Short Bus Culture

If you were deaf/hoh, mainstreamed, and grew up in the late 80s/early 90s….you were probably bussed.

I don’t think I ever went to my home school, I was always bussed to the school that had “special services”…which meant….riding the….
*drum roll*

It also meant you were stuck on the bus for an hour to an hour and half one way.
I was talking about this with a friend at lunch today. This topic has came up more than once among deaf/hoh friends for many different reasons. Anyways, Gretchen and I were exchanging short bus war stories. 😉 She came up with the brilliant idea that us deafies should get together and write a book about our short bus experiences.
I do think the short bus culture deserves a book all of its own. However, for the time being I’m going to post a few stories here as I think of them. I also invite my fellow readers to submit stories to be posted here.

Blue Screen of Death

I have a knack for having computer problems.

I got a the blue screen of death about 20 minutes ago. I always thought just seeing the blue screen was bad enough. Little did I know what else there was waiting for me.

One of the most….horrible….noises…..that apparently goes with the blue screen of death.

Whatever it was…it scared the heck out of me! And I thought just seeing the blue screen of death was bad enough….



is one of the best things a person can have. Unfortunately, it can be very challenging and difficult when colleges are so expensive. So many of us take education for granted.
Education should be a right, not a privilege.
I haven’t shared this with more than a couple of people but thought I would blog about it to serve as a reminder for myself down the road.
Over the years I have oftentimes thought that if I ever had enough money set aside I would create a sort of scholarship fund so people can attend college. Or even so people can actually attend high school. I had few classmates drop out of high school so they could work full-time to support their family.
One of my dreams is to give someone the gift of education…regardless of if it’s a high school or college education.

First Outfit, First Toy, First Drawing, and First Hearing Aid

Parents oftentimes save their child’s firsts. Their first outfit, haircut, toy drawing, etc. My parents saved my first hearing aid.
I was sorting through some boxes yesterday and ran across this….
My first hearing aid!
I have gone through FM systems, 5 hearing aids, and now the CI. I don’t even want to know how many HA batteries I have gone through.

For those of you who are not familiar with the old fashioned hearing aids. This is how you wore them…strapped to you. It’s not the best picture but it was the only one I could find quickly on my computer that shows clearly how I wore it. I’m not sure where the earmolds are or if I even still have them.

Apparently people in stores would come up to my parents and ask them if I was listening to the radio. 🙂
Do any of you still have your old hearing aids? It sure brings back memories!


I by far do NOT consider myself an excellent athlete. I don’t always have the best eye-hand coordination when it comes to catching balls. 😉 I have caught plenty of balls with my face….

Even though I grew up playing sports…I was always just an average athlete and that was perfectly fine with me. I didn’t care if I was the best or not. I didn’t want to get lost in the world of pressure and competitiveness that one has if they’re the top athlete on their team because that takes the fun out of it.

I never realized how important participating in sports was for me…..until graduate school.

I was involved with various sports every single year between the ages of 3 and 21. My parents actually wanted me to start gymnastics at age 2 but you had to be 3.

Sports have always been a great outlet for my energy and was a great way for me to meet people. It also taught me how to manage my time and helped me do well in school. It kept me out of trouble. It taught me how to work and interact with different people.

I’m happier when I’m involved with sports.

I had such an inconsistent schedule between all my odd jobs, rotations, and classes in graduate school that I simply could not commit to a team. It hit me hard, not being able to be as active as I usually was.

When I had time I would try to shoot some hoops, go for a bike ride, or go rollerblading. However, I was always finding myself doing those things by myself….except for shooting hoops with the occasional stranger on the court. It just wasn’t the same….

It definitely affected my mood and my self confidence.

It’s been so nice to get back into playing sports and to finally find a group who likes being active. I’m a lot happier when I get the chance to let some energy out. I’m then a lot more productive and do better work afterwards.

It also teaches a person to try new things in life. I’ve played sand volleyball, sand flag football, and dodgeball in the past 6 months. Sand flag football and dodgeball have been new sports for me.

Half the time I end up just goofing off but it’s such a wonderful release. 🙂 It is nice being on a team that doesn’t get all caught up in winning and losing…although we do like when we actually win (which isn’t often)!

It’s a MUST for me to incorporate a sort of sport in my life. I just feel better about myself which means I produce better work.

I encourage you all to get up and join a random sport. Learn something new! It can be once a week thing. Don’t worry about making a complete fool out of yourself (I do that all the time….and no one cares). Make new friends! You’ll feel good about yourself. It is a good stress reliever. Just let loose and have fun.

Ms. Hy-Vee Cashier

Dear Ms. Hy-Vee cashier,

I know we came into your store kind of late last night. However, Jessika needed to pick up some toilet paper and I was hungry.

I was in the middle of a conversation with Morgan and Marie while you rang up my pizza rolls. You did see that I had cash out and all ready for you before you even rang up the pizza rolls.

However, when I get excited in a conversation…I kind of get lost in the moment and forget things. Certain things like…not to sign with cash in my hand.

I apologize for making you lean over the counter trying to grab the cash out of my hand while I was signing. You didn’t look too thrilled at the fact that the $20 bill was flying through the air at a high speed with an unpredictable pattern of movement. I’m not sure how long you would have tried to grab the bill if it hadn’t been for Morgan who burst out into laughter at your missed attempts and told me to stop talking and give you the $20 bill. 🙂

I promise it was unintentional.



Learning a New Instrument

Why I don’t play an instrument…

My main concern is not being able to hear…’s my hands.

Arthritis and hand issues seem to run in my family. Well, what do you need to play most instruments with? Hands!

I actually was tested for some types of arthritis recently but they were ruled out (whew!). I’m still not 100% confident it’s all been ruled out. I do have Raynaud’s syndrome/phenomena which has hit me really hard this winter (I’ve had “attacks” everyday for the past 2 weeks). It was a major, major, major, challenge snowboarding too.

Sometimes I can’t even hold a piece of paper for more than 1-2 minutes without my hands cramping. I did struggle with giving presentations in graduate school because the classrooms were cold (people with Raynaud’s are more sensitive to temperature change especially cold) and my hands just wouldn’t cooperate..a bit challenging….when one uses their hands to communicate.

Anyhoo. My hands have always cramped up really quickly even when I play Guitar Hero after just 15-20 minutes…it….HURTS. I can usually ignore it but it does affect my performance in video games and even sports. I feel it even when I spend more than 5 minutes on my hair (straightening, blow drying, etc.). Most people don’t even realize it until I mention it to them because I’ve learned to ignore it for the most part and adapt in other ways.

That is probably the major challenge right now. Would my hands cooperate? I would be happy to learn an instrument without the CI and in total silence if my hands would cooperate…

I actually almost bought a beginner guitar a couple of months ago but I just didn’t know if my hands would take to it.

Honestly…I don’t think my ability to hear or not hear would affect my desire or ability to play an instrument (to a certain degree)…what would affect it would be my hands. It might take me longer to learn an instrument because I can’t hear but I know it’s possible….but…would I be able to handle it with my hands? I don’t know….

It takes me an hour or so in the mornings after I wake up before I can even get a good grip on objects…….


I still want to give it a shot at some point in my life……and I will. Believe me, I will. 🙂


I know…I know….I never did get around to my other music themed posts….maybe at some point!

The more I discuss music with my fellow CI buddies…the more I realize I did enjoy music more than most deafies did growing up. It seems like most of them didn’t enjoy music until they got their CI.

I can enjoy music with or WITHOUT sound… that weird?

I don’t know if that’s because I come from a musically inclined family (genetics?!?) and it’s natural or what…

Even to this day I can enjoy watching music videos without sound. I enjoy feeling music without sound. I enjoy reading lyrics without sound.

I also enjoy music with the CI….

I guess I never really realized how much I enjoyed music without sound…it was almost taboo to do so…..

I love the fact that I can enjoy music in so many different ways….with and without sound.

I used to know how to read music but I have forgotten how to. I really want to learn how to play an instrument this year. I can’t decide if I want to learn how to play the guitar or drums….or even the piano! I did take some keyboard/piano lessons when I was younger… I actually owned a recorder, harmonic, and keyboard when I was a kid.


I was able to understand yet another word without lip-reading tonight!

However, that word…..was kind of an PG13 rated word….hence, I’m not going to post the 5th word I understood without lip-reading. 😉

I do think I will post yet another list at some point after one of my auditory training session just to show how off I can be on so many words. It’s really a trial and error game right now.

Sometimes I can come really close to guessing the correct word…other times I can be amazingly off. It’s kind of crazy how I can be sooo close sometimes and sooooooo unbelievably ridiculously off at other times. It’s more of a 50/50 thing right now.

I don’t want to post just the positive things. I want to post the negative things too. There are pros and cons to everything in life. The most frustrating thing I faced while researching CIs was that people tended to post only the positive things…so it was difficult to prepare myself for the cons also. I hope to give people a realistic perspective on CIs with an even balance of pros and cons.

Every 2 steps I take forward, I take 1 and half backwards. What I’m struggling with right now is that sometimes things sounds quieter than they originally did. I don’t know if that’s because I’m adapting to the sounds themselves or if I need a new map. How does one know if they need a new map anyways?!? I haven’t quite figured that one out yet….

It’s a gamble. It’s not something I can rely on right now. It’s fascinating to me from a science perspective…..

It is a lifelong process. One that I have came to accept and am learning to embrace. What keeps me going is when I realize I’m learning something new. It’s taught me that I really do love learning new things in general.

I didn’t really understand why so many people blogged about their CIs as a journey until recently. I have learned so many life lessons from my CI other than just learning how to hear. It is truly a journey. I guess initially I didn’t like the idea of it being called journey because to me that meant there was no real end to the journey….but I have came to accept that there is no end to my CI journey. It’s SO much more than learning how to hear.

The best thing about getting the CI is….

….nope, not just hearing…BUT….

….finally, accepting and being HAPPY (yes, HAPPY) that I am deaf…..

My CI is simply a tool….if anything else, it has taught me to be happy with who I am….and I am deaf…..and I am happy to be deaf, regardless of the frustrations it may bring at times… To me, that is priceless…..

A bit ironic? It took one of the most powerful “hearing” device to make me realize how lucky I am to be deaf…..

Once again, don’t misinterpret what I am saying….I am always and will always be thankful for what the CI has provided me. I am always amazed at what I have gained from the CI on a daily basis…..and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…just like I wouldn’t trade being deaf for anything else. I would be crushed if my CI failed but I would get through it and would fight to be re-implanted…

A bit confusing, eh? Welcome to my world. 🙂 My world is not black and white….it’s multi shades of gray…..