Tag Archives: Oklahoma City

2 Weeks From Now

Photograph of the implanted portion of a cochl...

Photograph of the implanted portion of a cochlear implant with a ruler(centi) and a Canadian quarter(diameter:23.88 mm thickness:1.58 mm) besides it to give a sense of size. The specific device shown is manufactured by Advanced Bionics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always tried to be somebody who wants to make somebody else feel important, even at my own expense. I’ve always tried to be the friend that you could call at any time of the night and talk to me if you need something. I’ve always tried to live by the idea that somehow the world needs to be better than it was before I got here, by the time I leave. Everyday I try to make an impact on somebody by doing something to help them. If I live by that idea, then that will carry out through my actions.

The surgery is getting to two weeks away, that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’m done thinking about that really. Somebody had to just remind me that my birthday was in less than a week. I’m losing my mind.

Oftentimes, I get the accusation that “I’m not a real deaf person” because I don’t speak sign language. Although you may agree with me when I say that that is a very strange thing to say to somebody, it gets said quiet often.

As a child I was raised to not use sign language. I took speech therapy in a well-known therapy office in Oklahoma City. This office of speech therapy promotes the use of auditory-verbal communication. They are very good at what they do, people drive hours to have these speech instructors teach their children. I was never taught sign language because I went to this office. I’m very thankful that I never went to any other place because I have the basic ability to speak and understand spoken language.

There are two arguments in the deaf community.
One side (known as AG Bell), says that one should get implanted (or get hearing aids) as young as possible (and responsible) and then teach the child how to listen through the implants. Key speech skills are learned between the ages of 2-6. If you do it much later than that, the child’s speech ability may be hindered. You obviously know my side of the debate.

The other side (known as National Association of the Deaf, or NAD), says that everybody should wait until the child is old enough to make the decision themselves to get implanted. Which worked out fine for me because my hearing didn’t drop until I was after 18, but what do you do if your hearing drops at age 4? These people aren’t concerned with the child’s socialization. They are concerned with the fact that a cochlear implant will cause “cultural genocide”

The government is agreeing with AG Bell and my side, because now it is law to have every baby screened for a hearing test before they even leave for home. This is a very good thing because it took until I was in Kindergarten before they realized what was wrong with my hearing. Many people have stories like mine.

Have a good week err’body, it definitely was a Monday for me.

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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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