In DO-IT, FM Means "Funny Moment"
Early this winter one of the DO-IT Scholars posted the following message to the discussion list for participants with hearing impairments.
- Hi everybody! I think it would be great to share with the group funny experiences having to do with being deaf. Here's one of mine.
Several months ago I had an appointment with the head of a consulting firm about possible jobs. The firm head led me from the waiting room to his office and sat me down across his desk from him. He looked at me for several seconds. In retrospect, I realize he must have been staring at the ear molds for my hearing aids. They are quite large, whitish, and very conspicuous. He then said, "Do you have bad ear infections today?" thinking that my molds were big cotton puffs!
A lively exchange followed. Here are some of the stories shared.
- It's happened more than once that someone will come up to me and ask me if I'm from France or Germany or Switzerland or some European country because of my "accent." You can imagine the shock on their faces when I tell them I have a hearing impairment and some of them act embarrassed... Do people think you guys have accents too?
- If I had a penny for every time someone asked me if I was from France... :) "Bonjour!" That's hello in french in case you are not french speaking. :) I'm not either and that's all the french I know! :) Hmmmm...Funny experiences? I think I could write a book on them especially when related to my hearing impairment! :) Ok. There was this one guy in my History class...he had my number for a reason, I can't remember if it was for a date or for school. Anyway...He kept calling me all the time and everytime I would have to say "Jordan!! I'm deaf! Don't call me on the phone!" Like...HELLO!! You would think he would get it, but the poor guy kept this up for probably about 2 weeks. Thank goodness when he FINALLY got the idea! :)
- Yeah ummm I have quite a bit of hearing so my voice isn't very distinctive to make people think I have an accent. So in other words I talk just like a normal guy except for when I don't have my hearing aids on, guess what??? BEWARE!!! I'm VERY VERY loud (cuz I can't hear!!!) and with my hearing aids...I can hear myself so I can control my tone.
- Today I was walking backwards down the hallway at school trying to watch my interpreter and my deaf classmate talk in sign language (I sign too). I hate having to turn my head to the side to see them so I walked backwards...and a teacher was walking and I almost crashed into him and he said "Watch where you're going or I'll send you to the dean." He was kinda stupid but there was plenty of room for him to go around the 3 of us...hehehe...but I told him I was sorry as well. It was funny afterwards.
- Okay. My sophomore year of high school. My math teacher decided to leave for a minute. At that time I was using an FM system. Our class was working on some problems. You guys know that if you leave the room with the FM system, it doesn't mean that the sound stops transmitting! :) Well I heard some running water and so I figured I better save myself and my teacher from a major embarrassment, and I turned my fm off. A few minutes later, I heard my name, right in front of me. I looked up and it was my teacher. His face as red as a beet! "I was just washing my hands, okay?" It was rather funny!
Another incident with this teacher is that he went over to tell another student how to solve a problem and I could hear him clear across campus!! :) FM systems really made my days interesting!!
- I use an FM system for school too. In fifth grade, my teacher walked out of the room with the FM still on. I heard trickling water...he didn't just wash his hands - he actually went to the bathroom. It was funny for me and embarrassing for him.
- ...hahaha! I've had the same experience! And the teacher had no idea and after class I told him I was scheduling an FM Embarrassment seminar just for the teachers who use the FM system...we make jokes about it now.
- Another FM incident...I had a biology teacher who was a major coffee drinker. Every day I had to sit there and listen to him drink his coffee! Gulp! Gulp! It was annoying!
- You know how teachers always turn away from the class when they blow their noses. Well WE always get the best sound effects of various levels of colds. There's those little sniffles all the way to the nasty phlemy coughing and blowing. I always got grossed out during the cold season!! :)
- I am learning a lot from you and all about the FM devices!! And I am appreciating the humor as well as the reality check about FM devices!! I have never used one. I became Deaf after high school and when I was in Graduate school I used sign language interpreters but I work with children now who may use the FM systems and you all's insight and experiences is teaching me a lot!! Thank you and most of all thank you for your spirit and humor which for me is the thing that gets me through most days!!!