The “Hearing Experience,” Part III

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Football Season

 

I decided that in order to get the full experience of Gallaudet University, I needed to attend a football game.  I had heard something about a big drum, and, to my disappointment, it was not used in the game.  I think they use the drum for practices since the Deaf and Hard of Hearing players can feel the reverberations of the drum and not hear the shriek of a whistle.  Because the drum was not present, I wondered how the players would know the end of a play or when the whistle had been blown.  Well, they did not know.  If the whistle blew and the player’s back was turned to the referee, then he continued running for a few more yards before stopping.  It was quite hilarious though, watching the referees running about blowing their whistles incessantly and waving their arms like maniacs, trying to get the attention of the football players.  I felt sorry for them, but I think that it would have just been better for everyone if they brought out the drum.

 

Buff and Blue

 

“The Buff and Blue,” the student magazine, was one of the first awakenings I had to the values of the students and faculty at Gallaudet.  In “The Buff and Blue” there were articles concerning the expected information such as Gallaudet’s accreditation (Gallaudet’s standing with the MSCHE is improving rapidly and later gaining full accreditation), sports, SBG, classes, and the coming election.  However, the magazine also discusses how freshmen can drink like experienced seniors and hide liquor from RA’s; what bars students should visit; how students could keep a boyfriend/girlfriend at Gallaudet and one at RIT at the same time; and what pornographic websites to check out.  The issues also do not ban the use of profanity either. 

 

I was shocked.  I know that we have the freedom of the press, as stated by our Constitution, but we also, as a university, should be careful (I think) how we use that freedom.  We should want to make good impressions to students and other people outside the Gallaudet realm and having other people read our magazine is not one of the ways to accomplish sending a positive message to others (especially conservatives) about Gallaudet if we are writing columns like these.

 

The Wisdom of a Simple Motto

 

Many people ask me if the students and faculty at Gallaudet accept me.  I would say, yes.  Most students are completely open to having hearing (signing) friends.  I will say that the better you can communicate, the more accepted you would feel.  I say, “feel” because I do not think that most students disregard hearing students because they are hearing or even because of their personality, but because they cannot communicate.  Communication is important for every relationship and forming friendships with Deaf people is no different. 

 

Faculty is a different story though.  I have found most of the professors to be kind and accepting, but a few obviously hold a lot of animosity towards hearing people in general.  I just avoid those professors if possible. J  Otherwise, hearing people should not fear being accepted in the Deaf-World.  I remember a few weeks before flying to Gally that I was nervous about being accepted by the students.  I should not have been so afraid.  My fear was unnecessary, needless, and pointless.  So, what can you take from this experience?  Follow my high school volleyball motto: “No fear!  No excuses!  Just do it!”  Come to Gallaudet, expecting to make friendships, learn, and grow. Reach out to others and they will reach out to you.

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