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.

 

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.

 

Manuscript 3 October 10, 2007

Filed under: ASL,college,deaf,eating,family,food,life,writing — bookwritegirl @ 9:35 pm

Okay, I apologize in advance for any formatting errors (again). This is manuscript 3, haven’t submitted it yet. I will email it tomorrow to my teacher, hopefully. We’ll see what she has to say about it. Here were the instructions: “Imagine a seemingly peaceful family of four–mother, father, daughter, son–sitting at the dinner table. One of them has a confession to make to the family, but is afraid to reveal it. Through the subleties of body language and dropped hints, the confession is divulged, though it is never explicitly expressed. Who has the confession to make? What is it? How is it divulged? What is the family’s reaction? What is the confessor’s reaction to the family? (by Tom DeMarchi, Florida Int’l Univ., Miami). My teacher allows for a little rule bending too. Anyway, this is obviously a fictional scenario (the acceptance letter), but most of the elements are true. This would be exactly how I see my family reacting, if I did ever want to transfer to Gallaudet. Does this sound more authentic?             

 Knock, knock.

 

            Mona was sitting on her bed, leaning up against the wall, re-reading a letter she had gotten in the mail and relishing the absolute silence, when she felt the vibration of someone knocking on her door. She quickly flipped on her hearing aid as she said, “Come in.”

 

            Her mom came in. “Time for dinner,” she said, leaving the door open.

 

            “Just a minute!” Mona called after her, taking the letter and locking it carefully into her jewelry box, the mahogany one with the pearl inlay that her aunt got for her in Okinawa. She heard a loud clatter and jumped, turning around to see if anybody was watching her, before realizing that the sound came from outside her open window—it was an unseasonably warm fall day—her friend was bringing in her trash cans. Mona waved and caught her friend’s eye.

 

            Letter, good? her friend, Sara, signed. Mona had taught her some signs so they could communicate anywhere.

 

            Accepted! Mona replied. Sara smiled and gave her the thumbs up. See you tomorrow, Mona signed, then putting on her cochlear implant processor, hurried to the dining room table, where her family was waiting. “Sorry,” she murmured, scooting in her chair. It scraped painfully loud on the tile floor, but it seemed to bother only her.

 

            “Ready?” her dad asked, one eyebrow raised.

 

            They did the sign of the cross and recited a prayer, “Bless us, O Lord, for thee Thy giveth, from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen,” and out of habit her dad closed the prayer with “the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen,” just like he did when she and her brother were little and needed a cue to remember what to do.

 

            It was spaghetti night, with salad (and Dorothy Lynch, of course), garlic bread, and milk. Everything was already served for them since they were just a family of four, as opposed to Sara’s large family, where all the kids were responsible for serving themselves.

            Mom spoke, “so, Mona, did you get my message? That Sara has your mail?”

 

            Mona was mid-bite, her eyes widened for a split-second before she recovered herself and held up a finger to indicate “just a minute” while she finished chewing. “Yep, got it when I got home.” Her brother then looked at her suspiciously. Mona shot him a look.

 

            “What’s the matter?” Dad asked Mom, his voice rising slightly.

 

            “Oh, nothing,” Mom dismissed with a wave of her hand. “The mailman accidentally delivered her mail to the wrong house.”

 

            “Why didn’t you pick it up?”

 

            Mom shrugged her shoulders.

 

            “Okay…” Dad said, raising one eyebrow again, and ripped off a chunk of garlic bread and popped it into his mouth, chewing powerfully, his gaze wandering over to Mona, who suddenly remembered to eat, taking a large bite of spaghetti.

 

            “It’s just an excuse for them to talk is all,” Mom spoke up quickly.

 

            “Yeah,” Mona agreed out of the side of her mouth, then swallowed. “We don’t get to see each other much anymore.”

 

            “So, when is she graduating?” he asked Mona.

 

            “Spring. One more year.” Mona signed small while she talked.

 

            “And she’s going to go to your college, right?”

 

            Mona opened her mouth and paused, skipping a beat, then replied, nodding, “Um, yep.”

 

            “She getting any scholarships?”

 

            “She doesn’t know yet.”

 

            “But she has the Chancellor’s Scholarship, right?”

 

            “I don’t know.”

 

            A short silence fell, filled with sounds of chewing. It was so loud now, Mona noticed, since she’s gotten the cochlear implant. A car drove my, the sound of its deep engine filling her cochlear ear uncomfortably to capacity, and she cringed slightly.

 

            “I’m glad you have your Chancellor’s Scholarship.” Dad said after a while, in a loud voice. Mona cringed again, disguising it as a smile. Would he never understand that she can’t hear him very well when he talked like that? She thought to herself, then marveled at her own thinking, because she could both see the signs and hear the sound in her mind at the same time.

 

            “You know, we’re real proud of you,” he said, continuing in his loud voice.

 

            “Pardon?” she said, sighing inwardly at the same time. He’s my dad for Pete’s sake! You’d think he’d know better.

 

            “We’re real proud of you,” he repeated, smiling.

 

            “Thanks.” Mona drank her milk. She knew what was coming next. She shifted in her seat, and so did her brother.

 

            “When we found out you were deaf, the doctor s aid you would never learn to read, write, speak, or hear, or amount to much of anything at all.”

 

            Mona just knew it. She sat there. Anxiety flitted across her face.

 

            “And now look at you! You’ve accomplished a lot. You have what, a 4.0?”At least he was sounding more normal now, Mona noticed.

 

            “3.975. That one stupid A minus.”

 

            “You know, I was just telling my students about you. They were impressed. Remember Lisa?”

 

            “Yeah, she dropped off her paper the other night,” Mona remembered, poking at her lettuce casually.

 

            “She said she didn’t know you were deaf. She said you sounded normal.” Dad ate another forkful of spaghetti.

 

            Mona half-smiled. “Cool.” She wasn’t sure what to say. “Yeah, a lot of people at school think I’m hearing, too,” She took a small bite of her salad, “but then they see my hearing aid or cochlear implant—”

 

            “Processor,” Mom corrected.

 

            “—processor, whatever, anyway they start talking really loudly, or sometimes they’ll sign. Like. This,” she mimicked their awkward slowness,” and I’m like, um, hello, I heard you before, so what changed?”

 

            Her brother laughed; he was taking ASL 1 now and thought he was completely enlightened as to Deaf issues.

 

            “People are stupid,” her dad said, scraping his entire plate with his fork, then helped himself to more spaghetti.

 

            “When hearing people see my hearing aids and read my stories, they think I’m deaf and not hearing.” Mona continued impulsively. “Then when Deaf people see the same things, they think I’m hearing and not deaf.” She sighed, and her shoulders sagged, but she quickly turned that into a shrug.

 

            Mom looked at her, coming to a slow realization, but said nothing.

 

            Dad didn’t notice; he was shaking Parmesan onto his plate. “So, how is sign language going?”

 

            “Great! It really seems to make sense, like I just understand it, you know?” Excitement crept into her voice. “It’s really cool. I can’t believe I have only two more levels to go after this; I want to take more classes; I don’t want to forget anything! Oh, I almost forgot, I got an A on my ASL midterm.”

 

            “Good for you!” her dad said, pleased.

 

            “My midterm is tomorrow,” her brother said, getting up from the table. he put the silverware on his plate—how loud it was!—and took it out to the kitchen.

 

            “It’s not too hard,” Mona told him when he came back to finish his milk. “He repeats the questions if people didn’t get it the first time around.” She put her napkin on her plate. “And did I tell you our teacher is Deaf?” she asked Dad. “He just graduated from Gallaudet.” She said all of this quickly, still signing simultaneously, because she was glad she knew sign.

 

            At the mention of Gallaudet, the corners of her brother’s mouth turned up, sensing her excitement. “Was that letter from Gallaudet?”

 

            “Ye—” Mona said, cutting herself off, and looked at her parents bewilderedly, searching for some sort of reaction.

 

            “Gallaudet? Why?” Dad asked, dragging his hand across the top of his head, as he tends to do when stressed, his voice getting loud again. Mom looked almost sad.

 

            “Oh, um,” Mona bit the inside of her lips. “Did you know that vocational rehabilitation will pay for your school costs?”

 

            “Really? I didn’t know that,” Mom said, smiling tremulously. “That’s nice.”

 

            “Mona,” Dad said, his voice deeper. His face was turning blotchy white and red, and she could see the redness through his thinning hair. He always groused that his receding hairline was due to the stress of trying to raise Mona and get her to sit still long enough to listen. Mona’s brother slowly sidled out of the room. “Did you know about this, son?” he asked him before he had the chance to disappear. He shrugged his shoulders.

 

            Mona’s face was a deep red, and a tear of frustration streamed down her cheek. “You guys never will understand,” she said, struggling to keep her voice and hands steady, “will you?”

 

identity crisis

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 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.  

 

What is it with all the spam comments? September 26, 2007

Filed under: writing — bookwritegirl @ 10:14 am

After deleting 11 more comments today from WordPress’s spam comment catcher box, I have to wonder. What’s with all the car dealership links? That’s been the bulk of them, all saying

“sorry 😦  <link here> blah blah blah <‘nother link here> blah blah blah <another link here>”

There’s no shortages of cars in the world. Only of oxygen. There’s also no shortages of stupid people who think I’m actually interested in spam. Spam Spam Spam! Spamalot! Can it!