Tag Archives: Starbucks

Coming of Age

Starbucks ubicado en el Distrito de San Miguel...

So this is it… as of today I’m 20!

I’m not really noticing much of a difference yet. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. Anyways, I got asked a really interesting question today that made me think of yet another blog entry!

The person at Starbucks (a favorite place of mine) asked me if I was able to change everything, meaning changing my life to where I would’ve been born with hearing instead of being born deaf, would I do it?

That is such an interesting question, and I’m sure many of you would think I would literally jump with excitement at a “yes”. But in reality I didn’t even hesitate to answer “no”. There would be no way that I would ever wish that I could go back and change to being born with hearing. I’m sure that sounds very hypocritical that I say that because I have gotten a cochlear implant and all, but please allow me to explain.

You see, by being born deaf, I was exposed to different life situations and feelings that had I been predisposed otherwise, I would’ve never come to know some of the emotions that I am so common with everyday.

Think about it, if you are able to hear right now, do you know what it truely feels like to have somebody talk to you like you are mentally challenged because you have something on your ear?

Do you understand what it feels like to not have the same chance at a job simply because of a hearing loss?

Do you understand the fears of going to sleep at night, not knowing if somebody is going to attempt to break in your house and you might not hear it?

Do you understand the feelings of rejection because of something out of your control?

Are you able to comprehend the feeling of not being able to dance to the same music as everybody else but you have to fake it just because you want to fit in?

Do you know what it feels like to be doing bad in a class, not because you don’t know the material, but because you didn’t hear the teacher say the big assignment was due that day?

Do you know what it’s like to have somebody never consider you as a potential boyfriend/girlfriend because of something you can’t control, such as being deaf and have them tell you that is the reason?

I don’t type these things to complain about being deaf. You will never catch me complain about it. Instead, I use these experiences that I have been through to benefit others. I feel like God put me exactly where I need to be so that I may experience everything I need to so that I may use those lessons to help others.

I don’t feel that by having these lessons, that they put me above somebody else on the “feeling meter” or the “lesson graph”. Because somebody else may have certain life experiences that I may have never learned that could help benefit and teach me about life.

Everybody takes life and their current situation so seriously. I used to do that, than I realized how much life changes in such a short period of time. What is so important and serious today may seem small and stupid tomorrow. I feel like the most important things in life are your faith, family, friends, and career.

People please relax, nobody makes it out of this life alive anyways. Enjoy it and be happy please. It’s my birthday.

Have a good week guys!

Connor

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It’s Been Awhile

English: Starbucks at West Coast Plaza, Singapore

English: Starbucks at West Coast Plaza, Singapore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been quite a bit since I’ve updated or even thought about this blog, but this past week I’ve talked to four people who have either thought about getting a cochlear implant or have just gotten activated. For me, I felt that was a lot and it sparked my memory about this blog!

I’ve gone back to serving tables at On the Border again, that has been a tremendous challenge. Every single person in this world has a different voice to adapt too, and if they aren’t aware, they could mumble their order and cause strain for me. Due to my (kinda) still newly activated cochlear implant I can get it taken care of and it has made life so much easier.

I can’t stress how much easier life has gotten since I got my cochlear implant. It still amazes me every morning how much of an improvement the hearing is every time I put it on. The vast array of sounds in the world is amazing, and the ability for me to finally have access to understand and for my brain to comprehend them is awesome. I still to this day am learning new sounds.

People have no idea what they have until they lose it, I promise you. I had enough hearing in my left ear to learn how to speak, and now it is slowly going away. It makes you appreciate what you have and thankful for everything. It makes you appreciate every song you hear, every goodbye you witness, and every hello you come across. Thank God that I was blessed enough to be born in the era where cochlear implants where derived and that I was enabled to have the ability to get one.

I have to be honest for people who are reading this blog and are thinking about getting about a cochlear implant. For me a huge issue was the cosmetic appearance of a cochlear implant and a wire “coming out of my head”.  I will be flat out honest with you, my biggest fear was that people would stare at me, and I can tell you that some uninformed people in this world do stare. I have even had some point at me, it doesn’t even surprise me anymore.

To this second as I am typing this sitting here at the Starbucks I have caught the wandering eyes of two people looking. I use that as two opportunities. One opportunity being that people naturally like checking out a hot deaf guy at a computer…. (I’m just kidding), the real reason I use the staring as is that I teach people that deaf people are normal and able to function just as the rest of society. That lesson is best learned when I’m serving tables or am in class and people don’t even realize that I’m deaf until I make a joke or break that wall. Sometimes I’ll flat out say something, nothing rude of course! Just something to teach them that I’m normal like they are.

Something to remember if you are reading this, is that getting a cochlear implant is hard. It is the hardest thing in the world I’ve ever had to do. It caused me feelings of isolation, loneliness, fear, and it stressed me out to points some people don’t understand. But it has it’s rewards. If you ever run into somebody with one, and they want to talk to you about it, ask them. There are questions they just don’t know how to answer.  But never assume that everybody is like me in the sense that they like joking about it. Because not everybody has a sense of humor like me, I promise! I don’t mind joking with people, but that is me. Not everybody!

I hope everybody is having a good week, I’m sitting here at Starbucks waiting for my friends class to get out so I can actually go home. Have a good week!

Connor

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Serving Tables

waiter

waiter (Photo credit: zoetnet)

Today, while waiting in line at Starbucks, because I got my good spot in line, I was reminded of my good ol’ days while serving tables. There are a lot of memories that I have from serving tables, and I met a lot off new and interesting people while doing it. I learned a lot of life lessons in that restaurant. Most that I’ll never forget.

 

Something I’ve realized, when taken the time to talk, most people are very nice and great to get to have conversations with. Most care enough about you to ask you about your life and care about your future plans. I had several regulars ask me about my cochlear implant, about OU, about my shows I was crewing. People can truly be great. But some are the complete opposite. Some just come to eat and leave, and that is fine. That is what we are there for.

 

But one woman is stuck in my mind forever.

 

This woman was truly amazing to me in the peak of rudeness. This woman was so rude she brought my serving night to a complete stop so I could put her in her place. I am the type of person that doesn’t give rude comments the time of day. I don’t see them as productive. But this woman was different.

 

I had been at work all day, I had five tables. I was busy, but this woman kept asking for little things like extra peppers and such. Which is fine, I understand, its my job. At the end of the meal it came time to set down the check, I asked her if she wanted dessert. It sounded as though she said no. So I set the check down and walked away, that was when all hell broke loose. She yells across the floor, “What?! Are you deaf?!” I was ten feet away and a large number of the restaurant heard that insult. Most of which knowing I was, in fact, deaf.

 

I had a choice, walk away, and take it like I had taken several other insults. Or stand up for myself. I choose the second.

 

Normally, I don’t like to cause a scene, especially about myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll stand up for myself and everything, but not in a loud manner. This had finally had me. I had some dirty plates in my hand and I decided to use them to my advantage. I walked the distance over there, slammed them on her table, and looked her straight in the eye. Remember, I do not know this lady.

 

“You DO NOT speak to me in that way”, I told her in a very stern voice. “As you obviously do not not know, I AM deaf and you just made a complete IDIOT of me and yourself in this restaurant, so I take it you do not want dessert and you will be paying out”. I then walked away leaving somebody else’s dirty dishes on her table and came back for payment a few minutes later.

 

THERE WAS A DISABILITY CARD IN THE SERVER’S BOOK FOR A DISCOUNT

 

I kindly swiped the card and paid her out.

 

I’m not promoting bad behavior in any way, or saying my behavior was right in any manner. There comes a time though where enough is enough and you MUST stand up for yourself, no matter what the reason or the circumstances are. You know what is right and you know that God will take care of you for doing the right thing.

 

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"Quiet Day"

Today is going to be really quiet, I can feel it. From the minute I opened my eyes in bed I knew that this was going to be a “deaf day” as I call them.

Many may be asking, “Aren’t you already deaf?” or “How can you be surprised, you’ve been deaf all your life?”
The thing is though, my hearing fluctuates. With the number of times the Duggar’s have had kids in that show “19 Kids and Counting”, my hearing can fluctuate just to that amount of times in a day.

The problem is though, somJim Bob and Michelle Duggare days my hearing doesn’t quite bounce back all the way. It just goes low, and stays low. These are hard days. Because the world still expects what normal-hearing Connor can do when currently, I may not be able to hear a single thing your saying.

Lately it’s been doing that more often. There is really no answer why, it just is. It happens a lot to people who have Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS). That is why my audiologist is getting me a cochlear implant. Because my hearing has gone down, and stayed down to the point that I need to get surgery to “fix” it. (That isn’t his wording, that is wording that a lot of people who aren’t familiar with cochlear implants like to use)

Although this all may sound very grim and depressing. I’m not really bothered by it. It has been this way since I was born and there isn’t a thing in the world I can do about it. I have to look at the positives in life. I just get up, put my underwear on, and go to school like the rest of the world hoping that it’ll be a good day and that I’ll get a good spot in line at Starbucks.

Have a good day folks.

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