Archive for July, 2007

Note: Narration is a bit soft, turn up a little.

After reading Loss for Words by Lou Ann Walker, I realized a little bit more about myself. It unlocked a few things allowing me to keep cultivating “who I am“. I share this CODA vlog with you, perhaps to spark something within you. I also hope to learn from your stories, point of view and to help others. I don’t want anyone to feel that they are alone, a hearing child of Deaf parents.  It’s amazing when you realize there are others that share a similar background.

Thank you for your support, it keeps me vlogging!

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Interesting points were brought up in the last vlog, comparing whether Kodas are more keen to learning ASL or PSE. I am not at all versed in language or how it works. I give my opinions and perspectives based on my experiences. I am also throwing in another language process called “Coda Talk” it may interest those that love language and the process of language. Another Coda, Sherry Hicks, discusses this in her article co-written with Michele Bishop  Bimodal bilingualism in hearing adults from deaf families it is a detailed study.

I am enjoying seeing my children’s language skills develop through their eyes. Again, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your comments.

After just returning last week from Koda Kamp, Randy is really excited to share this with you. He did a great job for his first one! The thing that touched me, with this vlog, it allowed me to see how much he really does appreciate being at a place with his peers.  Sometimes teenagers don’t really say much!

*For those that have been following along, Randy calls me Lisa, I’m technically his step mom.

Since I feel like I am reliving my life through my children’s eyes. I thought about the first time I was amazed at how ALL children are brilliant. For me, it’s exciting to see them grow and learn. It tends to make me wonder “was I like that as a little girl”?

 My children learned their first signs around 14 months. I never compared or worried when they would sign, it was just a natural progression. The girls were able to understand that Dad is Deaf before I really explained it to them. My son also picked up on this as a child.

A new picture window!

Today was the anticipated day of installing my new window. My husband is a skilled carpenter but he needed help carrying this HUGE 10 foot x 6 foot monster window into our front room.  My friends Ken and Lori (hearing) came to help move the window. My brother, Marty is visiting from out of town (Coda). Here we were gathered in the garage waiting for our orders. Carl said, lift it. We lifted.  Carl said, tuck in the dolly. I tucked it. Carl said scoot. We scooted.  After a few more barks, uh… I mean instructions the window was put into place.

As we positioned the window into the hole in my house, dear husband moved about fast. Measure, cut, fit, nail. My brother and I were outside the window, making sure it didn’t sway out.  As we waited while Carl did his magic, the 4 of us were goofing around. (Since Ken reads this from time to time, truth be told, 3 of us were goofing off and Ken was innocent. Actually now that I think of it, just Lori was goofing off making the rest of us laugh).   All the while, Carl was focused, never distracted and got that large enormous window in perfectly. We were done in less than a half hour.

It just made me think. Carl has commented in the past about work. Comments like,” all the guys are listening to the radio and chatting”.  He would point out, he has to work, work, work until coffee break or lunch time. However, it’s not really Carl’s nature to “chit-chat”. He also has a high standard of quality stemming from his hardworking nature.  Thinking even more about it, could you imagine if everyone worked at full speed all day, only taking breaks at the allotted times?  It would be a very productive result.

As a new business owner, research shows that hearing people spend at least 20 minutes on the phone when they should be working.  Are Deaf people more productive at work?  Obviously, there are a million different characteristics and traits, but for the most part, minute for minute, do Deaf people out-perform?

Narrated.

In Deaf culture, we always inform. If we leave the house, we tell our family so they don’t worry or come looking for us. It is a bit different than my hearing friends.

Did you ever test if your parents could hear? I did.

Narrated (because my friend Barb loves it narrated)

* No narration on this one. Narration is strictly determined on whether the kids are screaming in the background or not. Smile.

How my brother and I fought over the phone, we were around 10 to 12 years old.  My brother and I had our own phones in our rooms. The kitchen was the main phone line with the old TTY that was giant and would vibrate when you clacked the keyboard.  Mom would send us to bed at 8:30 p.m. She would then go into the family room to watch TV. To get to the family room from the bedroom, one must cross through the kitchen.

When my brother was expecting a phone call, he would sneak into the kitchen and turn off the light flasher device. He know when the phone rang, the lights would not flash. Since I knew what he was doing, I would make up an excuse to go to the kitchen. I might say something to my mom, or get a drink of water. On my way through the kitchen I would press the light flasher ON!

Sure enough when the phone rang, the lights would FLASH. Mom would jump out of her chair to the hallway and flick on the lights to find out who was on the phone. Once my brother was in trouble. I was in the clear to make my phone calls.


Frequently asked questions. I’ve talked to many Codas, we all got the same questions.

It’s amazing that society, young and old still doesn’t have an awareness to Deafness.  The video is 5 minutes and to type it all out was going to be too time consuming. So I took my first shot at narrating. I knew there is some stumbles, but hey, I’m getting lazy.

Enjoy!

It’s important to point out that everyone should know about Coda. I’ll explain.

Codas that are adults can obviously figure out that as a child of Deaf parents living in a hearing world, their life is a bit different. But I feel that each person has to have a chance to absorb it, process it and make a determination as to whether this is a characteristic of thier life. From this, they may choose to embrace it, pitch it or just acknowledge it. I just ask to share it with others because not every Coda gets a chance to slow down and say… AHA!

Deaf people and parents also need to realize that Coda/Koda is a separate culture. I will never tell anyone how to parent. But the one thing I want to share is; a hearing child born to Deaf parents is not “normal”, or the same as the rest of the hearing world. Most Deaf people have hearing parents, being raised in a hearing household. When a Deaf person has a hearing child, that child also has a life that is different from a hearing household, because they are now being raised in a Deaf household. There is more fluid communication when a Deaf person signs to their children. Most Deaf parents did not have direct communication with their parents.  So a Coda/Koda knows deafness first, then has to deal with putting the pieces together when faced with the hearing world.

One Deaf mother approached me and said my daughter is always on the phone. When I ask her “what, phone, going on”? she says nothing. Is she rebelling against my deafness?  I smiled, and said, she might be rebelling, but it’s not because you are Deaf. It is because she is a teenager. Hearing mothers get the same response.

Lastly, hearing people should also be aware of coda/koda needs. We learn differently in schools, we are visual. We have been introduced to a language that is differnt than English. Also  sharing with hearing people that Kodas are not the translator. Do not put a Deaf parent in a situation that makes this possible. It’s shocking to me how many older and “wiser” people in my life didn’t get that! They may not have had interpreters, but figure something else out than making a child deliver these kinds of messages. 

Please share Coda with all. I look forward to your responses.