Fate is Chance. Destiny is Choice.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's December!!

Well..no awards for a creative title there!! It's the end of the week for me cos I've got nothing else at Uni til Monday..so I'm just passing a little bit of time rambling away. I wonder if I mentioned I write poetry and lyrics? It started a couple of years ago while I was at secondary school (thats high school, just in case), probably because I was going through one of those times when nothing seems to make sense so you need to write it down somewhere. It's changed alot since then and I don't write as much as I used to. I'm not exactly sure why, maybe it's just because I'm more engaged with life than I used to be, I appreciate what I have more - like family and friends and stuff.

I used to think that maybe I stopped because a couple of bad things happened, if that makes sense? When bad stuff happens, you lose something inside you, maybe it's just faith or idealism that you lose. I'm much more sceptical about things than I used to be, I lost some faith in people along the way somewhere but I think it's getting better because I've grown up a bit and I realise that the only person who has the power to change your world is you yourself, you shouldn't rely on chances to come along, you should go out there and get them. But something has changed - I'm closed to some things because I don't want to get hurt, but at the same time, my capacity for love has become more open and I really do appreciate the people in my life.

The last thing I wrote was in November, I think it's just a general feeling I had about people around me in everyday life, making assumptions about personality based on what they see or experience about you but not bothering to look any deeper and get to know you better. It was about my housemate at the time but it could apply to anyone - and my sister said once that good poetry is something that people *hopefully* relate to and can be applied to almost anyone.

Hardly Understood

It feels so hard to get,
It seems like it's time
To go;
To move on to tomorrow,
You've hardly understood
Me yet;
So why go through this?
If you're not willing
To let me know;
What's going on
In your head,
It's like losing your way -
When you already know
Where you are;
I think you've hardly
Understood me yet.
So why assume
What you think you know,
And who you think I am?
(Because) there's so much
More to know.

I hope it makes sense to someone somewhere, and no, no copying allowed! I think poetry is the kind of medium that has a lot of potential - writing books/stories and so on is great but maybe not as abstract and creative as lyrical or poetical form. Poetry doesn't have to rhyme or stick to certain formats or genres to be good. It can be imaginative or realistic - it doesn't really matter. I've always thought good poetry means something to somebody though, whether it's the author or someone else.

I've thought a bit more about my project essay - because I've been reading a book with a collection of extracts from other books and so on. Basically so far it has discussed the deaf community and sign language as a language in it's own right. I know a lot of people assume that all deaf people, on becoming or being born deaf automatically become part of a deaf community. In fact, the deaf community can be extremely discriminating itself because what happens is that deaf people (such as people like me) who have hearing parents and go to "normal" schools with hearing impaired units attached (for notetaking and support etc) and whose first language isn't BSL as they talk and use English - are thought of as not accepting that they are deaf and don't feel proud of it, of their cultural heritage.

The Deaf community accepts fully people whose first language is BSL (British Sign Language), who choose to reject the dominant hearing culture - because the dominant hearing culture, to them, discriminates and refuses to make the world accessible to deaf people. People who talk and lipread and see English as their first language are thought of as avoiding the simple fact that they are deaf. A lot of people in the deaf community see 'hearing' people as the enemy, the hearing world as not their world.

But what of deaf people who use English and lipread but also use BSL (like myself, my friends and sister)? I think it's a more modern view to say that getting the best of both worlds, hearing and deaf, means that you should be able to communicate with both. A lot of people I know feel very strongly about deaf rights and access to everything in society, myself included, and although I have great respect for all deaf people, no matter what their communication choice, it helps to be able to put your issues across to the hearing world by talking or writing. I feel that deaf people need to be more receptive to the hearing world if they want to make things better for them and other deaf people. People don't know what you need until you tell them, and this certainly applies to deaf and hearing people both.

Theres also a massive dominant view in society, especially among health professionals and psychologists, that deafness is something to be "cured". I've been eligible for cochlear implants but decided to turn them down - partly because of the awful thought of having an operation and an electronic thing on my head, and partly because I felt rebellious and that I like myself as I am, this is ME, I am Deaf.

Okay, so I wasn't discovered as being deaf until I was 6, but apparently I just covered it up very well. My world didn't seem any different to anyone else's, I was a very happy child and only when you are told you are "different" does the world change for you. I know hearing people think that becoming or being born deaf is one of the worst things ever but my life has been full of interesting experiences and lots of learning curves - mostly because I am deaf...therefore I wouldn't change it for the world. I mean, it's up to the parents or the person whether they want to "cure" their hearing loss but trying to make someone as much "normal" as possible is just oppressive and unloving.

Anyway...as I've said before, I think there has been a lot of breakthroughs in recent years: British Sign Language has been recognised as a language in it's own right, there have been a lot of developments with Access issues and I think deaf people are debating the communication issue a great deal. I just hope that they recognise that it's an individuals right to choose how they communicate, and that it's not a criticism of the deaf community if someone's first language is English. I am proud of the cultural heritage of the deaf world, and I've done my stage one BSL exam and hope to do Stage 2 at some point (there are about 3-4 stages where you learn more advanced sign language)...the sky's the limit :-)

**It's my 21st Birthday tomorrow!!!!!**

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