Thursday, January 31, 2008

I may start drinking Pepsi

This ad will run on Sunday during the Super Bowl. I am sooooo extremely excited! I am going to dork out on ASL for just a moment, so bear with me, or just stop reading. This ad is incredible for many reasons, but my favorite reason is this; most people will only meet one or two Deaf people in their whole lives. Perception of the Deaf community has been skewed by prejudices and by poor representatives like Marlee Matlin and Heather Whitestone. This ad does a great job at exposing the Deaf community to the world, even if it is only for 60 seconds, and showing that many Deaf people live very normal lives. Most people don't even know that the Deaf community has a long and rich history and their own culture! I don't think that this commercial will change the world, but if it gets one or two people

Some interesting facts about Deafness and Deaf history:

-Alexander Graham Bell (hailed as an American hero for his inventions) headed an American Council on Eugenics (cleansing of the races, Hitleresque stuff) and recommended that Deaf people should not be allowed to get married AND that to prevent passing the Deaf gene, they should be sterilized. Many women were sterilized after their first pregnancy without their knowledge or consent by "well meaning doctors" who got consent from the parents

-Over 90% of all Deaf children are born to hearing parents

-Only about 10% of hearing mothers learn sign language (the number for fathers is much smaller). Can you imagine not communicating above a 3 year old level with your child? For their whole life?!?

-Cochlear implants (a surgery that can be done to try to restore hearing) is opted by many hearing parents to try to "fix" their children and to make them more like their parents. Unfortunately, that surgery destroys any residual hearing the child may have, so if the surgery fails then the child is left stone deaf. The success rate is somewhere between 5-10%. Devastating.

-Users of ASL cherish their language, it is one of the foundations for their culture. Most Deaf people do not want to be hearing, they love their deafness and the family that they have within the community. Hearing people don't see the culture, they only see what they consider a flaw.

I really could go on forever, but I'm sure that my sister Meghan is going to give me enough crap about my preachiness, so I'm going to end with a thought. Learning both sides to every story will always work out better for you in the end. I hope that a young mother with a Deaf baby sees this ad on Sunday and doesn't just blindly follow her doctor's advice, but that she explores the other side. Then she will know that real success is possible.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hello, my name is Rachel...and I'm an addict

I remember being in English class at Taft Jr. High School in San Diego while the "cool girls" talked about the previous days episode of 90210. They even alluded to calling each other DURING the show. This idea perplexed me. I couldn't imagine watching something on TV while talking on the phone about what we were both watching at our respective houses. Since Jr High, I have yet to have one of those typical girl relationships. And I've been okay with that!

This is where everything will come together.....wait for it....Here goes. My mom and I started watching "America's Next Top Model" separately. A few seasons ago we discovered our mutual passion and have been the obsessive, giggly high school, teeny boppers ever since. It is amazing! I think it has actually improved our mother/daughter relationship. Yep. Over reality TV.

If it were just ANTM, you might not call me an addict, but it is actually about most reality TV in general. Others I love are "American Idol", "So You Think You Can Dance" (I'm here Benji, come find me), "Rock of Love" (I know, super trashy) and most dating shows.

When I lived in San Diego I found a soul mate in Callie Victor. She watches all the same shows and I had a live-in Jr High buddy! It is refreshing to find those kindred spirits, they make you feel like your addictions are normal. Is that what alcoholics and gamblers feel like?

I Heart Charlie

I may just force my children to abuse each other as I follow them around with that wrong? Oh yeah, I may also have a mandatory "English accents only" rule in my house until they reach age 8. After 8, it's just creepy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

School, Home and living in Utah County

My life is extremely different now that I live in Utah. I was skeptical about my feelings regarding leaving San Diego, but I think I have found my niche. I am loving going to school full time (18 credits this semester! gulp!) and work is amazing. I still miss San Diego, but I miss the people more than anything.

So, I am in a really cool program called ACIPP (Advanced Certification Interpreter Preparation Program). The requirement for this program is that you must be a certified interpreter wanting to advance to a higher level of certification. The ACIPP pays for my school, gives me a living stipend and gave me an 80 GB iPod! The best part though....the classes, my peers and the teachers are amazing. I know that they will help to mold me into the super fantastic interpreter that I want to be. Hooray!

I live in what we lovingly refer to as "The Pink House". Our house is painted a light shade of pink, but I think that this coming Spring it will be repainted by me and my enthusiastic roommates. Repainted a much deeper shade of pink (if I have anything to say about it!!!) It is a bit odd to live in a house around here, unless you live with your parents, but I was lucky enough to run into an old friend who had an opening in her house. I adore my sweet roommates, it is such a great set up, I really couldn't ask for a better situation.

For work, I feel overly blessed. I interpret at my school AND just recently started team teaching a beginning ASL class at a local high school. I love interpreting and I am loving teaching so far. The students are WAY cooler than I ever was in high school.

I promise that after this, my posts will get way cooler and way funnier. Don't you worry, good ole' Rachel will pull'll get a good ab work out reading my posts :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Blog Title Says it All

I have considered making the leap into bloggerdom for quite a while now. So of course, I do it now, 10:30 at night and I need to be doing homework and going to bed so that I can get up at 6am. I have problems, but if you're reading this, you already knew that.

I have always enjoyed writing (which is odd because I can't seem to keep a journal), so a blog should be a natural fit for me. Or it will bring about my ultimate destruction, I'm fine with either. My roommate, Eliza, is an avid blogger and because I look up to her so much and am such a goes...

Sorry for making the first post so short and not so sweet, my next one will be the typical, "Guess What I Did in 2007?" post as to catch everyone (all 2 of you) up on my comings and goings. I can't wait!!!!