Archive for October, 2009

Hearing Students and Discrimination

October 14, 2009

Last August… gosh that seems so long ago… a person sent me a message on Facebook asking me a few questions about Gallaudet University. I thought the questions were pretty interesting and wanted to share them with you, with permission from the person, of course.

Here’s their question:
Well, i’m hearing and i want to be a speech therapist and its been my dream to go to Gallaudet for a while. I was wondering if i lived on campus and had classes with Deaf students would discriminated against?

This kinda puts me in a tough spot, I don’t want to make it seem that Gally is a horrible, horrible college (it’s obviously not), at the same time, I don’t want to make it seem like Gally is incredibly perfect. Every university has its flaws of course, with that said….

Real discrimination, is of course, not allowed at Gally. But if we’re talking about the kind of thing where you’re judged by who you are, then that does, unfortunately, happen.

A hearing student attending Gallaudet can set off different reactions. Some people may be really accepting of hearing students and value their interest in the deaf community. Lots of deaf students have hearing friends, and lots of hearing students become really involved with the university.

On the other hand, there are, unfortunately, some students have that “Deaf Pride” attitude, which can be a good thing, but is sometimes abused. Basically, they view Gallaudet as a deaf person’s paradise, where we are free from ridicule and discrimination from the outside world. So when a hearing person attends the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world, especially when there are plenty of colleges for hearing students, deaf students can get a little territorial. This basically means they may not accept you, but I believe this to be a very small portion of Gallaudet University.

It all really depends on the attitude you bring to Gally. If you are open to new experiences and basically everything that could happen at Gally, you’ll be just fine. Discrimination by other students is hard to put up with (but of course, if it gets serious, you should report it), but almost every student here, hearing and deaf has been through it. For example, a lot of students judged me by my signing skills and the fact that I attended a mainstream high school and didn’t know much people here… even though I have deaf parents.

I’ve always found this quote to help me in situations like that… “It’s none of your business what other people think of you.”

If you’ve got questions… I’ve got answers!

Cheers,
Heather

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Very Interesting Question!

October 12, 2009

This question has popped up several times… “If this is a deaf university, what are you doing here?” I never got this question from anyone with a positive attitude behind it. I have been asked this question over ten times already from people who are ignorant and think they’re better than me. I know i’m not fully deaf and i’m still learning sign language but that doesn’t give anyone the right to judge why i’m here. But it does get me thinking at the same time. Why am i here at Gallaudet?

The answer that keeps popping in my head: “My education and football!” People who ask me that question…. get this for an answer…. EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!  It may sound sarcastic but it’s very true. All my life growing up, i’ve always felt like i was a little behind and struggling. I can honestly say i’ve never met a deaf person in my life! That got my attention! I’ve always wondered if there was ever a place where there were students like me who are looking to further their education to the college level. Like maybe there is something out there for me where i feel like i might fit in. Gallaudet University was the place for me!! Upon reading about this school, i found out that this is the only university in America that is solely for deaf and hard of hearing students. That really woke me up and made me realize there’s something out there different and unique. I felt like i found a place where i would be able to get the help i need and still pursue my dream while not feeling behind or lost.

The thing that made this place even better was the fact that they do have NCAA football here! That just lights up my life! Without football, I don’t know what i would do. Life would just seem boring. So every time i get that question from someone, I always happily tell them “My education and football are the reasons why i’m here!”

New Signers on the Football Team

October 12, 2009

Three players came in this year that have opened my eyes quite a bit. People that have surprised me with how fast they have improved their sign skills. These guys are Shelby Bean, Tom Pangia, and Kevin Allen. All of these guys are great guys and show great dedication to the football team despite starting behind and in a completely different culture. From what i’ve seen from my perspective, they are on track to be like me and where I am today. These guys have different challenges that they face while being here. Not only are they new signers but they are also freshman getting used to the college environment. They have many obstacles to overcome for their first semester. The biggest challenge i faced last year was meeting people.

Being limited in your sign skills can make your college experience a little tougher but is definitely worth it in the end. I’m currently in my third semester here at Gallaudet and feel like everyone else now. I don’t feel so much like an outsider. Everyday, I look forward to seeing these guys in practice and watch them grow and see them improve their sign skills. I can’t help to think that was me last year in the same exact shoes. It’s nice to be on the other side now leading them and not learning the language. I hope for a smooth first year for these guys.

Partying….. The Safe Way!

October 12, 2009

Many people when they think parties, they think about getting wasted, staying up all night, and doing things they would regret the next day! I grew up in a very good family with parents that cared about me. They taught me a lot of things that would be beneficial to me in the future. The biggest challenge thus far is the college life and making decisions on my own. For a lot of people, this comes natural. For other people like me, it can be tough.

After 19 years being under my parents roof and learning from them, i learned what the most important things in life were. God,my family, education, and football. I feel like i’ve been taught a lot of great things so the college life so far has challenged me mentally to make smart decisions on my own. I go to parties every once in a while and notice that I’m one of the only ones that don’t drink at parties. I’ve already had many people come up to me and ask me if i would like a beer! It may be hard for most people but I always say no. I do my best to not give into peer pressure. Peer pressure is always a tough part of a teenager’s life. Especially in college when you’re not guided by your parents.

I thank God everyday for everything I have and the family I was blessed with. Because I was raised in such a great family, it has helped me to make smart decisions and not party the dangerous way. For me, partying is all about hanging out with your friends and having a good time. No beer needs to be involved… just some good people and a place to go for some fun!

How to be a Successful Student-Athlete

October 12, 2009

Being a student-athlete is harder than most people think. There is much dedication and sacrificed time to be one. As a football player here at Gallaudet, my schedule usually consists of classes in the morning, lunch, football meetings, football practice, dinner, and then homework. If i ever get lucky and don’t have homework, I get a few hours of free time with friends before heading off to bed getting ready for the next day. This is probably just me but I normally try avoiding parties on weekends during football season just because i don’t want to accidently mess up anything that I have going for me. Some players drink and party on weekends during the season but i don’t.

Being a student-athlete has it’s pros and cons. The pros are getting to experience an NCAA sport which has been my dream growing up. Getting to become friends with some great guys that love the same thing I do. The last pro is that football here provides practice for me for when i become a football coach one day. The cons are that you have to sacrifice a lot of time and effort and give up free time as well as study time. There really isn’t any other con to playing sports and being a student at the same time. It’s a great experience that I’m enjoying so much and i’m looking forward to for the next 3 years.

Buffalo Wild Wings

October 12, 2009

      A new tradition for some of the Gallaudet football players started a couple weeks ago when we all gathered the night before the game to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. We had 3 offensive lineman, a corner, and a safety show up for this. When first planning this, we thought it would be cool to hangout. That is until we got there and realized that we could do this the night before every game. Every tv in the building had football!! It was football heaven pretty much. And not only that, they had 40 cent boneless wings.

      All the people that went got chicken wings and enjoyed watching and NFL football game. If i remember correctly, it was the Cowboys vs Giants. There were people everywhere cheering on their favorite team as they both scored and made good plays. Before coming to Buffalo Wild Wings, a place like Sticky Rice would be the place to go. But after coming here, it was the perfect place to hangout with the football guys, eat some good food, and watch some football the day before the game. There’s no better atmosphere for an athlete than Buffalo Wild Wings!

Gallaudet vs Norwhich University

October 12, 2009

      After upsetting number one Husson University the previous weekend… the Gallaudet Bison had another hope of an upset but fell just short 14-7 in a very tough, hard fought battle. This was another one of those defensive battles where there’s not a lot of scoring.

      This game, for me personally, felt like the Mount Ida game. There were many mistakes that could have changed the game if we played it differently. The biggest thing we struggled to do was score a touchdown while being in the redzone a couple times. Adding onto that, we were 0-2 on FG tries. Again, many opportunities were missed as we lost our second game at home so far this season. We will look to get back on track as we play crosstown rival Catholic University Saturday, October 17th at 1 p.m.

Gallaudet vs. Husson University

October 12, 2009

      History was made! Two different things in history happened. One, it was the first Division 3 football game won “At Home!”, and second, it was the biggest upset in Gallaudet football history! Most people would expect a high scoring game upon entering the game Saturday but that wasn’t the case as Gallaudet upset Husson 10-7. Both teams were number one and number two in the conference. This was expected to be a “championship game.” At least that was the attitude going in the game.

      It was a defensive battle throughout the entire game. There is much credit to be given to the outstanding defense that held the high-powered offense of Husson to just 7 points. The offense struggled to move the ball against their tough defense but we managed to score a very important late 4th quarter touchdown that put us ahead 10-7. We scored with just 1:45 remaining in the 4th quarter and Husson was unable to move the ball downfield to come back and tie the game.

      Emotions were flying around like crazy after the game! The fans stormed the field and players were celebrating in the endzone. This game was one of the most memorable games of my life and definitely got my attention. This game proved to me that we are able to beat anyone in our league if we play like we are taught. The coaching staff did great preparing us. Following the BIG upset to Husson, Gallaudet’s rank in the ECFC conference was 2nd behind Norwhich University… which is our next oppenent!

Gallaudet vs. Castleton State

October 12, 2009

      Several things to keep in mind here about Castleton State… it’s their homecoming, the coach has his own talk show where he personally put down our team in ways I’ve never heard before, and it’s our first game after the loss to Mount Ida. With that being said, the game couldn’t have been any better as Gallaudet went on to win 49-18!

      After being called vanilla, easy, and referring to our offense as not needing very much communication and simple… we were ready to walk out on that field and physically show them that we are exactly opposite and that us deaf players… CAN play football. The first score of the game started with a Joshua Doudt fumble recovery and touchdown run to make the game 7-0. The defense produced Gallaudet’s first points of the game. From there on out, it was physically a simple game. Why was it simple? Because every Gallaudet player out on that field gave everything they had and did whatever they could to beat the man in front of them. The result… a BLOWOUT! So much passion and fire was shown as the defense held them to just 19 points while even playing some backup players as well. The offense scored a season-high 49 points and racked up 477 yards of total offense. Following our first win of the EFCF conference, Gallaudet moved up in the league rankings and even ranked 6th nationally in rushing offense. This game was a building block for the next game as we took on Husson University out of Bangor, Maine.

Win over Castletone State!!!

First Conference Game vs Mount Ida

October 12, 2009

           September 19th was the start of conference play in the “Eastern Collegiate Football Conference”. We were looking to start with a nice 1-0 record in conference play. Things felt great Saturday morning as we left the hotel to leave Mount Ida’s campus. Listening to music and thinking about the game was exactly what I did for those two hours before kickoff.

            We started the game scoreless for the first quarter before finally Mount Ida scored to make the score 7-0 early in the second quarter. That was the only score of the first half before heading into half time. Several mistakes were made on both sides of the ball. Missed tackles and missed reads stopped us. After making some adjustments in the locker room, we came back on the field to get back to work and make a run for winning our first conference game. However the mistakes continued. Mount Ida scored on their starting possession of the second half to extend the lead to 14-0. The Bison never lost hope as we finally scored our first touchdown early in the 4th quarter to make it a 14-6 game. It seemed like a manageable game until the PAT. Attempting to kick the extra point, it got blocked… and not only that, it got picked up and ran all the way back for a touchdown by Mount Ida. By rule, that counts as two points so that made it a 16-6 game. What was once a one possession game changed suddenly to a two possession game. Things didn’t get any better as Mount Ida scored again to extend the lead to 23-6. With all the effort and passion we had throughout the game, we came just short of winning our first ECFC conference game.