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.