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Okay, for you deaf music fans, I have a question for you November 26, 2007

Filed under: deaf,music — bookwritegirl @ 10:02 pm

I’m loving some of the music I’ve been finding lately, and I had been playing them in my car. The only problem is that I can’t read the lyrics while I’m driving. While I love the music for the most part, it makes far more sense if I know the lyrics too. So, I had been listening to it at home, with YouTube videos and the lyrics in separate browser windows side by side, but I can’t exactly turn it up as loud as I want.

I’m thinking about splurging, then, on some sort of listening device. iPod maybe, or something similar. Even a CD player is an option. With Christmas and my birthday coming up, I’ll have some extra money to put towards it, so I’m guessing on spending about 100 dollars. Is that a reasonble price? What sort of gadget do you suggest I’d get?

Now here’s the tricky part. I don’t know how to get those earbuds to stay on my microphones, and I play music kinda loudly, and I’m not sure how to tell if I’m “treating” the world to my music or not. So, what sort of technical tips and tricks might you have for a person wearing hearing aids to use? Last time I used one of those “muffler” type earphones, not only did I feel stupid, it caused my hearing aids to feedback. So, something a bit more discreet would be appreciated, but I’m open to whatever suggestions you might have. I don’t know any other hard of hearing person who has a bte hearing aids, the one student I know has an in the ear aid, so earbuds are a more viable option for her.

Perhaps I can take out my hearing aid and crank the volume up high, but I find I get a fuller picture with both the hearing aid and the cochlear implant.

I’d love to try to listen to music while exercising, but I’m also willing to look for something to plug into my computer and listen to it that way in the library or something.


Oh, btw, I’m loving Chris Tomlin at the moment. 🙂


I must be tired or something.

Filed under: college,dream,life — bookwritegirl @ 1:40 pm

It takes me a while to wake up some days, while other mornings I could have had 5 hours of sleep the previous night, and yet I can be chipper all day long. It varies greatly.

Today was one of those kinds of slow-to-wake-up days. Technically, I was awake, but my mind was still processing reality at the same speed as my dreams. I drove to school on auto-pilot. You know how your mind suddenly wakes up for a second, and briefly you wonder how you got there? I had the heat on in my car, and then just as I turned into the school’s main drive I felt cold. Then I woke up and realized that my heater was off. For the life of me I couldn’t remember turning it off.

One of those days. I had also remembered to print off my English paper due today, but I had zoned out and not remembered to put it in my backpack. So when I got to the rec center for my Self Defense classes, I nipped upstairs to the computer lab. It was closed. I had to stare at my watch for a few seconds before I figured out what time it was and what time it opened. So I walked back down to the first floor, seriously debating whether it was one of my dreams, because, you know, my dreams are really realistic, and life seemed like one big fantasy lately.

Then I slipped on the stairs, and my brain registered it. Ah, I’m slipping. Cool. The next second I was doing the splits at the bottom of the stairs, and I thought Ah, I fell down. Wait a minute. I fell down? I slipped on the stairs! Even the pain felt dreamlike.

A similar thing happened last Tuesday. I was driving to school, music was playing (I believe it was the Across the Universe soundtrack) and it was very foggy. Then the truck in front of me drove onto the sidewalk. It felt very remincient of one of my dreams. I saw it, but I didn’t register it. Ah, a truck is pulling onto the sidewalk. It wasn’t until I had passed it that I realized, Wait a minute, trucks don’t go on sidewalks!

Even now, as I write this in the library, people are talking, I smell the cookies in the cafe, I see and feel all these things, and yet they don’t seem real. I don’t mind this feeling, it’s a nice break from ultra-reality, where life and the future scares me. Right now, I’m in a “Let it Be” mood. A “Dear Prudence”. Life feels like the “Across the Universe” movie. And I sorta like it 🙂

Three more weeks of school, plus finals week. Four more weeks. One more month. I can survive 🙂 The way things are, it’ll be Christmas and I’ll wonder how I got here.


Cool D-PAN video November 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookwritegirl @ 9:30 pm

Yeah, yeah, I was bored (even though I had a lot of homework still to do…) So I found this music video a week or so ago.

I loved it, and I now love the song! I turned up the volume so I could hear it fully and feel it. I showed it to my friends in ASL class and they loved it…I had intended only to show it to them, but then my teacher came in and ended up seeing it for himself, and he really enjoyed it. And all the little factoids and mini-videos were really eye opening, some for me, a lot for my friends. I was able to find an article about the police shooting the deaf guy holding a rake, and that was sad!

However, I have not been able to find any info about the judge screaming at the deaf guy. You can see it at about 1:11. So, if anybody knows info about this, or a link to the article or full video (I’ll get my friends to interpret for me) that would be awesome!

Anyway, I’m eagerly waiting for D-PAN to come out with more videos 🙂

And now I’ll try to get back to work. I need to sleep tonight. I bet many of you  could tell I was not thinking all that clearly last night. Sleep deprivation takes a toll on people. At least it was just the misspellings of a few words, plus an online rant. At least I didn’t rant in person. Just getting it out of my system (plus the comments) allowed me to actually take a step back and evaluate things. So, thanks for bearing with me. I’m surprised I haven’t scared all my readers away by now.


Society’s Fixation November 24, 2007

Filed under: ASL,Catholic,ccm,college,dating,deaf,friends,guys — bookwritegirl @ 11:39 pm

What’s up with society’s fixtation on sex and sexuality?! I’m fed up!! I’m sick of it! Blah! College seems to be the worst offender. In my English classes, all of my stories have possible sexual readings, and it seems like that’s the only readings my teachers can get from it. Ditto for Creative Writing. I had wanted to say this several times, but finally one of my classmates asked, “why are we reading another story about sex?” The teacher hadn’t realized all of her assignments for us had an element of sex or sexual abuse.

 Aargh! I want to say enough!

Tuesday there will be a speaker on campus, called “J-Spot” or something like that. Guess what he’s going to talk about? Yeah. Sex. I was invited to it as a part of a mass invite on Facebook. Still, I’m like, bleargh. To cap it, this guy I’m sorta interested in (or was) was the guy who was in charge of promoting it. When he told the entire group at Senate (during the “for the good of the order”) other people were nodding, even this other guy whom I had thought was too sweet and conservative to be swayed by it. I was stony faced through the whole thing, trying not to be too judgemental, you know?

Many of my friends like dirty jokes and dirty books. I’m sick of it. Yes, yeah, it’s a part of the human nature. I know. I know. I laugh at the good ones, myself. Like the one about the Deaf Pizza, by Keith Wann. That was funny. Oops. Opps. But everything in moderation. And it does not seem moderate at this time. It’s overflowing, and I’m trying not to think about it, to keep myself distant from it, but images and thoughts keep entering my mind and I keep wiping them away. I’m a visual person, so anything I read about, I can visualize, some more vividly than others. I keep imagining too many scenes from readings from class. And movies. I didn’t really need to know about that.

I’ll wait until marriage, thanks. I don’t want to learn too soon.

And again, I had pondered the meaning of hook-ups. What does that connote? I feared the worst. The guy I had liked is too far gone, yet I’m trying not to be judgemental. He didn’t tell me. Curse Facebook. I love it, I hate it. But yeah, I found out he went skinny dipping. With a girl. So, I believe that’s all it was, but what a temptation, you know? Stay away from it, it’s too risky. Even though it was dark. I still was like, oh, my, goodness. Is nobody safe? Are all the good guys the painfully shy guys?

I like spontaniety. I like surprises. I like sweet stuff. I like to listen, and to talk, and to care, and to be cared about. I like some straightforward stuff. Why can’t guys just give it a chance, just ask for a date, we go out once, to  get to know each other better, email each other, and see if we’re even compatible. If not, well, that’s okay, we can be friends. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never dated, perhaps this is too nieve. But yeah, I honestly will put forward the effort. You never know until you try, and all the good guys seem to be too shy to try.

Frustration! To say the least. But apparently it’s a good thing I haven’t dated yet. Guys can’t handle celibacy or even the idea of propriety yet. Good thing I have a plan that will tie up the next, oh, 5 1/2, 6 1/2 years or so. Maybe in 7 years men will be better (I doubt it, though).

After much thought, I realize being a nun is not for me. So that’s not an option. I’ll just keep myself busy with life and advocacy and work and school, because at this rate, I’m going to be single the rest of my life. Single is fine. I just wish I could say something about, “yeah, my ex boyfriend is doing such and such now” Maybe it’s because I’m the kind of person who once I make a committment, I generally stick to it. I plan. I prepare. It’s just that I choose not to be prepared about sex. It serves me no good until I’m married.

 You hear that world?! You hear that, all you men out there?! I’m waiting until marriage!! Pah! Phooey. I’m sick of guessing, I’m sick of hoping, I’m sick of waiting, I’m sick of planning. I’m keeping my options open, but I have standards. Not necessarily that high, you know, white horse and everything. But I do expect that you at least TRY to be pure.

I know what I’m praying about tonight and tomorrow morning. For this guy whom I had liked, whom was very nice to me on the bus to and from the hockey game, it seemed like we still hit it off. I pray for him. I pray for all men. I pray that I’m proven wrong, that there is such thing as a decent, slightly more outgoing man, who is also waiting.

Meanwhile, I’m too busy with life to wait around.

I can think of several swear words that involve sex, to use against society’s fixtation on sex. I’m sick of it.

I’m sorry for this outburst. I can’t possibly tell my parents, my brother. I sorta told my friend, and then the guy who’s sorta in charge of Catholic Campus Ministry, I guess he’s a missionary of sorts, about this J spot thingy, and the FOCUS missionaries are going to visit it, to see what’s going on in the college world. I can’t wait to see what this guy whom I keep mentioning has to say about this event that he’s heavily promoting. My point is, who can I tell? Whew, typing this all up makes me feel better. I was working on my report on Dracula (another heavily sexual novel), when I reached my tipping point. (Malcom Gladwell…and no I haven’t read it.)

Up next (when I have time) i will write about me about a year ago and me today, in relationship to sign language and the Deaf culture. Yeah, I had an interesting point. But it’s late. 11:40 pm now, and I have Mass tomorrow morning. And work. And I got to finish my stinkin’ paper that’s due Monday. I can’t seem to finish it. Hopefully I can tomorrow night. I have to!


Employment at deaf/hoh summer day camps? November 22, 2007

Filed under: ASL,deaf — bookwritegirl @ 10:10 pm

“A deaf person can do anything that a hearing person can except hear.” ~I. King Jordan

 Might be just a tad optimistic…many of the jobs I keep finding online ask for “good communication skills” “good verbal/listening skills” etc etc in that same vein. Others are “help desks” or “help patrons/customers” or the like.

 Hmm…I can hear well (in quiet/moderately noisy situations). But not on the phone…however I do have VRS system now, and could possibly use a TTY, that form of customer service. My signing skills are getting better…both my Deaf teachers have said that my signing is good (even though I know it still needs improvement…but just wait until the end of ASL 5 this summer). Everybody I know in networking situations says I’m easy to work with, always cheerful/optimistic, and a “real pleasure”.

No, I don’t mean to toot my own horn. I’m listing my skills, because, quite frankly, I’m not sure what sort of summer job would work well for me. I truly can do anything, except hear (and I can hear fairly well).

I’m going to see if the city’s newspaper needs a typist this summer. I’m also looking into this day camp thing my school puts on every summer…as soon as I find the contact info. I’d love to write. Or read to kids. I’d rather not do grunt work like janitorialing, because I already know first hand how thankless that is. Same for waitressing.

My current job as library page will probably give me a few more hours this summer, but not that many more, so either I have to get a second (better paying) job at the start of summer, then quit the library this fall. Let me say this: I love my library job! But I seriously need to make more money to save up for my 2nd yr senior year (scholarships would have run out by that point) and for grad school and Gallaudet.

My other option is a good summer job, like I already said. I need to take ASL 5 this summer, the session runs for like 6-8 weeks, I think? So it’d be from like mid May to end of June, something like that. So I can work some sort of job during the day, then the classes will be held at night.

My other thought is summer camp. Some camps go on a weekly session basis, other camps are full (day/night) camps for 1-2 weeks and that’s it. So…I could possibly travel out of state to help out at these camps. The YMCA? That’s okay…but what I just thought of was a camp for deaf/hoh kids and teenagers. I heard that Gallaudet had a sort of summer camp program? Some states also have deaf camps–mine does not, but I may be able to travel to work at these camps.

My first choice would be Gallaudet. So, does anybody know about their program, what sort of employment they offer? Room/board (even in a tent counts), salary, etc. I can do my own transportation; I’d probably take the train there.

Okay, yeah, this all sounds stupid, but I really don’t know where to start. I don’t know what questions to ask. I know this knowledge comes with experience, and one can ask another, more experienced, person for advice and tips, and that is what I’m doing here.

I’m sure I’m really early, possibly jumping the gun here. But I hate uncertanity. Plus I’m procrastainating off homework. 🙂


Good News November 18, 2007

Filed under: college,dating,deaf,family,politics,school — bookwritegirl @ 1:27 pm

Okay, this last week wasn’t all horrible. Thursday night was Student Senate. First we rode on a bus to go bowling and have pizza with the chancellors of my school. One guy I sorta like sat in the row opposite of me, and we struck up a little conversation before the bus started, and I understood him okay, even though it was already dark. But once the bus got moving, everybody started talking louder, and so this guy I like still was trying to have a conversation with me. I finally felt brave enough to say, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you very well, it’s loud in here. And he understood, and spoke louder, and didn’t mind repeating himself (sometimes 3 or 4 times before I understood him) and got really close so I could hear. That was really nice of him. He’s a good friend that way 🙂

We got there, and the room where we were had bad acoustics, so I couldn’t hear the chancellor speaking very well, or anybody else for that matter. I asked one of my good Senate friends who sorta acts as a mentor, what was going on. She would summarize what people were saying and whisper it to me while they were still talking, and I could read her lips and get by that way. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very nice of her. She also didn’t mind repeating things for me. About halfway through this long session, where it was the senator’s turn to bring up ideas and grievances and such to the chancellors so the chancellor could know what’s going on at the student level, the guy I sorta like turned to me and asked if I could hear, and I said sorta. Usually people don’t ask, because they fear it would be rude. But I think it’s really nice that they’re starting to be more aware of how to help me hear, and help me in the right way. This other guy who’s also nice to me makes sure I can join in the crowd as well. Sometimes I stand off to the side waiting because I don’t want to be rude and just join in a group of people, plus i have no idea what’s going on anyway. But he would say, here, sit here, we’re talking about such and such. Or like on this night, he said, you wanna bowl? as an invitation for me to join them.

We finally got back to the school, where we had the actual Senate. That’s when I found out that the Executive board had changed Senate around a bit “so everybody can hear”. Originally, the exec board faced the senators, and only the speaker had the podium with the mike. The senate had one podium with a mike, facing the exec board, where only people who had to present a bill spoke. Everybody else on both sides of the room just spoke from their seats, and I had had a hard time hearing everything, and kept asking the girl/mentor what was going on. The had made one minor change before I started, and that was giving the entire exec board more mikes so everybody could hear them.

The big change they made for me was to require everybody who had something to say to come up to the podium. Not just raise your hand and remain seated. Go up to the podium and speak. Wow, what a difference! I actually felt in charge of the situation for once. The speaker made several slips, and so did the senators. The senators kept forgetting, and he kept reminding them, either by pointing, or by saying come up to the mike so (insert my name here) can hear. Man, that was nice, and I forgive him, it still made me a bit embarrased. Sometimes, though, the girl/mentor who sat by me said, “Can you come up to speak, we can’t hear.” Instead of “bookwritegirl” can’t hear, she said “we”. It was a small way, but it was so…nice!

They actually changed the procedures of Senate for me. Yes, it benefits everybody, but the reason why they changed it in the first place was to help me hear. At the end, during for the good of the order, we passed around a gavel and everybody got to say whatever was going on in their lives or such. I said something along the lines of “thank you so much for coming up to the microphone and speaking, it makes a world of difference for me, I appreciate it very much” and after that the senators didn’t forget to go up to the microphone so much. They even went up there for the “for the good of the order” which was not expected, but nice all the same.

So, I really felt happy about this night. You guys probably know that I was feeling unsure that any hearing guy would bother dating me if it takes so much work for communication. Even my friends for that matter. But tonight, mere acquaintances and people I know by name only, went along with this change for me. Willingly. Even the two guy senators I had mentioned earlier, whom I’m interested in, even as friends only, didn’t mind at all. That gave me new hope. “People who mind don’t matter, people who matter don’t mind” How true. I must keep reminding myself this, but now I have proof it holds true outside of family and even friends.

At least they understand better than my dad, at this rate. People assume because I can hear, I can hear well. But now Senate is learning that that’s not true, I can hear, but not perfectly. Dad forgets that. A lot. I had forgiven him about last night, willing to move on, but now I found that he’s sulking and that’s why he’s ignoring me, I can’t forget what happened last night anymore. Not until he realizes, which may take a while.

News comes in pairs. Good news, then bad news. Hopefully I’ll get more good news tonight to help balance it out, since the bad news is that one of our new kittens is sick and lethargic and the total opposite of his playful self. He’s at the vet now, I’m waiting to hear the news from mom.


Bad News

Filed under: college,deaf,family — bookwritegirl @ 12:59 pm

Seems like everytime something good happens, it has to be balanced by the bad. Right now I want to effing scream at my dad! Yeah, sure, I found out through somebody else who told me I wasn’t supposed to know, but thought it would help me put his moods in perspective. Yeah, my dad has depression, and no he won’t get help because he thinks he would be discriminated against. I’m like, nobody has to know, you know?

So, bad news first, since I’m already riled up. The story is that last night I went to go see my mom perform with her singing group, It was a nice little concert, her first one, so I asked off early from work (though I need the money), and even though I had a headache I went with her to the cast party. Before the show, two things happened, and it’s either or both the reason why my dad hasn’t looked at me or responded to me at all today, and he’s in a bad mood. Because of me.

Waiting in the lobby to be let in to the theater to get our seats, my little brother, who’s hard of hearing, happened to be standing near a bunch of old people, sitting down on the bench. One of the ladies said something to him, but I couldn’t hear her, so I’m sure my brother didn’t either. He was looking straight at her, and then he looked to Dad to “translate”, but Dad didn’t do anything, just glared at him, expecting him to respond. My brother knew what Dad wanted him to do, but he had no idea what to say, since he had no idea what the old lady said to him. When this little incident was over, I motioned for my brother to come stand by me to reduce the chance of being in a lopsided conversation. I knew exactly what my brother was going through. I rubbed his back and said you know, if you can’t hear them, you can always ask them to repeat themselves or speak louder. And my brother nodded, I could see him processing the information.

But Dad heard what I told him, and got all curt and his voice tense, and I couldn’t hear him very well either (stupid acoustics in the lobby) but he was saying something about my brother being as stubborn as me and it’s not because he can’t hear, it’s because he knows he should respond but he didn’t. I wanted to whap my dad on the upside of his head and say, I know what it’s like. My brother couldn’t hear her, that’s why he didn’t respond. He’s not stubborn. He tries very hard to please, but you’re always hard on all the brothers and not on my sisters, and my brother has another strike against him because he can’t hear! But I didn’t say that. I knew it wouldn’t be worth the pain of his emotional rollercoaster.

I didn’t hear everything my dad said, and even though I had a basic idea, I asked him to repeat, and he consolidated his rant into one sentence (people were watching, so he couldn’t blow up like I knew he dearly wanted to) and then asked me if my ears were broken. (by ears he means hearing aids/cochlear implant). I said no, it’s just loud. This went on in the same vein for a while, and I still couldn’t understand him. So I looked away. I was done trying to listen to him. I didn’t do it disrespectfully, it was a natural break in the conversation, but I knew Dad wanted some sort of response from me. I wasn’t about to give it to him. My gaze wandered naturally, but purposefully, and it wandered back to Dad, who looked at me, his eyes wide and his lips tense. I smiled like I didn’t think anything was wrong.

Sheesh, Dad, after almost 20 years you’d think you know better?! He still doesn’t get that he has to get my attention first then talk to me. He still calls from another room or another floor, and thinks I’m being stubborn and unresponsive when really I can’t hear him, it’s not until Mom or my brothers or sisters tell me Dad’s calling me. Dad has some sort of primma donna complex, where he thinks the world revolves around him and that we should automatically drop everything and hear and understand and obey everything he says. That’s why I’m trying to teach my hoh brother what I wish I was taught, if you can’t hear, your response can be to ask them to speak up/repeat what they said. That’s why I’m so glad I’m getting more in touch with my Deaf side (as corny as that sounds) because it puts my life in perspective. I was probably no more stubborn than any other kid. I wanted to please my parents, but I couldn’t hear!

We got to our seats. I didn’t mind being a few rows back, but I picked front row for us because that way my brother and I could “hear” better since we could see better. See who’s singing at what time, you know? Dad was complaining (no matter how jokingly he does it, I know he really means it) about how my littlest brother and sister couldn’t see, that they would have to crane their necks back to see. (It wasn’t that bad, plus i offered to move a couple rows back.) I sat my hoh brother next to me, on the far end away from Dad. I showed him how my phone worked, and how I could talk to friends with texting, and how it vibrated so I didn’t have to hear it ring. He thought it was cool.

Then my dad asked me, “do you get frustrated with your old man?” I said “sometimes”. It was a safe response, honest, though not brutally so. He said jokingly “all the time, huh?” I releneted a bit and said “most of the time” and then said something about how I was glad I was at school most of the time now, in the same ‘humor’ my dad does, even though it’s honest. I could see a small change, but didn’t realize it at that time, in his manner of acting toward me. I stopped talking after two sentences, to prevent myself from being more honest. Note: I will NOT lie just to stroke his ego. I will NOT lie to make him feel better and wanted. I will NOT grovel and such. I try my best to be as honest as I can, but I also won’t be brutally honest. That’s why I write the blog. I needed a place where I could express all my feelings as honestly as possible, since I have no one person I can share everything with.

Today I slept in, my family went to the 9 o’clock Mass while I decided to go to the 11 o’clock Mass instead. I was in the bathroom, putting on my makeup with the door open. I heard my family come home (and feel the vibrations on the floor too) and said hi to everybody. Dad walked by and I said hi to him, but he didn’t look at me, just walked right past dropping my book bag carelessly from last night that I had left in their car for safekeeping. Okay, I thought. He’s in a bad mood. I didn’t realize I was the cause of it until I asked Mom, and she said it was because of what happened last night. (I had told her about both incidences) She said Dad felt like I disrespected him, and now his feelings were hurt.

Man, did I get mad. Not at her, at Dad, but I couldn’t show it to him. It was HIS fault. His fault for asking me. If he didn’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask me! His fault for not getting it through his head that perhaps me and my brother aren’t stubborn or disrespectful if we can’t hear a darn thing people say, and we stand there, asking to repeat, or waiting, processing what people said in our mind before we figure out what they said, and then respond later. I’m downstairs in my room right now, and I really want to go up there and tell him to SHUT UP and GET OVER YOURSELF and GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD THAT MAYBE YOU NEED TO GO A LITTLE OUT OF YOUR WAY SO WE CAN ACTUALLY HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION FOR ONCE!

Ah, well. Soon I will be leaving, for an hour long drive to the capital city because I’m meeting with the president of the statewide university system for my “leadership and/or scholarship” abilities. He’ll probably try to talk to me with the radio playing and the windows down even though it’s cold because it’s so hot in the car and when the siblings are talking and such. My parents are driving because they don’t think I have enough highway experience yet. And Dad did threaten in his stupid hypocritical joking manner that my car is not all mine, it is in his name even though I pay for half the payments and all the insurance.

Wish me luck.