The English Teacher

Sample #2 Blind or Deaf Writing

Being Deaf - Shelly W.

For this experiment I chose to be deaf for an hour. I stuffed my ears full with cotton and wrapped insulation around my ears. I started off my hour by joining my family downstairs, surrounded by noise. I couldn't hear anything and that was nice for a change. During everyone's conversations, I could see facial expressions and could just imagine what they were saying and feeling. Once you are unable to follow conversations and engage in them, you feel alienated. I sat down and tried watching television for a while, but got bored with that. Then, I went outside with Brianna. It's difficult to hold a conversation with someone when you can't hear. Since we couldn't talk, we decided to jump on the trampoline. It was weird being outside and not hearing the birds chirp or cars drive by. On the trampoline we were flying everywhere, and I jumped to the side and almost fell off. Brianna tried to wan me that I was close to the edge, but it did no good. After that, I realized that being deaf, you have to be more aware of your surroundings. We were cracking up about what happened, and I noticed that laughter wasn't the same when you couldn't hear it. We decided to head indoors.

We came inside and I went to the computer. Options are limited for entertainment when you are deaf. The computer was actually useful and created another way of communication as well as entertainment for the deaf. It was easy to get what I wanted without having to talk or listen. I quickly became restless and decided to go to my room.

Once in my room, I had thought that it would be better. I soon realized that many activities we do daily, are obstacles for deaf people. I wanted to listen to music, flip the T.V. on, or use the phone, but couldn't. I began to think differently about a deaf person's view on life. By this time, my hour was about up and I unclogged my stuffed ears and unwrapped my head. Everything sounded louder and magnified. Sound was all around.

From my experience I learned many valuable lessons. Even though I only experienced being deaf for an hour, many people deal with it their whole lives. I realized that communication, entertainment, and a social life are limited for the deaf. Communication is limited to what they can see or read. You can't hear anyone talk, or talk with them. Using the phone is important in my life, and being unable to use the phone would be difficult. Communication I think is the biggest obstacle for the deaf. When I wanted to talk with Brianna, the simple act of just saying hi and hearing the response was impossible. You have to be aware of everything around you, because your eyes are your only guides. Entertainment is limited. When I was bored and wanted to listen to music, talk on the phone, or watch T.V., I couldn't. Many things that we take for granted daily mean the most to us when lost. I think that it would be difficult to have a social life when you're deaf. Seeing people's mouths move, but hearing nothing come out would be frustrating. You feel very isolated and uncomfortable around a lot people especially when they're talking. Although there are many challenges that the deaf face, they do have an advantage. They don't have to deal with the sound of everyday life. Noise. I noticed that things were peaceful and my surroundings seemed less important. It's nice to have silence because you actually have time to think. Many people are so distracted by their busy lives that they never take the time to hear silence, hence their own thoughts. I feel that we have the choice in what we say, hear and listen to. From this, we should decide what we fill our mouths and ears with. If you only had one day to hear, what would you want to hear or be around?

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