Poem: What it’s like being Deaf


This is a old post from Facebook a year ago today. Trying to save some of my old postings onto here as I see them.

Written April 8, 2014

We had a very emotional night in our Deaf Studies class last night, many people got teary eyed several time during the evening. Especially myself….. We talked about the impact Deafness has on the family and friends around them…. and the impact deafness has on the Deaf. My teacher is very passionate about this, and she often went into character and made you feel like she was that loved one…… I got very choked up imagining my mom, sibling, friend up there…….. then I got very choked up recalling several moments I have gone through. It was an excellent class! Aside from the test we had at the beginning ha ha (but I think I got an A lol) As most of you know I have two majors, ASL and teaching (possibly a 3rd in English or Art) Anyways, one of my goals is to get awareness out there, about teaching Deaf babies ASL and English! About getting awareness out there to families with Deaf babies all their options. about the language and culture. My family was never given this information, we did not even know there was a language for Deafs and their families, we did not know there was a whole community and culture out there. I honestly believe if we had, I may have gotten a lot further then I have already, I may enjoy gatherings even more with family and friends because maybe I would be able to participate more (not saying I don’t enjoy it, but it is hard and draining) I am making it a purpose of mine to help make sure more are aware, teach your Deaf child

ASL also, and learn it for them! If you have a loved one who is Deaf, learn at least your basic finger spelling and words…..We learned to lip read and speak for you…… meet us half way and learn a little for us so we are not sitting there 80% of the time as a wallflower clueless at gatherings smile emoticonHere is a poem we read last night I want to share with you all.

What is it Like to be Deaf

What is it like to be deaf?
People have asked me.
Deaf? Oh, hmmmm, how do I explain that?
Simply, I can’t hear.

Noooo, it is much more than that.
It is similar to a goldfish in a bowl.
Always observing things going on.
People talking all the time.
It is being a man on his own island
Among foreigners.

Isolation is not a stranger to me.
Relatives say “hi” and “bye”.
But I sit for five hours among them.
Taking great pleasure at amusing babies.
Reading books, resting, helping out with food.

Natural curiosity perks up
Upon seeing great laughter, crying, people upset.
Inquire only to meet with “never mind”,
“Oh, it is not important”.
Getting such a summarized statement
of a whole story.

Supposed to smile to show the happiness.
Little do they know how truly miserable I am.
People are in control of language usage,
I am at loss and real uncomfortable.

Always feeling like an outsider
Among the hearing people
Even if it was not their intention.
Always assume that I am part of them
By my physical presence, not understanding
The importance of communication.

Facing the choice between the Deaf Camping
Weekend and Family Reunion.
Facing the choice between the family commitment
and Deaf friends,

I must make the choice constantly,
And wonder why I choose Deaf friends???
I get such great pleasure at Deaf Clubs,
Before I realize, it is already 2 am
Whereas I anxiously look at the clock
Every few minutes at the family reunion.

With Deaf people, I am so normal,
Our communication flows back and forth,
Catching up with little trivials, our daily life,
Our frustration in the bigger world,
Seeking the mutual understanding.

Contented smiles, and laughing are musical.
So magical to me
So attuned to each other’s feeling.
Truly happiness is so important.
I feel more at home with Deaf people
Of various colors, religions, short or tall,
Than I do among with my own hearing relatives.
And wonder why?
Our language is common.
We understand each other.

Being at a loss of control
Of environment, that is, communication,
People panic and retreat to avoidance,
Deaf people are like the plague.

But Deaf people are still human beings
With dreams, desires and needs
Of belonging, just like everyone else.

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