Archive for January, 2009

Real Women, Me?

January 30, 2009

There’s an annual show called REAL WOMEN, REAL BEAUTY and I’m trying to decide if I want to sign up to participate. I want to feel good about how I look, but I’m trying to remember from last year, and I don’t remember any actual fat chicks in there really. The auditions are 8-10pm on February 17th, which is late at night for me, but I could do it. If the show really is about REAL women, I could do it…I think I’m pretty enough, just fat. Brandi TenEyck was such an inspiration when she participated in Bison’s Next Top Model last year. I want to do this…I think I can do it. I need to e-mail and find out what is required.

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PE Major!

January 30, 2009

 Well picking my classes this semester was pretty interesting. I plan on majoring in Physical Education so one day I will become a football coach. About 2 weeks ago I selected courses for this spring semester and i gotta say, i’m pretty excited! This semester is a lot different from my first semester because my fall schedule consisted of GSR (General Study Requirement) courses. I had Math, English, ASL and First Year Seminar. To be honest, it was pretty boring because i have just about no interest in those classes except for ASL. This semester I had the chance to pick what i wanted so I picked PE classes that are required for me to graduate with a Bachelors and Masters degree in that field. I was really excited to see the list of options i had that didn’t include the boring subjects such as Math, English, Science, etc.

     My class schedule now consists of; Foundations and Wellness of PE Education, ASL 102, a weightlifting class, CPR class, and finally a Lifeguarding class. So as you can see, i’m going to be VERY active this semester which is great for me and will help prepare me for my sophomore season of football. Oh yea and to add of that, I also wake up at 6 in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays for our early morning team workout which is a tough one! On Mondays and Wednesdays, the team works out at 5 in the afternoon. So it looks like i’ll be lifting weights and running 6 times in a 4 day time span. With plenty of swimming from the lifeguarding class too, I should look like a division one college football player in about 4 months. (Lol). So to sum it up, i’m running, lifting and swimming everyday as well as take a few other classes related to PE. I know i will definitely enjoy this semester’s class schedule a lot more than my fall semester’s class schedule. I feel like I will be more into class now and not be so “Ugh another day of class!” This is the schedule that fits my interests best. Be on the lookout too for the next Bison top model for men. (wink, wink)

Out on the Town!

January 30, 2009

 

     Unlike living in the south like Arkansas, Washington D.C. has many great places to go to for a good time. So far since being here, i think i got out to experience the city maybe 4 times. I haven’t gotten out much since arriving at Gallaudet University for the first time in August of 2008. I think a large part of that is me having so much fun on campus. (Lol) The places i’ve visited since up to this day are the Library of Congress, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Civil War Memorial. I have some great pictures of the trip to show you of my first experience to the Library of Congress.

Labyrinthine Membrane Rupture

January 28, 2009

I think I figured out the cause of my hearing loss, and I owe it all to Law and Order. Criminal Intent, actually.

There’s an episode revolving around scuba divers, and one mentions that he can’t dive anymore because he had a labyrinthine membrane rupture (LMR). Later, a doctor confirms this “inner ear condition” and says the guy can’t dive deeper than a swimming pool.

I tried to go to scuba class last night. We had to do a depth test, and this time the Valsalva maneuver wasn’t even mentioned until after a few people, including me, had gone. The first people made it fine, but I had to crawl out of the pool, crying in pain. I knew it was the water pressure because I’d ruptured both eardrums in Bermuda in 2006. As a result, I lost some hearing. In 2008 the audiologists at Gallaudet said I had sensorineural hearing loss.

So when I saw this LMR thing on TV just a few hours later, I looked it up. Imagine my surprise when the third result says LMR can cause sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

I’m not going to get it diagnosed and all that. I’m pretty sure student insurance wouldn’t cover it, and I spent $5700 on hearing aids that allow me to function just fine. But the Magic 8 Ball in my mind is saying “my sources say yes” about this LMR thing. Crazy! I should write to Criminal Intent and say thank you.

That’s Gallaudet For You!

January 25, 2009

Hello there fellow readers! Once again I’m back at good ol’ Gally after a month- long break spent doing absolutely nothing and I never thought it could feel so fulfilling.

After being snatched from the comforts of home in the name of academic responsibility, I started to make a mental list of the things that really suck about Gallaudet University and I decided to share it with you- because where else are you going to get information this honest? Please bear in mind that I love Gally, but like any other university, it has its flaws! So here’s a list of said flaws:

1. The food sucks: Sure, the first week you arrive here, a naive freshman or visitor, you’re amazed at the delicious food waiting for you. Then the first week ends, and you find yourself eating the same combination over and over and over, mainly because everything else is either disgusting or you’re just afraid to try something new since, once again, everything else is disgusting. You’ll often resort to ordering in but will have to face a dwindling bank account, which will force you into the cafeteria, unless you prefer to starve.

2. There are big cockroaches everywhere: Enough said.

3. Showers: Two problems I often encounter include (1) barely touching the shower knob and going from freezing to scalding hot water and (2) standing under a trickle, trying to rinse my hair out.

4. Washing clothes costs money: You’d think after paying a hefty tuition, Gally students would be spared from paying $1.25 per load. Even RIT doesn’t charge it’s students anything!

5. The dorms ain’t that nice: Picture carpet coated with stains and hair that is definitely not yours, and you’ve got a typical Gally dorm room.

That’s all I’ve got for now, feel free to add yours! Prospective students or visitors, don’t let these flaws keep you away from Gallaudet University, in my next blog, I’ll list the upsides to living at Gally, I promise.

Cheers,
Heather

Inauguration Day

January 21, 2009

Hello!  It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted to my blog, but I’d like to make it my resolution to pick it back up again.  I’ll start by telling you about my experience at the inauguration!  I am so glad to be in DC at a time like this, it was incredible.

My roommate and I decided to leave early, like 4am early.  She had some friends who were planning on going so I was going to tag along with them.  She and I woke up at the awful hour of 3am, got dressed in a million layers and got ready.  Meanwhile, her friends were sound asleep.  They overslept, so we left campus around 5am just the two of us.  We weren’t really sure of the best path to take since many streets were blocked off, so we decided to head to Union Station and go from there.  This turned out to be an excellent idea, as they had a lot of security and people to provide information along the route.  We walked, and walked, and walked.  And then we walked some more through what I can only guess was the 395 tunnel.  Along the route were throngs of volunteers shouting, “Good morning! Welcome to the Inauguration!” which was really encouraging.  There were tons and tons of people walking on the streets with us, but everyone was in a great mood.  Once we got closer to the mall, the crowds picked up, and it was like a mosh pit the rest of the way there.  You could’ve picked your feet up and been carried by the crowd.  My roommate and I kept ahold of one another as it would’ve been easy to get separated and lost.  We got to the entrance just past the Hirshorn museum and the whole crowd was squeezed through a standard door size gate.  This for me, was the funniest experience as hundreds of people squeezed so tightly together that you could almost feel your chest compress.  But we made it!  We made our way through the crowds already assembled on the mall and found a spot with a great view of the Jumbotron.  To the right we had a clear view of the Capitol, so we were nicely situated.  It was only 7:30am at this point, so we were in for a long wait.

Neither of us ate breakfast, so we decided to give up our spot in search for food.  We found a hotdog concession line and waited for 2 hours to get our coney, fries and hot chocolate.  This helped to pass the time and was well worth the wait.  It was during this stretch of time that the cold hit me the hardest.  I had thought ahead and worn several layers of clothing, but not enough socks.  Foolishly I was only wearing one pair of socks, so my feet were absolutely freezing.  I’ve never been so cold for so long in my life.  Hey, I’m from Texas!  I stomped my feet and wiggled my toes to keep blood circulating, and by the time we got our food and ate, I felt 100% better.

We decided not to swarm back through the crowd and lingered on the sides where we had more personal space and could still see the Jumbotron.  It was so exciting to be there and to be apart of such a momentus day.  Obama’s speech was really inspirational, and I enjoyed every part of the day.  I thought it was great when he sort of stumbled over the words to the oath in the beginning.  For someone who is always so poised and eloquent, it was cute to see him be ‘human’ and trip over his words.

Once the ceremony was finished, she and I hopped on the metro and made it back to Gally with little delays.  The line for the metro took about 45 minutes or so, but once we were on the train it was smooth sailing.  Compared to my other friends stories of delays and road closures, we had an incident free experience.

I’m so proud of myself for braving the crowds and the weather to attend.  I will never forget that day.

Our first locationSo cold!Our final spot

Good News

January 16, 2009

I do not remember if I mentioned that I was changing my major. I am. Last semester I had a reality check–there was no possible way that I was going to major in ASL as I had first planned. However, I did not want to transfer and I still wanted to improve my ASL skills, so I decided to change my major to a self-directed one in Linguistics.

It takes a lot of work to self-direct a major. Foolishly, I waited until Finals week of last semester to begin this process. In addition to finals, I had to meet with my Academic Adviser, the Self-Directed Adviser, the Linguistics Adviser, and make several trips to other departments as well. Despite all this last-minute rush, my plan was approved.

That was good news for me since I had no alternative “Plan B” waiting to take Plan A’s place.

I discussed my course options with my advisers and they mentioned that I could take a few classes at other universities that were a part of the DC Consortium in order to satisfy my requirements for graduation. I thought I had plenty of time to enroll in these courses. I was wrong.

Luckily, a few days after I arrived home from school, I checked my email one afternoon and read a Daily Digest from Gallaudet. It said that today was the deadline to apply for Consortium courses. I had no idea what I wanted to take or where I wanted to take it, so I immediately put away everything else I was doing and began looking through the Consortium schools to find classes that would work for me.

I started with the universities closest to Gallaudet or those that were easily accessible by Metro. However, none of these ten schools offered courses in Linguistics. My last option and the last school remaining was Georgetown University. I clicked on their website with my eyes half-closed in a grimace, partially hoping that they offered classes and also wishing that they did not.

The reason that I did not want to go to Georgetown was not that I did not like the school. In fact, it is a major and elite university. What I did not want was the commute that would accompany it. Georgetown is on the opposite side of town from Gallaudet and is nowhere near a Metro stop (thanks to those in Georgetown who prefer “less homeless” to accessibility).

I opened my eyes though to find that Georgetown had an overwhelming array of Linguistics courses available. I clicked through the ones that seemed the most interesting and applicable and found two that I really liked. By this time though, it was after five and I had missed the deadline.

Holding out a flickering candle of hope, I emailed a few people the courses I wanted to take through Consortium. I must take a moment here to applaud Gallaudet staff because, though I had missed the deadline, they worked like crazy to process my request, get the necessary signatures that I needed, and send off my information to Georgetown University.

My classes were approved.

I was excited about this, of course, because, as things were going, I would be able to graduate on time. However, in order to take classes at Georgetown, I had to give up my last two weeks of winter break and fly into DC early. This did not bode well, but all has worked out well thus far.

The commute remains an issue for me since it takes over an hour to get there and over an hour to come home. Hopefully, the commute time will shorten a little when all the inauguration hype has died down and people return home.

At any rate, I just wanted to announce the good news. Thought you should know!

Warping Grits and Other Things

January 1, 2009

Its Christmas time and time to warp those grits…I mean, wrap those gifts.

I suppose I am one of those last-minute gift-wrappers, who waits until Christmas Day to pull out those special gifts that are hidden in my closet and start wrapping them and putting them under the tree. They are there now, waiting to be unwrapped when my brother and his girlfriend arrive.

Christmas, I think, is a time to look back and a time to look ahead–what has been gained and what has been lost in this hustle and bustle called Life. Looking back over this past semester, I can truly say that I have journeyed many a path of sorrow and death as well as joy and inspiration.

My journey began in July. I had just reached a point of normalcy in my life–the previous year at school had taken its toll on me emotionally, physically and, most importantly, spiritually, and had robbed me of my joy and peace in Christ Jesus. It was at this point that a close friend (Kink) asked me to accompany her to a party for another friend’s uncle. The catch: this party was at the local redneck bar. I do not drink alcohol and I knew my friend did not need to be drinking because she has serious health issues.

So, knowing that our mutual friend was often a sign of trouble and that Kink needed to be careful, I agreed to go, but only to be a moral support for her and to make sure nothing bad happened. Well, nothing happened. But I sensed something going on between Kink and some of the other girls we were with. They were bonding–and fast. I knew they were bad company and that this could not be a good sign.

Not long after, I began seeing a greater change in my friend as she spent more and more time with her new friends from the bar. Not coincidentally, I soon received word that she was in the hospital. This was early August. I was both concerned for Kink and relieved. Concerned that she was sick and that her many health issues could make it difficult for her to heal and relieved that she was safe in her hospital room where these new “friends” could not lead her into more harm.

It turned out that during her hospital stay, I was able to spend a great deal of time with Kink. It was an opportunity that I had never had before and I treasured every moment that I was able to share the love of Christ with her and fellowship with her. Thankfully, she is now out of the hospital and is back to her normal Kinkle-self 🙂

A few days after Kink got out of the hospital, I boarded an early-morning flight with my dear friend and fellow blogger, Kahlila. We were bound for our Alma Matter a week before school to begin our pre-season soccer training. Two-a-day practices followed for the next four days. Although I had run everyday over the summer break, I was terribly sore and had to sit in a tub of ice water in the athletic training room to numb away the pain.

Classes began that last Monday in August. I immediately fell in love with my Communications in Gestures course. It was taught by Dr. Mike Kemp, one of the best professors on the Gallaudet campus. I was also enrolled in Classifiers, ASL and English, Non-Manual Signals, and American History.

My friend from high school who was up in DC with me and working for W. in the White House invited me on that Friday to attend the Marine Barracks Parade where I saw the President and Laura Bush in person for the first time. It was so neat!

A couple of weeks later, I went to the Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House that I described in an earlier blog. It marked the second and last time that I saw the President in person. It also set the stage for my political views of W. for the next few months. Since President Bush only has a few more weeks in office, I could no understand why people had to be so belligerent and utterly cruel in the way that they talked about W. (especially when they could give me no reason why they hate the President so much).

What has he done to offend so many? More importantly, after the Democrats, not only won the Legislative Branch, but also the Executive Branch, why can’t Democrats simply celebrate their victories without insulting the President further? I am not Republican or Democrat, but it saddens me to see that people portray and discuss Bush as if he were worse than Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Husein.

At any rate, later that week, I went on my first West Wing tour with several friends from my home town and had the opportunity to see the Oval Office and the Press Briefing Room. I also went with my friend and his family to Mount Vernon and, before that, Great Falls, Annapolis, and Baltimore with a few visiting friends. It was great getting out of the city and spending time with friends. I also took a day trip to the National Arboretum when the leaves began turning color.

For the first three months of school, I played on the Bison Women’s Soccer Team. We never won a game, but we did have a few close games and we enjoyed playing all the same. I played outside midfield and thus had the opportunity to play both defense and offense, which was fun despite all the running 🙂

Two days before Thanksgiving, I checked my email before class just like I do everyday, but today was different. Today, I had an email about my professor, Mike Kemp.

I had just emailed Dr. Kemp that Sunday night to ask about class on Tuesday. He told me that we did have class because we were behind in our projects, so I was looking forward to Tuesday afternoon when I would go to his class, which was my favorite class this semester. He was an awesome teacher. We never read a book, but I guarantee you that I learned just as much if not more in his class than I did in any of my other classes, including the one that I did major projects for every class period.

That Tuesday morning though, I received an email that made my heart sink. Dr. Mike Kemp had passed away. It was ten minutes until my next class but all I could do was sit there at my desk, cry, and yell out, “No, God, no. Please no. Why? Why God? Why him? He wasn’t ready!”

I managed to get myself together enough to walk to class, but I cried all the way there and throughout History, too. I then went to NMS class where we all cried together and talked about Mike Kemp, how he died, and how he lived.

That sent me over the edge. I had just talked to him two days earlier. He was supposed to be here. He wasn’t.

I was completely distraught. I had just attended a memorial service for a friend who had passed away in a fire over the summer. I knew his family as well as those closest to him in the Deaf-World had to be so bereaved. What a loss! He was an excellent teacher and made a huge impact on people across the globe. I looked around at my classmates and knew that more than half of them were there, majoring in ASL, because of Dr. Kemp and his encouragement.

I was also confused. What do you do when your professor dies? How do you carry on with the class? How do you get a grade in a class where no grades have been given? I somehow managed to finish my term paper and turn it in but only because I knew how much Mike Kemp was looking forward to reading my paper, and I wanted to email it to him even though he was not there to see it.

It took me five days before I was able to even look at my homework. Most of my final projects and finals were due within the next 2-4 days. I rushed though them and looked forward to coming home to unload and rest. Soccer had taken its toll on me as well as Dr. Kemp’s death.

Now, here I am, warping grits, wrapping up the end of this year, and already doing much better. God is sovereign. He holds everything in His hands. I know He will use the events–both good and bad–from this past semester and turn them into something good.

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” –Job 1:21

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

 

*Condolences and my deepest sympathies go out to Dr. Mike Kemp’s family and friends. You are all in my prayers.*