Tag Archives: United States

Summer Camp!

Deaf signal icon

Hello all,

I hope this post finds you doing well, I’m just chilling enjoying my first real night off in about two weeks. I feel like sometimes summer can get to be busier than the school year.

I have been a camp counselor at the same deaf summer camp every summer for as long as I can remember. The camp is called “Hearts for Hearing” and it is an amazing institution. It is the first and only of it’s kind in the state, and the only one that I know of in the country.

Hearts for Hearing has been instrumental in making hundreds of completely deaf children, like myself (I once was a child…), able to listen and speak at the same levels as developing children of their age level. There are children in the program that drive from hundreds of miles away to attend this listening therapy camp so that they can develop their listening and speaking skills. It truly is inspirational.

I find it amazing that people always believe the first stereotypes they encounter. For instance, typically many people believe that African American diners don’t tip well. Honestly, I think that that is false. Downright wrong. I have had many hundreds of Black families give me better tips than many other White tables left me. It is always the one table that spurs the comments, doesn’t matter what color. Given one bad tip and the server will find a reason to justify why they didn’t leave money. It is sad that they fall to race.

The reason why I brought up stereotypes is because of the stereotypes cast on deaf people. Instantly people believe the deaf stereotypes when they encounter me.

People instantly believe at first look that I am dumb, a lower class citizen (Who knows that could be how I look ha ha). But typically the deaf=dumb stigma can still stand sometimes at first introduction. It is the job of every deaf human being, at least every one who cares, to break down those walls and show everybody else that they are perfectly capable of any task they set their mind too (how cliché, I know).

Sometimes that chance isn’t given to them though. People don’t allow them the chance to prove themselves as perfectly capable human beings. That is why it is the job of everybody else to not judge a book by it’s cover. Just because somebody is deaf doesn’t mean they are any less capable of doing something than you would be. If any of the 40 kids that are 100% deaf in the summer camp, but every one of them talks on level that was much higher than when they started, aren’t enough proof, then look at the graduates of the program.

The graduates of the program are going on to mainstreamed schools (those are normal public schools, not deaf schools) and eventually going on to college. I personally am in college, and two of my deaf friends are in college or have graduated.

I hope somebody learned something today, the kinds in the program have always been inspirational to me and I wanted to share a little of it with you today.

Have a good rest of your week!

Connor

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After Class

Well, I got my six month mapping yesterday, I can definitely tell a difference in what I had been missing. For those of you who don’t know, a mapping is a personalized programming of a cochlear implant to your own specifications. I can help maximize your benefits and enhance your potential from such a device. I got a new one yesterday, but it definitely takes some adjusting.

I had become accustomed to a stabbing pain in my neck and head from the cochlear implant for the last three months. It was especially prevalent whenever loud music was being played, when a man with a deep voice spoke, or when somebody was yelling at me (it happens more than you think ha ha). The pain eventually became simultaneous with noise and I got somewhat used to it, but it was extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully I was able to get that taken away yesterday with the new programming, I am actually able to listen to some music at an acceptable level without wincing at every bass beat!

Unfortunately I have learned that I have again lost more hearing in my left ear. For those of you who aren’t familiar, I had lost nearly all of my hearing in my right ear last summer right before school of my freshman year. I got a cochlear implant over Christmas break last year and now I am adjusting to life with it. Now it seems as though my left ear is going away as well, thankfully not as fast.

I had, for most of my life, had about 80% of my hearing in my left ear and 40%-50% of hearing in my right ear. My right ear is now completely deaf and about two months ago I lost 20% in my left ear leaving it to 60%, and now I’ve lost even more according to the test I took yesterday. I am not yet on the track to get a cochlear implant on my right ear, but that goes to show you that nothing in life is permanent, no matter how promising it looked at one time.

I am still very optimistic about the outcome though, because I feel that whatever needs to happen, will happen. Many people, complete strangers, have come up and talked to me about my cochlear implant and have begun to become educated on the fact that just because people are deaf, they aren’t welfare reliant Americans. That makes me feel good that I can teach people and talk to them about that. I have been extremely successful with my first implant, and if God has in the plan for me to need another one, then I will get another one with time. I always make the best of a situation, even if it isn’t ideal.

I hope everybody is having a good day!

Connor

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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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