Category Archives: High School

People In This World

Growing up as a little kid in Oklahoma City, opportunities for assistance for deaf children aren’t as widely available as they should be. For example, some school districts feel it is okay to invest several million dollars in a football field, but when it comes to assisting their deaf students by hiring interpreters or buying microphones, the budget always somehow comes short.

After I moved to Edmond, things from the actual school district never really got better. I graduated having to use my own microphones and items, when the school districts are required by law to provide funds for assistance.

Although the school districts were poor in helping in funding, they hired some of the best teachers that one could ask for. They were truly role models to me. Some have made me into the person I am today. I’ve decided to talk about some of them on this blog. Some teachers I’ve had have babied me, others have ignored me, and I’ve had subs downright kick me to the head office because they felt I was in the wrong class (fourth grade, she thought it was downright wrong for me to ask her to use the microphone, she was fired).

The ones that have made a difference in my life were the ones that treated me like a normal person.

Something I’ve learned when I went to college: because of being deaf, a lot of people know who I am. Sometimes I get different treatment than the other students. Whether not its good or bad treatment, it can be different. Due to the fact that most people aren’t exposed to somebody who is young and is about to have a cochlear implant, they take notice to me.

Personally I like to brake the barrier between me and them set by the hearing loss by joking about it. Some people think they’re wrong, I think THEY are wrong. It breaks the ice to joke about the hearing loss and it lets people get to know who I really am without them feeling like I am any different to them.

Some Teachers/Professors That Have Made A Huge Difference In My Life (Names Excluded For Privacy and Safety)

My High School Drama Teacher: My number one supporter in high school. She meant so much to me in the most vulnerable times in my life. Sometimes when I was feeling disabled and like I can’t do anything, she was able to make me feel important again. I miss the daily support that I got from her in her little office. She never cared that I was significantly deaf, she constantly told me how much she overlooked it, and every time she said it it meant so much to me.

My Junior Year AP Language Teacher: Another very important person in my life, she always supported me; when I went to ask her if she thought I could do the advanced class she supported me from day one. She would take my FM microphone and run around the 50+ person classroom and hold the microphone up to their mouths. That made such an impact to me that somebody would care so much.

My Junior Year AP American History Teacher: She was always somebody that I could go talk to if I had any problems with anything going on during the school. She is an amazing teacher, I wish that all of the teachers were like her.

Other people that have had a big influence in my life are my Spanish teacher, Intro to Acting Professor, and the Director of the School of Drama. All of which have shown tremendous support to me.

By the way, I went to the Harry Potter premier last night. It was a really good movie, but a word of advice to all mothers with young children: PLEASE don’t bring a crying baby into the movie premier of a blockbuster hit, it could cause a riot composed of a bunch of nerds wielding sticks with lights on them while wearing replica glasses with a fake scar on their forehead.

I’m not joking.

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Weird Injection

Well, I just got injected with something weird that the injections nurse at Goddard didn’t think I should be injected with for my surgery coming up in December. That was comforting. It was really nice to be asked four times if “I’m sure I want to be injected with this?” So if all the sudden I change colors or grow a third eye, you know why.

Something that came to my mind today; oftentimes I’m asked why do I date hearing girls? Or how come I don’t date deaf girls? Apart from the fact of how completely random that question is, I just don’t think about it. Honestly it never crosses my mind. It just so happens that I’m around hearing girls most of the time, and when it comes time to ask girls on dates, they don’t have hearing aids! Its not prejudice, its probability.

In my opinion, if your too busy looking at stuff like that you are not somebody worth dating. Now I’m not going to be oblivious to the world, there is a basic attraction that must be achieved before you could give somebody a chance at dating. But if all you ever think about is “oh, he’s nice and funny. but I can’t date him because he’s got hearing aids”, than you need to think about how you present yourself in society. I’ll answer that for you, you look like an idiot if looks are all you think about.

I distinctly remember a girl in high school that I liked my freshman year, and it seemed as though she was interested back. Whenever I brought up the discussion of my feelings toward her, that exact reaction was played out in real life. I was told I couldn’t be dated because she was embarrassed about the hearing aids and being seen dating somebody with them. Now that, was a completely shocking move towards me. I had never been told that I wasn’t able to do something or be something because of having hearing aids! Now I look back on it and marvel on the complete rudeness of the girl, but back then I was shattered. I went to school two days without the hearing aids on to try and hide it. That was embarrassing for everybody involved. I couldn’t hear a thing going on and trying to cover it was weird because trying to add into a conversation when you don’t know what is being said is impossible. I tried to compromise. Nothing worked. She just was a complete imbecile that wasn’t worth my time.

Sometimes you can change people’s opinions about circumstances and sometimes you can’t. I’m always willing to give people a chance though. Even after they mess up.

I now know that it wasn’t worth trying to change myself for her, because if she wasn’t willing to accept me for myself, than I should have said tough s…(you know what goes there) and moved on. There are just some things people can’t change in life, but one thing you always can change is your attitude.

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Introduction Into My Life

Before I go into my story of who I am, what type of hearing loss I have and what I experience everyday, I would like to share with you (if anybody decides to read this) why I’m doing this. I’ve decided to start this blog because I’ve got a lot of original experiences that most people my age will never encounter. I’ve felt that I want to share those experiences so that maybe somebody else out there can possibly relate to what I’m going through and see that it is possible to have a hearing loss or any other type of (what the rest of the world views it as) disability and not let it get them down. I’ve also written this so that I have another way to tell my story to my friends around me in a greater detail so they understand what it is like to have hearing aids in a day to day basis.

First things first, my name is Connor. I was born in Oklahoma, I was born in 1991, before the baby hearing screening laws were ever passed. Now in 2010, whenever you have a baby, they are to be screened before they ever leave a hospital to check for any type of hearing loss. Anyways, I left the hospital without any screening of any type and went on with life. I was my mothers first child and everything that she experienced seemed normal to her. It wasn’t until I was in kindergarten that they discovered that I needed hearing aids. That is viewed to be very late in developmental stages for babies to learn auditory-speech processing skills. That may be one of the reasons why you have the people who have hearing aids, but you may hear a bit of a difference in their speaking. They could have gotten their hearing aids, or cochlear implant, late and it hinders the learning process that they have to learn later in life.

Fast forward 5 years, I get my next set of hearing aids. I had to get more powerful ones due to the fact that my hearing was deteriorating. It was around that time that I was told by my ENT ( Ears, Nose, Throat Doctor) that I would probably need to be fitted with a cochlear implant by 15 years old.

Another four years later I got new hearing aids, these ones were digital to keep up with my ever deteriorating hearing. I was about to be entering high school by this time and the 15 year old mark was approaching. Two years later my hearing was fluctuating more than ever and I got fitted with my top of the line hearing aids that I have now. Jace Wolfe, somebody who I look up to, and my audiologist recommended that I get these instead of the cochlear implant at 15 years old. We did that instead. I’m very happy that I did that and got through high school without having to do any surgeries.

Now a freshman in college, everything has changed. Approximately two weeks before I moved into the dorms my hearing dropped dramatically. My hearing did what most LVAS patients did and what I was always nervous of, the signature drop. My right ear dropped 20 points in one appointment and another 20 in another. My left ear (my good, and always reliable ear) did about 15 in each appointment. There are certain guidelines that are to be met before one is a candidate for a cochlear implant, and within two weeks I went from “No I wouldn’t recommend one for your son, he wouldn’t like it” to “Yes, I would get one if he was my son”. I’ve been set to get surgery on December 20th, and my activation is January 5th. Most would say, “isn’t it just like a more powerful hearing aid?” Honestly, no. The choice you make about getting one must be taken carefully before just jumping into it, and it was a difficult choice for me, the people who get them, and the parents of deaf children to make.

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