Archive for September, 2009

Deafness and Queerness

September 30, 2009

Bear with me here – this is going to get a little strange. It comes from a discussion we had in my Dynamics of Oppression class (DST 311) today.

Bisexuality – Being Hard of Hearing
Think about this. Many people hear about bisexuals and say they just can’t choose. They’re on the fence. Or they really like one better than the other. Nobody is really bisexual. They secretly have a preference. We insist on shoving bisexuals into the little box marked “straight” or the little box marked “gay” – nobody lets bisexuals be bisexuals.

Now think about being hard of hearing. You either can hear, or you can’t. You don’t get to have a middle ground. You are either hearing (but have some problems) or deaf (but hear really well). You have to pick one…you are either THINK-HEARING or DEAF-HEART. If you live in the Deaf-World, people will say “oh stop pretending, you are really Deaf!”

Why do we insist on putting people into boxes? Why do we say there can’t be a third category? Don’t bisexuals have their own unique needs? Don’t hard of hearing people have their own unique needs?

Ex-Gays – Cochlear Implants
There are special organizations and ministries for what are called “ex-gays” – people who are not happy with being gay and they want to be straight. The organizations are run by people who are genuinely caring and want to help unhappy gay people. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t…but they are definitely for people who feel that being gay is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Of course, there are cochlear implant companies too. They want to help children and adults with hearing loss be able to enjoy music, environmental noise, and voices. Sometimes implants are successful, sometimes they are not…but the companies are definitely operating from the assumption that deafness is something wrong that needs to be fixed.

Are these groups wrong or right? In both cases, they are trying to take the fundamental identity of a person (gay or deaf) and change it into something unnatural. Sure, sometimes people want these changes…not everybody is comfortable being gay, and plenty of people with hearing loss want to experience hearing. Is that bad? Should we say “no, you cannot have this experience, you cannot make this change, it’s not appropriate, you must love yourself the way you are!” Or should we accept that adults can make their own choices about themselves, and if somebody wants to become straight, or wants to get a CI, that is okay?

These are just some things to think about as you go through your day. ūüôā

First month at Gallaudet

September 23, 2009

Wow! Time sure does fly so fast! Tomorrow will mark one month since I came here to Gallaudet! I have seen and did a lot of things! From the announcements of the final four for the tenth president of Gallaudet University to a “mini fire” at the I. King Jordan Student Academic Center! One thing that I picked up within the first week here at Gallaudet, is that there is no DULL day at Gallaudet and that Tennis Shoes is a MUST! No rest for weary foot! I found myself in five organizations! I am particularly proud of the Buff and Blue, because the Buff and Blue opened up many doors for me! I am an alternate senator for the Buff and Blue. I attended the Student Congress, (Student Congress is pretty much the same as the actual U.S. Congress only except we don’t have Joe Wilson). I will be attending the Kappa Sigma Rush this thursday and I am determined to join the Kappa Sigma this Spring. I also will be attending the National Book Festival. (Watch for live blog feed directly form my phone while the National Book Festival.) i hope to get my camera by then so I can post pictures of the Festival!

Will write about the courses in the next blog!

Gallaudet: A Global Experience

September 22, 2009

You there, come on and travel the world with me! What’s that? NO passport? NO PROBLEM! Come to Gallaudet University! Why Gallaudet? Gallaudet, as the World only Liberal Arts University for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, boasts the highest diversity of Deaf and Hard of Hearing from not only America but international students. In fact, out of 300 Undergraduate freshmen who just enrolled at Gallaudet this past summer, 16 are international students. Small? but when you add the 16 ¬†students to numerous of faculty, staff, and upperclassmen form International countries, you will feel like the world is within your fingertips! Gallaudet offers a program ¬†called Multicultural Student Program, (MSP), MSP hosts a multitude of workshops, presentations focusing on the diverse backgrounds of the Gallaudet Community! Come on to Gallaudet and make yourself a part of the world!

Top ten Lessons to be learned

September 22, 2009

It’s 5:06 am as I write this blog, have just finished a large amount of homework! I am going to write about what I have learned thus far at Gallaudet and I am going to pay homage ot my all time favorite late night buddy, David Letterman by presenting the Top Ten Lessons a Freshmen should learn within the first month!

Here they are!

10. Do not Underestimate the homework you are assigned

9. Dont count on having five or more consecutive hours of sleep

8. Foods are not exactly homemade (Want homemade foods? Go to Boli’s!)

7.  Do not ever rely on your alarm clock, have at least three backups in place should old faithful fails you.

6.  Life as a college student is not a piece of cherry pie

5.  Quesiton everything especially what the older students supposedly tell you (Especially the Coffin Door Legend)

4. Free time=Snooze time  (After each homework is completely done!)

3.  24 hours study marathons, a no-no (Unless you want to end up looking like Frankenstein)

2.  Toss that book of excuses that you used in high school to sneak your way out of homework, its useless here..

1. Expect the unexpected

One month into the Gallaudet experience, and I still love it! I will talk about the Buff and Blue, student newspaper soon but I want to talk about the Diversity here at Gallaudet!

Time is of Essence!

September 19, 2009

As a College Student, I have to face the WORST thing ever invented in the history of ¬†the human race: Homework, YES, HOMEWORK (ok,ok.. It’s not the WORST thing ever invented in the history of ¬†the human race) but I have to face it like a picky five years old child faces the ever loathed Spinach or Brussel Spouts. It is not so bad if you know how to MANAGE your TIME! Time Management is a critical skill that a College Freshman needs to have! (I can see a chorus of I-TOLD-YOU-SO!) As a high school student, my time management skills were extremely poor, so the first three weeks of College was a RUDE awakening, heed this advice from a ¬†former¬†procasinator: DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO DO THAT ASSIGNMENT THAT WAS ASSIGNED 4 DAYS PRIOR! More tips coming up soon!

A glimpse of College Life

September 19, 2009

Is that you peering through one of the grand windows of Chapel Hall? Yes? Want a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Gallaudet Freshman? yes? Great! You have come to the right place! As a current freshman at Gallaudet, I discovered and took advantage of countless of opportunities here! To me, the best part of Gallaudet is not really the excellent academic standards but rather the wide array of student organizations! I am already involved in several organizations with a specialized focus on Media and Communications, the organization that I most enjoy working for is the Buff and Blue, the student newspaper! The Buff and Blue will be the subject of the next blog soon to follow! ¬†I am a writer for the Buff and Blue, I work with two awesome editors, Mark Ramirez and Alexander Abenchuchan, if you visit and bump in them, be sure to tell them hello! Through the Buff and Blue, I became involved in yet another organization, Student Body Government (SBG). The SBG pretty much functions like our government. More Details will follow the Buff and Blue post. ¬†I will occasionally post a blog spotlighting a specific organization!

The Homeless Near Gallaudet

September 16, 2009

Last year, I wrote about the neighborhood around Gallaudet and I included a picture of the people who live between the 6th Street Gate and the sports field of the public school behind Gallaudet.

Where the homeless had their homes This year I have a class in the Washburn Arts Building for the first time, and I was surprised by what I saw through the windows. Specifically, trash. Lots of trash, which you can see in the picture here (click to make it bigger). This is the back of the place where the homeless live. You can see a blanket stuck onto the fence, a chair overturned on the ground, and a man sitting on a milk crate. This is the life they have. When you have a home, DC does trash pickup. If you don’t have a home, your trash doesn’t get picked up, and let’s face it…what incentive do you have to walk to the nearest trash can, wherever that may be?

I want to interview the people who live in this area, but I have no idea what I’d say or how they’d react to the idea. This is right next to Gallaudet – the clean side of the fence is Gallaudet property. I don’t know who owns the other side…but people live there. I wish I knew their stories.

Green Gallaudet!

September 14, 2009

I wanted to take a moment to recognize Gallaudet’s efforts at becoming more environmentally friendly. While there are more improvements that could be made, this is quite a step, and it deserves recognition.

One of the ‘green’ things I’ve noticed are the new cups available in the Marketplace and Rathskellar, they all explain how they are made from corn instead of dozens of nasty chemicals used to make a typical plastic cup. I do wonder if being made from corn actually means these cups are environmentally friendly, but I’ll just have to go with the assumption that they are and praise Gally for its efforts. Another example includes the napkins which are brown, meaning they are more environmentally friendly than white napkins which require more chemicals and pollution in order to dye the paper white. That’s pretty much what I’ve noticed so far… has anyone else seen anything new and ‘green’?

I don’t mean to belittle these efforts, while they certainly make an impact on our environment, I wish Gallaudet would strive to make an even bigger impact by perhaps using all green materials to remodel or build new buildings that are needed on campus. It would certainly make a difference not only in our environment, but in people’s perception of Gallaudet. Gallaudet could be seen as a university that truly gives back to the world, not just to everyone associated with deaf culture.

On another note, I’m scrambling for blog topics here… I wonder if there are any lingering questions relating to Gallaudet eating away at your minds that you desperately need answered? If so, aim them at me! Leave your question as a comment on this blog, and I’ll do my absolute best to answer it.

Cheers,
Heather

ASL 103 Class

September 14, 2009

¬†¬† I have now completed ASL 101 and 102. Now is the start of 103. I’m now entering the phase where i’m not using interpreters and relying on my eyes to get the message. It has been a challenge so far but i’m picking up most of what the teacher has to say. A lot of this class isn’t about learning how to sign better, it’s about how language develops and improving receptive skills. Some of it too is practicing presentation skills. I feel pretty confident with how i’ve developed so far this past year.

¬†¬† The only thing that makes me nervous is signing in front of a crowd so this class is the perfect class for me to practice and improve. Overall i feel like my signing is still 50-50! That means 50% of my signs are ASL and 50% are English. I’m doing my best to improve my ASL. Most of my friends sign and talk in English so it makes it harder for me to practice ASL. Hopefully this class can teach me the history behind sign language and help improve my presentation skills. I’m looking forward to the end of the semester when i take a good look at myself and evaluate my sign skills. It will be a big change… knowing that i came here as a freshman with no knowledge of signing, then a year and a half later, i become skilled and able to sign with anyone!

2nd Game vs Hiram College

September 14, 2009

¬†¬† A new theme for practice put things in perspective for all the Football Bisons! After a great week of practice and good focus… we were ready to change things. 0-1 was not acceptable as we were looking to change that to 1-1. Saturday morning after waking up from the hotel… the team had breakfast together and didn’t talk much. It was game day and that’s all anyone could think of. It was silent in the room as we ate and prepared mentally for the game.

¬†¬† Following dinner and the drive to the stadium, it was time to get dressed and ready to go. I wasn’t a skill player or a special team player so i didn’t leave for the field till the whole team was going on the field. We all stretched on the field and got loosened up, then went to our position coaches. After running several plays with the offense it was time to get ready and go back in the locker room for 15 minutes to think!

   It was finally game time as we ran onto the field with cheers coming from family members of some of the football players. Captains of both teams faced each other in center field for the coin toss. We started with the ball. The first quarter was slow for the offense but was productive for the defense. The offense for the first quarter had a hard time getting into a rhythm and figuring out the defense.

¬†¬† The 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters were a whole different story… as Gallaudet went ahead to win the game 34-7!!! Things were clicking and went unbelievable for our new team! The offense actually moved the ball downfield and scored and the defense made great stops and forced turnovers. It was such a great game that changed many things for the team and helped the players realize just what kind of potential we have for the rest of the year.

¬†¬† There is only one goal for the team now and that is to “Win the Conference Championship!!”

Final Score

If you want to visit the Gallaudet football website, the¬†site is…

http://gallaudetathletics.com/sports/fball/index