Archive for June, 2007

My friends that know me are convinced that “It’s all about me”. It became such a big joke one year while I was president of Illinois Coda. My dear friends on the board bought me a gift, a black tank top with glitter words that said “It’s all about me”. I wore it to Key West, I got a lot of attention, that tank top worked.

But seriously, I think my passion will show clearly, I want this blog to be about all of us. To share the Coda world and all that goes with it.  I want this blog to be active, so when someone discovers this new culture called Coda, they can log on, read stories, and comments possibly getting instant answers they need. I am all for instant information. In our society we can’t wait an extra 3 minutes, we have to have things now..now..now.  Learning from different lifestyles can lend us to be more tolerate of new ideas. However, having a common bond, allows us to learn from each other quicker. The basics are pretty much already there. There is no need for the Intro to Deafness 101 class.

Isn’t this so exciting? So I’m giving you a gift. I’m adding a new feature entitled “A to Z”. This will be interviews that highlight other Codas allowing you to see another view or get another Coda’s stories. I can see you falling off your chairs, with your mouths on the floor in complete astonishment. Yes, it’s true, sometimes it is not all about me. (pout). To add to the excitement I already have my first interviewee lined up.  You are gonna love this! Our first “A to Z” will be in mid July. Who? You ask. I’m keeping it hush hush for now.  I’m going to keep you in suspense, it’ll be fun.  Well at least it’ll be fun for me!

That!

From time to time, I will post tips or snippets of information, titled and categorized: That!

If you are viewing my site and need a reminder each time I make a post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed on the home page. When you subscribe by putting in your email, the posts will automatically show up in your inbox. I know we sometimes forget to check in, this does all the work for you.  THAT!

Stomp…stomp.

This morning, I was rushing around trying to get out the door. I called out from the kitchen to my oldest daughter, Mackenzie, “Do you have your crocs on?” She said no. All of a sudden I hear, stomp…stomp. My youngest daughter Delanie had come into the kitchen, with a bagel shoved in her mouth. I turn to look at her, and she is holding Mackenzie’s crocs (shoes) in her hands.  She lifts them up to gesture “here they are”.

These are the moments that melt my heart. She knew to stomp her foot on the floor to get my attention. It’s so obvious to me that being a hearing child in a Deaf household is an entirely different culture.  But in our house, there is a flip side.

My husband, whom is Deaf, was raised in a hearing household. He doesn’t tune into stomping feet. He is not ultra sensitive to vibrations. So my children have to work a bit harder to get daddy’s attention. While dad is taking a nap on the couch in the family room, the kids play and run around the couch without waking him. It’s quite amazing in contrast to my childhood.

My Dad’s sensitivity to vibration is a mystery. In our 3 bedroom ranch home, we had an addition built, the family room.  The family room was one step lower than the remainder of the house. Dad would be sleeping in the back bedroom. All of a sudden he is in the family room telling us to stop jumping around.  It was a calm instruction. However, get us jumping in the living room on the same level of the bedroom and he would come out yelling at us to stop.

Now reflecting, Delanie must have learned to stomp her feet from me. Daddy doesn’t stomp his feet. A Deaf tradition carried on by a Coda.

I thought I would begin with posting items that can be the foundation of this blog. A clear perspective of what Coda means to me. I don’t feel it is a label to who I am. Frankly, it’s just easier to type, read, sign or say. Don’t you agree? Coda or Children of Deaf Adults? Coda is only 1 of the many things I relate to. Some say being a Coda, we are made up of 3 parts; hearing, Deaf and the in-between which is Coda. While I agree, I also like to express there is so much more to each and every one of us. I don’t quite know how many parts I am, but it includes being a wife, mother, friend, actress, business owner, and much more.  Ok off point, now…

What is CODA? Children of Deaf Adults means that a child was born hearing to one or both parents being Deaf.  Seems simple enough, but there are factors that can cause some confusion. 

 I was born hearing, but became deaf later in life. Still a Coda. This will entirely depend on the individual. If someone became deaf at age 3, I would think they may feel very comfortable in the Deaf world. However, going deaf at age 16, this person may feel more comfortable understanding the bond of a Coda.

My parents are Deaf but they didn’t sign to me in the home. Still a Coda. Or, I have Deaf parents but my signing is not that great. Still a Coda. If you were brought up in an oral or fluent ASL household, shouldn’t discourage you. There are plenty of fluent signers and also those that do not sign at all. Some wish they could sign better, even myself when I see professional interpreters. It’s natural I think to compare.

I also believe that everyone should learn about Coda. What is there to learn?  In my experience, being in a Deaf household shaped me differently than other hearing households, and possibly even other bi-cultural households. My needs were not always clear. Being hearing didn’t just make things ok. I like to explain it in a way that, when a Deaf child is born to hearing parents, the hearing parents are trying to learn something new. They may have never even seen or interacted with a Deaf person. They do the best that they know how with a unique situation for them at the time. When that Deaf child goes on to have a family, the majority of the time, the child is hearing. Again a very new and unique situation for the parent. When grandma and grandpa look at the grandchild and say “oh, she is hearing, normal” they are missing the most important element. The Deaf parents are now living in a unique enviroment as once their parents did. Some Deaf parents also may think, “my child hearing, normal”.  As a hearing child of Deaf parents, whose grandparents were not active in clear communication, we are have such different needs.

 I hope that this helps you to understand why Coda is important to me. I don’t want to exclude anyone. This blog is for Codas, Deaf people or hearing individuals to share, learn and educate others. 

Welcome

Thank you for joining me on my journey. As a CODA, I am proud of my Deaf heritage. This blog begins as a creative outlet, and ultimately an outreach to others about CODA. 

Disclaimer; Blogging can be tough, you have to post, I hope that with CODA as my passion, I’ll be able to post often. I’ll be posting, hopefully both on what I experience now, reflect from the past and hope to acheive in the future. Sprinkled with resources or links, I hope this to be entertaining and educating to you.