Saturday, July 20, 2013

Judgement is Common...Admit it!

You shouldn't judge people. It's a fact. Judging always ends in no good. But you do, don't you? Come on--admit it! There's gotta be at least one time, one type of person, or one situation where you have judged.

I've talked about "stigma" in earlier posts, but this is different than judging. With stigma, you dislike or avoid people for what they are or whatever condition they are "afflicted" with (mental illness, physical illness, whatever). With "judging" it's based on a behavior or belief of another person.

OK. With that being said......I'm guilty!!!! I admit to guiltiness (that isn't a real word, I don't think). What or whom do I judge, you ask? I have the tendency to judge my kids' school friends (or any friends, for that matter) who don't at least try to communicate with me.

I know deafness can cause nervousness, scary feelings, intimidation, etc., but I'm nice. I'm not scary. I try to chat with them, but they usually end up running for the hills when I do. Many times, the friends will ask someone from my family how to sign this or that. That's effort. I appreciate it. But it's unusual. Most are horrified. It's like that for most hearing people, but I've gotten used to it with strangers. Friends are different. 

Isn't that terrible of me? And when people judge me, I feel more and more isolated. However,  that comes with the broken ears. But, I mean they teach gorillas sign language. That's a start, I guess. Next, I think they should teach them the dance to "Thriller." But I digress.....

I don't know what that word means, but it seemed like a good ending to this blog. 

Have you experienced judgement? Were you the judgie or the judger? Tell me about it; let me know I'm not alone in this. CONFESS!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

GUEST COLUMNIST: My Daughter Mollie


So, I've been enjoying a nice vacation down in St. Louis, Missouri. We get to come down here about once a year from our humble abode in west Michigan.Its a nice time to see all the grand parents and other crazy family members that we never see otherwise. So, this morning the family and me went to a nice diner to have breakfast with my dad's parents before setting out for north again. (I'm typing this journal on my dad's phone because I was bored... and eager to share this story with you all.)

Anyways! We were seated and served juice and coffee and everything was great, the woman serving us was very amazing. I took to liking her instantly, she was very energetic and friendly and just one of those people who could make you feel like it would be a great day. 

Well, my mom, dad, and me were signing back and forth; discussing the menu and the long car trip awaiting us later in the morning. We could already see heads turning at the sight of our strange language spoken with wordless gestures and our waitress was to be included in the crowd.

She came over, serving up our drinks and giving us our menus for the meal, and after many times of saying ''You're welcome.'' To us several times, she finally asked a question we were used to hearing; '' What is the sign for...'' in this case it was for ''you're welcome''. Smiling at this polite gesture we kindly showed her and nodded with a smile when she repeated it back to us with ease.

''I used to know sign language,'' she spoke, waiting patently for my father to interpret. ''I forgot because I haven't practiced in so long.''

We all nodded in understanding.

She went on, obviously feeling that this needed more explanation. 

What she said next made us all very confused.

''I knew sign language because my niece was blind.''

I stopped breathing for a second, my brain so confused and shocked that I couldn't do anything. I could see my father pause in his signing, also confused, although he recovered much faster.

The most we could do was nod in some kind of understanding and struggle to hold our chuckles in until she was out of earshot.

A blind niece in need of a visual language? Almost as bad as going to the library and being handed a Braille book after being announced deaf (yes, that has happened.)

So while we try to work through this brainwracker, please try to make sure you don't have a blind niece trying to learn sign language, it'll be very difficult and quite useless.