I am so hearing. So why am I here?



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. 🙂


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3 Responses to “I am so hearing. So why am I here?”

  1. Chris Bulf Says:

    Was it hard fitting into the deaf community? I am thinking of applying and I have only had two short encounters with Deaf people and i wasn’t quite sure how to act. I read the brochure and it just clicked that this is where i wanted to go so i want to be ready for any barriers in the near future. If you have any helpful tips please post them, thanks.

    • gujohnson Says:

      My tip about fitting into the Deaf Community, as with anywhere you go is to just be yourself. If you are trying to fit in or act a specific way people can pick it up instantly (deaf, hearing, anyone…). Be yourself, go in with a positive attitude about making new friends and learning about someone else’s life experience… a visual lifestyle. With any new experience I also find it is helpful to keep an open mind and be able to change your perspective.

  2. Chris Bulf Says:

    Cool thanks for the advice, now to wait a year until i can apply 😉

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