Thursday, September 27, 2007

Growing up Deaf - Part 16

Attending College - Part 3

I was most likely one of the few deaf people at NTID who didn't have a TTY. My family didn't need it, as I could use voice on the phone and I had hearing aids on. I was able to keep using voice on the phone for a little time til shortly after graduation, then gave up trying as amplified phones were too expensive. I tried a couple things from Radio Shack, but they didn't always help. Speakerphones did nicely for me. Later, I quit trying to use the phone and had a hearing person help out til the relay came along. That meant dialing an 800 number. Cheers of joy were most likely heard when we could use the relay via instant messaging and the web.

Paintball was introduced to me, and I found it to be a rather fun game to play on some weekends. Sure, I had my share of hitting the other team, including being shot in a few spectacular or interesting ways. Another friend was on the other team, and I somehow came across him maybe 100 feet away in the thin trees and despite all our shooting at each other, we never hit each other though his ball bounced off me. My gun jammed halfway through our shooting match when a paintball broke inside. I ran down the hill to a path and I came across the judge who told me that it was the end of the game. Another game I hid behind a dirt 'wall' and kept shooting at this other person, but he managed to nail me first with the paintball bruising the side of my neck before breaking on my arm.

One particular game had us get close up to each other and I was on my stomach on the ground shooting the other team. I was hit, but even after putting my head down quickly after taking a second shot, they were still shooting at me and it took a judge to get them to stop.

Years later, I attended a community college in northern VA, going into their network security program. I was required to take an elective in english or theatre. You can guess what I chose. The class had 3-4 other course sections within, all of whom were studying various aspects of stage. We decided to do Macbeth. Another person and I did some of the lighting and other stage setups. We captioned two of the performances, something the instructor wanted to do. This will be the subject of another blog post, an update of my Poor Man's Captioning (or Subtitling) Device located on

I graduated in 2005 with honors. The ceremony was at George Mason University. Halfway through the ceremony, the noise started drowning out the master of ceremonies.

Next - Extracurricular/outside of school.

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