Archive for February, 2009

B.E.L.I.E.V.E

February 28, 2009

BELIEVE GROUP

Being Empowered, Living Inspired, Exemplifying Victory Everyday!

This is a recent group I have auditioned for.

Let me explain exactly what this group is.

See the man in the yellow? looking at the picture?? His name is Raymont Anderson, this man has become an interpreter fascinated with signing. He decided to get a PHD and continue teaching. Even more he took his passion and started the BELIEVE group which is a group of interpretive dance. They dance sometimes but for the most part perform songs signing. His goal is to make the world more aware of sign and make it more of a Deaf-Friendly environment. Which has lead them to Gallaudet as a perfect place to practice. The group was established about  five or six years ago. They perform all over where ever they are asked to go. Sometimes they will sign the songs that are requested, in as many ways as possible they try to just be a team of signers getting out there spreading the passion of signing songs.

The groups is still good although there are some updates needed. I recently joined as you have read. Although I am the FIRST DEAF person to join this group. I want the knowledge of this group to be more spread out through campus. The songs are more of faith songs, there are some funny songs but I think we need to bring in more hip hop that way there will be more request to perform and we could attract more attention.

This is really a good group, I like to use it as a way to be able to connect with songs, when we sign songs it is so much easier to connect and make it look as if the song is coming from you just because of the expressions. I cannot wait to perform at the first performance march 12th. It is only 2 weeks away. Luckily my parents will also be here. I hope that this will help on my journey to  changing peoples perspectives of signing. Gallaudet has so much that is offered to try and make people fit in to whatever fits you and your personality. And a chance to get out there and do “your thing”.

IF you have any questions about joining this group or performance schedules, anything contact me Tiffany.Barber @Gallaudet.edu

Have an awesome weekend. Until next time Tiffany

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Biology + Valentine’s Day = Reproduction

February 27, 2009

I am typing this blog on my laptop sitting against my window watching the droplets of rain hit the pane. Thousands of words running through my mind, pondering, and trying to get my fingers to express what I’m feeling. I am simply speechless how it’s halfway to March. Everyone is getting all hyped up and recently I started to notice how a few students are getting darker and darker. Then I realized…they are hitting up the tanning salons and preparing for their future warm destination for spring break! SPRING BREAK! I never thought this day would come that soon. Time sure flies. Professors are throwing last minute assignments, projects, and exams at us to prepare us for midterms which are about less than two weeks away. My schedule is all packed, and I’m still hoping to squeeze in some space for other significant things occupy me. I am currently multitasking by typing back and fourth on this blog and cramming for my last minute biology assignment which is due in several hours. I love writing! I have stacks and stacks of colorful, scribbled ink all over loose leaf papers in a dusty box back at home. Reading and writing are my favorite thing to do. For me, it is an easy way to escape from reality and reflect my abstract thoughts and feelings through ink.

Anyways, back to the point, this homework I am currently working on is a biology worksheet. I am currently taking Biology 105 (Introduction to Human Biology). It’s one of my prerequisites for a Psychology Major. I am considering majoring in Psychology and doing a double minor in Sociology and Family Studies. I never did really well in Biology during my senior year, I bombed the final exam and even worse failed the overall course with forty-nine percent. Biology was never my kind of thing. I once thought it was a pointless waste of time to learn. Then I met Dr. Jane Dillehay. I could not ask for a better teacher. I must mention how thick the textbook is… filled with countless content and course related vocabulary. I also must emphasis how I loathe memorizing everything all at once. I swore to God when I first had the book in my hand! The first thing that went through my head was, ‘ I am going to fail this!’

Guess what? I aced my first exam with 105% Yes, that’s correct. A five extra percent. I was beyond thrilled, my highest mark ever in Biology. We are now focusing on the specific chapter of reproduction: from life to death and the dreaded HIV/ AIDS chapter. Oh my, REPRODUCTION!! I wonder if my professor decided to work on that chapter specifically during Valentine’s week? Smart choice!

Oh goodness, I have got to spill how the weather is torturing the city of District of Columbia these past few weeks. It has been very uncooperative. It’s super sunny, with perfect temperatures averaging in the 60’s and then all of sudden it drops to the 30’s with ice freezing the ground and a snowstorm the next day. I am starting to get annoyed with having to switch back and forth from my summer jacket and shoes to my winter jacket and boots. Hurry spring… I am opening my arms for your warm welcome.

Gotta jet to hand in the worksheet!

Designing a Major

February 27, 2009

I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do if I’m not accepted into the Deaf Studies major. I think I will self-design a major that incorporates Deaf Studies, History, and Sociology. I’m looking at classes at consortium universities to see if there is anything I could incorporate. So far I have found:

  • CUA – SOC 383 – Disability Policies
  • CUA – LAW 618 – Legal Rights of People with Disabilities
  • GWU – SPED 352 – Concerns for Individuals with Disabilities
  • GWU – ENG 172 – Disability and Literature

I’m surprised that’s all there is…I will have to keep looking!

Me,myself and Gallaudet

February 25, 2009

I am new to this Blogging for Gallaudet. I am sure I will catch on sooner or later, after all I am a “Babbler”.

Ill start with an introduction of who I am, and a slight history of my background.

My name is Tiffany Barber, I am a freshman here at Gallaudet *representing BISONS*. I am a Michigan girl, born and raised in the cold “hand”. I like to say that because luckily I can show people where I live by using my hand as a mit. I grew up Hard of Hearing, but became completely Deaf at the age of 10. My family is oral, they do not sign, so by the time i turned 14 I agreed with them to go ahead and receive a Cochlear Implant. Went to mainstream schools which is where I used my signing skills. I also have a physical Disability I have a mild condition of Cerebral Palsy, and some other conditions which affects my walking.

Using that as a Background check there you can have a better idea as to what I have grown up with. Recently I have had a major change in my life. I spend maybe half of my week in a wheelchair now, this is something I have come to adjust and terms with over the past few years.  Gallaudet helped me somewhat with this transition and let me move into Carlin, which has handicap accessible rooms. They are bigger, shower seats and so forth. More set up for those with wheelchairs.

Ok so now Gallaudet, what is there to offer here? Why Gallaudet?

First I told my family I refused to continue going to hearing schools. I wanted to go to a school where I would have the ability to sign without judgement, and also be able to understand an entire class section. I have tried the SSP which is the Science Star Program which made a large influence upon this decision also, I will have a blog on this later. I came to Gallaudet, I already knew what I wanted in my life, I just hoped that Gallaudet would have the Programs for it. I want to be a teacher. For the Deaf in the mainstream and  those children with special needs. Deaf in the mainstream, why would I want to do that? I want to work with those in the mainstream because i know how tough it is, I know how hard it is to understand what is going on. So my goal is to be a DEAF -ED teacher in the mainstream. This is a little different. With the mainstream programs, you aren’t neccessarily teaching, you are more of a support area. Where the student has weaknesses is where you help, homework, clubs, fitting in, tutoring, and mainly Advocating for themselves. I had the support with homework. Although my teachers never understood fully what I was going through, so I want to be able to support these students and give them the things that I never had. Secondly those with special needs. These kids I’m telling you put the biggest smile on your face. People never realize the hearts these kids have, they never realize how much those with special needs can affect you. An example is a student I spent time with for my senior year was a blind autistic child. I can speak, and I use a cochlear so this helped to benefit. I learned braille and I learned her way of life. To a major shock she cried the day I left. My heart goes out to this young girl her mother looked at me and said “You gave her a reason, You gave us a reason”. I was the first person outside of the family she gave a hug to, the first person she put her trust to willingly, and most importantly I was her first friend. To know that you can make that big of a difference in someones life it touches you, and people do not see that. So I think here at Gallaudet we have so many people of different backgrounds, Deaf in the institues, Deaf orals, Deaf with Deaf families, Hard of Hearing with Hearing family, the list goes on its practically infinite. I believe that it will help me to learn new ways of accepting others, accepting change. Maybe help with adaption in life to new things, new people, new ways. I never thought my experiance here at Gallaudet would be half as much as it is now. And i plan to stay for 4 to 5 years. I am curious to see how much I grow.

Thats all for now. Its time for me to stop blabbering, Ill start up on a million topics if I keep going. Hope you enjoy 🙂

NO child is different.

NO child is different.

Delta Zeta Skit

February 21, 2009

 An old basketball rival from high school asked me to go and watch her pledge skit. ‘At Ole Jim’, she said. I couldn’t say no because I was curious as well. My good friend heard about it as well through her friend and we asked our other friend to join as well. Three of us is better than going there alone!

Paid money to go in, we sat down and got settled.  There were 4 pledges going around meeting people and making sure they were comfortable, one of them pained her face white. The skit was about 17th century vampires, ooh interesting.

When it seemed the play was about to start the pledges waited, I wondered for what until I saw the sisters marching in one line and going around the audience and sat in the front row, seriously stonefaced. I laughed, ‘Woo, must be serious. Poor pledges!’

The pledges started introducing themselves, then one person out of the four repeated all of their names first, middle, and last name in order. I could see she was haltering in remembering their names right, all I was thinking was ‘Dang she is lucky there weren’t 20 or 40 pledges!’ The play started after that.

First there were one vampire, hungry of course so she then turned 2 mortals into vampires and by her whim she planned to take over the universe by making all of us audience into vampires! Then the original vampire’s servant decided to do something about it. What happened next was something I would’ve never expected. The servant took out packs of Kotex pads, unwrapped them and stuck them on the sisters, claiming wildly that it would stop their bleeding and prevent them from becoming vampires. The vampires came to her to stop her and she took off her shirt to reveal white jumpsuit and superman underwear. The servant hurriedly took out tampons from her ‘utility belt’ unwrapped them the same, removed the cardboard tubing and flung the tampons at the vampires. She did this three times and stopped the three vampires. Yay! We’re saved!

Thus, the play ended. The sisters stood up and left in line the same way they came in… with three of the Kotex pads still on the sisters heads! It was very memorable! Something to tell to the family and friends back home ^_^

In my little cardboard box

February 21, 2009

reflection

This is how I feel at this moment.. Just stuck in my little cardboard box.. I wish I knew what’ll happen in the future.. I have NO idea but I think I want to major in FCS {family & child studies}

It’s just one of those afternoons.. At this moment I’m upbeat and positive when this afternoon I was wondering why was I at Gallaudet but then I reminded myself I wanted to come for an reason and.. I’m not done at Gallaudet.. I’m so excited to see where this semester leads me to..

Fall Fashion Show

February 21, 2009

It seems an interesting place to go. One of my friends is modeling in the fashion show event. Along with curiosity I decided to go. It was set in the SLCC; platforms were propped and prepared in the first floor. Everything looked ready before the event, already looking good.

On the night of the event, paid the admission and checked out the seats. I picked the one in the middle with a good view of the two platforms. The show didn’t start until 10 minutes passed. A slideshow of the models in pictures of black and white showed as a warm up. They are good pictures but only a few pictures of my friend, disappointing. The two hosts came out, introduced themselves, and started the Gallaudet Fashion Show.

The first thing I said when the model gave her first pose was ‘I bet she’ll do the same pose again.’ She did and so did the rest of the models. A-one and a-two, pose n pose, predictable! I critiqued negatively many time, ‘walking too fast ’, ‘too bouncy, huge hip thrusting and ‘they are modeling not for clothes but for their body’.  There was rarely a positive note from me, ‘that is new, hmm good’, ‘original, didn’t expect that’, and ‘very model-like’. I think there were some who looked at me expectantly when I made a comment; one or two people did nod agreeably to some of it. Some models did have me speechless, ‘nice, nice, that’s nice’. I am not an expert in fashion at all so don’t take me seriously, at that time I looked like I was because I can’t keep my hands down!

There was exciting programs in between the 3 modeling segments. All songs, the first was signed and dancing. I didn’t expect this to happen at all. It was suprising to know that there is some students who, like me, can hear the lyrics of the song and sign it. There is a dancing segment for the second break. Again I made negative comments because I kept looking for mistakes, loss of rhythm and some dancers not keeping up with the others. The last dance blew me away. It was both signing and dancing, but with dance moves I have not seen firsthand. Swing dancing! It made me jealous that they could do that and it looked so good. Made me feel I should have joined, should have thought of it, should have, should have on a lot of things. It is inspiring! 

I’d say the third dance paid for the entire event and made it memorable. The event showed me variety in Gallaudet’s events. It was not academic nor did it belong to homecoming events, this is different than I expected. It also made me realize that I could be a negative critic and that is not a good thing for me.  

Not Deaf Enough, Redux

February 17, 2009

Is it necessary for someone to be deaf in the audiometric sense in order to be a leader within the deaf community? Many hearing people do not recognize the distinctions between levels of deafness in the deaf community, such as when using a cell phone on the Gallaudet campus can cause fellow students to look at someone as “less deaf” than those who are profoundly deaf and cannot use the telephone. Although those who study deaf culture insist there is no decibel limit for someone to be culturally deaf, there is a definite class distinction between those who are hard of hearing and those who are profoundly deaf; those who are prelingually deaf and those who are late-deafened; those who are able to interact with the hearing world easily and those who are not.

Gallaudet University must have a culturally deaf president – someone who is not fluent in sign language and who is unfamiliar with the struggles faced by deaf people when they interact with the hearing world would not be able to lead a school for those who use sign language and experience barriers to communication. It is my belief that all future presidents of Gallaudet will be culturally deaf, holding deaf values to their heart. But I foresee trouble when it comes time to choose another president, because the divisions within the deaf community will rise again if someone is chosen who does not fit the politically correct definition of what the president should be. If someone is selected who is postlingually deaf, there will be conflict; if someone is selected who has enough hearing to use the telephone, there will be conflict; if someone with lipreading and speaking skills is selected, there will be conflict. For some, the “perfect” deaf candidate will be someone who shuns speech, cannot hear a jet engine, and so forth.

How are we to find this ideal deaf person? Will Gallaudet be able to continue if we cannot? Given that the chances of finding this person are so slim, what are Gallaudetians willing to sacrifice in exchange for the continuation of the university’s mission? Should we pick someone who is suitable in the deaf sense, but has little administrative background? Or should we pick someone with outstanding administrative experience, but who can speak if they choose to? Will we ever again manage to be happy with our president, or did that possibility fade in 1988 when Deaf President Now changed our world? The wounds of 2006 have not yet fully healed, and there is a definite spark in the air at Gallaudet as the presidential search gears up again. It seems we are just waiting to see who is chosen so we can get on with our lives. I can only hope there is not another protest in our future…I do not envy the job of the Presidential Search Committee or the Board of Trustees.

Once Enemy, Now Teammate?

February 16, 2009

Both of my younger brothers Jeremy and Brandon attend school in Branson, Missouri and play football for the Branson High School pirates. They faced a familiar foe twice this past season. Once in the regular season and once in the first round of the playoffs. My brothers lost both times. I won’t reveal the name of the player they played against but he was deaf and he ran all over my brother’s team twice. He plays for Webb City high school and is DEAF!

He plays for a hearing school and is the only one deaf on the team. He is in the same situation as I was in when i was in high school. Despite being deaf, he led his team past my brother’s team, and on to state championship. His team won the state title by about 20 or so points. Following the season, he was one of the highest ranked running backs in Missouri.

The first meeting my brothers had with him was in October. Following that game, my dad went down to the field and met him. He told him about how he just played two kids who have a brother that plays at Gallaudet that is deaf as well, ME! My dad spoke with an interpreter in which the interpreter relayed his messages to that runningback. My dad told him about this past season and how I started as linebacker my freshman year. My dad went on and on about Gallaudet University football and talked about me attending there and my experiences that i’ve had so far. The kid finished off the conversation by saying “Gallaudet is now on my list of schools to attend!” My dad shook hands with him and then left for home with my brothers, mom and the kids. That kid will be a senior in high school next year so if i play football with him as a teammate, it will be my junior year.

Will he be a teammate after once being an enemy? We’ll see in the next year and a half! Posted are a couple pictures of my brothers. Jeremy, soon to be senior, is number 19. Brandon, soon to be junior, is number 9.

Football Offseason!

February 16, 2009

We have no football now, which means we have off-season workouts daily. This is usually the time of year that determines which teams during the upcoming season will be successful. Of course you need good coaches and some talent to win games as well but weightlifting is very critical to a successful program.

Every Monday and Wednesday, We have an afternoon workout starting at 5 and it consists of working on the upperbody as well as doing some abdominal (abs) work. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we do what we call “Tire Flips”. It doesn’t really take a genious to figure out what that workout is. Basically our coach lines up 2 big tires on the endzone on the football field and he has all the players line up into two different lines behind the tires. It’s pretty much a race to the other side of the field. Our coach starts the stopwatch and the first two players constantly try to flip the tire. They keep flipping until coach tells them to rotate then two new players step up to flip. Each player gets 30 seconds to do as many as they possibly can.

That doesn’t finish the workout for Tuesday and Thursday as we go back inside to do some work on our legs with some squat and powerclean. It’s a pretty hectic workout but it’s all to prepare us for the upcoming season as we try to win more games and improve this football program. And to be honest, i love doing the tire flips because there’s a lot of excitement and the players get very competitive. Every workout session we’ve had so far has been great and coach has complimented us on all of our hard work.