Bonjour

by

Wow, I’m back at Gallaudet! All the way from the beautiful Rockies on the west coast… Canada! Nothing beats the feeling of being an international student at Gallaudet University. When I first set foot on campus in fall 2007, I became part of the 2011 graduating class. Everything was quite overwhelming during the NSO week. I didn’t know anyone here; there were numerous new faces swarming all around me. Not even one face that I recognized. There were groups of females screaming, hugging, jumping, and telling the how much they’ve missed each other and how thrilled they were to spend all their college years together, of course to create more memories. I stood there… bewildered. I had all eyes on me [the new girl- not so ‘americanish.’] I learned to push my shyness out and step out of the box. I made new friends eventually through classes and some on-campus activities & organizations. Once you’re in the deaf world, everyone knows everyone. I love how the networking is out here, it’s beyond unbelievable. I recall when I found out there was only one other Canadian who enrolled Gallaudet at the same year I did; Ashley Osborne, all the way from Newfoundland in eastern Canada. She is currently my roommate for the spring semester.

The fact regarding the amount of deaf and hard of hearing students on campus made an enormous impact on me. Being the ONLY deaf student in a mainstreamed school back home was all I knew. I grew up knowing that I was alone and had to adjust my communication methods to interact with my hearing friends. Now, I didn’t have to; I could use my hands anytime, anywhere, whenever I wanted to. I smelled FREEDOM! Not to mention it was also a huge culture shock for me. Ironically, I was raised in a deaf family but was never once put into a deaf institution until Gallaudet. My DEAF parents [I must stress the term ‘deaf’] made a decision to send me to a mainstreamed school. This was my very first experience with a deaf institution that included deaf teachers, and peers, meaning what? Classrooms where interpreters were no longer needed! Thanks to the direct communication of sign language.

During the fall semester of 2007, I was befuddled with everything and did not know what I really wanted to do in life. Even though I received so much support from my loved ones back at home and of course new college mates here; I battled major homesickness and I was simply not ready for the college lifestyle. I decided to take a year off and ponder what I really wanted to do in life in general. I knew inside, from the very bottom of my heart, that I will return to Gallaudet once I departed the District of Columbia. I had an urge to take some time off from school and roam the true legal Canadian life, so I did.

This semester is about to kick off with five courses packed into my schedule. I am so looking forward to make this memorable for the remainder of my freshman year.
Will post more later on y’all!

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One Response to “Bonjour”

  1. Ellie Says:

    Wow! You are so lucky to be at Gallaudet! I understand how you feel with being the only deaf person in mainstream school! I am hoping that i get in Gallaudet when i finish high school! I also think you are so brave to go to USA! I live in Canada too! Is it really true that there is not many Canadians at Gallaudet? I thought there will be more because Gallaudet is a great place?

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