This past week and weekend, I hung out with my people. Yes, my people, a good full week of my people. These people share my language and culture. Stress was reduced, communication misunderstanding was limited to missing information or asking to fill in the blanks. Ahh, the ease and flow of communication, blessed!
I work nearly 12 to 16 hours a day in the real world. Most of it is working with hearing people from ages 15 to older (college) and adults. This daily barrage can be discouraging, as well as mental fatigue. Communication is the uno numero barrier, even while teaching. I have a plethora of communication tools in my box, which often surpasses many whom I work with. Yet, I am often stooped to their level of incomprehension and miscommunication.
To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.
With my people, I could argue, discuss, laugh, listen or share stories and simply love for the sake of love and life. Is it not a wonder why people like me thirst for this daily amazement? To be frank, this is something the majority will never realize until it is too late.
This is why the battle rages within, without and all around. It does not matter whether one wears technology or is bilingual.
It boils down to identity, language and culture. When one appears "normal" it is more likely the sense of not being normal comes from within and the search can only end, when then "not normal" becomes normal, the identity. Human identity is tied to language and culture, majority or minority.
That much is true.
I seriously do know what it is to be out in the mainstream, standing as an isle among the flow. This is one of the few reasons why I am driven to recreate or renew the community I am a part of and where I live in. Times may have changed, but we are still humans. That will never change.
We don't need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables - the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers - to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences. ~Jane Elliot
There are two songs that resonate with me: Sean Forbes' "Watch These Hands" and Signmark's "Against The Wall". Both have profound meaning in how our identity can be shaped by those who do not understand who we are. "Against The Wall" has a deeper meaning for me due to my passion and desire to bring the Deaf community to the forefront, not only to make a difference in an indifferent society but to be darn well proud and proactive people, for all ages. Enjoy Signmark's video.
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.