Archive for December, 2008

RIP Mike Kemp

December 23, 2008

I didn’t know Mike Kemp, but now that I have seen his picture (thanks to On the Green I realized who he is. Of course I have seen him around Gallaudet for many years. I figured he would be one of my teachers in the Deaf Studies department. What a shock that he is gone…I know the man, but I was not shocked by his death because I did not know his name. Now that I realize, I am saddened because he was such an important person. I feel bad that I didn’t recognize his name at first. I guess I never heard his name.

Rest in peace, Mike Kemp. I hope you are in a happy place on the other side.

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Fall Semester is over!!

December 10, 2008

Can you believe that classes are over? I made it through the first semester of my college years at Gallaudet University. I can’t believe that I actually did make it through the first semester. I thought it was going to be hard and slow because it is my first time away from my family and it is really far from my home in California. I paid for it with my own money along with support from my parents for my school debts. I enjoyed my first semester here at Gallaudet University especially my first time playing soccer for Gallaudet. The first time I joined, I didn’t know anyone except Taylor who brought me to the team and Coach Sarah welcomed me to the team. I had so much fun during the soccer season include some of our road trips to our away games. I am going to miss our little road trips together as a team. My favorite memory of the soccer season is when we went to one of our away games against Lancaster Bible College, I played defense in the game and I got the ball and dribbled all the way to other side of the field and attempted to shoot the ball to hit a goal. I missed because I was not that good at shooting the ball with my left foot. That was a memorable moment for me. I was really excited because it was the first time I ran down the whole field of the opponents from our 10 yard line to their 10 yard line and attempted shot as defensive player. I will not forget any of those memories during the soccer season.

Now the fall semester is over and the students and I have our finals this week. We can start our winter break on Saturday, December 13. I am super excited to head home to California to see all my friends and family. I missed them so much and it is hard to be away from them for four months including Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is when everybody is supposed to be at home celebrating with their families. I missed my thanksgiving dinner with my family a few weeks ago because I couldn’t afford to go home. It was hard not to celebrate with my family especially seeing my mom. Tuesday, December 16 is when I will arrive home and see my parents, my family, and my friends. It would be great to be home and the first person I will see is my mom and I will give her a bear hug once I land at San Francisco Airport.

College Football

December 8, 2008

All I can say is that it’s so much different from high school football. In high school, football was really more of a fun game. In college, it’s all about business. We play to win and that’s all. That didn’t happen a lot this year but we did our best and that’s all you can do. The first day being here was pretty interesting. The day of our first meeting was the day I was to arrive at Gallaudet University. I had arrived to Gallaudet and walked in to our meeting room where coach Hottle was already giving out football rules, instructions, and goals that we had set for the upcoming season. No one noticed me when I had walked in the room because they were all facing the opposite direction of me and they couldn’t hear me walking in. Coach Hottle was signing and talking when I walked in so that helped me to understand what he was talking about. We had a nice dinner that night out on the track field where we were giving out a couple jerseys to our athletic director and to the president of the school. We had a small ceremony to celebrate the new “Turf” field that was built during the 2007 offseason. It was an exciting night to start of the season.

Practices and games for Gallaudet was nothing like I had ever experienced before. The main thing was that there was more involvement. What I mean by that was the players were more involved with practice and were more into the game of football. They were here for two things, their education and football and that was clear to see on the field. The practices were a little harder and there was more to learn. The signing and communicating to the deaf is the same as I had explained in my “Deaf World” paper. The biggest thing that I noticed was the size of the college athletes. Every team we have played against had some really big players. I started as a freshman here so when I took that field with all of those veterans who have lifted weights and have played for several years, it got a little scary for me. For the position I play, it is normal for me to hit lineman that are twice my size and who bench press over four hundred pounds. These guys are huge and it was my job to hit them most of the time as well as chase “fast” running backs and receivers who are a lot faster than me. Besides me having communication problems with the players for Gallaudet, it’s the sport of football that helps me to feel more at home. It was the one thing I got to look forward to everyday when classes and such were finished.

Big City Life

December 8, 2008

Back where I come from, you don’t have people driving wildly and it’s not normal to hear a lot of loud noise. I used to live in a small town in Arkansas where it was quiet and peaceful. And coming from a big family, that was the perfect lifestyle for us. What was cool about living in a small town was that it seemed like everyone knew each other no matter where you went. Another thing I noticed too about living in the south is that everyone seems happier. In D.C. it’s crazy everywhere you go especially with all of the traffic. And where Gallaudet is, in Washington DC, it does get pretty noisy and crazy. But another thing too, I noticed, is that i’m only one of the few people here that can hear noise. Most people at Gallaudet University are deaf so they can’t hear all of the craziness outside. It’s pretty peaceful for them pretty much all the time.  It’s not too bad, but there are those times when people are honking like crazy and i’ll hear police cars and fire trucks blaring their sirens. I guess it will just take some time for me to get used to the big city life. One thing I did notice about living here is that there is so much to do when I leave campus. Gallaudet is located right by some of the hotspots of DC like the Washington Monument, the state’s capital, The Archives, and even the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. It’s just a short metro ride and i’m there. I’ve only went off campus twice to go sightseeing but I took tons of pictures and videos when I did. Overall, I would say that living in DC is a good experience and i wouldn’t change a thing. I had thoughts of transfering back closer to home but after seeing how awesome this place is, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

The Deaf World

December 8, 2008

Never in my life have I seen or even met a deaf person. I had one friend my junior year of high school that was just like me. She was hard of hearing but she grew up in the hearing world all her life. She talked like a hearing person too so we were more hearing than deaf but that’s the only person in my life that I have ever met that was hard of hearing or deaf. Coming here to Gallaudet University was the start of being in the deaf world. All my life I have felt like I was different because I was the only one in my family who had a hearing problem and normally the only one in my schools that was hard of hearing or deaf. I had no experience with the deaf language so I struggled very much when I first got here on campus.

I remember my first day here when I was introduced to some deaf people and I was so shocked because I had no idea what the others were saying. It made me nervous too because I thought that I wouldn’t fit in with these people here. At times I thought that I wouldn’t feel accepted and maybe people I try to communicate with would get frustrated with me and give up. I feel like I relate to the people here because I’ve had experiences with not hearing and being different than most people. Although, at the same time I was raised in the hearing world so I thought here they wouldn’t accept me because I have no experience in the deaf world. I saw a video on YouTube that was from a few years ago when the president of Gallaudet was hired but she was hearing and the deaf community here at Gallaudet took it personal and started protests that ended up making national news so I was nervous about that as well.

Up to this point since I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot of signing but I’m not fluent like I would like to be. I’m at the point right now where I can have a normal, simple conversation with a deaf person. I notice that most of my friends here are either hearing or hard of hearing. I’m really trying to change that and meet more deaf people. Hopefully with more practice I will be able to speak fluently so I won’t have to use pagers and texting to communicate with my deaf friends here.

Being Away From Home

December 8, 2008

A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to go to college after they graduate high school but I’ve been blessed with that opportunity. With that positive, comes a negative. Because I do live in Arkansas, I was forced to travel two thousand miles to come here to Gallaudet. I have become pretty close to my family so it was tough. There were times though when I felt like I couldn’t wait to move out of the house because of all the stress I’ve had to deal with growing up. I have a lot of brothers and sisters in my family and I’ve become close to all of them so the biggest difference for me was going to be waking up with no noise, no stress, and “definitely” no more changing diapers and babysitting. What’s interesting was that it has always been stressful and I’ve always wanted peace but it was never possible in family. Going to Gallaudet was going to be the big change in all of that. The first few weeks were great because I didn’t feel stressed with all the noise but after I got used to it being quiet and peaceful, I started to get a little bored. I noticed back when I was at home, I always had something to do because there were a lot of us. So I started to get bored pretty quickly. I have only met a few people here on campus so I don’t do a whole lot on campus.

Another thing that’s changing is my food choices. I like the food here at Gallaudet but I find myself eating the same thing everyday. There are not a lot of different foods here so I have been missing the home style cooking and the different varieties of food that my mom makes. Even though there are some negatives about being here, I really enjoy it because now I get to live a more independent life. I get to go to bed whenever I want, eat whenever and pretty much whatever I want, hangout and do just about anything at any given time or day. Growing up with a lot of other kids meant that my parents were more strict. That prevented from being able to do the things that most high school kids got to do. Me going places was a rarity back in high school so that is definitely something better about living away from home.

Overall, living on my own will be a great thing because it will allow me to get out into the world and experience things that I never would have done when I was younger. Obviously for me, those will be good experiences, and i know now I that won’t do anything I know will harm me in the future. For most people, getting to live away from home means that they will get the opportunity to smoke, drink, and party all they want to but that’s not the case for me. I want my college life to be meaningful and full of excitement and new learning experiences.

Memories of Times Forgotten

December 4, 2008

Yesterday I had to go to Payroll Office to get my time card signed since I forgot to do it. [I usually do eTime]. As I climbed the three floors up to the third floor of College Hall, I began to reflect on Gallaudet University. First, I decided that I really ought to take pictures of the University to show my friends, who had never visited Gallaudet, what it looks like.

When I finished (a mere five minutes later) and headed downstairs and out to meet with my roommate at the Cafeteria on the other side of the campus for lunch, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia and a REALIZATION. It has been nearly two years and a half as of next week. It feels so weird to think that I’m entering the second half of my third year this upcoming Jan, and how things have changed on campus so much and how things have changed for myself.

I do remember College Hall my freshman year. During NSO Week, my friends and I played around there. We dared each other to go through the coffin door (Pictures will be posted in the next post, if interested) due to the myth. During that same time, my friend dropped and broke a sidekick she had just brought that day.

Now, I’m an older, more experienced student and when I look at the freshmen of this year, some of whom I’m friends with, I feel a weird sensation. I was once like them. Naive, not sure about how things worked at College. I was once unsure about my friends and was in the midst of developing friendships with other freshmen and older students. My freshman year was probably one of the most defining year I had in terms of friendship and getting to know who I was when it came to my identity as a Deaf person rather than a HOH person in a hearing world.

In terms of finals, though, everything is hectic. I’m so busy; it’s absolutely ricid! I’m dealing with three papers due next Thurs, a Class Observation tomorrow, and two tests on Monday. I’ll be happy to go home and SLEEP forever, but even then, I’m still not free from school. I still have to do things for my Honors Capstone class in the Spring (HON 487 – Prep for Senior Honors Project). Pictures and more memories will be forthcoming!

Do not judge movies by their covers

December 3, 2008

One of the weekends before Thanksgiving break, I went to SAC theater and watched Hellboy 2 with two of my friends. I had nothing else planned. Judging from the movie cover, I thought it would be a pretty scary movie. I decided to join my friends so  I don’t have to feel scared  watching this movie alone. While I watched the movie, I closed my eyes on some of the  parts that I thought would be scary until I realized they weren’t  scary after all. One of my favorite parts when the Hellboy punched a person who has an airhead after he said, “You need anger management because you can’t handle your temper.” Then somehow the airhead person went into the lockers and slammed Hellboy into the locker doors. I thought it was hilarious and I actually enjoyed this movie. I learned one thing about the movie – never judge a movie by its cover. It’s much the same as the quote, “Do not judge the book by the cover?”  My advice to everyone is do not judge this movie by its cover. 🙂

The most sentimental movie I have seen

December 3, 2008

One of my favorite actresses in the movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, is Blake Lively. I think she is one of the best actresses in the movie. I think the first movie is better than the second one because the first movie showed how best friends stay together for the whole summer and are there for each other to keep each other happy. I think the second movie is more sentimental because it shows a lot more information of Bridget’s (Blake Lively) mother and how she died. I actually enjoyed watching the movie. I wonder if there will be another movie, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3?” I hope we have another movie related to best friends.  I can imagine what it would involve.

I highly recommend you watch this movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

Welcome to Gallaudet…Really

December 2, 2008

I recently posted on the web about something that frustrated me at school, and I said “Welcome to Gallaudet!” A friend of mine, who graduated from Gallaudet several years ago, asked: “Why do you go to Gallaudet if you’re gonna keep bashing it or its students?” This is my response.

I think you misunderstand what “Welcome to Gallaudet” means. It’s a very common expression of frustration and fatalism around here. Whenever something goes wrong, takes longer than it should have, or doesn’t work out how you expected, well, “Welcome to Gallaudet.” Transfer credits didn’t come through? Welcome to Gallaudet. Teacher gave somebody else an A+ when your work was better than theirs? Welcome to Gallaudet. Food sucks? Welcome to Gallaudet. It’s not bashing, and it has nothing to do with Gallaudet in particular – all colleges have problems like these. It definitely has nothing to do with Gallaudet being a deaf school or with its students being deaf.

I understand the impulse to feel defensive when someone complains about your alma mater. But keep in mind that it’s my school too. I have the right to complain about things that are frustrating to me, it’s part of life in an institution greater than yourself. Some people complain about work, I complain about school – that’s my “job” right now.

I will bleed buff and blue until the day I die, and I love Gallaudet like nothing else in the world. (My wife told me yesterday I should get “Gallaudet” tattooed on my ass because I love it so much – I might actually do that after I graduate!) But like everything else, Gallaudet has problems. Identifying them and addressing them are how we move forward. And if we have to vent a little frustration in the process, that comes with the territory.

I hope that explains for you why I sometimes seem to complain about Gallaudet. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love this school with all my heart.