Month: March 2012

Dr. Wonder’s Workshop


A friend of mine from ASL Meetup told me about this site.  Very nifty.  Kind of fast, but they also have voicing that explains the concepts being taught.  Free and very cool!  Got to http://vimeo.com/drwonders  There are so many great ASL teaching tools on the web.  They might take some time to learn, but they are worth it!  You too could speak ASL which means being able to view Vlogs and communicate with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in America, Canada and France!  🙂  Plus it is fun and it exercises the brain!  Stay young by learning a new language.

Refund – part II


I had a minor meltdown last night at the school.  I talked with my first ASL teacher and she was surprised at my complaints.

Despite the fact my present teacher is a college prof too, for me – he was a total dud.   Yes, I lost my book on a regular basis because balancing work and study was getting hard, but in my other classes not having the book was really no big deal.  In this class, since all he did was book it was a huge deal.

My eval indicated I felt I should be provided with a free ASL III class.  I felt like rejecting the certificate of completion because I don’t know enough to deserve it.  Then I had to go back to work and I didn’t get home until very late.  After I got home and fell into bed I realized … I don’t want to do this anymore.

Why? I have ASL U online, I’ve got signingsavvy.com which is superb. I have Everyday ASL DVDs  I have two meetups that are devoted to signing.  I go to an open AA meeting where I can observe and sign to others.  So why am I torturing myself with a long drive with tolls once a week?  My Deaf MRC counselor told me the way to learn is to get access to the Deaf Community and I have it.  I’d be better off spending my drive time studying DVDs I can understand or studying at signingsavvy.com

How freeing is that?!  No more resentment.  No more ruffled feathers, blame, or anything else.  I’m done. Stick a fork in me.  I have other options.  I’ll see the folks I like from the Deaf community when I got to picnics and events and I’m good with that.  I have such a sunny disposition (by nature) that I find it almost impossible to be resentful or angry for very long (it is a waste of time) and I almost always end up finding that the resolution is the thing that is supposed to happen.  I keep driving my own bus and running off the road.  Seems I’ve found a new way entirely by letting go of the wheel.


Do I get a refund?


Last week I had lunch with one of my prior ASL teachers.  It was wonderful to see this person again and we chatted away in sign – and voiced too as we both have limited hearing.

I commented that I was going to quit ASL classes and was asked why.  As we dissected lunch I dissected my last class and came to the conclusion – my teacher is lazy.  It is why I felt bored and disconnected.  It is why I felt as if I was learning nothing.  I WAS learning nothing in comparison to what I’ve learned from my other teachers.

Now, I’m pondering asking to take ASL III over again – free of charge – but I doubt I’ll get a waiver in.  All the present teacher did was say, “Read the book, watch the video.”  Oh, and point to some maps and colors.  Plus, for some reason, I found the teacher very hard to understand – no idea why – there’s another person I know like that.

In my first two classes I learned hundreds of signs that are not part of the curriculum in ASL I and II. The teachers really threw enormous amounts of information at us.  It was challenging, exciting, and a vibrant experience. I felt overwhelmed at times, but never bored or listless.

In this class I “learned” how to give directions.  Me, Ms. Dyslexic.  So every direction someone gave me was turned around in my head so the “maps” were backwards.  Um, hum.  And I “learned” countries (from the links here, not from class) and states (again from the links here).  And I watched (in class) the same book videos over and over again.

Frankly, for a measly $50 (less, I believe) I got a year of great videos on SigningSavvy.com  (the links here) rather than paying $200 for class and $60 for a book and video and I’m wondering WTH?!  The first two classes were totally worth it.  ASL III?  A dud.  At least for me, the teacher was a dud.  I missed 2 classes and considered dumping the entire program.  That is not competitive, obsessive little me.

So tomorrow I’m going to see what I can do about saying I felt I didn’t have a class.  That it was money and time wasted.  That the fact the class was cancelled twice (and I drove there both times before I found out) paying tolls and spending gas money and time I really don’t have, and then the fact I was totally unmotivated by the style of the teacher.

The train station


Photography does not require hearing.  All it requires is a sharp eye, a facile mind, and the right moment.  The clock is wrong, though, no one has reset it to Daylight Savings Time.  Another shot using the iPhone 4S, photo editing with snapseed.  Anderson-Woburn T station, 7 on a Monday Morning, headed for Boston.   I am liking those bricks set into an alternating color pattern.

It’s a dog’s life…cookies


I know that the dog is too spoiled when I take one of his specialty sandwich type cookies, twist them apart, offer him the one without the sweet filling on it in exchange for responding to a training command and he eyeballs me as if I am insane.

There is no response to “come” no lying on the floor in response to “down.”  He’s suddenly become deaf as a stone. He simply stares at the bare cookie half in my hand with disbelief in his eyes.

A minute later I twist the halves back together and his highness then deigns to do some training tricks in exchange for the entire cookie.  And to think that my old farm dog would come for kibble.

Meetings for the deaf and hard of hearing…


Generally speaking, there really aren’t any, unless I pay $45 an hour (portal to portal) for an interpreter – and can get the one I understand the best.

This week my local bar association is (once again) meeting in a bar for a social. Not only don’t I drink, the hubbub creates white noise blotting out any chance of hearing anyone.  I won’t be attending.

The last time I went to a local bar association “training” it was in a room off to the side of bar/pub and the noise was incredible.  I sat on a stool just to the side of the speaker (a judge), tried my best to speech read, and heard about a third of what she had to say.  Fortunately, there were printouts I could take back and read.  My local bar association doesn’t charge much for association dues so the concept of asking for a terp at all events has never crossed my mind.  It would bankrupt the association, unlike the state or Federal bar associations.  Still, I find myself quite frustrated.  I have not paid my dues this year and am pondering whether it is worth it to do so.

At hearings I can put in for Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) and I do fairly well in very small venues (administrative hearings, etc.) however as a long-time member of a 12-step program I find coping nightmarish except at the one Open AA meeting I found with interpreters. I figure a meeting is a meeting and the steps are the steps and as a non-drinker anyway I’m in a good place. :^)

Being Hard of Hearing can be very isolating.  It is like being dropped into a foreign land where you don’t understand the language – although hearing dishes being banged together always seems to come through loud and clear.  I find going to meetings online (chat rooms/typing) is the best method, but again, it is isolating because a part of fellowship is actually being in the presence of living, breathing people.

What to do, what to do… hmmmmmm