A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered at a Deaf festival. I was put in charge of the kid’s area. Think coloring, simple games and some arts and crafts. I chased balls, I colored in teddy bears, I said goodbye to balls I’d never find again underneath dusty bleachers and I handed out prizes. Mostly, I listened to what the kids had to say–either through signing or verbally. You learn a lot about kids, just by being present.
Towards the end of the day, I started cutting kids off on candy to ensure they still had their teeth at age 20 (and that I still had my sanity at lunch.). Shortly after, the concept of sharing came up…repeatedly. (I really believe kids have a tendency to hoard resources sometimes). At another point in the day, the Saint cut off a Lord of the Flies scenario from emerging with an older group of boys competing at our cornhole station. To top it off, one of the festival booths handed out Frisbees as their giveaway. Hooray. We were indoors, mind you, with hundreds of people milling about. And most of them were focused on signing. What could possibly go wrong?*
At one point an interpreter came up to me and inquired about the Deaf Kid’s Club banner we had proudly hanging up behind our area. The interpreter and I made small talk inbetween me plucking out blue and green crayons for the kid’s masterpieces. The interpreter said something that made my volunteer experience all the more vivid:
“There’s not a lot of opportunities for Deaf kids to get out and play and socialize. This is really wonderful, what you’re doing.”
Something inside of me twinged. It’s 2018, lady. Are you kidding me?
Continue reading “Deaf Culture: Volunteering at a Deaf Festival (Humor/Inclusivity)”
My flash fiction for Carrot Ranch. Mosey on over and see what all the hubbub’s about. Charli’s got some contests coming up, too, so check it out.
Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Parade of Clowns”
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.
Continue reading “Deaf Culture & Volunteering: An INTJ Story”
This past week I witnessed three great things:
- 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.
- 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.
- I actually got to work early. Miracles do happen.
It has been a good week. Hallelujah.
Continue reading “Joyous & Crying Kids”