P.S. It’s Not a Good Idea

curtains move apart, two hands hold
deep breath, your mind hold
this luxurious machine your future hold

your future alone?
choices yours alone?
consequences yours alone?

reverent steps ahead
hands brace ahead
the heart braces ahead

hands churn
eyes churn
mind churn

old days begone
future days become
presently bespun

you complete
Machine complete
mind complete

Curtains move apart, two hands hold
unsteady, legs cannot hold
will the color hold?

heart beats fast
breathe fast
mind whirs fast

blindly choose the color
one color, yes one color
you, one color

national suicide
state suicide
political suicide

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why are you sorry?

After an interesting development in June, I have yet to announce something. The reason why I have held back is because “Oh, I’m sorry.”  Discussing with one of my bosses and my husband, both are of the same agreement that it is instinctive and automatic that one responds “I’m sorry” to something that they have no control over.

It is like hearing someone say “I’m sorry” when one announces that one is deaf. Why are you sorry? What did you do that constitutes an apology?  Accidentally tripping someone and saying “I’m sorry” is genuine compared to being sorry that one is deaf, white, or female – or also being a short person. Oh well.

apologies-are-great-but-they-dont-really-change-anything-you-know-what-does-action-quote-1

From picturequotes.com. I have a poster up in my classroom that I refer students to after they apologize.

The concept of ‘sorry’ has been overdone.  It feels like an excuse to justify someone’s feeling of awkwardness or whatever it is that they feel at the moment of the announcement.  Let’s take how students deal when they do something they should not have done. They come up to me and say “I’m sorry.”  It means nothing. See picture to the right.

Really, it does not.  The action behind the ‘sorry’ means more than the word itself. I guess that’s why I am not crazy about “I’m sorry”. How many false feelings have been shown over time when the word ‘sorry’ is used frequently?

Then one would ask “what else can we say?”  What about “shucks!”, “damn”, or a simple hug?  Disappointment is acceptable as well. After all, what we are, who we are, and the why we are, are a part of life and that experience is not necessarily something to apologize about.

So with this, my announcement is: I have stage 1 breast cancer. Work in progress.

The Front Line

The fascinating thing in this world is how many businesses close shop claiming fiscal issues. Who gets paid the most after a business closes? Just so you know, this is one of the many interconnections between employment, costs of living, education and relative human condition, including the online concept.

The CEOs and the upper management in terms of bonuses and benefits.

Who loses?  The front line people who make the business run on their own time. They are kicked out with no benefits, extra dollars for their employment with the company and now they have to spend money that they do not have to find a job to replace a loss of income.  Some of them will be fortunate in finding a job quickly…if they are not too picky.

With a lot of physical businesses closing, many people are unable to find a job, forced to go back to school to get something that may not exist or count for a future job or basically live off welfare.

Each person in a place of business has a role to play, why so much disparity?  Without the front line people, whether in presence or online, keep the business running by dealing with the merchandise, people, resources and whatever the boss wants.

Out in the cold the front liners are thrown while their bosses reap the benefits off the back of their shirts. It is astonishing, really not all that surprising that the owner, CEOs, upper management would get the fiscal benefits while those who worked under them do not get anything, regardless the role they played in carrying the business.

I guess we are survivors. Yet why call us moochers?  We ‘hold’ the welfare system by taking their money (whose money to begin with? Our paychecks have deductibles for Social Security and Medicare, taxes and other potentials). If there is a problem with the increased amount of dependence on welfare, ask yourself why.

Most of us do not care what party you subscribe to, we all work hard one way or another. We carry the foundation of the company and are susceptible to higher ups’ whims.  If one wonders why a business is closing or slowing down, there will be multitude of reasons. Let me give you a real life example, look at how the owners and/or CEOs treat their employees. You can see why there are businesses that do not do well or are facing employee shortage.

I guess that is why I loved (many reasons) watching Star Trek – their concept of money is bartering and services.  Those hoo-man loving Ferengi do love their latinum to a cost.

Links:
Stunning Pay Disparity – Seattle Times
CEO Pay Ratio – Fortune
Honeywell Official CEO-worker pay ratio – LA Times
CEO-Worker Pay Ratio Revelation Concerns – The Washington Post
Why Companies Fear Releasing CEO-to-Workers Pay – Bloomberg Businessweek

The American Bilingual

A story told during a meeting:

“I told a student who reached level 5 that they are now Americanized (or possibly ‘you are English’), they got upset.”

I nearly shook my head but my jaw dropped and naturally, no one would see that. I feel for the student who was told that they were Americanized because of English. It offended the person’s Hispanic/Latino heritage and Spanish fluency.

Why would a white woman be offended by this statement?  I am a bilingual person, one whose language is as oppressed as the American Spanish speaker.

I use American Sign Language.  I also use English. Fluently.

Oh no! America is not bilingual! The monolinguals stomp around and rant.

Wait, I should rephrase my title to ‘The United States Bilingual’.  America is actually North America, which compromises Canada and Mexico, effectively making the entire North America continent multilingual.

Why is the United States still so defiantly blind to reality!?

The student could have been told ‘you can add English to your list of languages you know fluently’ without demeaning their own heritage. One will be richer having more than one language rattling around inside their brain.

bilingual

9/11

Today is like any other day. Days blur.

I write 11 September when students ask to go to the bathroom or I write in assignments for the day as if nothing has passed since 2001. Then it will hit me, just for a second the weight of the event.

So far removed from the events of the day, it is easy to just let the days blur on by and make a quick remembrance for those who have died.  To be frank, on that day, I walked by the televisions on campus. I did not know of the Twin Towers, Pennsylvania fields and the Pentagon until I arrived on campus.

While I sympathize, I cannot empathize because the experience would be vastly different if I were at ground zero at any of those sites. I still have that weight, but not enough to stop for a minute or two to remember.

Events since that day has demonstrated the path the world is taking and that is a much scarier path we celebrate.  We accuse all Muslims for the actions of the radical few who destroyed lives for their beliefs. We accuse all dark-skinned people for the burden that they place upon us in voice of privilege. We accuse all people with disabilities for the burden of breaking down barriers.  We accuse those who speak a different native American language instead of acknowledging the humanity of the same.

What journey have we taken since 9/11 and where are we going? Are we going to stop for a moment or two and look within and realize that the accusations are our own as well?

It may be cold of me that day when I walked by the televisions – “It’s about time.”

via Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Advice for Parents…

As a teacher, this is something I want to share with you. A lot of students, I teach high school, have phones of various technologies.  Depending on school corporations or high schools, there are rules about the use of electronic devices. Devices take away from peer interaction and learning, guaranteed.

schooltexting2

Hiding the phone ain’t going to work.

Whoa! Wait!  What about using electronic devices for classwork or projects?  If our classwork and projects require, suggest or allow use of electronic devices, then that is worked within that restriction.

Otherwise – no. I find myself irritated by….the concept that the parents are an exception to the use of electronic devices in school.  I often find myself catching students on their phones (first, the subject I am teaching is American Sign Language and second, I am a visual person) and finding out that their parents are in contact with them, sometimes another relative as well.

Why?  Why?  I just wonder if their education is valuble or not?  Why?

Even on a dumbfounding aspect – employers contacting the students during school hours too and expect to be answered quickly. Really?  There has to be a boundry of respect for time established.

As a parent, I have to hold myself accountable to how my children learn and use phones/devices. They do not have phones…yet and when they do, they will have responsibilities and so will my husband and I.

schooltexting1

Observe the students’ behavior and the information that is on the board.  How is the phone helping with learning?

I have other jobs as well and co-workers or employers know that I will answer when I can, often after hours, during lunch break or other available times. They acknowledge and accept that I cannot answer them until I can.  My children will have to expect this as well. I will not pick up my phone during teaching class to answer something, why should students do the same?

So parents, please please please think about how distruptive it is when students answer your texts (especially) or calls during class time.  Sit with your child and explain the importance of being responsible during their time in school and their electronic devices.

Supporting your school district educators and raising responsible children ready for the real world will go a long way.   Thanks!

schooltexting3

How do you feel looking at this student?

Additional resources I found interesting (updated 27 October 2017):

 

Disagree with #hearing privilege?

The last week in September is International Deaf Awareness Week and a new hashtag came up: #hearingprivilege. Naturally, people reacted. The way of the world today is to react as quick as you can and regret your thoughts later.

Most deaf people are not complaining, just showing a way of life that we cherish and at the same time can be negative by outsiders’ perspectives. People think we’re complaining because life is not fair. Hon’, we all know life ain’t fair most of the time. That is why it is a journey that we travel throughout our life.

That is why it is okay to agree to disagree; however, I digress. If one disagrees on basis of not understanding why they disagree, then we cannot agree to disagree. The purpose of #hearingprivilege is to enlighten people about the struggles we go through daily. Many people will have never realized this behavior because they did not have the opportunity to be aware of it.

Examples of the hashtag available on Facebook and Twitter:

#HearingPrivilege is never having my intelligence or work ability questioned based on my language modality. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hearing-privilege_us_57ebd4c5e4b024a52d2bb142?section=women& This article has more hashtags.

or #hearingprivilege is never having to hear the words, “Never mind”, or “I will tell you later” during family dinners and conversations.

This is an opportunity to personally analyze the response we see and react to when we see words that challenge us on a daily or frequent basis. This opportunity I presented to my students with varied responses, average result would be opening of the minds, yet there are some responses where “Hearing Privilege” does NOT exist.  Hon’, this is the real world – not the ‘hearing’ world – the REAL world. Privilege exists and will always exist. How we respond to the privilege is what will gain the most in the path to enlightenment.

Sorry, if one does NOT believe in privilege, the ability to be open about the paths that the world turns on will be a narrow one. Even, I as a deaf person, took the time to analyze what #hearingprivilege means because my experience as a deaf person is not always the same as the other deaf person. I will be grateful for those opportunities because of parents who were opening their world to include their children’s worlds. That was why I try to add #deafgain, which is how deaf people contribute to the world through our differences to positively enhance the real world, benefitting others who are not deaf or sign language users.

Sometimes it is hard to accept that privilege and even harder to change, remember it is better to have tried than never tried. Imagine how many new relationships one will have with a diverse group, just because one began to understand and will be able to agree to disagree.

Below is a good video of an explanation regarding #hearingprivilege.

via Daily Prompt: Disagree

A Disposable Life

2016 – it is and always going to be a way to dispose human beings, just because they happen to be different from the mainstream or the majority.

Records for more than two or three thousand years talk about how babies and children would be abandoned because they happen to be different – the most obvious are the physical differences and the least obvious would be the sensory differences; nonetheless, de nada baby be gone!

There will be cultures who cherished their people who were different; giving them status equivalent to an elder or medicine man/woman. Those cultures understood what it means to be spiritually connected; a lesser chance for the disposal of such quality of being.

It is unfortunate that after such a long history, we – the different, the despised, the minority – are still disposable. The video below describes the impact of homelessness and how we regard it as individuals and as a global society.

HomelessDisposablehttps://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNowThisNews%2Fvideos%2F1098626593560797%2F&show_text=1&width=560

I have to be honest here – I was ready to disregard the video until ‘disposable human’ came into a conversation. It hit me.  I am a disposable deaf human being according to the medical profession. I am a disposable bilingual human being according to White America (and so it happens, I am white).  I am a disposable female human being despite outnumbering males and so on. I am entirely disposable.

A disposable human being that under all this – I bleed as red as anyone on this world just as the disposable homeless bleeds red on the street.

You, Me, Layers? Yes.

All of us have layers. You. Me. Yes.

The complicated layers, countless. The simple layers, countless. What about those layers in between? Still countless.

Neat types of layers? Nah. How we rip those layers off depends on how we perceive the sense of self. Journeys taken can build layers or take them off.

One could rip the layer off like one would rip a bandaid off – the quick the pain is the quicker it goes away. Peel the bandaid and suffer the pain – indefinitely or at least until the bandaid is off.

How we perceive our layers within self can be painful so you can either ignore or delve into yourself. We almost never do things halfway – most likely going to either extreme.

We can reframe our layers until the truth is hidden away or it becomes a glaring light, putting one to shame in this world we live in today – either way. We can move our layers around, whether it is intellectual, cultural, linguistically, racially or the like; throughout all that, do we take the time to really reflect on how we present ourselves or choose the layers to cover ourselves to people?

I wonder if most people use layers to place their own fears into shadows.  I know I do. I struggle with the sense of my self’s layers, what do they mean? How do they reflect the multi-chapter aspect of my own personal book? Does it reflect how much one does not understand about something and their reaction to the concept?

I had a family friend’s daughter announce that the family would be focusing 110% on their child getting an cochlear implant. This was like early 2000’s.  Now the idea of cochlear implants was not new nor the controversy with the idea of such; however, this was someone I knew most of my life and this straightforward news brought a shock to me and some friends of ours and our reaction was not too great.  Afterwards, this person just disappeared. At the same time, I had to turn inward to reflect on the reason why I reacted this way, after all we shared a common bond, the deaf community.

After reading the story above, if you wonder if my response was towards technology, my initial response was regarding technology.  This is where I had to peel a layer away, to ask myself if it was truly technology that I was reacting to, after all I wore hearing aids. It was a long retrospective reflection. Technology is a tool and rightfully so. Technology is manipulated by our own selves.

So then what? As a human, it was language, communication, social and community that me responding in a negative way. In a way, this person was telling me that the upbringing they went through their entire life was a farce or a negative aspect, a type of upbringing I had, despite having hearing parents myself. Technology was one layer, the rest came up when I reframed how I used technology as a deaf person.

Do we build our own layers or do we have others build those layers upon us?  When I think of this, I think of a black person wanting to rip their blackness off themselves so they can pose as a white person because society deems it acceptable. The problem with society is that the concept of layers are multiple and will follow the whims of society, suppressing so many layers that truly make us human.

Ummm…

 

Daily Prompt: Layers