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Assumption.

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The other day at work, I walked a young man to the office (for the school’s safety sake, we have been asked to walk “strangers” to the office). This young man was somewhat of a hippie, round glasses, hair pulled back in a pony tail and a tie die shirt. He seemed friendly. I think he was a volunteer for an after-school program.  I was doing my small talk~ sweet, friendly and welcoming. And, he signed back to me.

As I’ve gotten older, I don’t react as much. I used to get so angry. Angry because I know far more Spanish than I do sign language. I even know how to read and write in Hebrew. I know very little sign language. My parents chose to raise me as an oral speaker. Angry because I may still have that “deaf tone” and many kind strangers hear it and automatically start signing to me (if they know sign language). How dare they assume that I know the language. Not that signing is a crime. In fact, it’s very controversial which requires a whole different blog itself.

Assumptions are dangerous. It creates ignorance. According to Mirriam-Webster Online, ignorance means a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education. I’m sure the young gentleman wasn’t trying to be mean~ I’m sure he was a very nice man~ I’m sure he didn’t mean to make me feel angry~ I’m sure he would have felt bad if I told him that his assumption bothered me~ but whatever it was, it’s still ignorance.

All my life, I’ve had many comments about sign language: I want to learn sign language, it looks like ballet (I wonder what people who actually sign think of that statement); Oh, my baby know sign language, we’ve taken baby signing classes together. (Oh, I see); Oh I want my students to learn a song in sign language, can you help us? (Um. I don’t know sign language); It’s a shame that your parents didn’t teach you sign language, it makes me so sad (said one deaf woman to me).

I don’t mind if you ask me if I know the language. That’s probably a better thing to do instead of assuming.

I’m much more than a “hard of hearing” person. I don’t wake up in the morning reminding myself that I’m hard of hearing. Nowadays, my morning consists of nursing my little baby. I’m a mother first. Then the rest of me follows~ a woman, a wife, a teacher, a photographer, a write and back to being a mother again (because motherhood never really leaves me).

 

Accidental Silence

There is nothing quite as refreshing as  walking to work early in the morning.  My mind tends to wander moving from one thought to another.  Yesterday, my walk started out perfectly normal. Then all of sudden, my processor’s battery dies.  Just like that. Poof. Dead. The world suddenly becomes large. Colorful. Everything is enhanced. Things slow down quite a bit. The wind. Oh, the wind. There’s a very clear awareness of how gentle and soft the morning wind is. It blows  so sweetly on my face and through my hair. I hadn’t realized that it was blowing until silence appeared. The colors. Oh my! As I walked closer to the lake (I’m lucky enough to pass by a like on my walk), the reflections in the water! Reflections from the colorful cars as they pass by, the reflections from the trees, and even the reflections from the geese as they swim~ the colors are so vivid and so clear. The trees new green, green buds. How did I not notice the signs of spring?  Not only did I notice the wind and color, I felt my very being, my very existence.  I felt alive. Strong. I felt my every walking movement. My breathing~ breath going in, breath going out. It’s amazing how a different side of life appeared.  Just cancel out one sense and all the others heighten. This must be why we’re encouraged to take a moment each day to be alone and embrace silence (as much as possible)~ just to slow life down a bit and become aware of what’s going on around us.  I loved it all!

A Melody You Say?

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My little one turned one a few days ago.  And, she got this caterpillar that makes music.  She loves it.  You press a button on it’s back, and it makes music.  She giggles, smiles a big smile and moves her little body as the music happens.  All I hear is ding, ding, DING, ding, you know.  I mean, noise right?  Well, my older daughter comes in and notices the new toy right away.  She presses a button and has a look of recognition on her face.  “Oh, it has a melody.  She nods her head with the music and then starts to sing, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you….”  I stare at her in confusion.  I tried to so hard to see how the hell she could figure out the musical melody and sing along with it.  The music and the song simple DO NOT match to me.  Ah, the mysteries of the hearing world :)

Kisses Loud?

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I was standing in a long line waiting to pick up a prescription from Kaiser.  Mila was in my arms.  She has those darling cheeks that brings on kisses from everyone.  So, I’m kissing her and kissing her and kissing her.  The old man in front of me turns around and says with a gentle smile, “Oh, I kept hearing this kissing sound.  I had to turn around to see what was going on.”  Something inside of me froze.  I was amazed that kissing a child could be loud.  Such a simple act that apparently makes a lot of noise.  Now that I became aware of noisy kissing is, I also became so conscious and started to gently and quietly kiss my babe.I Dang it!  Kissing her softly is just not the same as giving her a full blown on kiss on the cheeks.  I’m not sure if I like all these sounds~ it seems somewhat invasive.  I mean, you can hear a person peeing as you pee in a public bathroom and now, you can hear people kissing!?!  There’s really a lack of privacy with these sounds, I tell ya. 

He Breathes Like Darth Vader

Okay, it’s TCAP time!  Oh, what’s that you say?  TCAP?  Of course, Transitional Colorado Assessment Performance~ the once a year test test that the entire country is supposed to take and that one test determines whether or not you’ve done a good job as a teacher ;)

Anyhow, I’ve been proctoring in a tiny, windowless room at least twice a day for a minimum of one hour each but often that one hour turns into more than an hour.  I’m the proctor that reads an entire assessment and gives extra time for those who qualify for accommodations.  As I read, there’s echoing.  There’s one student that I see every day~ just me and him.  He gets really, really exhausted after the test and the requirement is that he must sit there, even if he finishes before the “60 minute testing session has ended”.  He cannot read (school policy) after he finishes the test.  What’s left to do?  Sit and stare at the clock (like me) or go to sleep.  This kid is lucky.  He gets to sleep.  He’s already a heavy breather.  But, yes, but when he sleeps, he becomes an even heavier breather.  It echos and echos between the walls.  I’d imagine that this is what Darth Vader sounds like when he tries to breathe through the mask.  It’s tortuous for me.  Breathe heavily in, breathe heavily out, in and out, in and out as I wish the clock would hurry up and finish that 60 minutes testing session! 

My mama told me this story.

She: “A funny thing happened to me recently.  Someone called me and this is what I kept hearing, “This is Tiger Hearing calling you.” I kept repeating the word tiger several times.  I was so confused.  And then it suddenly occurred to me that it was Kaiser calling me to set up an appointment to get my hearing checked. Ah, it’s Kaiser Hearing Center, not Tiger Hearing Center.”

See mom, now you know, all the different ways I hear and how I mishear things! 

Like Mother, Like Daughter (Well, sort of)

Like Mother, Like Daughter (Well, sort of).

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