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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! ūüôā 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 ūüôā 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. ūüôā

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.

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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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā

 

identity crisis October 10, 2007

Filed under: ASL,books,Catholic,college,deaf,dream,Identity,life,school,writing — bookwritegirl @ 7:13 pm

¬†i just commented on a post titled “self”. it struck a taut cord.

i kept hovering close to tears all morning. could be horomones. but horomones themselves don’t do anything. something triggered it. and it was a comment on my manuscript that i posted. i almost deleted it, just because it wasn’t what i wanted to hear. but i try to live by a tenet that all comments, both critical and praiseful, are growing points.

i was riding on a high wave because i got such a positive response from my teacher. it prolonged a wave that was already leaking energy, that is, my happiness that i’m deaf. i was frustrated because i couldn’t hear the guest speaker in one of my classes yesterday. he assumed i was hearing.

i hate that, when people think i’m hearing, until i tell them to speak up or something, because i’m deaf. (or they notice my ci or ha, or find out i know asl, or as in the case of my manuscript, think it’s written so well because it’s something i know). then they think i’m Deaf and not hearing, and act all weird. then Deaf people see the same thing, they know i’m not capital D Deaf, that i’m hearing.

so i’m bouncing between these two worlds. i thought i had a sturdy footing, but i was standing 4 feet into the ocean, always bobbing back and forth, not quite drowning, not quite on dry land. then¬†the huge wave came along¬†and knocked me off my feet. you know the feeling when you’re in the ocean or pool, and that moment when you’re disoriented; you don’t know which way is up or down?

i am lost, and my tears are salt. a bit melodramatic, ya think? but i do feel this way. who am i? i’m not hearing, i’m not deaf. one group thinks i’m part of the other.

it’s my cross to bear. i just hope that God’ll answer my prayers, that St. Francis de Sales will relay the message for me.

 Act of Abandonment by St. FdS

O my God, I thank you and I praise you for accomplishing your holy and all-lovable will without any regard for mine. With my whole heart, in spite of my heart, do I receive this cross I feared so much! (yeah, i feared it. for nearly 20 years i fear it. ‘in spite of my heart’ is right. with my whole heart? i need help!)

It is the cross of Your choice, the cross of Your love. I venerate it; nor for anything in the world would I wish that it had not come, since You willed it. (yeah, yeah, God gives us only what he can handle, ‘but i wish He didn’t trust me so much’. yet i’m glad He didn’t make me blind. i can’t bear not to read books)

I keep it with gratitude and with joy, as I do everything that comes from Your hand; and I shall strive to carry it without letting it drag, and with all the respect and all the attention which Your works deserve. (joy? okay, i did that for a while. i try to carry it. yet it feels like it’s dragging. dragging me down. i’m failing, aren’t i? )

Amen.

i know though that despite my rough time, that God does answer prayers. He’s answered several over the years for me. but i have a hard time telling if i’ve been answered yet or not. i did have a dream last night that i went to go get my cochlear implant out of my dri-aid, but it wasn’t there. and i wasn’t terribly worried. just thought that i must never have had it. to me not having the ci means being quite deaf. and being quite deaf, could that possibly mean my prayers as to my trying to enculture the Deaf culture, as in, will my prayers of attending gallaudet possibly come true soon?

*sigh* i kept checking email all of today though, and no answer as of yet. maybe tomorrow? i feel like such a heel for having an identity crisis. i was raised hearing, i should be hearing, yet i feel unsteady in that world. also, God provides, why should i doubt? yet i keep my faith. it is said a faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. is it true?

 

My deaf essay October 6, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,deaf,Identity,life,Love,writing — bookwritegirl @ 6:41 pm

I just started writing, and out it flowed. It took me a couple of days to have time to finish it. But it’s the best explaination of my feelings right now, so far. I wanted to put into words this new sensation I’ve been feeling about being deaf. Well, here goes:

¬†Sometimes I wish I was capital D deaf. That way I know that I belong in that world, or indeed, a world. I was raised hearing, yet I still feel as if I’m only an observer, an actor in EARth. I feel like an intruder in EYEth too. People assume I’m hearing and treat me that way, but I don’t understand them fully. If people see my hearing assistance paraphernalia, they assume I can’t hear at all and either enunciate words exaggeratedly, yell, or start signing like a speed demon, and then I can’t understand them either.

When I started learning about the Deaf culture and ASL, I felt like an outcast. I’m small d deaf, not Deaf. I was the only deaf person in my family and extended family and friends. And when my brother was born hard of hearing (his loss is only moderate, mine is profound) I at first was excited, but he’s also raised to be hearing too. Not that it’s a bad thing. He’s far more normal at 8 than I ever was. But that means I still feel alone. I feel as if I can never tell anyone my true feelings and my desires connected to my deafness. Such as my goal of being a bridge between Earth and Eyeth. (That sounds nieve.)

Until I met my ASL III teacher. He’s deaf, graduated from Gallaudet in the spring. He was teaching the class about some of the difficulties deaf people go through, using some of his own experiences. Like the time he was flying, the stewardress handed him a braille magazine. Meaning, for blind people. He was making sure that we all knew that braille is not a code for signs, nor can deaf people know how to read it, or morse code for that matter. This was only one example out many, and the whole time I was nodding, “Yes, exactly!” He is a brilliant teacher, and he¬† sparked my current enthusaism and excitability about being deaf.

¬†Before, I had merely accepted deafness. Before I had always viewed it as a type of disability. Now, it is a type of ability. You can accomplish so much while deaf and even Deaf. I suppose my ASL teacher is the role model of Deafness I never had. That might explain my affinity for him. The whole class sees him as one of us–after all he did just graduate–only he speaks another language. And he’s bilingual. That’s the other thing I like about him.

¬†Most of the Deaf people I met write with ASL grammar. Only recently did I accept that as a fact, painfully and humorously, since I’m an English major. Now I see that it doesn’t have to be that way. My deaf ASL lab teacher was an example of writing in ASL. My deaf ASL teacher is an example of being bilingual. The latter has great grammar!–actually better than either of my hearing ASL teachers. That was the first thing I noticed about his syllabus. It was amazing. I was pleasantly surprised.

I think he, too, was pleasantly surprised when I explained to him my mini Deaf history. I was born deaf, my parents didn’t find out until I was two. Since I missed out on a crucial language period, my first audiologist said I would never learn how to read, write, speak, or hear well at all, and that I would never amount to anything. He was¬† shocked–he has such an expressive face. Wuite mad, shaking his head, eyebrows furrowed, mouth open. THen he told me–I forget exactly what he said, but he¬† said I do¬†very well with talking. My first thought was, how can he know that? But I suppose he can see how I interact with people. I thanked him.

After meeting one on one about my progress in ASL–which he did for the others in my class–he told me how proud he was of me. My face lit up quickly. See, I’m learning how to be expressive too! Man, is he cute and nice! I thought. I’m certainly not the first person who has had a crush on a teacher. But I understand it can only remain an unspoken crush. So I began examining what exactly I like about him, to put into words my emotions. He is a role model, I already said. He is a great teacher, that too. We had many of the same experiences. He understand what it’s like to be deaf. And he’s always so upbeat and considerate. I can replay clips in my mind of him. (I have a hard time making eye contact with him for that reason of the crush. I sign fine to the class, but I mess up if I sign to him alone).

I’m taking these traits, and using them as a guideline for finding a good husband. I think the trait I like most is being able to talk about being deaf, instead of keeping it unspoken, as if it were undesireable. That was what I appreciated about him at the one-on-one meeting. That got me thinking. I don’t have to seek a hearing husband, to help me interact with the world. A Deaf husband would be just as great, if not perhaps better! Especially the way my ASL teacher goes about it. He’s obviously very able to be in EARth. I mean, I am too, to a certain extent. But I’m afraid of being totally deaf as in Deaf. There are so many unanswered questions I have. What about fire alarms? Weather alerts? Calling places, like the doctor? Talking to the doctor? Etc. Looking at him, his entire family is deaf, so they have had three generations now of time to figure out how to adapt, what to do. I don’t have that experience behind me yet.

It is my hop,e that when I get more experience, I will feel more like a citizen of Eyeth. There is no required citizenship test; your citizenship is based off your personal decision. What do you believe you are? Most people believe they’re hearing, and act¬†that way. Others believe they’re deaf and they act that way. It’s the hard of hearing who are caught in some sort of intra-planetary space. We all live in this rocket, hovering in wait. We can’t hear very well, so we’re not exactly Earthians. SInce the Earthians are the majority, they try to teach us oralism, to make us honorary members of Earth. But honorary doesn’t mean anything. It just means we can interact “well-enough” with their world. So many hard of hearing people have been drawn in by the majority view, and become unhappy since they’re alone. It’s like that semi-paradox, “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink”–just apply it to our situation. “People, people everywhere and not a conversation.”

There are some who go to Eyeth instead. This isn’t the “easy way out”, it involves its share of tears. Many Eyethians have Earthly realatives, and entering the Deaf world means a smaller populace base. It almost feels like segregation all over again. Also, you may not be completly deaf. Entering Eyeth would mean leaving any bit of auditory clues behind, like hearing aids and the like, otherwise you’re not exactly a full member of Eyeth. Only honorary, since you’re not Deaf enough.

These two worlds are opposite of each other, and any interaction between the two are very difficult. It is hard to bridge that communication chasm. That’s the way it was not too long ago. There were the hearing majority, and the Deaf created tehir own miniature Eyeth islands in the Earth world, through their Deaf clubs, remaining segregated. Then came the technology wave, leveling the chasm. Suddenly, there were more communication options! Suddenly, hearing aids let us hear (but that created the whole hard of hearing category). Then came the TTY. We could talk to far more Deaf people all over the world. We didn’t have to be geographcially close to each other. Then came the relay systems, giving Deaf people ears and a voice on the phone. Gradually that chasm was filled. Email became popular. Then texting and Blackberries and Sidekicks and VRS and computer-cams. The Deaf people moved online. The Hearing people moved online. The boundaries between Earth and Eyeth became nebulous, and the two worlds became less segregated.

Foul! cried some Deaf, particularly those who knew the old way. Cultural genocide, they say. The whole debate about cochlear implants is a scapegoat, a bit of evidence of the increasing intrusiveness of Earht. The boundaries aren’t shrinking, like they say, and the¬†Deaf¬†culture isn’t going away.¬†With the change of environment comes change in how we interact with¬†it. The boundaries have just shifted. Deaf culture is expanding, thanks to the increase in awareness,¬†thansk to the Internet. More Earthians want to know about Eyeth,¬†more Earthians¬†want to learn about the¬†culture of Eyeth. Instead of forced migration¬†of Deaf people¬†into the hearing world, hearing people are voluntarily migrating to the Deaf culture, including the oralist hard of hearing people.

Like me. I could¬†legetimately be¬†a part of Eyeth from birht. I’m deaf enough. Yet my¬†parents–who are hearing by the way–raised me¬†with oralism. That was the¬†only way I knew, for the longest time. I’m not sure at what point I knew about the Deaf culture; there was no one catalysmic point it was more of a slow realization of “hey, wait a minute…I’m not hearing, and yet I’m not deaf.” It was at that point, I think I was 12, 13, 14, that I began to hate deafness. “Why did God see fit to make me deaf? I will never fit in.” I was scared of growing older and more independent.

That’s why, when my audiologist asked me about cochlear implants, I chose to be implanted. Acutally, I had never heard of it when she brought it up,¬† but after looking it up online i realized how great an¬†beneficial it would be fore me. I finally was implanted in February after my 16th birthday. It¬†really was wonderful! I was no longer afraid; it was after my processer was turned on for¬†the first time that I really began to accomplish a lot, and when I finally widened my circle of friends (I had been friendless for a couple of years). After¬†becoming more firmly planted in EARth, I began to wonder about the flipside of me, my deaf–well not exactly heritage, but you know–side.

That’s what propelled me to take ASL in college. I sought a balance between my two halves. That’s when I found out about Eyeth, and when my Deaf revelation began. No longer did I have to¬†keep quiet about my deafness,¬†as if it were taboo. Suddenly I was in a classfull of other Earthians who really do care, who want to know and learn. I could talk more freely! Sign language classes also began to turn around my feelings about deafness. It went from “God¬†only gives us what we can handle. I just wish He wouldn’t trust me with so much,” to “God really knew what he was doing, and I’m glad He did what He did!”

It’s been only 2 months, but already I credit my ASL teacher with a lot, though he doesn’t realize it. He helped me along¬†with my personal revelation, and for that I am deeply appreciative.¬†You could say¬†I’m falling in love with Deafness. ¬†

 

Guys. September 6, 2007

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my search for vocation. Now, I’m quite at peace with marriage and children. I examined exactly why I might have been interested in becoming a nun, and I think maybe I was running away, or being obstinate. It was like a secret disobedience toward my dad. See, he didn’t know anything about my search (nor did my mom for that matter) but all I could think of was his reaction if he found out, about him not liking it or something.

Stupid, I know. Juvenile. I know it seems like I’m wavering back and forth, not knowing what I want. I think it was more of me not knowing what God wants. So, I took some steps in both directions. I signed up to be a lector…mandation is next Thurs. And I went to a FOCUS/CCM meeting last night, a special joint meeting, with the topic of “Dating Game”. It was really helpful, and the guest speaker was great; we all had fun, laughing hard. But he had great tips. I forgot some of it already, but I shared what I learned with my friend here:

On that same topic, I went to a meeting tonight, about the “Dating Game”. The speaker talked about faith-based dating, which was really cool. There’s four principles…I think I remember them all.

***

A, build a solid foundation.

B….We are daughters/sons of God. Girls can never get all the romance they want, and guys can’t get all the honor they want from relationships. But they both can help each other grow, like some romance, some honor. But only God can give us all we want; we place ourselves in God’s hands first and foremost, then honor our spouses.

C, Guys, be guys. Girls, let guys be guys. Basically, guys are little boys in a big boy body. So if a girl asks him out, he’s like, Sure, sounds fun! Because he’s a little boy. But if the boy asks the girl out, that means the boy’s taking responsiblity and initiative, which is as it should be.

D, was be friends, first and foremost. Guys and girls are brothers and sisters with God. He had a great analogy. First, run to Jesus, and you’ll find somebody. And if you’ve been running for a while, look left and right to see who is running alongside you, and you’ll find somebody. And in every day marriage life, it’s not exactly romantic. Poopy diapers, etc. So you need to be best friends with them, because you can help each other through the less-glamorous stuff. I really liked the talk, and I thought you’d like to know this stuff too! It was great.

***

But all this didn’t really help my present status. I’m still single. Never dated. I think I said that already. And I was worried that perhaps it was because of my deafness, you know, scaring guys away. So I posted my worries on a forum, and everybody said not to worry. It’s only because current society puts so much emphasis on the “relationship” vs. the friendship. And I have a few friendships with guys. Single guys. Single cute guys. Single cute (and to varying degrees) considerate guys. And I have a few more facebook friendships with other single cute guys, but I don’t really remember them and I don’t think they really remember me, from the last¬†pro-life group meeting. about 3 months ago.

Bachelor #1– call him B. I’ve been IMing him for a while, and he seems nice and considerate for a friend. I don’t think I ever met him in person, but we go to the same college and have the same friends, it’s just that we’ve never had a chance to meet. Maybe we did, and I don’t remember. Anyway, he said he didn’t mind that I was deaf. “Really, I don’t mind!” Even though I was being all self-deprecating, because I’m afraid to be strong about my deafness. ‘Cause I don’t really like pity-parties, and I don’t want people to think that that’s what I want. Anyway, it happened to be at a time when I was feeling rather down about being deaf/hard of hearing. But his words cheered me up. If he doesn’t mind, then there’s got to be other guys who don’t care either! So, even if we never progress beyond friendship (fine by me…I’m not setting my hopes high), he has certainly helped bolster my spirit. I don’t think he realizes that, but he is great. Also, he remembered that I don’t like to use the phone. Usually people keep asking me for my number because they forget how I rather hate talking on the phone. So that’s another plus! ūüôā And he’s Catholic, the VP for CCM. So he’s practicing, yet not too ferverent. Nice and laidback, I believe. I have yet to go to a CCM meeting. I hope to do so soon. So I can meet him and see what he’s like in person.

Bachelor #2– call him Z. He’s cute. I thought he was cute from the first time I saw him, at the very first pro life meeting. Also Catholic, only with FOCUS. He has that Indian flair about him, the subcontinent, and in looks, not in actions, that is. I’ve actually met him several times, and I’m hoping, yet I don’t want to set my hopes up high. Which is okay. But he knows I don’t like the phone, yet he called twice. The first time, I don’t think he realized how hard it was for me to hear on the phone. So I’m pretty sure I sounded stupid. At any rate, he hadn’t called back until yesterday, to meet at¬†the library for a pro life mini meeting. Only thing, we met at 11:30, but the president of the group didn’t get out of class until noonish. So, we talked for a half an hour, kind of awkwardly, and I’m sure I’m even more stupid about it. I wish i didn’t constantly degrade my deafness, you know. He sang a bit to himself, and it sounded like he had a good voice. So he sorta–not mumbled–but you know when people talk low and fast, as if to themselves? I only caught a few words about American Idol. So I was joking about maybe I should sign, would that count as a song on American Idol? Because I don’t have a good voice “obviously”.

So, I don’t know, it’s like he forgets I’m deaf, and little comments here and there that I say seem to remind him, and he doesn’t know what to say. I want to be upfront (no nasty surprises). So if he’s not prepared for my deafness, then okay. Not worth it anyway. But it’s a friendship, as always, to begin with.

¬†There’s a few other guys, like one I talked to briefly about sign language at the Dating Game, after the speech. He was cute, and was interested in signing, and maybe mildly interested in me? I don’t know his name though, to facebook him! But there’s guys out there, I’m finding out. And I’m getting hopeful ūüôā

¬†Yeah, I know this is long, and if you survived all the way to the end, reading it, then I’m surprised! But thanks for listening…anonymously. It feels nice to share it with somebody who can’t really judge me properly, or even know me. Or maybe you do, keeping tabs on me. Which is fine. I’m just talking to myself anyway. I can’t really share all this stuff with any one person. I don’t really know anybody who can properly understand, except for God. Only this is more…concrete, I should say.

 

Pessimistic? May 31, 2007

Filed under: family,friends,happiness,Identity,joy,sad — bookwritegirl @ 3:23 pm

I was going over some of my previous posts, and I’ve noticed that more than a few of them were rather pessimistic in tone.¬† That got me thinking. Is my life really that bad that all I have to share are sad? Because, really, the happy and the sad balance each other out to create a joy in being alive. I decided to look for another reason for all the pessimism, and I found it in exterior circumstances, rather than in myself. The world demands that I put on a happy face at all times…for the customers, for my¬†family, for my friends, because none of them really has the time nor the desire to listen to all my deepest desires and feelings. And, who, I ask of you, wants to tell everything to everybody? There goes your reputation!

 Hence, my blog. I can rant and rave to people online, people who I most likely will never meet in real life. Thus, I can let loose my emotions, instead of bottling it up, which tends to explode every now and then, without sacrificing my reputation.

¬†I apologize that I haven’t written in a while, but the WiFi was down for most of Memorial Day weekend, so I’m just now catching up on my thoughts. I hope you all have enjoyed the weekend (thank goodness for federal holidays!). I know I did. I played with my younger siblings, ate roasted marshmallows, went to Burger King, and didn’t have to work, and put off my homework (yes, I’m taking summer classes). It was an idyllic weekend ūüôā

 

I have all the friends in the world… March 31, 2007

Filed under: college,friends,happiness,Harry Potter,Identity,joy,philosophy,religion,school — bookwritegirl @ 3:21 pm

so why do I feel so lonely?

¬†I can make “friends” easily, but I have no one “truest of the true” friend, a friend I can tell my deepest secrets and trust that she won’t divulge it to others, a friend I never not want to visit. It seems like I have several different “kinds” of friends…I have school friends whom I go to 3 or more classes with, to talk about class. But nothing else. I have an email friend to talk about guys and homeschooling with. I have a friend whom I talk with occasionally, about philosophy. I have friends who are of the same religion I am, I have a friend who is crazy about Harry Potter like I am, but I don’t have a religion/philosophy/guy/Harry Potter/feelings friend.

True, I can always talk to God, Jesus, Mary and the angels and saints, and I do, but it’s difficult to carry on a conversation and ask questions and not get immediate answers like with a friend. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of God’s help and kindness, but I wish my imagination were reality, so He’d sit at the edge of my bed while I empty my heart out to him.

Please, God, send me a best friend.

¬†“The¬†day¬†is¬†cold,¬†and¬†dark,¬†and¬†dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some¬†days¬†must¬†be¬†dark¬†and¬†dreary.” The Rainy Day, by H.W. Longfellow