their course catalog, I can apply for undergrad admission after I have my degree from a different university. When I go this route, I don’t have to bother with the general ed classes, just the major-related ones, so that’s two years! I can actually do a major in ASL and a minor in Deaf Studies in the two years, unless I want to get ambitious again…(which I’ll probably just hold myself back from getting another double-major).

I would be working on my Library Science masters from Mizzou at the same time, since most if not all the classes are totally internet meditated. (Note to self: get more info on this). And while I’m at Gallaudet for two years, I can either or both do an internship at the Library of Congress and work at the Gallaudet Library. The latter would probably suit my goals more.

You see, (if I haven’t explained it already), it seems that many culturally Deaf people don’t read. I mean, I understand that. Their first language is ASL, and it’s hard learning a second language. But I want to change that, and encourage kids (and adults) to read more, and take the time to learn English. Reading opens up a lot of doors! It just over-all brightens your life IMO. So, by taking more time in my studies to better learn ASL, and maybe even working at the Gallaudet Library, would give me great experience for my goal.

 So, looking up all this info, (printing off tons of pages at 3 cents a page) I got really excited. I decided to see if it’s possilble to graduate in 4 years instead of my planned 5. 2010 instead of 2011. So, I added up all the credits of all the classes I have to take to graduate with my double major and it is a total of 92 more credits. And this is accounting for the classes that count for both majors (I didn’t count those classes twice). So, if I take 12 credits each of the next two summers, and 16-19 credits each of the four semesters in the two academic years, then I can graduate in Spring 2010.

Uh….what about my life? I got to thinking. Wait a minute. I wanted to take it easy(ish) so I can get more involved with my city’s Deaf gatherings. So, I’m stuck with 2011. Which is okay…I think. 2nd year senior and all that. Then go to Gally for two years, and graduate there in 2013. (unless I do a double-major there…2014…wait, stop thinking about that!!!) And then see where I am with my masters. I’m not going to kill myself for it. I can get a good job and work toward that degree, if I graduate from that in 2013 too, that’s great!

See, I have a little time to spare. I checked on my Stafford loans, to see when I had to start repaying them. I need a good job base before I start up the montly (scary) payments. Whew! November 11th, 2015. So, if I have to graduate from the masters in 2014, I’ll still be alright. Plus once I’m kicked off my parent’s insurance at age 24 (4 more years) I may then be eligible for SSI, and maybe then VR will help pay for tuition?

But it’s all worth it. See, the East coast has it’s share of Deaf community. The West coast seems like it does too, since DawnSignPress is in California. But what about the middle? It’s kinda sparse. It sounds corny, but I really want to improve the services and community here. We have a smallish community. But if I can get more theaters to have captioning, more companies/schools aware of Deafness, more schools offer ASL classes (or even the degree itself), etc etc. then maybe more Deaf people will move here/stay here, and that in turn would boost the community feeling which in turn will boost more interest…

 Or this may all sound nieve and far too hopeful (as some cynics have actually told me I often sound like), but either way I still want to be librarian for the deaf.

Whew…5-6 more years to go of schooling…good thing I love learning, huh? 🙂

 

Man, does time slip by fast! October 28, 2007

Well, I’m not sure when my last post was, but it’s time for a new one, with updates from the past week (or was it two weeks?).

 I went to see VR on Thursday. I guessed she was deaf from the way she writes her emails; you know, me being an English major I tend to be able to guess who wrote what from how they write. They were in good English, just slightly “off”, if that makes sense? Some of the verbs didn’t have verb endings, etc. And when I went to see her, she both signed and talked, mostly signed. So I was right! It was about time I intuited something right! She mostly signed, and so I both signed and talked. It turns out there’s not much they can do for me right now. I’m still in college, and I have a job, and so she didn’t even mention monetary support. Plus I felt it would be rude to ask, because I’m pretty self-sufficient. It’s not like I’m hurting for money, though I am on a college student’s budget. Looking toward the future, however, VR said she could help me then. When I’m ready to look for a real job, come see her, and then they can help me find a job, apply, interview, get, and keep the job, and provide whatever accomodations I might need, like a TTY, or a videophone, etc. Or even an interpreter. I’m nearly at the point when I can understand most of what anybody is saying in ASL, which makes me very excited! 🙂 VR says they also will be my advocate, so I shouldn’t be “dismissed” just because I’m deaf.

 After the end of our fairly short meeting she said I signed pretty well, which I thanked her for. She said that because we had been talking about the Sorenson free VRS equip., and they ask you if ASL is your primary language. She told me to say yes, because I know enough to converse with. So, when I got home, I filled out the app! No idea how long it will take for me to get it, but whenever is okay. It probably would be more useful after this semester, once I’ve finished ASL 3.

There wasn’t another deaf game night this week. Asked him when the next one was, he said he wasn’t sure, but thought it would be in two more weeks. I hope he’s right, because I don’t want it to be this friday! I want it to be next friday, as this weekend I’m going on a Student Senate conference in KC, MO! (All paid for by Student Government, which is awesome!). Plus it’s mandatory, so I can’t beg out of it. So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe they’ll also have a Christmas gathering? I’m definitely am going to try to make that one if they do.

Haven’t heard anything from Gallaudet for a while. But I’m kinda doubting I’ll go for a while. I am toying around with the idea of graduating from my univ, then going to Gallaudet for a undergrad degree in  ASL, which will take about 2 years, possibly less. Because then I won’t have any scholarships to worry about losing; I could also possibly qualify for SSI or VR payment then, as well. And also then, I can complete my library science masters while at Gallaudet, since I beleive it is all online. I’d better check into that, though. But perhaps then I could work at the Library of Congress, for a great resume builder…man, I’m getting excited! I think this is probably a better plan, even though I’m going to have a heck of a loan to pay off later. I should try to publish a book, and have it take off, so I can actually afford my monthly loan payments…!

 That reminds me. I’m seriously am considering adding a third major. Yes, I am crazy, thank you for telling me! I have no idea if it will work, or if I will still be able to graduate in 2011 (I’m a sophomore, so technically I should graduate in 2010, but double majors means one more year). So, I’m going to see if I can get an appt. with a College of Education advisor and discuss this. Oh, yeah, the major would be Educational Interpreting. A non-teaching degree. I have a goal of encouraging Deaf people to go to libraries, having signed story times, etc, because it seems like nearly all the deaf people i’ve met don’t read much. I had always assumed they’d be bookworms like me, but  I guess not.

Anyway, the reason why I want to talk with the advisor is because I’m deaf. I’m not necessarily going into it for interpreting reasons; I have a hard enough time myself to understand people! It’s just to further solidify my signing skills, and to learn how to translate stories from books into sign. So, I don’t want to go on a practicum, nor do I want to “learn how to interpret in a variety of fields under a variety of conditions”. I’d fail those things. But this perhaps is a moot point if I decide to go to Gallaudet for the ASL degree after I graduate. But perhaps s/he can guide me in the right direction. Or perhaps I can get my univ to create this program, to attract more students?

 *Sigh.* Okay. So I’m looking into a Deaf World Day event, right? Turns out my committee doesn’t actually plan events. It just basically helps to advertise. And even if I’m liason for the something or other disability agency, I don’t plan events. So I’m going to try to talk to the agency director (but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is a student, and not a permanent one like I originally thought it was going to be) and see what she thinks about this. Perhaps she’ll add it to the list of events?

I still want to raise money for my state’s deaf school museum (the school shut down nearly 10 yrs ago). Currently they’re housed in two rooms that the current inhabitant of the building graciously gave to them. But they want to raise money to fix up the oldest building on campus, to the tune of 1 million dollars. Well, if I can get every student in each ASL class at my univ to donate, say, 2 dollars each, that’s about 200-300 dollars right there. That’d buy paint. I’m going to talk to the guy who’s working on the museum, see how I can go about donating that money.

For honors credit, I can do the TAG program. For honors public school students. I’ve been thinking about teaching ASL for a long time, and now just am feeling like I know enough vocab and linguistics to teach younger kids. But public schools? I hated them! I was so lost and generally not quite “one of them”, though all were nice to me. So I asked my honors program, homeschoolers are like honors students, can I teach them? One tentatively said yes, and I’m waiting on the director to give it the official approval. I’m also waiting on my parish to get back to me; the business manager said I should be able to get a schoolroom for free, but has to clear it by Father first. So, I’m taking the lesson plans so generously provided on Lifeprint.com, and modifying them slightly for the target audience. And get this: I’m paying $400 in tuition to teach! If I pay tuition for the “internship”, I get official honors university credit for teaching. The librarians laughed when I told them this. I’m afraid to tell anybody else though, because homeschoolers are really nice. They can be cheap, but they do try to show their appreciation at the end of any program, by bringing in sweets, or pooling their money together to give a gift basket. And I would feel weird if they gave me something. I really don’t mind paying, I would teach either way, even if I didn’t get any credit, official or unoffical. So, I’m probaly not going to tell them that fact, because I don’t want them to feel obligated to chip in to help with tuition. That would feel really weird.

I’m glad I went to Mass this morning. It provides a steady hand to my weird life. I was feeling a little lonely. Not for family, or friends. I just keep seeing all these “couples” around campus, and feel a little pang, and my hand light. I don’t have a hand to hold, walking to class. Etc. And even though there are plenty of guys, of nice guys, of nice Catholic guys who are single, okay, none of them seem to have shown much of an interest in me. So, I wonder, is it me? But I prayed in church today before Mass, and then the rest of the day I felt patient (for once!). He will provide, as corny as that sounds. I used to laugh, but now I know it’s true, though I have no “proof” of it. It’s just a feeling. So, part of me is patient. Part of me is still lonely. And part of me is wondering with every single guy I see, “is he the one?” Then the pateint part keeps telling the wondering part to shut up, stop imagining. It seems to only set me up for disappointment.

What seemed to help is that in the ladies home journal, they talked about how daydreaming is good for you. That gave me license to daydream about how I may encounter my future boyfriend. In the library, at the bookstore, in a class next semester, etc. He doesn’t have an official bodily form. I don’t have any hard and fast “rules” about guys. Neither do I have one about him being hearing or deaf. I don’t care, but lately they’ve been about a deaf guy. He must be self-actualized, though. I wouldn’t date a needy, stupid, or absolutely serious/shy hearing guy, nor will I a deaf guy like that. But I did dream last night that I had twins! I was so happy 🙂 I always have loved children. That’s another thing. He must love dogs, and must love children.

Anyway, writing helps too. I’ve been altering these dreams slightly, daydreams, whatever. And writing them up as a manuscript for writing class. I hope they don’t catch on that is actually real, for a fiction class. 🙂

Part of my rollercoaster emotions right now is horomone related as well. Remember how I went on CrMS? I had lost all appetite for nearly 4 weeks, and lost 8 lbs. Starting 2 nights ago, I got my appetite back! That made me happy, but oh great, just in time for halloween. Ate a lot, stepped on the scale this morning, and apparently I’m at 140. Better than 145, but I liked it better when it was 137! So, I have to moderate myself again. Some of it is just emotional hunger…when I was feeling blue Friday and Sat, I had a lot of chocolate, (hot chocolate, bite size halloween candy, etc). I didn’t pig out, but it felt like it since I had been so picky with food lately.

I sorta miss the pill already. Stupid horomones. But I certainly hope that if I hang in there, the doctor will be able to figure out what does all this, and treat the source. I’m just glad he will never prescribe the pill again! From my share of research, it seems I may have a progesterone defiicency, and the pill is largely estrogen, which I don’t need.

Wow, I just spent a long time on this. I’m going to shut up now, and try to figure out how to keep my mind on homework.

 

This has been an amazing weekend… October 20, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,dating,deaf,guys,Identity,life,Love — bookwritegirl @ 10:47 pm

Well, first off it’s midterms.

No, wait, that’s not why I like the weekend. (Though I am actually looking forward to ASL midterms…!!!) It’s fall break too. I only get a couple of days off, but it makes a world of a difference, because I need to get some homework done, because of all the fun I’ve had lately…

Last night, I carpooled with a ASL classmate to the Deaf Assoc. Game Night. I’m glad we carpooled, though I’m perfectly capable of driving myself, because we got lost. We’d never been in that part of town before, and it wasn’t the greatest part…We got lost, somehow ended up in a dead end behind a Goodwill and near a jail, I believe it was. And the county warehouse. I’d never seen it before. Neither had she. So she called her husband (see, if it were me, I’d have been like permanently lost). “Um, where are we, and where are we going, and how can we get there?” Waited for his computer to load MapQuest, finally 10 minutes later we were on our way. It was dark by now. We would be fashionably late. I read the signs while she navigated the roads…our street came up suddenly, and I said, here it is, turn left! She veered left (wow, can she navigate her little car…that’s one thing I’m not mentioning to Mom and Dad). We thought we were lost again…but then I remembered it was on 40th, and we were still on 42nd. Plus we reasoned, all the cars in the street were probably for the game night too. We found it! It was an actual building, rather run down, too, but it had a simple sign out front. We were so excited, we made it! But boy, was J. nervous (she was the one who drove).

“I’m about to throw up…I’m so nervous! I don’t know why I’m nervous!” (her) “We got lost, we finally made it, and I’m not going to let you back out now!” (I said jokingly). We walked in, and signed in. What struck me most was (I know this is obvious, but bear with me) I saw noise. But it was absolutely silent. It was a bit disconcerting. All these people talking, I should be overwhelmed by now! I’m usually bewildered in crowd situations like this, “what the heck is going on…?” sort of thing. But no. For the first time in my life, I could socialize easily in a large group of people. That felt so SO nice…a on the top of the world feeling! It was an amazing experience, if it were that alone. Wow. This is what it’s like for hearing people…wow!

I met a lady whom I had very falteringly communicated with at my old job (a restaurant). Then, she didn’t speak as well, and I could hardly sign. Now, she is taking voice lessons with J., and now I am in ASL III. Everybody socialized for an hour, then we played games for an hour. Finally my ASL teacher came, with his parents and one of his siblings, during the game times, and J. and I felt a little sigh of relief…we’re no longer strangers in a strange land. We know him, and he knows everybody else. The boundaries started to cease.

My table, we played some sort of game I forgot the name of (it started with an S, that much I know), but we kept getting sidetracked, signing away to each other. It was awesome being able to play a game in a group, and understanding the side conversations without going “What? What?” all the time. I could carry on a meaingful conversation (within the large boundaries of my vocab) for once in my life, in a social situation like this. Wow.

After an hour of failing to complete a full game, the facilitator at 9 said to stop and clean up, and this signalled the depature of some people. But many lingered, chatting for two more hours. At least, J and I did. Others lingered even more. I found out my ASL teacher’s family is very very nice. By this time I was quite adept at explaining my mini life story. (parents found out I was deaf at 2, raised hearing, etc etc). His mom said it was never to late to learn sign, she was glad I was doing so at all, in a very happy way. His dad asked a few questions, he didn’t speak much. His younger sister was great too…I was never that well-adjusted at that age.

Teacher then introduced me to several people (to whom I also had to explain a little bit of myself, like my major, etc), telling them how proud he was of me (with a slightly red face) and I thanked him, a little bewildered…why was he so proud of me? Maybe he considers me to be the best student in class? I’m not quite sure, but I do know that I pick up on signs rapidly, I mean, sign language just makes sense to me (as well as English). And the other students regularly ask me what the sign for such and such was (75% of the time I remember the sign, or can figure out the cryptic drawings in the book). And for my signed speech in class (again, life story) he said I had a good flow. So, I’m guessing he’s referring to that?

Side note: Whenever I do a speech of any sort, I talk very fast because I’m nervous. It turns out I can sign fast, too when I’m nervous.

Anyway, there were small groups of conversations around me, and I could, again, for once in my life, look around and catch a bit of a conversation here, another one there, etc. That was amazing. I keep saying how amazing it was. Usually I’m exhausted and frustrated by now. I wasn’t. Sure, I didn’t know all the vocab yet, but I could get about as much through sign as I can through hearing in a small group of people. Maybe 75% of all words. Which is awesome! If I can understand this much now, just wait until after ASL 5!

I had been wondering about BlackBerries for a while. My best friend is probably going to get one, just because of all the extra stuff on it. And I wanted to see what it can do. So I asked Teacher’s dad if he could tell me anything about them, and he referred me to Teacher, who showed me several of the functions. I think, when my plan runs out, I will get a BB. 1 1/2 more years! It’s worth the $30 a month, to me. It would be nice to be able to talk to people using a QWERTY board and not a stupid texting numbers thingy. It’s slow. It was wonderful, but now to me it just seems slow.

Then I spoke with him and this other guy whom I’d met before, he’s the deaf museum tour guide, about just random stuff. Like how busy I was, that I’m a student senator now, taking 18 credits, work 20 hrs a week, honors student, etc etc, Found out tour guide was once student president at Gallaudet. I said I wanted to try to be a visiting student at Gallaudet, but it depends on scholarships. If going means losing scholarhsip, then I can’t go. But maybe I could go in summer depending on what courses they offer. Teacher said that Gallaudet would probably give me money.

I also explained how, as student senator, I can plan events, and that I want to do a Deaf Day. I explained why (several teachers have thought deaf = dumb… “do you need to take your test in another room?” And that they seem surprised when they find out I’m an honors student. They both nodded, they knew exactly what I meant, and that felt very freeing to me. I explained other things, and for once, whey others nod, I know they’re not merely sympathizing, but they actually know. I asked tour guide if he’d be interested in coming to speak for us, that my plan is still in its very early stage of “thinking about it” and he would be glad to come and speak. I told him that I heard that he was trying to raise money to get the museum a building to itself, and that I’m hoping to maybe at the same time raise money for it. and both he and Teacher was happy to hear that.

Anyway, we mingled for two more hours. I got to talk to Teacher’s mom for a period of time, about homeschooling, (she thought about it for teacher once) and explained my life story in a little more depth, and why my parents raised me hearing (because doctor said I’d never amount to anything–no speaking, hearing, reading, writing, etc). and that now I’m enjoying ASL classes, etc. It was a nice conversation, and near the end she said ” I love you”, in a proud way as well. That caught me off guard. First teacher, and now her? To me, I’m not really…I don’t want to sound churlish or stupid, but I don’t really understand why.

I had told my mom I would be home by 11. J and I tried to leave at 10, but stopped to talk some more. Same at 10:15, 10:30, 10:45…until finally 11 we left for good. I had texted my mom I was having fun and would be a little late. Whew, at least she understood 🙂 Today at breakfast she asked me if I was identifying with the Deaf culture, ’cause i kept gushing about the game night, and I wasn’t sure how to answer that safely, so I just said it was a lot of fun. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. But yes, I am identifying with the Deaf culture. It is amazing what it did for my self-esteem. Like I told a lot of people, it was nice to come and see people like me, since I don’t meet many Deaf people! And they nodded, they truly knew what I was talking about.

I could go on, but I’ll stop for now. It’s late, and I got only 4 1/2 hrs of sleep last night, because I worked all day today, then I went over to my best friend’s house after work. And Mass is tomorrow morning, and I have two papers due, etc etc.. But they invited me to another gathering that was tonight, but unfortunatley, I had already promised my friend. I really wanted to go. But I got my teacher to promise to keep me updated on future gatherings. Now I know where the clubhouse is, I can drive myself.

Part of me is hoping I’ll meet a nice, cute Deaf guy at these gatherings. Somebody a lot like my teacher. But then again there’s this senator guy. I will talk more about this really nice guy who’s cute and nice and helpful and shy…but that’s really confusing right now. I’m not sure about it. I’m not sure he’s sure, either. I think maybe he’s unsure about my being deaf, how to not be rude or something, I’m not sure.

Um, I feel a vise creeping around my head. I will be going to bed now. ttyl. I really enjoyed the game night. I was afraid some people would get cliquish, but no, they were very welcoming. Perhaps it was because I understood their signs pretty well? Anyway, I’m discovering my Deaf identity 🙂

 

Just thinking aloud… October 17, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,deaf,school — bookwritegirl @ 4:56 pm

Admissions finally contacted me (they did it last week, but didn’t answer my question, so I didn’t reply), with an answer, and a promise to help me. So I replied, with about 10 more questions, mostly about finances. So I decided to sketch it out. :

 

Gallaudet Costs est. for Spring 09, assuming a rate hike. Every school does it every year:

Roundtrip flight: $400

Tuition (1 semester): $6000

Unit fee: $140

Room: $3000

Board: $2000

Health Service Fee: $60

Application: $50

Admission: $50

Registration: $15

Room Deposit: $200

Books: $500

Total: $12,415

 

Est. Stafford Loan (1 semester): $3,500

Est. Scholaships (1 sem): $1,750

Total: $5,250

 

12,415 minus 5,250 = $7,165 (That’s if I can make my scholarships apply. Gallaudet bills my school, and my school bills me, so would I technically still be paying my school? I wonder if they’ll pay the difference…)

would VR pay for this? I hope!

 October 17, 2007

Thoughts: Since I’m student senator, my term ends mid October next year. So I can’t really do fall 08 visiting. It would probably be Spring. If I do a Deaf World Day…make it an annual or a semester event…could I do that next spring, and all of the information, would somebody else be able to carry it off without my help? Or maybe I could do the planning long distance; just would need somebody willing to be there for me (unless I could afford plan tickets for that event). Or should I just do it in spring, then again in fall, and thereafter every fall?

 

Of course, I could look into a summer semester. But that probably wouldn’t have the same flavor, I don’t think.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot Spring 09 will be crazy. Inauguration Ceremony…but that would be awesome!!! to see one in person! Plus by 09 I’ll know whether Gally keeps accreditation status or not, since their probation ends fall 08.

 

I’m saving up money. So far I’ve saved up over $1000. I’d have to convince Mom and Dad that this is worth delving into savings for. The experience.

 

I have to see. If I have to wipe out all my savings, then it probably wouldn’t be worth it. I need seed money for the future, for an apt. etc. Loans…eeeh, I’m kinda skittish around them. So far I’ve been paying off the interest each month as it accumulates. I suppose it wouldn’t kill me. I have to take a look at interest rates first. I doubt Gally would pay for some of my school costs. Would they?

 

Gally Honors would work with me! Plus I’ll bet UNO would count this as a sort of colloquium. Plus Gally offers colloqs. I’m almost done with my honors classes reqs! So I may not have to worry, if I get 6 or 9 next semester. I’m looking into tutoring for ASL, since one of my co-workers is taking it, she wants my help, etc…so that may work?! (Tutoring gets me add’l honors credits).

 

I’m waiting to hear from VR again, and Admissions. See what they have to say, to help clarify some stuff. I’m glad I started soon, because they both seem kinda slow. Hmm…maybe I can schedule an appt with VR during Thanskgiving week, one of my classes is off entire week instead of only Th and F, I can visit them during that time and be back in time for my night class. I would LOVE it if its true that they help with tuition.

 

I’m sure Lib will allow me a semester off…after all, they seem to have a need for a deaf outreach prog. The other day one library called, and a co-worker answered it and called me over. She talked on the phone, told me what a patron was signing, and I helped to translate as best as I could. The patron was already gone, but they were curious. I told them next time it’s perfectly fine to use a pen and paper. I love my city, and  I don’t really want to move. Just travel. Besides, I have a dream of making my city like a Midlands Deaf haven, be surrounded by peers in a community of great people in a great city…getting an ASL degree offered at my univ., Deaf day, money to expand our Deaf institution museum, and maybe even reopening our deaf school? Get more theaters to show captioned movies. Really expand things. And the library system would be a good start. I can accomplish great things here. Maybe become mayor. Maybe. Seems like a thankless job, but it might be worth it to get things done.

 

student senate October 12, 2007

Filed under: Catholic,college,dating,deaf,friends,guys,life,Love — bookwritegirl @ 8:35 am

I love Student Senate!

Sure, we have to “vote to vote” and people sometimes won’t shut up, and there’s tons of debates, and I can’t quite understand all of the talking.

But I love my office hours. We have to do at least one office hour a week. So I went on Weds, thinking, man it’ll be boring, I’ll get lots of homework done…nope. A group of people came in, including (wow!). Anyway, M and I hadn’t met before in person, and so Sh introduced us to each other, and to the other senators too. And so we commenced to talk a lot, as a group.

One thing I noticed about M was not just that he looked really cute, but that I could pick out his voice even though other people were talking too. Usually I have a hard time hearing male voices. Not so with him. He didn’t speak loud, or too soft either. He spoke clearly. And we talked about some stuff, like the protesting of the bake sale ban, and it turns out we had those few things we talked about in common. He went to go get pop, and came back with two, a Pepsi and a Cherry Pepsi, asking which one I wanted. A little quizzical, I said, I don’t care, and he handed me the regular Pepsi. He said how lucky he was, two pops came out. At the end of the office hours, as he was leaving, I thanked him for the pop, and remarked how lucky he was, that never happened to me! I actually saw a lady getting like 5 pops out of the machine one time. They get stuck, and people give up. Then he said that the pop was already there, he didn’t have to get the other one… I didn’t really know what to say, except that I already said thanks. I started wondering. Okay, I’ll be seeing him again tomorrow night.

Then I saw him at the mtg last night…too bad somebody else already took the chair next to me! Oh well, it still worked out okay because when the mtg was over, I sorta hung around. I mean, I could have left right away. Some people did. But lately I’ve been finding out that if I follow the silent guide in my head and go with the flow, it works out REALLY well, instead of being super-efficient and forcing myself to get going, get working.

So, I talked to somebody else, and he talked to somebody else, but we were facing each other. I could feel him looking at me, and I kept wanting to look at him, but we knew it wasn’t polite to do that all the time. But finally we had a chance to talk, as a group. Groups make talking so much easier and less nervewracking. I could still pick out his voice in the noisy room, where the sound reverbrated off the walls.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like guys I can hear. And he’s like the ONLY guy I’ve met that I could hear well. And even though he could see my implant, (which I saw him glancing at it–he wasn’t obvious, but I just know when people do that), it didn’t really seem to affect how he treated me, like some people do. And that was another plus. We talked about funny things (which I heard the tone, but not necessarily the words) and laughed a lot. We talked about the Seargeant at Arms (I know I spelled that wrong), and D turned to me and said, If there’s a fight, you break it up. I laughed paused and said Sure! I actually have been taking self defense, and there’s this nerve near the knee, and we learned how to kick it, and it can incapacicate people. Still smiling, they said wow, and we laughed some more about other things.

After the meeting the group decided to go to Old Chicago. I begged out, no I have homework. Apparently M had begged out too, for the same reason. So the other three went off, and M and I were left semi-alone. I looked outside. It was dark. I looked at him, getting ready to say, well, see ya, when he asked me, Would you like me to walk you to your car?

I paused a half-beat, and that silent guide in my head said to say yes. So I did, noting how dark it was, and thanked him sincerely (even though I’ve made that walk many times myself). He asked me where I parked. The garage. He said he usually parked there too, but he was lazy *laugh*. “Would you like to walk, or I could drive you there?” Me: Um…I… Him: You don’t really care? Me: Uh….no, *small laugh*. That silent voice in my head said I could trust him. ‘Cause normally I’m nervous about other people driving.

We started walking to the closer parking lot. Him: So, you’re a Communication… Me: Fine Arts and Media senator, yeah. Him: That’s where your English… Me: Um no, actually it’s creative writing. English is Arts and Science. Short pause. Me: I like writing, but I have English to make sure I can get a job. Him: short laugh 🙂 Me: And your major is… Him: Political Science. Maybe *laugh* I laughed too. Me: Yeah… More silence. He turned and I followed him through the faculty parking.

Me: I thought about political science but…I like writing more 🙂 I climbed up the short hill (in heels!) to the student lot. He looked around for his car, then did his little key fob thing, locking the car, so the lights would flash but it wouldn’t be the “panic button”. He found it. It looked vaguely familiar. He unlocked the doors, and we both got in. I saw how neat his car was…my friends’ cars have all had some sort of refuse, like water bottles, in it. I got in, thanking him again, trying not to be too awkward getting in with my laptop bag, purse, and books I was carrying. The car next to him parked at a 45 degree angle to him. But he backed out effortlessly and carefully! A little different from my friends. I felt safe, though I was “alert, aware, and on guard” from self defense. At no time did I wonder, “What did I get myself into?” My Self Defense professor said that women’s intuition was amazing. All this time we were outside, which is semi-illuminated, I didn’t have trouble hearing him. And he didn’t seem to mind that I was walking forward, with my head turned, so I could read his lips. Him: So when do you work? Me: Fri, Sat, and Sun. Him :Wow. So what do you do? Me: I shelve books, and for a change of pace I check in books. Silence. I love my job, but it’s bad for me. Him: Why? Me: I get sidetracked. Him: How? Me: I look at a book, hmmm, this is interesting. So I’ll read the cover. Then the first page. Then the first chapter. Then when the librarian walks by I get shelving again (mimes an innocent waving Hi, yes, I’m working!). He laughed.

I said something about how I love small cars, they’re so easy to drive! He agreed. And I said, I learned how to drive on a Suburban. He blinked and said Wow, truly amazed. Me: Yeah (nervous laugh). And he started driving. Him: So, where do you live? Me: Near St E______ Him: St E_____ S_____? Me: Yeah. (thinking, wow, he knows it?) Him: I’m actually at St. W______. Me: Really? Cool. (he’s Catholic?!) Silence. I think about how lucky I am, even if this doesn’t work out, but that he was pretty much everything I’ve been looking for. Him: Do you have Father Frank? Me: Um, yeah, actually! Him: He used to be our priest. Have you seen him do any of the Masses yet? Me: Yeah, like every opposing Sunday, alternating with the assoc. priest. He’s pretty good; his homilies are short…and to the point. Him: Yeah, and he doesn’t read off a sheet of paper like some people do (priests who do that tend to be boring).

Him: Did you park on the top? Me: No, on the bottom Him: That’s usually where I park.  He drove into the bottom. Him: Where’s your car? Me: That Malibu over there. Him: That’s where I usually park! You’re usually like one more over Me: Yeah, somebody took my spot Him: I think I’ve seen you get out of your car before Me: You know, I think so too, I saw your car and I was like, hmm…  He pulled up and parked his car, unlocking the door for me. I get out, trying to be as un-awkward as possible (remember all the stuff I had with me?) So I stand there, not knowing how to say good bye. Me: Well, thanks so much! I’ll see you… Him: Yeah, whenever… Me: next Thursday?…Him:….or in the garage *smile*…Me: Yeah! Okay…and I shut the door, and another thing I noticed. He didn’t drive off immediately like some people would, he waited while I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked my car, put my stuff in the back seat, got in the front seat, and locked the car again, and I looked at him and he waved and I waved back, and then he drove off, sorta pausing. Usually I call home before I start my car (the engine affects the phone), but I didn’t want to be rude, so I started the car and dialed home at the same time, and he was going slowly (and went out the the wrong way) and so I started backing out, and drove slowly until my call was finished, it was just to let them know I was on the way home, then drove off too. I was behind or beside his car most of the way home, he adjusted his rearview mirrow, I think he recognized my car again. Then I turned right and he kept going straight.

I hope I see him again soon. I’m taking things slowly, however. I waited for him to initiate some of the conversations, like how the dating advice meeting said a while back. I haven’t written on his Wall yet on Facebook. (He added me a while back, and I had no idea who he was, but he was friends with my friend, so I thought ,what the heck?) Maybe he’ll stop by the library today? 🙂

I had a hard time sleeping last night, I was excited. Then I woke up an hour and a half later, thinking I slept all night. Nope. I thought about him again, and had a hard time getting to sleep. I probably got 5 hours of sleep last night? And it’s a late night tonight, its the city’s deaf club games night tonight.

 Well, I had to just pour this out, to give myself time to step back and think. I need to do that more. It was an instant click between us, and I would love to see it develop. But patience, patience. 🙂 Don’t put too much pressure on him. Let him initiate it, (which he has, twice).

Well, I just spent about an hour online now, I really should be doing homework. I could have finished my paper in the two hours I’ve been here (i’m always here extra early before classes to do homework). *sigh*.

 

updates on some stuff… October 11, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,deaf,family,friends,life — bookwritegirl @ 5:54 pm

I was elected Student Senator for my college, with 70% of the votes. Student Senators can plan events in conjunction with other depts. at the school if they’re so inclined, so I’m contemplating (by no means have I decided to do it) on doing an event with the disAbility office, like ASL Awareness Day or something. Any thoughts/tips? Mostly, I want to a) make people aware that being deaf doesn’t mean I need extra time on tests or have to take it in a separate room, etc, like I’ve recently experienced from my professors. They both look at me weird everytime I come into class. I’m not hearing, and yet I’m not deaf, so they don’t really know what to do. And b) I want to drum up interest in ASL as a foreign language at my univ, so that they’ll have to start offering more classes, and perhaps more advanced classes on Deaf subjects. Plus our new chancellor got his PhD in special ed, and once headed up the sign language dept here. So…it’s prime time 🙂 Of course, any thoughts/concerns/suggestions you might have are welcome. If I do this, it will be the same week the DeafNation expo is here.

And on Gallaudet, well, I finally heard from their honors dept. Much faster than anyplace else I’ve emailed. They’re more than willing to have me as an visiting honors student. Geoff’s going to follow up on the admissions dept for me, because he “likes to make the bureaucracy move for people.” How nice 🙂 But he did say that he knew visiting students when he was a student, and they didn’t get any scholarship support from their home institutions.

I hadn’t heard about the financial stuff from my school yet. So I asked the Info Desk where I should start. They didn’t know, but somebody came along and said go to the Registrar. So I did. They didn’t know how to be a visiting student either, and to check with my college or English dept advisor. And they said if my advisor didn’t know either, to come back and they’ll try to help me as best as they can. Great. I already went to my advisor this semster. And I’m sure she won’t know. But hey, I want to go to Gallaudet, so I’ll keep plugging away. If I don’t hear from VR by next week, I’m going to TTY them. “Hey, what’s up? How can I make use of this wonderful resource?”

I guess my ASL teacher had a busy day yesterday. He was going to tally up our grades so we know where we are, but I guess he forgot. That’s okay. I’m not worried, but some students are. I convinced them to give him the weekend, give him the benefit of the doubt. He also forgot to get back to me on the visiting student thingy, but that’s okay too. I’ve got Geoff 🙂 So, it’s starting to work out.

 No, I didn’t win the lottery, but I’ll buy another ticket tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, my ASL teacher, who’s the co-VP of my city’s Association of the Deaf, he sent an email to all his classes about the game night tomorrow night at their hall. Fun! I wanted to go, so I asked my classmate if we could carpool. Sure, she said, the buddy system. Then I text Mom, do you need me? Nope. Can I go to this thing? Where is it? Near my school, and I’m carpooling. Well, she’s nervous about me carpooling. I thought it would make you feel better! Yes it does, but I’m still nervous. Is this girl okay? Mom! I thought. Yes, she’s good. Dad asked, how old is she? 27. Is she safe? Yes! Where is it exactly? I’ll look it up.

Then they started asking if this would take place of the community interaction req. that I was going to do, the football game at the deaf institution. I don’t know, but I want to go to both. They just sorta started giving me a hard time, but I held on. So apparently I can do both (so far). I think they’re catching on to my enculturation.

 Well, my mtg’s starting soon, so I have to sign off for now.

 

Manuscript 3 October 10, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,deaf,eating,family,food,life,writing — bookwritegirl @ 9:35 pm

Okay, I apologize in advance for any formatting errors (again). This is manuscript 3, haven’t submitted it yet. I will email it tomorrow to my teacher, hopefully. We’ll see what she has to say about it. Here were the instructions: “Imagine a seemingly peaceful family of four–mother, father, daughter, son–sitting at the dinner table. One of them has a confession to make to the family, but is afraid to reveal it. Through the subleties of body language and dropped hints, the confession is divulged, though it is never explicitly expressed. Who has the confession to make? What is it? How is it divulged? What is the family’s reaction? What is the confessor’s reaction to the family? (by Tom DeMarchi, Florida Int’l Univ., Miami). My teacher allows for a little rule bending too. Anyway, this is obviously a fictional scenario (the acceptance letter), but most of the elements are true. This would be exactly how I see my family reacting, if I did ever want to transfer to Gallaudet. Does this sound more authentic?             

 Knock, knock.

 

            Mona was sitting on her bed, leaning up against the wall, re-reading a letter she had gotten in the mail and relishing the absolute silence, when she felt the vibration of someone knocking on her door. She quickly flipped on her hearing aid as she said, “Come in.”

 

            Her mom came in. “Time for dinner,” she said, leaving the door open.

 

            “Just a minute!” Mona called after her, taking the letter and locking it carefully into her jewelry box, the mahogany one with the pearl inlay that her aunt got for her in Okinawa. She heard a loud clatter and jumped, turning around to see if anybody was watching her, before realizing that the sound came from outside her open window—it was an unseasonably warm fall day—her friend was bringing in her trash cans. Mona waved and caught her friend’s eye.

 

            Letter, good? her friend, Sara, signed. Mona had taught her some signs so they could communicate anywhere.

 

            Accepted! Mona replied. Sara smiled and gave her the thumbs up. See you tomorrow, Mona signed, then putting on her cochlear implant processor, hurried to the dining room table, where her family was waiting. “Sorry,” she murmured, scooting in her chair. It scraped painfully loud on the tile floor, but it seemed to bother only her.

 

            “Ready?” her dad asked, one eyebrow raised.

 

            They did the sign of the cross and recited a prayer, “Bless us, O Lord, for thee Thy giveth, from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen,” and out of habit her dad closed the prayer with “the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen,” just like he did when she and her brother were little and needed a cue to remember what to do.

 

            It was spaghetti night, with salad (and Dorothy Lynch, of course), garlic bread, and milk. Everything was already served for them since they were just a family of four, as opposed to Sara’s large family, where all the kids were responsible for serving themselves.

            Mom spoke, “so, Mona, did you get my message? That Sara has your mail?”

 

            Mona was mid-bite, her eyes widened for a split-second before she recovered herself and held up a finger to indicate “just a minute” while she finished chewing. “Yep, got it when I got home.” Her brother then looked at her suspiciously. Mona shot him a look.

 

            “What’s the matter?” Dad asked Mom, his voice rising slightly.

 

            “Oh, nothing,” Mom dismissed with a wave of her hand. “The mailman accidentally delivered her mail to the wrong house.”

 

            “Why didn’t you pick it up?”

 

            Mom shrugged her shoulders.

 

            “Okay…” Dad said, raising one eyebrow again, and ripped off a chunk of garlic bread and popped it into his mouth, chewing powerfully, his gaze wandering over to Mona, who suddenly remembered to eat, taking a large bite of spaghetti.

 

            “It’s just an excuse for them to talk is all,” Mom spoke up quickly.

 

            “Yeah,” Mona agreed out of the side of her mouth, then swallowed. “We don’t get to see each other much anymore.”

 

            “So, when is she graduating?” he asked Mona.

 

            “Spring. One more year.” Mona signed small while she talked.

 

            “And she’s going to go to your college, right?”

 

            Mona opened her mouth and paused, skipping a beat, then replied, nodding, “Um, yep.”

 

            “She getting any scholarships?”

 

            “She doesn’t know yet.”

 

            “But she has the Chancellor’s Scholarship, right?”

 

            “I don’t know.”

 

            A short silence fell, filled with sounds of chewing. It was so loud now, Mona noticed, since she’s gotten the cochlear implant. A car drove my, the sound of its deep engine filling her cochlear ear uncomfortably to capacity, and she cringed slightly.

 

            “I’m glad you have your Chancellor’s Scholarship.” Dad said after a while, in a loud voice. Mona cringed again, disguising it as a smile. Would he never understand that she can’t hear him very well when he talked like that? She thought to herself, then marveled at her own thinking, because she could both see the signs and hear the sound in her mind at the same time.

 

            “You know, we’re real proud of you,” he said, continuing in his loud voice.

 

            “Pardon?” she said, sighing inwardly at the same time. He’s my dad for Pete’s sake! You’d think he’d know better.

 

            “We’re real proud of you,” he repeated, smiling.

 

            “Thanks.” Mona drank her milk. She knew what was coming next. She shifted in her seat, and so did her brother.

 

            “When we found out you were deaf, the doctor s aid you would never learn to read, write, speak, or hear, or amount to much of anything at all.”

 

            Mona just knew it. She sat there. Anxiety flitted across her face.

 

            “And now look at you! You’ve accomplished a lot. You have what, a 4.0?”At least he was sounding more normal now, Mona noticed.

 

            “3.975. That one stupid A minus.”

 

            “You know, I was just telling my students about you. They were impressed. Remember Lisa?”

 

            “Yeah, she dropped off her paper the other night,” Mona remembered, poking at her lettuce casually.

 

            “She said she didn’t know you were deaf. She said you sounded normal.” Dad ate another forkful of spaghetti.

 

            Mona half-smiled. “Cool.” She wasn’t sure what to say. “Yeah, a lot of people at school think I’m hearing, too,” She took a small bite of her salad, “but then they see my hearing aid or cochlear implant—”

 

            “Processor,” Mom corrected.

 

            “—processor, whatever, anyway they start talking really loudly, or sometimes they’ll sign. Like. This,” she mimicked their awkward slowness,” and I’m like, um, hello, I heard you before, so what changed?”

 

            Her brother laughed; he was taking ASL 1 now and thought he was completely enlightened as to Deaf issues.

 

            “People are stupid,” her dad said, scraping his entire plate with his fork, then helped himself to more spaghetti.

 

            “When hearing people see my hearing aids and read my stories, they think I’m deaf and not hearing.” Mona continued impulsively. “Then when Deaf people see the same things, they think I’m hearing and not deaf.” She sighed, and her shoulders sagged, but she quickly turned that into a shrug.

 

            Mom looked at her, coming to a slow realization, but said nothing.

 

            Dad didn’t notice; he was shaking Parmesan onto his plate. “So, how is sign language going?”

 

            “Great! It really seems to make sense, like I just understand it, you know?” Excitement crept into her voice. “It’s really cool. I can’t believe I have only two more levels to go after this; I want to take more classes; I don’t want to forget anything! Oh, I almost forgot, I got an A on my ASL midterm.”

 

            “Good for you!” her dad said, pleased.

 

            “My midterm is tomorrow,” her brother said, getting up from the table. he put the silverware on his plate—how loud it was!—and took it out to the kitchen.

 

            “It’s not too hard,” Mona told him when he came back to finish his milk. “He repeats the questions if people didn’t get it the first time around.” She put her napkin on her plate. “And did I tell you our teacher is Deaf?” she asked Dad. “He just graduated from Gallaudet.” She said all of this quickly, still signing simultaneously, because she was glad she knew sign.

 

            At the mention of Gallaudet, the corners of her brother’s mouth turned up, sensing her excitement. “Was that letter from Gallaudet?”

 

            “Ye—” Mona said, cutting herself off, and looked at her parents bewilderedly, searching for some sort of reaction.

 

            “Gallaudet? Why?” Dad asked, dragging his hand across the top of his head, as he tends to do when stressed, his voice getting loud again. Mom looked almost sad.

 

            “Oh, um,” Mona bit the inside of her lips. “Did you know that vocational rehabilitation will pay for your school costs?”

 

            “Really? I didn’t know that,” Mom said, smiling tremulously. “That’s nice.”

 

            “Mona,” Dad said, his voice deeper. His face was turning blotchy white and red, and she could see the redness through his thinning hair. He always groused that his receding hairline was due to the stress of trying to raise Mona and get her to sit still long enough to listen. Mona’s brother slowly sidled out of the room. “Did you know about this, son?” he asked him before he had the chance to disappear. He shrugged his shoulders.

 

            Mona’s face was a deep red, and a tear of frustration streamed down her cheek. “You guys never will understand,” she said, struggling to keep her voice and hands steady, “will you?”