One of the things that people studying sign language need to learn about is the people who actually use the language—the Deaf Community. They even have classes just about Deaf Culture and I definitely recommend one, if you get the opportunity.
Within the class, undoubtedly one thing that will pop up is attention-getting procedures. Most of you should already know these things. Lightly tapping (NOT POKING) the person on the shoulder; flickering the lights; stomping on a wood floor; etc. I’m sure you all have your own special way of getting your deaf and hard of hearing friends’ and relatives’ attention.
I thought I had experienced them all, too. With three young children, it’s amazing what they will do to try to get my attention while not having to get up out of their chair or miss part of the television program they’re watching. I’ve seen my 11-year-old jump up and down on the couch, doing jumping jacks and banging on the wall. I’ve watched this with my peripheral vision, so she doesn’t know I’m actually watching. It amazes me that she’ll continue to do this for 10 ten whole minutes, when all she has to do is walk 8 feet and touch me on the arm. To be honest, it’s fun. I love making them squirm. And squirm, they do.
Still, I was met with an interesting surprise the other day. I was at the neighborhood Speedway (which is basically just a really big gas station with eats inside). I left the kids in the car as I rushed inside to pay for the gas and pick up a couple of Little Debbie snack cakes as treats. This is when things went awry.
I paid for the gas and the cakes and turned to leave when someone grabbed my shoulders and started turning me around. At that exact moment, I got pelted in the forehead with…you guessed it…a snack cake that I apparently had left behind. I’m serious! No touching my shoulder gently. A big thud and I was cross-eyed for three minutes—stunned and unable to comprehend what just happened. I’d been caked.
So, I’m thinking, maybe now I’ve experienced it all. Although something very strong inside tells me I’ve got lots to look forward to in the future.