Archive for September, 2010

You Can Thank Dr. Stremlau

September 29, 2010

One of reasons why I am writing again, I am taking creative writing class, which require lot of writing. I am in progress of creating a fiction story, which will be 25 pages long and that makes me miss writing about real stuff- my life. So here goes..

The summer I just had consisted: snowboarding in mammoth, road tripping around the New England coast, and working at Camp Mark Seven. Oh didn’t I mention that I now own a long board too? All it took was a summer to realize that shredding and the concept of riding is necessary in life. After shredding and falling hard on the powdered slopes, I have discovered the excitement of riding. Yes this is the feminine Clara typing here; stating that she rides.

And the summer went well.

Fall semester 2010, I was so pumped for it. I didn’t know what was in the store for me but I like what I have so far. I have successfully declared my major: Communication Studies & Sociology with concretion in criminology and English minor. One of the common problems I recognize is the Deaf people’s knowledge in the criminal justice system. It does underpin the reason why I am majoring in sociology with concretion in criminology.

I am currently working on my research project proposal that will take yearlong work of researching next year. I will observe the knowledge that Deaf people have in the criminal justice system. I am more interested in knowing what their knowledge of restraining orders, probation system, the protocols of court are, and etc. After finding the data, my goal is to be able to mend the problem because it is clearly fixable but nobody is doing that. The word for that? Apathy.

On the bright side, there’s a hint of fall in the air. I love the autumn, the season for pumpkin ale, warm spices, and lots of chai lattes! It is when I lick things up from my finger and lap it all up. I would recommend you guys to stop by Sova’s on H st and grab a latte, do the homework with their free wifi.

It is really good being back in District of Columbia. I love how things integrate here, with tattooed people, places like national cathedral, and great food such as heirloom tomato salad with fresh basil. You can go to Dupont Circle and do people watch as often as you want to without feeling like a fool because others go there to do just the same thing. That’s one of the perks of DC- and a student spotted a Supreme Court justice; Sonia Sotomayer shopping at the Eastern Market. Where else can you find moments like that?

Until I write again,



Chlorinated Thoughts for Today

September 24, 2010

Chlorine…. this is my perfume until next spring.

The Aqua Bison started another season last week and the time has come to SWIM. Practices are tough to fit in with my schedule this semester, but I can’t imagine not being on the team- they undoubtedly keep me in check.

Swimming is my thing. Coming from the state with 10,000 lakes, I am an aquatic addict. I claim Lake Alexander as my own. I feel like we take our summers very seriously in Minnesota, and after winter months with below zero temperatures finding a swim suit again is an incredible discovery. I get my fix in the pool for now. 🙂

*Just keep swimming….swimming, swimmmmminggggg*

I am so hearing. So why am I here?

September 23, 2010


Any chance I get, I love to sing. I listen to other people’s conversations while I work at my oh-so-hearing waitress job. I also love to make funny noises when I am telling a story… I really love it if people laugh.

When I was 17 I hadn’t even heard of Gallaudet. “Gallaudet??” I thought as I saw my co-staff at Camp Sertoma walking around sporting their college gear, “that must be some kind of East coast sports clothing line?”. Like I said, I am hearing.

Camp Sertoma of the Great Plains Region is a summer camp for deaf youth in the rural upper Midwest. Working as a lifeguard during this summer camp was my first experience with the Deaf world, and it came by surprise. I had started the summer working at an ice cream shop… After 2 days of training I knew I would get bored quickly. I thought I was done with summer life-guarding, but my mom kept pushing to apply at Confidence Learning Center, an outdoor educational/ rec facility for adults with developmental disabilities. After I started at Camp Confidence (yes… mother knows best), staff mentioned Camp Sertoma was coming up in July (hosted on Camp Confidence’s grounds) and there would be deaf people at camp. I forgot about it until was resting at the beach, when suddenly I met 20 camp counselors from Gallaudet… in ASL. Whoa…

So that is my story and now I am here, in the Interpreting department of Gallaudet University, writing a blog about my experiences as a student. I will graduate this May. Writing a blog that wholly fills cyberspace can’t even begin to describe how these past years have shaped my life. I feel like there aren’t even the right keys on the keyboard to express it.

I came to Gallaudet to learn, be with my friends, and experience the world outside of the bubble I grew up in. That’s why I’m here. And I quit my restaurant job tonight. 🙂

Halfway past September

September 19, 2010

I haven’t updated in a while. My life has been hectic since the first day I arrived here at Gallaudet this fall. Fall is rapidly catching up to us, and people are starting to wear more and more layered clothes. I have been very busy because I am taking seven classes, I have a job, and I am on the swim team. Because of my busy schedule, I have to use my free time doing homework and spend as much as I can with friends. I’d have to say that the most favorite thing I love about this fall is that I am on the swim team. I started practicing on Sept 9th, and I already lost five lbs. I gained 33 lbs last year, which was totally uncool, so this year I decided to force myself to exercise as much as I can because I don’t want my weight to negatively affect my future especially my health. My goal is to lose 50 lbs by February.

This Tuesday I will finally announce my major in International Studies. I am considering about minoring in Spanish or history, but I am not sure. Maybe I can major in International Studies and double-minor in Spanish and history.

I can’t wait for October to come because it is when the weather becomes cooler and Gallaudet becomes spooky in a good way. I already have a lot of plans for October: go to that haunted prison in Pennsylvania, doing a scary movie marathon, pulling Halloween pranks, going to cemeteries especially Arlington Cemetery, and the hot Sticky Rice date with my suite-mates. I love, love, love, love cemeteries especially in fall and winter, and my friend, a fifth-year student at Gallaudet, has never gone to Arlington Cemetery before. It’s absolutely a must for people living in Washington, DC to visit Arlington Cemetery because we are living in the heart of American politics, and soldiers and nurses buried there were the ones who fought for our country. I don’t often become patriotic, but Arlington Cemetery is a wonderful place for Americans to be proud of their country. My suite-mates have never been to Sticky Rice, a popular sushi restaurant for Gallaudetians, so I promised to take them out on a hot G-rated date in October.

Here’s to a new school year…

September 16, 2010

And so a new school year has come upon us. I am more excited than usual about this year as it is my last at Gallaudet as an undergraduate {insert tears}. Now don’t take that the wrong way. I am sad that I will be leaving Gallaudet and most of my friends behind as they will not be graduating with me but I am happy to see the end of such a long period that spanned 6 years of my life (well 4 if you count the fact that I lost a year transferring between states and I couldn’t always go full-time). I am excited to have all my family come in from Florida and celebrate such a joyous occasion with me as well.

This year is sure to be promising as I will definitely be trying to spread my wings and be more involved. Last year, being in a new school and environment, was a time for feeling everything out, feeling the other students out, teachers, blah blah blah… This year is a time to make sure I am seen and heard from. This year is also certain to be a busy one. I have made the decision to continue on to grad school for Clinical Psychology, which is an exhausting process in itself. Naturally, I will be applying at my beloved school, Gally.

So with that said here’s to a wonderful school term for everyone. And to those who didn’t come back we hope to see you again soon!

Gallaudet’s Metamorphosis

September 3, 2010

I’m back at Gallaudet University, the campus of accessibility and opportunities–also the campus of cute but territorial squirrels (they’re adorable, but do not mess with them).  After a long and mostly uninteresting summer, I’m glad to be back at Gally, where something interesting is always going on. However I can’t say that I’ve missed reading textbooks and writing papers.

Since it’s a new school year, I thought I would introduce myself again. So here goes… My name is Heather Breitbach, I’m from Melrose, Minnesota (google it, it’s a really tiny town) and I’m a senior at Gally. Yep, it’s my fourth year here. I remember being a freshman and thinking I gotta go through four more years of this? But now, I can’t believe it’s been four years, I don’t think I want it to be over just when I’m getting the hang of it!

Gally has changed so much since I first arrived. In the fall of 2007, Gally was still reeling from the protests the previous year and accreditation issues. So that meant that this university was going through a major curriculum overhaul. While this was good for the university, it meant that the freshman class who entered Gallaudet University in fall 2007 (me included) were the guinea pigs for the administration. A lot of things like GSR (general studies requirements) classes, a new addition, were unorganized and chaotic.

I remember feeling frustrated that not a lot of people here, specificially the GSR faculty, knew what they were doing, and that there wasn’t a huge variety of students from different backgrounds. They all seemed to be from deaf families and from deaf state schools. I felt left out since I had been mainstreamed and out of the deaf community loop even though I have a deaf family. But now, things have completely changed for the better. Not only does Gallaudet University now have a larger student body, we now have students from a variety of backgrounds, new signers, mainstreamed students, students from hearing families, etc. Instead of feeling like a closed community (as it previously felt), Gally feels more open to anyone interested in the deaf community.

Anyhoo, I am probably going to be here a little longer than I originally expected since I changed my major. I was originally double majoring in English and Secondary Education, intending to teach English to deaf high school students. But after some soul searching, I realized I wasn’t exactly sure if I wanted to become a teacher. I thought that with a major as demanding as Secondary Education, I need to be very sure that it is what I want to do before wasting too much time with it. So, I am still majoring in English, but will declare a major in Communication Studies soon. I still don’t know where I’ll be after graduation, but that doesn’t scare me.

I have lots of goals for the semester and hopefully will be able to complete most of them. I’m an officer of a sorority on campus, have two jobs (gblogging, front desk student assistant at the library) and am a full time student. I guess it’s good to be busy, but not to the point of brain meltage, so we’ll see how that goes.

I wish my fellow students a great school year and encourage my readers to stay tuned for more blogs!

As always, you can ask me anything.