Deaf Culture & Volunteering: An INTJ Story

This little cowgirl is starting to volunteer at a local Deaf resource center. I have a high goal (as we INTJs do) to become fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). I took a year of ASL classes in college and continued learning through online resources. Today, I took a giant step and started interacting with the local Deaf community. I volunteered to assist with an Easter celebration and watched Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) children run happily amok. Some Children of Deaf Adults (CODAs) attended, along with hearing parents and siblings. I was in bliss as we dyed eggs, held egg relays, saw eggs crack, tossed eggs, decorated eggs and hunted for eggs. I definitely learned the sign for eggs. ASL is like magic to me–I’m transfixed by it always. It’s a beautiful language.

Then a deaf woman began signing to me. We had a brief conversation and I understood most of it, enough to get the jist. Joy and rapture— I was learning! I was contributing to society and children hunted eggs happily around me, safe and secure. Then the sweet woman asked me a question: “Would you interpret for me and ask a question about that baby?”

I think I may have peed a little.

Read more

Finding Time to Write: Oz

Finding time to write is finding time to return to Oz*–or whatever wonderland of your choice. Oz, among the other fantasy lands (Narnia, Middle Earth, Wonderland, etc.) is especially dear to me. I think I would feel comfortable there, among the land of emeralds, Cowardly Lions and Scarecrows. Life is simpler when visiting Oz; problems arise but with teamwork, good morals and a trusty Tik Tok, villains are dealt with handily. Granted the Tin Man does cut off beasts’ heads in the first book with his hatchet, but I digress…

Read more

Peanut Butter & The Brontës

There are certain things in life especially comforting to me. These things change over time, cycle out and some return like chickadees bobbing in flight to the bird feeder. Peanut butter, the staple of many an American kid’s lunch pail, has been such a thing. I’ve discovered peanut butter filled pretzels and have not returned from the land of joy and rapture yet. Here and there I frolic, stepping in time with my Labrador, plucking away at my Nintendo DS and say hello to Charlotte, Emily and Anne in their land of Gondal. Heathcliff glowers nearby, Jane gives little Adèle her next English lesson and Mr. Rochester quietly pets Pilot, smiling. These are the elements refueling me lately, giving organic fertilizer and rest to my mind. That and the 18th century horses milling about don’t hurt either.

Read more

Baby Showers: An INTJ Female Writer’s Perspective

I hate baby showers. More specifically, I detest being around large groups of women. They smack their lips, gossip, compliment each other on their blouses, their charm bracelets and delicately ask about family affairs while devouring every dripping detail. Surgery stories are swapped, pill brands and doctor’s advice exchanged and everyone secretly ranks themselves against each other.  The news gathered up is stored away in their overstuffed purses giving them neck aches and back problems, stalwart, steadfast symbols of their socioeconomic status and success. In the car, they ask their sisters and nieces what they thought of the awful food, the cute decorations and just what the hostess was thinking. I do not exaggerate. Women are subtly, and artfully, vicious. Cue harpies, banshees and the like.

Parties are grand acts and I am the jester, acting the innocent fool and observing it all quietly, hitting up the buffet line for thirds. No wonder Jesus made more wine at the wedding. Maybe it helped him get through it, too.

Read more

Firm Women & Firm Men: Perspective

Did you like how I listed women first in the title? The order rank of the genders is apparent in our culture, day in, day out. It seems only when we’re trying to be polite (“Ladies and gentlemen…”) or heroic (“Women and children first!”) does the order get reversed. In medical school, I’ve heard the male body is studied first, female second. Why, I query? No response. Doesn’t one have the babies and the other not, I continue? I learned in college “his” represents both “his” and “her” in academic writing, no need to bother with “they” or “them”. So why not “her” represent “his” and “her”, then, if it’s all the same? No response.

I don’t believe the genders were made to contradict each other and compete for survival. I think the idea should be laughable. Being different is okay; it’s not an invitation for some twisted version of this week’s “Survival of the Fittest.” Don’t make me wear shoulder pads, be aggressive, or take only two weeks for maternity leave. I believe we were made to complement each other and work alongside one another, each of our work important no matter how it’s parceled out and done. I think this compassion and respect became lost eons ago. And here we are. Ending sentences with verbs.

Read more

Blood Donation & Character Development

Today was my seventh time donating whole blood. I have a personal goal to continue donating blood as long as I’m able. I’m screened thoroughly each time, I’m thanked as well and needles and blood have never made me queasy. I find blood fascinating actually; all that rich redness is beneath my skin, all day, every day, working to keep me alive and functioning. For that I’m grateful. Dracula is, too.

Read more

Labrador Lessons II: Bark at Suspicion

The said Labrador Retriever.

We’ve owned our Labrador Retriever rescue mix for about a year now. We will celebrate her adoption day soon. During our time together she continually developed her resume and list of self-appointed duties. These duties culminated into a steadfast guarding of her people who feed her and take her on patrol marches around the parameters of her territory. Our Lab is a gentle soul, but grows protective and suspicious of the outside world. It is a scary time, after all. She reads newspapers; she knows. Read more

Joyous & Crying Kids

This past week I witnessed three great things:

  1. A child laughing in a foreign hospital thousands of miles away as my dog entertained him via video. His mother said this is helping him recover.
  2. A child crying and hugging his drug free mother who now has full custody of her children. I helped them get there, behind the scenes.
  3. I actually got to work early. Miracles do happen.

It has been a good week. Hallelujah.
Read more