Many PCTs decided to go to church with their host family last Sunday. I chose not to but I do hope to eventually go at some point during my training since it would be a good way to learn more about the community. I also plan on checking out a local Deaf church with the other PCTs.
I chose not to go to church because I frankly already knew what kind of experience I might get. I have gone to church many times without a sign language interpreter and it’s so hard to follow what is being said in a big place (hard to see to lipread and acoustics isn’t great).
PCTs who went to church last Sunday had a good experience and want to go again. However, many of their comments bought back a lot of memories of my experiences as the only deaf person at a church.
Some of the comments I got from the other PCTs:
–I got excited when I heard random English words here and there. I couldn’t understand anything except for that split second.
–I stuttered when they asked me to stand up and introduce myself. I wasn’t sure if I understood what they wanted me to do.
–I was embarrassed when I was asked to stand up and say my name. I didn’t know if what I was doing was right because I couldn’t understand them.
It’s kind of nice to know it’s not just me who seem to get shy/awkward/lose self-confidence when I’m in a situation where I can’t understand what is going on….it appears to be a normal reaction. The only difference is that this is new to my fellow PCTs but this is something I’ve lived with everyday as a deaf person.