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ASL’s Deaf for a Day is something all should experience

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Deaf for a Day was a great experiment that I did not think would impact me the way it did. I was expecting to just flow through the day and not learn or conceive anything positive through the day. To be honest, I just wanted to get the credit and be done with it. However, towards the end of the day, I was truly shocked of the impact this little experience had on me. Through that powerful, inspirational, and empathetic day, I learned that I was walking in someone else’s shoes, and I got to feel and see what they do daily.

When I first put in the earplugs, I was completely shocked at how I could not hear my own self and how loud I was being– that’s what shocked me the most. My first couple classes were easy to get through, but I was starting to get annoyed with the lack of communication I was receiving from my teachers and classmates. Few teachers would tell me what’s going on and would expect me to be able to know, leaving me clueless. I would have to rely on my classmate’s help, and as the class would proceed, I could tell that some of them would get bothered by me. I hated having to constantly need someone to help me when I wanted nothing more than to just do it myself. I grew tired; I just wanted to stop at this point. I restlessly wanted to scream at someone for them to understand what I needed. The day was growing to be a long game of charades that desperately needed an ending.

I did not think that I would be able to take away a thing from this day, but I have learned and experienced the struggle that some go through daily to just be able to communicate with their peers, or to just order a simple sandwich.”

At lunch I was being stared down. Because of the earplug, I was attracting weird stares from people. When I got in line to grab a sub, I realized that I could not talk– so how the heck was I going to tell the lunch lady what I wanted? I typed it. She gave me a strange look and continued to make my sandwich by reading everything I wanted off my phone. That’s when it really hit me. I cannot talk; I cannot even order a simple sandwich without it being complicated. Usually at lunch, I am the big talker and conversation starter, but I was not that day. I was left out of conversations and ignored. I found it to be too much trouble for my friends to gesture for me to figure out what was happening, so I continued to be left out. I could not imagine going through that daily and being a trouble to people, and even a bother to some.

During the sixth hour, I was starting to really hate that stupid earplug, my ears were growing sore, and I just wanted them out. I was beginning to count down the minutes away from the end of the day so I could rip those earplugs out. This made me think about how it would be like to wear hearing aids. But that would be permanent– not just for a day, like what I experienced. They would not get to take them out; they would have to wear them day in and day out. That shocked me. I could not even imagine how hard it must be to grow used to them. However, when school ended and I took out the earplugs, I was bombarded by sound. It felt as if I was being attacked by sound from all around me. It reminded me of a hurricane, because in a hurricane, water swarms into land, shocking the lives of people. That’s what it felt like when I took out the earplugs as sound erupted all around my ears, scaring me.

I can gladly say that I will walk away with some perspective on my life from this humbling experience. I did not think that I would be able to take away a thing from this day, but I have learned and experienced the struggle that some go through daily to just be able to communicate with their peers, or to just order a simple sandwich. I am proud of myself for being able to go through this day and to grow from this. I strongly suggest for people to go through with this day, because it is not just a day. It is an experience that will help you grow if you allow yourself. I would certainly go through this again to give myself a reality check once in a while when needed. Deaf for a Day definitely deserves to go on the bucket list for many people to try.

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ASL’s Deaf for a Day is something all should experience