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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, 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.


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?”


I had a dream last night… April 4, 2007

Filed under: college,dream,eating,food,friends,obesity,school,sugar — bookwritegirl @ 9:26 am

that I was eating non-stop. It was a bad dream. First I ate breakfast, like I always have to do within an hour of waking up (otherwise I feel really sick), then somebody gave me a snack, then I was obligated to eat a huge lunch because it was an honors luncheon or something, and I kept thinking about how I’m going to gain 10 pounds.

I’m not quite sure why it was such a bad dream, except that I’m trying to eat healthy. Perhaps it was because of the high amount of sweets I consumed…let me explain. I’m trying to avoid large amounts of sugar because it makes me sick. I guess I might have hypoglycemia, but haven’t gone to the doctor about it. I have to eat regularly, like every 3 hours, otherwise my sugar gets too low, but if I eat too much sugar, like a can of pop or a serving of Peeps, then I get lightheaded, woozy, and generally “blah”. It’s a new shift, this “sensitivity” to sugar is only about two months old, and already I hate it. But at least I’m not a diabetic. Or overweight. My BMI is 23 point something.

And, as a college student, I’m trying to avoid gaining the “freshman 15”, which, so far, I’ve been sucessful with. But I thought I wasn’t obsessed about it. I mean, sure, I weigh myself every two weeks, but I didn’t think it was an obsession…until I had that dream last night. Maybe I’m obsessed with not being obsessed? Or perhaps I had this dream to discourage me from being pressured into eating by others? This second explanation may be the best one. I have a “friend” (see my last blog) who is definitely obese, and she still eats junk food and drinks pop like crazy. Perhaps I’m afraid of being like her.

Whatever the reason behind my dream, it is important to eat healthy and be healthy, especially since they’re now calling obesity an “epidemic”. Don’t be a statistic. I hope I never am.