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me myself and I

Saturday, July 25, 2009

10:44AM - wow awesome....mirror my situation much?

I never needed you to be strong
I never needed you for pointin' out my wrongs
I never needed pain, I never needed strain.
My love for you was strong enough you should've known.
I never needed you for judgement
I never needed you to question what I spent
I never asked for help, I take care of myself, I don't know why you think you got a hold on me.
And it's a little in the conversations
There isn't anything that you can say.
And my eyes hurt, hands shiver, so look at me and listen to me because,

I don't want to
Stay another minute
I don't want you
To say a single word
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
There is no other way
I get the final say
Because
I don't want to
Do this any longer
I don't want you
There's nothing left to say
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
I've already spoken
Our love is broken


I never needed your corrections
On everything from how I act to what I say
I never needed words, I never needed hurt, I never needed you to be there everyday
I'm sorry for the way I let go
Of everything I wanted when you came along
But I am never beaten, broken, not defeated
I know next to you is not where I belong
And it's a little late for explanations
There isn't anything that you can do
And my eyes hurt, hands shiver, so you will listen when i say

I don't want to
Stay another minute
I don't want you
To say a single word
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
There is no other way
I get the final say
Because
I don't want to
Do this any longer
I don't want you
There's nothing left to say
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
I've already spoken
Our love is broken
Hush Hush

No more words
No more lies
No more crying
No more pain
No more hurt
No more tryin'
Because

I don't want to
Stay another minute
I don't want you
To say a single word
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
There is no other way
I get the final say
Because
I don't want to
Do this any longer
I don't want you
There's nothing left to say
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
I've already spoken
Our love is broken
Hush Hush

Yeah Oh
Hush Hush, Hush Hush
I've already spoken
Our love is broken

Monday, July 20, 2009

8:59PM - I hate this life

Okay, I haven't updated in quite a long time. I am only doing it now because it's the only way I know how to vent without exploding. This past semester was the hardest of my life. I literally nearly had a nervous breakdown I am emotionally/physically/mentally exhausted. So, I had decided to take the summer off (only after summer classes from hell) meaning taking August off. I thought this was a smart idea for my own sake. I was delusional. If I was in a healthy state of mind I would have known that being back in my parents house puts me back under their mercy or lack their of, and taking a break gives them even more ammunition to make their case about how I am a waste of life and do nothing therefore it is perfectly acceptable for them to torture me.

Some would say my break is well deserved but some are not my parents. So, not only am I still stressed out and exhausted from the past 6 months, but now I am hating my life because my parents are constantly on my case for "sitting on my ass doing nothing."

Somehow I knew even though my parents seemed okay with the idea when I mentioned it, that it was too good to be true. Up until last week when people would ask me "what are you doing this summer" I would say "oh I am taking a break, I am really exhausted and I need to recoup before grad school. Anyone who knows my parents at all would respond "wow, your parents are okay with that??!?" and I would say "yeah they are actually being really understanding."

That was then.
This is now.

I have recently become an embarrassment whose parents regret their education. A lazy ass who sits in her room and does nothing all day. Pathetic because everyone else has jobs and school and I "don't." My brother doesn't have either of these but somehow he is not a lazy pathetic person, it's just me.

I need to get out of here. For my own mental health. I regret coming home for the summer. I cannot wait to escape back to school even though I am not sure I can handle starting class again. I am so drained but drowning at school is better than the life I am in here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

11:30PM - this hell I now call life

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080915/NEWS/80915061


For those who don't know my aunt carol was killed this september. It is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. ever. I am not the same person. I miss her so much it makes me ache. I think about it all day everday. I have never been so sad. It's like a whole piece of my world just disappeared I feel so empty.

My aunt had a huge part in raising me, every little thing reminds me of her, something she used to say, something I did with her. I force my mind to play pictures of her over and over again. What did her face look like, her hands, her arms, the way she washed my hair when I was a kid, I replay her laugh in my head again and again. I am so afraid to forget.

Every person in my family dpeneded on her for so much. She was our core and now its gone and I feel like everyone is just wandering around aimlessly and it scares me. She was everything to everyone. She made everyone of us feel like we were her favorite, we were special. She always had time for you no matter what. She could make anything all better, she had the best advice, could help you with anything, and always make you smile.

The only other death I have been through was my grandmothers and I was too young to really remember so I dont know if this is "normal" but I think the pain is so deep because of the person that she was.

I am also scared because it happened 2 months ago and everyone in my family seems to be "moving on" and I am not, it feels to me as bad as it felt the day it happened, and I think about it just as much.

The night it happened I saw a perfect heart in the sky (clouds) and I knew it was my aunt telling me it was going to be okay. I mean its corny to you if you never lost anyone and you dont have to believe me but I knew...later that night I could just feel her prescence it was like she was there with me saying "I am alrite, you're going to be alrite" The next morning I felt someone tap me repeatedly to wake me up when I sat up noone was there, again I felt like it was her. I hope that she is still aounnd me.

I am not able to talk to her yet, I cant even go into the room where her urn is. I hope that one day I will be able to. When I think of all the stuff she wont be around for, all the stuff I can't do without her it kills me. That's selfish but whatever. She won't see my graduation, my wedding, my kids will never know what an amazing person she was. I will never be able to read the stories she read to me to my children. Where the Wild Things are (even though it gave me nightmares), horton hears a who, horton lays an egg.

She taught me how to be a good person, she taught me about honesty, kindness, and unconditional love, and that it was okay to always be a kid at heart, and to never take yourself too seriously. She taught me what family means "you dont have to like them, but you have to love them beacause they are your family." She really did teach by example. She was always on my side.

My cousin asked me today, is this something that can be gotten over? I said no I don't think so.

I dont think I have realy mourned yet because it happened, I went how for a few days, and before I knew it I was being shipped back to school because "it's important to graduate on time." The truth is I could careless about school at this point. Not an hour goes by that something happens and I think "oh I have to tell aunt carol about that" Or "I am so sad I should call aunt carol she will make me feel better." I think beacuse I am at school I am away from it all and its not real. I dont have anyone to cry to or lean on here so I feel like I can't fall apart. When I go back home, everyone in the family has already fallen apart and so it is the wrong time for me to fall apart of them.


it sucks


Carol Conway
1950-2008
I love you forever and always

"I said what I meant and I meant what I said an elephant's faithful 100%."
"elephants never forget."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

9:55PM - wow

I can't believe the summer is over.... school is starting monday and I am ready! I cant wait to get back in the swing of things! I cant wait to see my friends again! At the same time I am bitter that I spent my whole summer here doing a job I hate. oh well. This was the worst summer of my life but here's to hoping that next summer is better.

I am at work now in the freshman dorm during orientation.....surprisingly quiet.

I have let go of one of the most important relationships of my lifetime....or at least I have told myself that. Lord knows I miss that friendship but I am worn down....I have become so numb to the idea. I dont feel anything at all about losing it.....Once in awhile I will get a feeling of sadness...or wishing the person was here....wanting to tell her something, and so on. Overall though I am just not upset over it at all I feel like a zombie.

Speaking of relationships....I went out on a date...the guys likes me...sometimes....he is champ at mixed signals lol....but he told me has never been in a relationship before...which makes sense that he has no idea what he's doing...I just dont know that I am up for teaching someone how to be in a relationship with me....not my kind of guy I think....He's nice and I would like to have a boyfriend but I feel like there is no chemistry happening....I decided to give it a chance though and see where it goes.

Tiffany is coming to visit I ammmm soooooo excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will probably have to sneak her in the dorm but whatev lol its fine

I am going to NY for labor day YAY! RACHHHAAAEEELLL

Friday, August 8, 2008

8:46PM - August Rush?

I have updated in almost a month simply because I have nothing too exciting to talk about. My life has become extremely DULL. Its a daily cycle of the same shit. Wake up, eat, work, eat, go to bed, repeat. It SUCKS. I hate being here and I hate the job. I was offered a position in the fall which I thought about for a day before I said no. I mean it waould make my bill a lot cheaper having a free room, but I really do hate this job, the hours, the office that controls it is wildly unpredictable and I can't stand that. I have practicum in the fall and I am not gonna screw up my rapidly approaching graduation by taking a job I dont even want.

I was in NJ for a week last week. It was good, spent time with friends that I needed since I didnt see any of my friends last month when I was home. I spent some time at the beach and that always make me feel better. I got to see christy and michelle, I think I may have seen too much of christy, I love her but there are some things that we are never going to see eye to eye on. I accept this but she never seems to. I don't need her to doubt if I understand issues or things, I understand I just disagree lol. I also dont need her to pray for me "to find jesus." I also got to hang out with my friend Megan who I have been friends with since the second grade. She is one of the few people who knows the real me, she knows me inside and out, even though we dont talk as much as we used to and we dont see eachother everyday we still have that connection. She sees me. Very few people nowadays do, they look past me or over me.

Sunday I actually have a day off for the first tiome in 5 days straight. I am taking the day to move, thank god since I freakin HATE the dorm I am in now. SO much.

Missie is in Mexico so I am even more bored that we can't play around.

I may go to upstate NY for labor day.....see see

I havent talked to camille (other than a greeting) for over a month now, I am okay with that I guess but I miss her in my life thats all.

Okay well I guess thats abt it for now

"I shall call him squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my squishy."

dueces

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

11:32PM - *yawn*

Okay so not too much has been happening my life has become sickingly redundent. working 40 hours a week. hanging out with Missie about twice a week. Going to her pool. today that's what I did. We went to the pool and that was fun, I got so tan. We also played volleyball and I really enjoy that.

I enjoy the pool but Missie likes to swim like the whole time and I like to lay in the chair lol so we have to compromise. I am so tan and that makes me smile. Makes me feel like myself.

I can't wait to go home!! 11 days.

I got a big paycheck this week and that took a weight of my shoulders. I also convinced the financial aid office to give me financial aid.

My brother told me he loved me :)

I miss my friends. I miss Tiffany a lot, and Rachael too.

soon bed time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

10:05PM - lonely

It's 4th of July and I am working. I am so sad. I can hear the fireworks outside but I can't see them trapped inside this office. I hate this summer. I feel so lonely and I just want to go home.



In good news Shannon brought me a piece of pie for the holiday.

I need a hug from someone who cares about me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

11:37PM - Confucious....

I am such a bundle if mixed emotions right now. I think if you know me at all you know I have some serious attachment issues (for good reason) and I struggle with any kind of change. There are so many changes happening in my life right now I feel like I am slipping and I cant catch myself. I am feeling happy, sad, confused, heartbroken, abandoned, and loved. I have had a good break....I am NOT ready to go back and I think that is adding to the situation.

I had a nice 2 days catching up with someone I have spent a lot of time missing, and I am going to spend a lot more time missing.

I feel out of place here within my own family lately and I cant even explain why like displaced. I want so bad to bond with someone but noone reaches out to me.

I want 2 more tattoos I already have them picked out.

I miss Missie

I went to the dr. the eye dr and the denist all tdy, it was not a fun day. I had to get new lenses and new sunglasees. So expensive and I am so broke.

Had a tiff with my parents about money. Every chance they get they throw it in my face that they are paying for my college and this is my 5th year. Okay I am sorryyyy. I dont know what u want me to say. they accuse me of not working hard enough. I dont know what else you want me to do I have 3 jobs, and I am a full time student. I physically and mentally cant try any harder its impossible. I get that its expensive and they are not millionares and I am grateful I just wish I didnt have to hear about it all the time. If you are going to do something for someone dont take every oppurtunity to remind them that you are doing it for them and that makes you so good and nice and them evil and ungrateful.

I think I am PMSing too that makes it all the better.

I just need a hug and some love lol

11:30PM - finallyyyy

“Deaf Literature:” what it is and what it should be
By: Jenna Owens

One might wonder why it has been such a difficult task to define “Deaf literature” after all, the words “literature,” and “deaf” are both listed in the dictionary. So it could be argued to take these two existing definitions and combine them, and one would have the definition of “deaf literature.” However, creating and establishing a standard meaning for a concept is much deeper than simply combining two definitions from a dictionary. There needs to be criteria established so that one can decide if a piece of literature is in fact “Deaf literature.” This essay will discuss the cultural, linguistic and societal issues that must be resolved in order to define “Deaf Lit.” I will explore what it means to be “Deaf,” describe the current obstacles to creating a definition for “Deaf literature,” and finally describe my personal vision of what “Deaf literature” should be.
Indeed, establishing the meaning of “Deaf” must precede our explanation of “Deaf literature.” It is all a matter of who is doing the defining, if this person is a member of the Deaf community, then the word “Deaf” goes much beyond the dictionary definition, “Partially or completely lacking of the sense of hearing” (American Heritage College Dictionary, 356). Every member of the Deaf community has their own interpretation of the word “Deaf.” Of course there are a few agreed upon sub-categories, but each individual has a personal attachment to the word and therefore it becomes an individual definition. Many Deaf people don’t even know what it means to be Deaf “How is a boy to learn who he really is without discarding who he is not?” (Stremlau, 122) Until the term “Deaf” is no longer ambiguous, and has one agreed upon definition set by its own culture, “Deaf literature” can never truly be defined.
It is true that a standard definition of the term “Deaf” needs to be created by the Deaf community in order to proceed with defining “Deaf literature.” However, in addition, the majority (hearing culture) needs to recognize that Deaf people are not “afflicted” but that they do indeed have a culture and in turn their own form of literature. If the world is skeptical that “Deaf literature” even exists, there will be no interest in defining it, and even if a definition was established who would recognize it? As reluctant as I am to say it, any minority group does need some kind of recognition from the majority in order to keep thriving.
As a member of both the hearing and Deaf communities I represent a unique perspective on what it means to be Deaf. As a hearing person I have no right to decide for the Deaf community what “Deaf” means, however as a reader I do. In my mind the word “Deaf” represents people who share many of the same traditions and values they are members of the same cultural community, and most importantly share the same visual language. Based on the experiences I have had in the Deaf community, and from the Deaf people who I have grown up around, I have the following criteria for someone to be labeled as “Deaf.” A Deaf person is someone whose first language is ASL, they either attended a school for the Deaf or have Deaf parents/close family members, they have a strong sense of self, and are fully immersed in the Deaf culture. The majority of “Deaf” authors who have written Deaf literature so far do not reflect my personal criterion for being Deaf.
What we know of “Deaf Literature” so far is that it is literary work written by or about deaf people, (in the broadest sense of the word those who cannot hear) past, present, and future. Even with this very general “definition,” this type of literature is rather sparse. Not having many Deaf authors is a big barrier in the creation of a definition for “Deaf Lit.” Anyone who has ever studied even the simplest form of statistics knows that the smaller the pool being examined the less accurate it becomes.
In other words, the Deaf writers that we recognize are not very diverse. Authors Curtis Robbins, Christopher Jon Heuer, and Kristen Harmen are from hearing families. Krisiti Merriweather and Kristen Harmen are the only two deaf authors I have read who are women. Krisiti Merriweather was the only author who wrote poems which included African American culture. Most Deaf authors who are published are Caucasian males and come either from an oral background or from a hearing family. This is a much skewed representation of the Deaf community. Even with this small group, it is important to know what each author’s definition of “Deaf” is. Due to their oral backgrounds they may not even identify themselves as Deaf, so why should their works be “Deaf literature?” It is important to know if these authors label their own works as “Deaf literature.” Are they authors who write “Deaf literature,” or are they just authors that happen to be Deaf? This struggle for identity as an author can be seen in Curtis Robbins’ works “Deaf Poet or What?” A Deaf author’s perspective of his or her own work obviously impacts the definition of “Deaf Lit.”
It is not just Deaf authors who are making defining “Deaf literature” a difficult task but the characters they create, and often times it is not a Deaf person but a hearing person who is writing “Deaf Lit.” The Deaf characters written by hearing authors in “Deaf literature” are very stereotypical. As our textbook labels it “Angels or Outcasts.” This means that there are two roles Deaf people play: either they are innocent and cannot function on their own, they need the help of hearing people around them almost as if they are children (angels) as Camille in “Pierre and Camille.” Or, they are the defected and afflicted people who have been cursed by God and therefore condemned into groups with other rejected characters such as the blind, and occasionally pitied (outcasts), as evidenced by the characters in “At the Dances of the Deaf-Mutes.”
Overall, this type of writing results in the dehumanization of Deaf characters; they are often treated like animals or possessions. These stereotypical characters do not represent realistic Deaf people; instead, they portray Deaf people through hearing eyes. This also proves to be a challenge for the purpose of defining Deaf literature, should “hearing” perspective be included?
The problems one faces in determining a definition for “Deaf Literature” are complex and have deep roots. Before anyone can decide what “Deaf Literature” is, the Deaf community as a whole must first decide what “Deaf” is. Deaf culture and its literature need to be recognized by the hearing majority. The authors that write the work, whether they are Deaf or hearing, need to be more diverse. Lastly, authors need to break the monotony of stereotypical Deaf characters and broaden the scope to include a diverse population of Deaf characters.
Now that we have discussed the hurdle one must overcome to define Deaf literature, we will turn our attention to what we think “Deaf Lit” should be. As of now, there are no specific criteria with which to evaluate “Deaf Literature,” so, what should the criteria for Deaf literature be? Would the author have to be Deaf and recognize that a specific piece they have written is “Deaf Lit?” I am not sure. Of the “Deaf literature” I have read so far, I have noticed several shared themes including, love, language, identity, oppression, and a struggle for power. All of the works of fiction not only had Deaf characters, they had Deaf people as main characters. Should the “Deaf literature” of the future follow suit?
Let me first explain to you what Deaf literature of the future should not be. Ordinary hearing authors are not qualified to write stories depicting what they imagine Deaf people to be and call it Deaf literature. This to me is “hearing fiction,” pun intended. Can any hearing person truly write Deaf characters accurately? No. No matter what your background, CODA, interpreter, brother or sister of a Deaf person, mother or father of a Deaf person, you will never know what is like to be Deaf. Hearing authors are in no way capable of developing fictional Deaf characters and their feelings, emotions, or experiences.
Similarly, Deaf literature should not be a field dominated by people who cannot hear but are not Deaf. This includes authors who meet all or most of the following criteria, people of oral backgrounds, those who have hearing families, those who grew up in hearing culture, those who do not use ASL, and those who are not involved in the Deaf community. This control is a sort-of oppression on Deaf by deaf that needs to be broken.
Now let us move on to what Deaf literature should be. Overall, Deaf literature needs room to grow, it needs to include authors from diverse backgrounds for example those with Deaf families, who’s primary language is ASL, those who attended a school for the Deaf, people who grew up in the Deaf culture, and those who are active members of the Deaf community.
Those Deaf authors should also include women from any type of background (as the presence of Deaf women authors is slim) people of color, those who are trilingual i.e. have Spanish speaking families, and so on. These authors need to push the artistic limits by writing about a variety of themes. Deaf authors need to look past typical themes such as the struggle with oppression, superiority of language, and finding one’s identity and dig deeper for different material. I am not suggesting Deaf literature should do away with those themes as they are all a critical part of “Deaf life,” but writers need to make them more complex, more abstract, and overlay several themes over one another.
In the end I cannot give you a clear cut definition of “Deaf Literature,” and call it a day. What I can do is tell you what “Deaf Lit” has been up until now: an artistic medium dominated by hearing authors who create stereotypical “Deaf” characters, and Deaf authors who are all of the same variety. The literature all draws reoccurring blatantly obvious themes. However I see this field as just beginning to bloom that should in fuure become a collection of work which reflects the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of a diverse selection of Deaf authors. It should become a body of work that varies in themes which showcase the culture, language, and traditions that their community and culture shares.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2:19PM - "deaf"inition?

“Deaf Lit:” will a definition ever exist?
By: Jenna Owens

One might wonder why it has been such a difficult task to define “Deaf literature” after all, the words “literature,” and “deaf” are both listed in the dictionary. So it could be argued to take these two existing definitions and combine them and you would have the definition of “deaf literature.” However, creating a standard meaning for something is much deeper than that, there needs to be criteria established so that one can decide if a piece of literature is in fact “Deaf literature.” This essay will discuss the issues that must be resolved in order to define “Deaf Lit.”
It is all a matter of who is doing the defining, if this person a member or the Deaf community then the word “Deaf” goes much beyond the dictionary definition “Partially or completely lacking of the sense of hearing” (American Heritage College Dictionary, 356). Every member of the Deaf community has their own interpretation of the word “Deaf,” of course there are a few agreed upon sub-categories, but each individual has a personal attachment to the word and therefore it becomes an individual definition a good example of this is Kristi Merriweather’s work “Be Tellin’ Me.” Until the term “Deaf” is no longer ambiguous, and has one agreed upon definition set by its own culture, “Deaf literature” can never truly be defined.
It’s true that a standard definition of the term “Deaf” needs to be created by the Deaf community in order to proceed with defining “Deaf literature.” However, in addition to that the majority people (hearing culture) need to recognize that Deaf people do indeed have a culture and in turn their own form of literature. If the world is skeptical that “Deaf literature” even exists there will be no interest in defining it, and even if a definition was established who would recognize it? As reluctant as I am to say it, any minority group, does need some kind of recognition from the majority in order to keep thriving.
What we know of “Deaf Literature” so far is that it is literary works written by or about Deaf people past, present, and future. Even with this very general “definition” this type of literature is rather sparse. Not having many Deaf authors is a big barrier in the creation of a definition for “Deaf Lit.” Anyone who has ever studied even the simplest form of statistics knows that the smaller the pool being examined the less accurate it becomes. In other words, the Deaf writers that we know about are not very diverse, most of them are Caucasian males, are from an oral background, and from a hearing family this is a much skewed representation of the Deaf community. It is also important to know if these authors even see themselves as writing “Deaf literature” or if they are just authors that happen to be Deaf as can be seen in Curtis Robbins’ work “Deaf Poet or What?” All of this greatly impacts the definition of “Deaf lit.”
The Deaf characters created by hearing authors in “Deaf literature” are very stereotypical. They are either as our textbook calls it “Angels or Outcasts.” This means that there are two roles Deaf people play: they are innocent they can’t function on their own and need the help of hearing people around them almost as if they are children (angels) as Camille in “Pierre and Camille.” Or, they are the defected and afflicted people who have been cursed by God and therefore condemned forced into groups with other rejected characters such as the blind, and occasionally pitied (outcasts) for example, the characters in “At the Dances of the Deaf-Mutes.” Overall, the characters whether they are “angels” or “outcasts” are not seen as human. They are portrayed as somehow less than human, and treated like animals or possessions. These stereotypical characters do not represent realistic Deaf people instead; they portray Deaf people through hearing eyes. This also proves to be a challenge for the purpose of defining Deaf literature, should “hearing” perspective be included?
In summary, the problems one faces in determining a definition for “Deaf Literature” are complex and have deep roots. Before anyone can decide what “Deaf Literature” is, the Deaf community needs to decide what “Deaf” is. Deaf culture and its literature need to be recognized by the hearing majority. The authors that write the work, whether they are Deaf or hearing, need to be more diverse. Lastly, authors need to break the monotony of stereotypical Deaf characters and broaden the scope to include a diverse population of Deaf characters. Once all this is complete, or at least begun then the world will be able to define or Deafine “Deaf literature.”

2:08PM - hmmm

Knowledge of the Deaf world, and Deaf literature


The Deaf world is to me almost a secret garden, something so beautiful, so precious that only a chosen population has access to in fact some people are even skeptical of its existence. This world is populated by people who have the same shared experiences, language, customs, core-beliefs and much more. These inhabitants will do anything in their power to keep their garden sacred. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “This is for your eyes only,” or “don’t tell your hearing friends.” The culture, customs, language, and other pieces of the Deaf world can be seen in Deaf literature, by those who are looking.
For Deaf poets their first or primary language is American Sign Language, it is logical that there dominant language can be seen in their works. For example, the poem “Salt in the Basement” written by Willy Conley is written in ASL gloss. One could argue that gloss is the written form of ASL or the closest thing to it. In Curtis Robbins’ poem “Hand Tied” he talks about the struggle of being a Deaf ASL user and writing English poetry. “How does a Deaf poet indite and end up with unintended umlauts of which mispronunciations are unheard of especially if not recited by hand?” (ll. 1-6) this struggle between ASL and English is parallel to many other Deaf people, and is one of the many components of the Deaf world, it is my opinion that to gain true acceptance into the Deaf world whether one is Deaf or not, they must be fluent in American Sign Language.
Another piece of the Deaf world is shared experiences. Many Deaf people have been isolated, in various settings. They have missed an inestimable amount of information through the years. This is evident in the poems “Learning up Front,” “Solo Dining While Growing Up,” “About the Tale of an Old Bay Fisherman,” by Curtis Robbins, and “Salt in the Basement” by Willy Conley. “But the knife that laid between them all from mouth to ear from mouth to eye cut me off.” (ll. 12-15) Being isolated in the basement, in school, or at the dinner table is something that the patrons of the Deaf world have all been through. This in turn created the Deaf culture tendency to share information with as many people as possible, not wanting anyone to miss any information, the linguistic term for this is “telling.”
How do I feel about all this? Well I have a unique standing, I am a hearing person, some people may argue that I am a part of the Deaf world, and others say I am. I am not sure where I fit in just yet but one day it will hit me. I feel a strong connection with Deaf culture in many ways, but I also feel a connection with the hearing world. Both cultures have made me who I am today. As far as identifying more or less with Deaf literature I can identify with the themes they express being left out, and struggling with identity. However I don’t think I will ever identify with the literature on the same level as a Deaf person would.
Who I am as a reader and what I know of Deaf culture, the language and the Deaf world does give more value to the literature. It is my feeling that because I have seen what’s being discussed in practice the literature becomes more valid. For a hearing person who had no idea about Deaf culture reading Deaf literature may be meaningless, invalid, or just have a completely different interpretation. They would be unable to identify the themes, understand the symbolism, or even in some cases the situation; the reader would be disconnected from the work.
All in all Deaf cultural values and the Deaf world can be seen (by those who have access) in Deaf literature. Do I identify with these values? Most of the time I do, and if I don’t I at least understand them. For a skeptic or someone with no knowledge of the Deaf world a lot of Deaf literature would seem empty.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

9:30PM - diversity some ppl are toooo much

Deaf Literature: Is it diverse?






Since I came to Gallaudet University in 2006 I have nearly been force fed the issue of “diversity.” It seems like every week Gallaudet is holding some kind of forum or workshop on diversity. Is Gallaudet “diverse” enough? Are the professors, are the students, and is the Deaf community? Sometimes I wonder if Gallaudet going overboard, producing classes of students who are overly sensitive to issues related to “diversity.” As I look back on my relationship with the Deaf community, and the world I knew before I came to Gallaudet I can’t help but recognize that of all my participation in my local Deaf community and my contact with Deaf people who are significantly older than me I cannot remember seeing anyone I know even mention “diversity.” It seems to me that diversity is an issue that has greatly impacted Generation X. How does this all relate to Deaf Literature? Well, since Generation X and Y have not yet been published, some would say that the literature we do posses that was written by Deaf authors shows a lack of diversity, but does it? That depends on your definition of diversity.

I have only had the opportunity to read selected passages written by Deaf authors but the overall consensus is the field is dominated by white men of an oral background. All the authors are from hearing families. I have only read pieces from 2 Deaf women at least one of those authors also had an oral background. Only one author was African American and the remaining were Caucasian. So does this pool lack diversity, or does it reflect the Deaf community of years past? It is my belief that there are definitely some important aspects of Deaf culture that have not yet been represented in the literature, and these gaps need filling in.

Here at Gallaudet and at Deaf schools throughout the country it is people from Deaf parents that are the “it” crowd. A friend of mine who is Deaf and has Deaf parents “we (from Deaf families) ran the school, that school is ours” of her years in a school for the Deaf. Deaf families are critical and rather prominent in Deaf culture and they are missing almost completely in Deaf Literature. On the topic of those with Deaf parents, CODAs that is Children of Deaf Adults are also missing from the literature. Although CODAs can hear, they are members of the Deaf community (depending on which day you ask them ha-ha), and their perspective cannot be discounted.

Lastly, the field seems to be dominated, as are most professions by men. Women and men have different outlooks on experiences different types of emotional connections, and place value on different things therefore a woman author would portray a piece of literature in a completely different way than a man. Women make up a large percentage of the Deaf community, and they need to be “heard” no pun intended.

Because the authors are so much alike, the same gender family backgrounds etc the themes of which they write are also very similar if not the same; oppression, struggles within a family, and identity issues. Would authors of color, authors from Deaf families, write on the same themes? Or will generation X and Y? For that we will just have to stay tuned!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

11:32PM - a blog from Deaf Lit

Does and should Deaf Literature Exsist?
By: Jenna Owens


Deaf people much like any other minority group, have their own culture. This culture is a complicated web weaved from shared experiences, similar educational backgrounds, and a shared language. It is commonly believed that other minority groups have their own culture, and in turn literature that reflects and even sometimes conflicts with that culture, for example, African American literature, women’s literature, and so on. Why is it inappropriate then for people to study the literature written by or including Deaf people? Wouldn’t it become in fact a necessity for Deaf people especially to study the literature that portrays characters supposedly just like them, if only to see how the majority of the population sees them?

Until recently the majority of people writing about Deaf characters were hearing authors who have little to no knowledge about Deaf people, their culture, or their language. By reading the often faltered literature which portrays them, Deaf people can help put these misnomers to bed. For example, “Since when can the deaf-mutes use a pen?” (Batson and Bergman, 49) Writes an author in nineteenth century, to Deaf people and the hearing people in the Deaf community this statement draws many red-flags. I think it goes without saying that Deaf people can read and write, in fact in the 1800s when the first school for the Deaf was opened Deaf people were on average better educated than their hearing counterparts. So the argument that this statement fits the time period would be untrue, despite the facts, this is how the author of the story and the hearing majority saw Deaf people.

This literature not only affects Deaf people but the hearing people that are involved in their community either directly or by association. For example, a mother in the story “Pierre and Camille” states “My daughter is beautiful, but doomed to misfortune,” (Batson and Bergman, 28) of her Deaf daughter. Maybe this was how parents of the time felt upon realizing their child was Deaf, maybe some people still feel this way. However, assuming that all hearing parents of Deaf children feel the same way is a broad overgeneralization that can be detrimental to Deaf children and their hearing parents.

On the same note but at an even further extreme Deaf people are constantly regarded as things throughout literary history. In regards to the story “Pierre and Camille,” the pronoun “the” is repeatedly used when talking about Deaf characters. This is interesting to me since the pronouns “the” and “it” are most commonly used when discussing objects that are un-human so to speak. Language is not the only avenue the author uses to express the belief of Deaf people being property. In fact, when hearing characters speak of female Deaf characters it’s almost always in a way that expresses ownership, pity or their own superiority. Even Deaf characters who are male speak of Camille as though she is some sort of business transaction. “Will you give her to me?” (Batson and Bergman, 47) This may be because she is a double minority, a Deaf woman.

Deaf people have a culture and language that reflect their bond. This bond stems from shared experiences, educational similarities and a long history of oppression. The literature both written by or about Deaf people reflects all these things, from both a minority and majority point of view. Studying Deaf literature especially that which falsely portrays Deaf people will justly empower Deaf readers to break barriers and disprove the stereotypes that have been marked in history by literature.

11:32PM - hellooo

hey-

I have been neglecting my LJ I know. I have been so sick the past 3 days I cant figure out what I have. I have been throwing up and have had a constant headache. I called out of work today. I don't have too much to say. Work is alrite it's nice to have a pay check.

I finished my grad class and I am starting my English class tomorrow. I miss Maggie. Bill just left, he was here for a week.

Missie has started calling me her "best friend" which I am trying to figure out. I love her but I don't easily throw the term around, and I am not sure I am ready to give up on Maggie. Not that I can't have 2....can I? Can you have more than one best friend. I mean it is clear that missie is like my sister we talk about everything, share everything, and are together allll the time. I dont know. I have also started thinking about her as my best friend at the same time it feels like I am losing Maggie and that makes me sad and feel guilty.

I cant wait till Missie gets back from FLA

I hae added the honors options to my English class.

I have work tonight...ehh...its money though.....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

10:38PM - paranoid

I haven't updated in so long. I am here at Gallaudet for the summer. I just finished RA training this afternoon and I start work on Sunday. I have my 1st day of summer class is Saturday from 9-5 which figures because it's my birthday.

Its really dead here. I am so lonely, and really bored. It makes me sad to have to ask people to spend time with me.

Anyway I am really paranoid. I think I have cysts or something of that matter again, I have a lump on my pelvis. It feels like a marble, it worries me. Today was only the first time I noticed it. I have been feeling not myself lately tired and cramps and sick to my stomach. Cramps are alot less painful then when I had the cysts before so I dont know what to think. I wish I had someone here.

Current mood: sad

Monday, April 14, 2008

11:32PM - toxic relationships

I have started to realize that some people in my life are toxic. I feed off of the moods of people around me so when my friends are depressed or grumpy it puts me there too. I am also sick of having friends with such dramatic issues. It seems like I am always listening to someone elses problems, upsets, arguements etc and noone is ever their to listen to mine. Sometimes I want to talk about things with my best friends. Things in MY life. Just because I don't have a boyfriend or a kid or career doesnt mean I dont need someone to talk to about the stuff that is happening in my life. Listening to all this nesgative stuff really wears me out. I understand that this is what relationships are, loving someone when they are down, being there to listen, being a shoulder to cry on. I know that it cant always be about me, but I would like for it to be about me sometimes.

I am just tired....so tired, worn thin from dealing with so many issues, trying to fix depression. It is exhausting.

On another topic I really really want something to happen and I am trying to tell myself not to get my hopes up but I know they already are. I also know that I am going to be so let down because it is not going to happen. This is another exaple of how I am the one who is the "supportive friend" I go to everyones events, and see everyones art work who ever goes to mine? Who supports me?


Some of my other grivances of the day: Roommates that ignore me, people who do look at me when I talk, men who are idiots, and mail that takes too long.

Things that have been making me happy: Karma.....coach taking me out of the game when I am doing well...putting in another pitcher for her to give up like 15 runs. Me not hitting all season then hitting nearly two homeruns at practice today. Karma's a bitch

Sunday, April 6, 2008

11:43PM - good day

For the first time in a long time I had a good day.

Last night was so annoying 2:30am fire alarm because there was a big frat party and everyone was drunk as hell and loud and immature and pulled the alarm. Then I couldn't fall back to sleep finally I took some nyquil at 4:30am and my alarm went off at 8am. Needless to say I was sooooo tired. Got up, went to the field house cuz we had a game in baltimore. We had to wait for our coach to call the other school and see if the game was still on cuz it was raining. While waiting I fell sound asleep on the gym floor. Thats how you know I am tired! I am not the type of person who can just sleep anywhere, but this morning I was. The game wound up being cancelled, and the team ate breakfast together in the cafeteria. After that I came back to the room and passseeddd out until 3pm. I was sooo tired and it felt good to take a nap.

After that I woke up bummed around awhile, then I did some work. Ordered pizza. As I was waiting for the delivery guy that took almost 2 hours! I got an acceptance email from the education department! I was accepted to practicum!!

Then I finished some more homework.....now I feel so much lighter to finished stuff.

Tiffany gave me a really cute gift to cheer me up. Pretty cards with flowers and sparkles. They are pink too!! It made me feel better. She's a really good friend. I am gonna miss her so much when she graduates, but I am so proud of her shes almost done! I am jealous lol

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

12:01AM - whew

So I had a really good weekend and I am back in good spirits. Feeling back to myself much better. It was really nice to see Camille's face again, and talking to her always makes me feel better. Spending time with her was much needed and I am so proud of her, she's definately getting back to herself again! I had a blast but was seriously sleep deprived. I came back to Gally on Saturday night to play in the game on sunday. The team played really well in both games. Today was alrite woke up with a headache and that sucked....took asprin drank my coffee and started feeling better. Went to work. Came home cleaned the room, then I took a nap. That was the first time I was able to successfully nap in clerc all semester. I used to nap in Carlin like everyday! The nap was soooo nice I am so excited about it lol I woke up drooling! Attractive I know. 1 of my classes was cancelled and the due date in the other was postponed so yesss for that! This week I have advising (wish me luck)

This weekend I am going to the cherry blossom festival with missie yay

I cant wait for summer...I am over school.

I invited Camille to my senior game. The senior game is a tradition in all gally sports the last home game of every season is a game honoring the seniors the last time they will ever play on a gallaudet field. Most seniors invite their families. I really hope she can make it, it would mean a lot to me. She has never seen me play before. I invited a few of my cousins too. I doubt if I will invite my parents, they wont come anyway.

Now Im gonna wash my hair make some soup and go to bed.....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

12:34AM - struggling

Today was a really hard day. I got the results back for my ASLPI test today and they were not good. I got a 2. I mean I make fun of ppl that get a 2, they are awful signers, and I have always considered myself a pretty fluent signer. I guess it serves me right and I really am not superior to the other people with a 2 in any way.

What really gets me is that last time I took it I got a 4, and I feel like my sign has improved since I have entered gally but I guess in reality it has not, it has actually gotten worse. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that I live with 3 (not so amazing ASL users) and I am sure that has an impact since my language skills flip flop to fit who I am around.

Another thing that totures me is that Christy my clueless and ASL inept roommate got a 2...the same score as me. That really rips my heart out and crushes it. Missie my other roommate who I also consider a lesser signer than me got a 3. I just don't understand. Missie said I should file an appeal. I am not sure if I will, I mean I feel like I dont deserve that low of a score but at the same time, what do I know. The ppl on the comittee who grade my interview are supposed experts and who am I to challange their knowledge of ASL??

I have tried to act like this didnt bother me to people but it really does it has gotten into my brain and my heart and made some permanent damage. As if I don't struggle with my identity enough now I have evidence thatnI won't ever fit....I am clearly not something I thought I was up till now.

This has also made me reconsider some things like do I really want to go to graduate school? Not because I dont want to retake the test but because I have always been the 1st to say that people with iffy signing skills should NOT be teaching Deaf children. People who havent gotten a 2 so far that I know of I think should never be allowed in a classroom with Deaf children. Maybe I shoudl teach hearing kids. It seems like their is an unattainable goal. I will never be good enough

I really just need to get some adive from a nuetral 3rd party and someone who knows whats what in Deaf ed. Someone who will tell it to me straight and not play the "oh your fine! I cant imagine why you got that score, its redic" game. I feel like I need to talk to Camille as a matter of fact I wish she was here RIGHT now.

Current mood: depressed

Thursday, March 20, 2008

6:27PM - spring break

Wow I can't believe it's almost over. This break has had some serious up and downs. I started out sooo bored and wanting to go backkk to Gally and now I am seriously dreading going back to class. It has been nice seeing Bill my cousin/ other half we have had some nice times. I saw my good friend Michelle and another friend of mine Hillary. Of course a splah of Karen as well. I was supposed to see Camille today but that fell through. sad. I miss her. I also really miss Maggie. She has been in Europe the past 2 weeks and so my life is seriously lacking magsaleny. I miss Missie and Rachael too.

I watched Marlee Matlin on Dancing with the Stars the other night and man she did amazing. Crazy good I was/am so impressed then I saw some Deaf friends bashing on her pretty hard about her acting hearing using her voice and not representing Deaf culture. I was like she didnt even use her voice at all the whole time and she had an interpreter with her the whole time using ASL how much more Deaf culture do u want her to get. Granted in the past shes been known for "acting hearing" but not this time my friends....also shes an actress its kind of her job to ACT like someone else lol..... It made me really realize how big the crab theory actually is in the Deaf community. I am so over the cab theory. Redic.

This is so random: I love Rachael Ray. I cooked several of her reciepes over break and they were all a success

Also I cant emphasize enough how happy I am to have Missie in my life shes a really good friend.

Lastly, I am soooo broke and I dont understand how since I have 4 jobs. ugh

I still havent decided what to do over the summer. To stay at Gally or not to.... I dont really want to actually I think I have made up my mind. I have to find a summer job though, ugh

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