Monday, October 31, 2011

Say What? "Grunges"

Me (after pointing at the branches in the trunk of my car): What should I do with all these sticks?

Wife: Where are they from?

Me (as wife bends down and away from me to pick up bags): From the backyard, when I cleaned up all the (indecipherable).

Wife: Grunges??? HUH?

Me *ennunciating*: Branches

Wife: Ohhh. I thought you said (fingerspells) G-R-U-N-G-E-S

I love having my own Say What moments at someone else's expense. ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feeling a lot like Forrest Gump...

Lately, I have been feeling a lot like Forrest Gump. If you will recall in the movie, Forrest started running. And running. And running. He ran all the way to one side of America and turned around and ran to the other side of America before turning around again.

He gained a dedicated group of followers before he stopped running and simply went home.

The point?

I stopped writing back in late August...what you are seeing is a whole bunch of posts that were ready and waiting to be published. Occasionally, something would pop up and I would add a new post to the queque. Right now, there are only three posts left to go with two drafts.

I tried to keep up with the blog reads. I tried to respond to the comments left on my posts. I tried to keep with the chats. I started to fall off when school started and I began to tutor more than one student at a time when I was averaging one a day in previous semesters. Combined with the duties as a director for a center, my free time quickly disappeared.

When I am discharged from my duties as both the director and a tutor, I will start writing and visiting again. Right now...I have stopped running, and it's time to go home.

I really have loved writing as DCHY and I have appreciated every one of my followers who took time to leave comments, start chats with me, and/or leave e-mail in my inbox.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Say What? "What did you murder?"

Got this from a friend who had this funny encounter with her brother...which happened when her brother walked into the kitchen where she was.

Brother: What did you murder?
Her (stared at him for a long while, stammering): I...I don...I...I don't know what you are talking about!
Brother: you murdered something
Her: I did not!
Brother: Yes you did. What did you murder?
Her: I don't know. What the hell are you talking about? I didn't murder anything or anyone!
Brother: Oh! No, I said m-u-t-t-e-r (word fingerspelled to her). What did you mutter?
Her: Ohhhhhhhh! You scared me for a second!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Talking "tiny", mumbling, and/or unclear lipreading

No, this is not about little people who mumble at high speed. ;) This is about a certain kind of people who fall into the unfortunate category of "Impossible to Lipread".

Those who fall under the column heading tend to:

  • mumble

  • whisper

  • talk in low voice

  • wear very bushy mustaches

  • thick accents (usually foreign)

I have tricks to help me build "lipreading habits" with everyone. What I meant by that is once I figure out how a certain person would pronounce words, I can get into their habits and be able to lipread them more effectively. This does NOT mean I lipread flawlessly or understand better than 60% most of the time. I have yet to meet a deaf person who can lipread flawlessly, never mind that Sue Thomas, the deaf FBI agent.

I once knew a young guy who had this habit of "lisping" the f sounds with the th sounds, like saying "are you death?" instead of "are you deaf?" upon meeting me for the first time. Then about 10 years later, I had a manager who kept saying "bof" instead of "both", which I understood clearly because of my prior experience with that young guy. The weird thing was, I was told this is how some black people talk (which I didn't know at the time)...and this young guy is white.

The point being, people have their ways of saying words, accents or not. I lived in the South (have relatives who still does), in the Northeast (upstate New York), and the Midwest. The worst/impossible accent for me to comprehend? That would be Russian or Slavic accents, which totally kills my ability to lipread.

I've had to deal with new people each and every time I meet when they do not know how to sign. It's literally a pain in the butt when I have a new class and I have to build on the lipreading habits. The environment in a classroom is socially rigid - I can't just jump in and say, "Excuse me, I missed that...can you repeat?" over and over. The roll call is always the best way for me to begin my building process because I can pick out my own name as a teacher goes down the list of students...until I hit the wall in that teacher.

I was in my first year of community college and I initially thought I was in the wrong room for an English-related class (I believe it was Literature or some advanced writing) because I was only 18 and everyone else looked to be in their 20's or older. I sat down in the front row to give me the vantage point. An old woman shuffled into the room and she had the shakes from advanced age. When she spoke, her lips barely moved and she kept licking her lips to moisten them.

I sat there, blankly looking at her. Not one word was discernible. Then she pulled out the attendance sheet and...I knew that I wasn't in top half due to my last name and I stared hard at her mouth. Uehj owme? Lieg ahl? This went on like this and I kept staring for my name, knowing fully well that she would say my name again if I "missed" it and I'd get to jump in...

I understood NONE of anything, not even my own name. I waited until after the class to talk to her and I introduced myself. She said something I didn't understand. I talked with her some more, but I was going nowhere in terms of understanding her at all. I started to freak out and I said something about having to go and I left.

I sweated about going back. How was I going to get through the second day, let alone the whole semester?

Second day. I sat in the front row again. My heart was beating wildly. A different teacher came in and explained that she is the substitute teacher. She said the original teacher needed surgery and would not be coming back for the semester.

Wait a minute...I understood the substitute!

I breezed through the semester with her and I even signed up with her for another class the following semester. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Say What? "Oh, it's just snot"

My wife and I were in the kitchen, having battered fish (quick, someone call the cops on me!) and she was stirring up some homemade tartar sauce*. She moved away from the sauce, I saw something fly from her face, and I felt that hit the knuckle of my big toe.

Wife: Where did that go?
Me: I felt something land on my toe (pointed at my foot)
Wife: Where?
Me: Right there, I see something on the ground (it looked like a drop of relish juice)
Wife (talking, not signing, as she bent down to investigate): Oh, it's just snot (she wiped it off with her finger)
Me: Snot? Gross!
Wife: No, haha...I said "ice" (fingerspelled)

* Homemade tartar sauce is surprisingly simple to make - you just need some mayonnaise and either relish or worchester sauce (or even both). Feel free to experiment to find your ideal mixture ratio, and don't hesitate to try spices and herbs.