The Fun Theory

I’m all for spicing things up a bit and making life a bit more fun! 😀

I happened to see this website about The Fun Theory.

“This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.”

Bottle Bank Arcade Machine
“Many of us return our plastic bottles and cans. Noticeably fewer recycle their glass. Maybe that’s because we don’t get any money in return, as we do for cans and plastic. Can we change this attitude by making recycling glass fun to do? So you are not just rewarded with a good conscience, you also get a smile. See the results here.”

Piano Staircase
“Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better” is something we often hear or read in the Sunday papers. Few people actually follow that advice. Can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do? See the results here”

The World’s Deepest Bin
“To throw rubbish in the bin instead of onto the floor shouldn’t really be so hard. Many people still fail to do so. Can we get more people to throw rubbish into the bin, rather than onto the ground, by making it fun to do? See the results here.”
There’s actually a couple of women signing in this video clip.


I have several blogs that I blog on. This blog has focused mostly on everyday life occasions and deaf topics.

I do have a personal blog…one that is restricted to only a few friends (private). I tend to blog more about non-deaf related topics on that blog. So, yes there is more to me than what I post here. 🙂 This is a public blog.

I also blog on DNAExchange. I keep meaning to copy/paste my posts from there onto this blog to share with a wider range of audience. It is targeted towards genetic counselors but I think others may enjoy reading it also. There are many good posts written by a variety of people…go check them out at DNAExchange.

My posts so far:
July 2009:When the Line Between Being a Friend and a Genetic Counselor Becomes Fuzzy
August 2009: Label Jars…..Not People
October 2009: How to Work With Interpreters

Two Gifts

I’ve mentioned this a few times throughout my blog but I haven’t really expanded on it. I don’t know the best way to but here’s my first shot at it. I have started this blog post several times but I usually end up deleting it because I just can’t seem to figure out the best way to 100% express what I’m trying to say. Not even sure this will make any sense but maybe it will be a good starting point.

All my life, I always felt like I was missing out on something because I couldn’t hear. People thought it was sad I couldn’t hear. People thought I couldn’t enjoy the world around me because I couldn’t hear. That negative attitude made me miss out on what being deaf had to offer me.

Sure, people feel “sorry” for me because I can’t hear. Frankly I feel just as “sorry” for them because they can hear.

Don’t get me wrong. I love hearing with my CI and hearing aid. I would never take them for granted. I wear them everyday even though they just give me environmental awareness and not speech discrimination. If my CI were to ever fail *knock on wood* I would 100% want to be reimplanted.

However, I love not being able to hear too. When I take my CI off things just become sharper and the colors become brighter. I notice things that hearing people don’t notice. When I visit a place I’ve never been to…I like to experience it with sounds and without sounds.

For example, when we hiked a 14Ker in Colorado earlier this year…with the CI, I could hear the wind blowing, birds, us walking, us huffing and puffing, streams, etc. It did make it harder to focus on the visual things and I felt like I was missing out on the beauty around me so I turned it off for some of the hike. It wasn’t until then that I started noticing the finer details of trees, the way water flowed around rocks, all the colors of the sunrise, the way the sunshine was hitting the mountain, subtle facial expressions on my fellow hikers’ faces that made me smile on the inside, etc.

Yes, I know hearing people notice those things too but I truly feel like they don’t get to appreciate it as much because they’re being stimulated by an additional sense that overrides some of the things they’re taking in visually.

Funny how when I was younger I took it for granted that I was deaf and didn’t think there was really anything positive about being deaf. The older I get, the more I wish hearing people could experience what it’s like to be deaf because they do miss out on things. Although every once in a while it’s nice to have a world of my own, a world that belongs to me.

Frankly, if I had a choice between experiencing what it’s like to be a hearing person for a day or give the gift of what it’s like to be deaf to those around me for a day. I would want those around me to be deaf for a day…because I think it would be a gift for them to see the fine details that this world has to offer us. I think people would be amazed at how much they overlook because of all the senses they have.

If all the hearing people around me became deaf for one day I would cram everything into that day. I would take them to a waterfall, on a subway ride, on a hike, and to a music concert. Just to show them how much fun it can be to experience those things as a deaf person.

Sometimes it does bother me that I can’t share what I experience as a deaf person with hearing people.

Being able to hear is a gift. Being deaf is a gift. I have 2 gifts. I’m very thankful for both gifts.

Libraries are NOT Quiet

I’m at the local library working on stuff for work.

I don’t care what people say, libraries aren’t quiet.

People coughing

Humming of computers, fluorescent lights, etc.

People talking

People putting stuff away in their bags or getting stuff out

Noisy kids

Chairs being moved

Books being put away

Yes, libraries are quieter than the average public place but definitely not as quiet as I had always assumed they were.

I decided to take my CI off to focus on work better. That’s one of the perks of being deaf….you have an “off” button and can turn the world of sounds off.

However, I did forget to check the volume of my laptop after I turned the CI off. I was watching the ASL music video I recently posted with the volume on…..and didn’t realize the sound was on for a while. Oops….I was probably the loudest person in the library at that time. Once again I proved there is some truth to the idea that deaf people are loud even though we can’t hear. 😉

ASL Music Video

Sometimes I don’t think people really realize that ASL is a language of its own.

I keep meaning to recruit a few friends to do a vlog to show the difference between ASL, CASE/PSE, and SEE2. It hasn’t happened yet, but I should do it sometime soon.

I grew up using SEE2 which follows spoken English word order. ASL is more concept based and is NOT a written language. However, you can “gloss” ASL which is the closest you can come to “writing” ASL. “Glossing” is basically writing down the sign + movement of the sign + facial expressions.

ASL is by far not my native language yet I had to use ASL and CASE interpreters in graduate school. Oy! Trying to translate genetic concepts from ASL into English during a 3 hour class and during rotations was challenging at times. Translating genetic concepts into ASL so that interpreters could understand me without losing the meaning…was…challenging!

I would actually ask interpreters to mouth the words because not everything gets translated word for word. So whatever I didn’t get from ASL I would lipread.

Below is a video I happened to see. It’s not the best ASL video I’ve seen but it gives you a general idea of how ASL is different from spoken English in terms of the language structure. The person in the video is signing in ASL. Click on the caption buttons on the bottom right of the video. He provides English subtitles on the top and ASL “glossing” on the bottom.

Couch to 5K Plan and Asthma


I’ve always loved to run. Sprinting to be more specific.

I’ve always HATED any kind of distance runs. I was never good at the 1 mile run in elementary school but I was good at sprinting.

I even did track during 8th grade. After a whole season of running I still couldn’t do a mile run without stopping to catch my breath. I did the 100m and 200m dashes which I loved.

I just don’t have the endurance for any sort of distance runs.

Of course it doesn’t help that I have asthma.

I’m just glad I have a very mild type of asthma and not a more severe type. I’ve never had any major serious asthma attacks. I just get out of breath quicker than others. There were days where I could barely go up and down the stairs to the classroom in the basement of my graduate school building without feeling exhausted from trying to catch my breath.

I still have those days where I can’t go up 10 steps without feeling out of breath. I tend to ignore it and most people don’t notice until I start wheezing or I say something. I usually hide it pretty good on a daily basis except when I do things like hike a 14Ker. 😉

It has always bothered me that I don’t have the endurance for running. I have tried to start the Couch to 5K plan a few times over the past couple of years. I’ve never made it past the 4th week because I get bored with it and I get frustrated with the whole breathing issue. Right now I have one more run in week 4 then I get to move onto week 5.

I decided to be more serious about it this time around and switch things up a bit. I change my environment more often to spice things up (I do not run the same trail or path two days in a row). I also bought the Nike+ that syncs with my iTouch and it calculates the distance, speed, calories, etc. It even has a mini me (really cute!) who does tricks if I have a good run (the other day it did a victory dance and rode an unicycle). The Nike+ was exactly what I needed. I need to see my progress visually and I just love trying to outdo my last run in order to see what my mini me will do. I can even buy clothes for my mini me with the numbers of miles I run.

Most people who run set goals of distance and speed. My goal is simply to run a 5K without stopping. That is a major challenge for me. Some days I start wheezing after running for just 1 minute. I’m also hoping it’ll help me when we go to Colorado in January to snowboard…I do NOT want another mini asthma attack at top of the mountain like I had last year.

11 runs down, 16 more to go…to complete this workout program. I’m not sure if I will keep it up once I reach my goal or not. It depends on how much I enjoy it. I just want to prove to myself that I can run a 5K without stopping.

Today was probably the first day out of all 11 runs that I felt like I didn’t have asthma while I was running. So much of it depends on the weather too. It was one of those rare runs where I have an idea of what it’s like to not have asthma. One of my best runs so far too. 🙂

My Only Complaint About Music

My only complaint about music.

I want to listen to it all the time….

And that’s a complaint you ask?

Well, it can slow down my “to do list” at times. Especially when I’m working on something and a good song comes on…next thing I know…I’m bopping my head along to the beat. 😉

One reason why I like being plugged into music aside from the fact that I enjoy music is it drowns out all the other background noises that I haven’t made sense of yet. It’s kind of my escape from a world of noises I don’t understand.

I’m just glad I’m able to enjoy music with the CI. That was one of my concerns before I got the CI because CIs aren’t made for music. CIs are made for speech sounds. Some people report not being able to enjoy music with their CIs. I’ve been able to enjoy music with hearing aids so that was something I was afraid I would lose.

Another thing I’ve discovered recently is that it’s okay to like music. Growing up I always felt like I wasn’t supposed to like music because I was deaf. Hearing people didn’t understand why I liked music and that I could enjoy it in a different way than they did. Deaf people thought I was trying to be hearing by enjoying music and would kind of resent it.

I’ve always felt odd when I tell people I like music…until now that is. I’ve finally found a nice little group who not only love music but enjoy talking about it. The funny thing is…we all happen to have CIs too.

It may sound silly but I finally feel like its ok or acceptable for me to enjoy music in the way I do.

If I had my way I would be plugged into my iTouch all day long.

NSGC Conference

I posted this a week or two ago and then deleted it. I have decided to repost it.

Soo….the annual NSGC (National Society of Genetic Counselors) conference is coming up.

I cannot decide if I want to go or not. In the past I’ve known a good number of people who go. I am able to network through them. I kind of get the feeling that I won’t know as many people there this year. It makes such a huge difference when I know people because I’m more used to lipreading them and they know to face me when talking to me, etc. I have been able to meet and interact with their coworkers which allows me to network. These people see me communicating with my genetic counselor buddies and they then become more comfortable around me. Whereas if they don’t see how to communicate with me they kind of back off because it’s out of their comfort zone.

It’s really difficult to network when you’re profoundly deaf at a chaotic conference. It’s like the LEAST ideal place to try and lipread people.
–So noisy
–So many distractions
–Groups of people

Frankly, a tiny pet peeve of mine is when hearing people complain about being exhausted and overwhelmed at these conferences. It does wear a person out whether they are hearing or deaf.

Only if they were in my shoes. When everyone’s out mingling with other people in between lectures…I’m 100% completely lost and feel out of place. I feel like a wallflower. I can’t just jump into a conversation because I have no clue what is being said.

It’s also very exhausting to watch an interpreter and lipread strangers for 14 hours straight. Half the time I end up with a headache at the end of the day.

It has been extremely difficult for me to network at past conferences and I cannot figure out the best way to approach this. It is really difficult when there’s over 1,000 people out in the hallways…the background noise is just really hard to handle when lipreading.

I’m just trying to be realistic because I would be paying for this conference out of my pocket and I want to be sure that I can walk away with what I want to which is networking. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to network at such a fast paced conference.

I’m also concerned about the hotel costs. I did find a hostel nearby but there’s no way I would walk there after dark (downtown Atlanta) by myself so that’s out of question. I can’t find anyone to roommate with. At past conferences I’ve actually slept on the floor of hotel rooms or a cot just so I could go to the conference (and help keep the cost down for others I’m sharing a room with also).

I almost hate to say this but if I were hearing this decision would be easier. I would know for sure I would be able to network successfully.

Conferences are so stressful even though I love them. I love meeting new people and learning more about genetics stuff.

I guess I just see these conferences as an investment for myself. I’m just very conflicted as to if this would be a good investment for me or not. Would I get my money worth in terms of networking? That’s a toughie.

If it was a smaller conference…no problem.