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.