bookwritegirl

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Little story update that I promised February 2, 2008

Filed under: college,dating,deaf,guys,joy,life,Love,writing — bookwritegirl @ 7:45 pm

Okay, it’s been a little while, I know, and I’m sorry. I have a lot to do still, but it’s been bugging me. So, if I get this done, hopefully I’ll be able to concentrate! I know I promised to update you on something that may be happening with a certain guy. I wrote about it for a class assignment. This was the very first time we met.

“Yeah,” I said, feeling more uncomfortable by the minute. The numerous overlapping conversations of scores of other University students who were being recognized as “leaders and scholars”—at least, that’s what it said on the invitation—made it very difficult to understand my new acquaintance, girl on the Student Advisory Board member at the other university campus. Not to mention that the foyer of the craftsman-styled home was heavy on wood surfaces, which further amplified the noise. I need to get myself out of here before I make a fool of myself, I thought, and came up with an excuse—I hadn’t tried the desserts yet, and slipped away.

 We met over the dessert trays, in the dining room that could only be adequately described as “presidential;” the room was tastefully decorated with dark wood furniture, deep green walls, a beamed low ceiling, thick drapes, and very thick carpeting, which made the room more sound-absorbent. Sweet, quiet relief. I took my time deciding which bite-sized dessert to try first, when somebody spoke.

 “Pardon?” I asked, turning around to read his lips.

 “Those are delicious,” he repeated, pointing them out to me with a nod of his head.

 I took a bite. “Mmm…these taste like high-end Ding Dongs.”

 He laughed. “Yeah, they kinda do!”

 We introduced ourselves, shaking hands. I was impressed that he wore a suit, in the midst of varying degrees of casualness with the common denominator of jeans. I quickly felt at ease—now I wasn’t the only one who thought it important to dress up! In fact, I felt comfortable enough to ask him “would you speak up please? I’m hard of hearing.”

 We then proceeded to talk about anything and everything and nothing for the next hour. We talked about weather. We marveled about President ____’s house, the spiraling wood staircase, the ceilings, the windows, and expressed a desire to be able to explore the house further.

 “I love old houses,” I said, sipping the fruit punch because I quickly became very thirsty.

 “Me too!”  

 We talked about food, and spent five minutes talking about the hot apple cider they were serving.

 “I love apple cider,” he said.

 “Me too!”

 We talked about school, and I admitted that I was homeschooled.

 He did a double-take. “You were homeschooled?”

 “All the way through high school.”

 “Me too!”

 Activity and people swirled around us as we talked. The sun dipped below the horizon, and the students began to slip away after saying goodbye and thank you to President ___ and his wife. During the first lull in conversation, we looked out the window and realized, Hey, it’s dark! And where’d all the people go? There were probably no more than two or three dozen other loiterers like us. It was time him to board the university-provided shuttle, and my brother was here to give me a ride back home. So we said goodbye, and we both hoped that we would run into each other sometime on campus.

 Outside, I looked around at the dusky silhouettes of the trees, outlined by the bright moon, and raised my eyes toward the stars, silently thanking God for Facebook.

 

Apology and non-apology January 20, 2008

Filed under: college,dating,friends,guys,joy,life,Love — bookwritegirl @ 6:33 pm

I know I haven’t blogged in a while. I apologize for that. Before I was almost compulsive…I had to blog. Why that changed? I’m not 100% sure. Actually, I am 100% sure. It took me a while to figure out what changed. And then a little while more to examine my true motives for blogging and not blogging.

Okay. I started this blog as a diary, almost. I tried to keep my own diaries, but I felt incredibly self-conscious and stupid. “Dear Diary…etc etc etc”. That very quickly fell out of use, because a) I would have to carry it around with me all the time and b) people are naturally very curious when I’m writing in a journal-type book, with no other textbooks around. Typing on a computer elicits a neutral response. But saving a file or a folder of diary entries? Still felt problematic to me. If anybody found it, I can’t claim plausible deniability. I wanted to disassociate me from myself, as it felt like an attractive idea at the time. I can be myself without having to put on a show all the time.

And it has been helpful. It had helped me to talk things out without ever feeling like I’m burdening anybody with troubles and thoughts that should be mine and thus only my responsibility. Yes, I know, it should still have remained in my mind, my own worries are nothing compared to yours or anybody else’s. And I understand that completely! I really do know that some people have more difficulties than others. (I also know that some people whine more than others. At some point you must just roll up your sleeves and get to work.)

I see my last real post was end of November, when the pressure started increasing and my last short post was December, in the midst of finals. I apologize as I didn’t realize how long it had been. But I also don’t apologize, because I have a fairly good reason for it. Ever since it happened, I’ve been feeling great. No longer do I feel…apologetic, sad, down, under pressure, worried about life in general, etc etc. None of these are right words. I had worried a lot. I generally had been confused. But now that confusion about myself has been replaced with a more lovely confusion 🙂

No, I haven’t mentioned it at all. I was formulating it in my mind, for when I finally did have a chance to sit down and write it out. Then I thought about it, and decided to give this particular bit of news more time. I wasn’t ready to admit it yet. Yes, I’d had a couple of crushes. I think that’s why I talked about it so much.  Anybody who showed a bit of niceness was immediately flagged as “possible”, as I felt…I dunno…desperate? It’s a strong word, but I felt some sort of pressure that I should have a boyfriend, that I should get some dating experience or something. I’ve never dated. There, I admit it. Nobody ever asked me out. Don’t know why. (Actually, I may have an inkling, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re not that prejudiced or ignorant. ) I was feeling quite down because I felt nobody would ever want a hard of hearing girlfriend like me. I know I know, stupid thought. Plenty of deaf/hearing couples have been made.

But…yayayayayayay!

I’m happy now. 🙂 I’ve been happy since December 8th. I’ve known him since Nov. 18th. It is now Jan 20th. Two months of knowing him. Abridged story coming soon. First, some updates:

I got my new headphones! Not the HATIS, they were too expensive…I asked my audiologist and she checked her listserv, and the other kind got better reviews. Here it is…very very much worth it!

http://www.tecear.com/Music%20Link.htm

I got it in less than a week! And after having it, man, I was addicted. I decided to splurge on an iPod, though I didn’t have very much musical taste or experience right now. Ordered that the second week of Dec, got it in three days, in time for finals week. It was awesome! And quickly, because of said person, I found music that I loved. Not just because I was thinking I was liking him at the time, but because I really did like the music. Got the iPod nano on sale–refurbished kind–and the color I wanted! Blue! Second gen! (I don’t much like the way third gen looked).

Gallaudet. Hmm… I had decided to put the decision on hold. I had time to decide, I thought. Graduate with two degrees in a few years, go to Gally, get two more majors, then masters, then doctorates. But as much as I wanted it to work, to happen, there was always a little gut feeling that this may not be the best thing for me. That’s why I decided to put it on hold.

Now, I think I will just go right into my masters, although which one, I’m not 100% sure yet. Library science for sure, eventually. But whether to get an English assistantship that pays for all of college plus a stipend for an English masters first or not…I’m just not sure. It depends on how things go…:) Good things, don’t worry 😀 Then a doctorates in something else. Maybe. Like I said, it depends on how things go 😉

Hmm…was there anything else? Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come to me. My next post will be about said reason why I fell out of touch for so long. 🙂

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This has been an amazing weekend… October 20, 2007

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

Well, first off it’s midterms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

student senate October 12, 2007

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

I love Student Senate!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My manuscript for writing class: October 9, 2007

Filed under: ASL,books,college,dating,deaf,life,Love,writing — bookwritegirl @ 8:52 pm

 This needs a bit of introduction. I wrote this for my creative writing class, it was a quick story to write, and I thought it would be bad. But surprisingly I got a favorable response from both my peer group and my teacher. Her comments she made on my manuscript are at the bottom. I haven’t figured out a title for the story yet. I’m bad about titling stories, if I could I would just publish all my stories as “Untitled” 🙂 (Edit: man…no matter how I fix it, you can’t copy and paste without some problem in the formatting…hopefully it’s still readable 🙂 )

 

Manuscript 2

Creative Writing Class:  

           

 Hi, Adam signed. How are you?

           

Good, Jamie replied, one hand keeping her spot in her book, an autobiography.

           

Can I join you? he said, sitting down opposite of her at the weathered table, on a rusty red chair.

 

She nodded, reading some more. The wind rustled the pages; the sky glowed with autumn colors, with silhouettes of geese flying arrow-true to the south.

Adam tapped her book with his finger, and she looked up. What are you reading? She lifted the book off the table, showing him the cover. Marlee Matlin? he fingerspelled, forming the shape of the words in the air. Did you see her in “Children of a lesser god?”

Jamie nodded again. That was an okay movie           

You didn’t like it?           

Not really, she scrunched up her face, too much sex. I like…oh, what’s the name of that Hallmark movie? It was based off the book “In this sign”…do you remember it?    

Adam looked up in the air, trying to recall it, sighing deeply. The air grew chillier, and the passers-by, drawing in their jackets closer, hurried to their cars, bent low under their survival backpacks. Jamie slid in her ILY bookmark into the book, looking at him.           

Was it… “Love Is Never Silent?”           

Yes, that sounds right. Anyway, that was better.            

 Sad!           

Yes, but better; I can totally relate.            

Me too! Adam said, quickly agreeing. Like when the guy came and needed money, but didn’t like talking to the parents through the daughter…           

Ugh! I hate it when people get all weird about having an interpreter. Or like when you use the relay; people get all weird.            

 “Tell her…blah blah blah, tell him…blah blah blah.”           

 I know! But I’m like, you wouldn’t be having this problem if you’d just give me your email.           

Have you tried VRS?           

I’m saving up my money for it.           

I have one. You can come over to my apartment and borrow it.           

 Thanks! I’d love to! I want to talk to my grandma.


 
Is she deaf?
Adam asked.
           

Nope. I’m the only one, Jamie replied.           

 Adam shrugged his shoulders as if to say “That’s what life’s like.” Then he signed, How about tomorrow?            

 Great!           

 See you after class then? Three o’clock?            

OK. Jamie smiled.

           

The sun set even further; the sky was fiery, casting everything with a red glow. Long shadows stretched on the sidewalk, and in the distance the city lights began to flicker on. A police helicopter flew overhead, making the air and the white metal table pulsate; the sound waves flowing up Adam’s and Jamie’s hands, through their arms, and into their bodies, speeding up their heart rate.

           

 Do you like comedies? Adam asked, signing a little faster.

           

Yes, why?           

There’s one in MoPix this weekend—it’s supposed to be good. If you don’t have any homework—          

  That sounds fun, Jamie interrupted him, smiling.

           

What’s your phone number?

           

 Here, let’s switch, Jamie said, taking his Sidekick and entering in her contact info; he did the same for hers. The sun set faster.            

Adam signed faster. Where should I pick you up?           

I live in the dorms.            

Which one?           

South campus. You know the one with the gates?           

Is that across the street from—           

The Institute, yes.            

Pick you up at 7?            

OK.            

The sun dipped below the horizon, and it was dark. Only a faint green tinge remained in the west. The fainter Polaris star came into view.

           

I love you, Adam signed in the darkness.

           

Jamie drew her finger across his palm, signing what.  

           

Adam shook his head never mind; the motion was just barely visible against the night sky. He felt around the cool tabletop, found her hand, and clasped it. Jamie squeezed back. The wind blew. It hinted of frost, but neither of them noticed it, sitting very still. It was a mutual understanding, silencing each other’s hands. They sat there until the moon rose above the trees, and then Adam walked her to her car, using his Sidekick to illuminate the way.

 

____,

This is such a small, sweet moment, perhaps a budding romance, and a study of deafness that makes it so comprehensible. I really hope you write more on this topic, as it has brought out a clear, gorgeous sentence structure-a precision I haven’t seen yet from you. I think it’s because you’re discussing what you know! These characters are fully realizzed, and I can see this fragment unfolding over 10 or 20 pages-these two and their evolving relationship. Thanks!

 

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.