Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Have You Heard...?

Well, after all that drama of pulling allnighters and studying, I think my midterm yesterday went amazingly well, alhamdu'lillah, and today I actually managed to convince myself to finish an outline for a human development paper. I was half-inclined to skip the whole deal, so it took quite a lot of effort to pull it off. Even then, I madly typed up the outline in the ten minutes before it was due. Yay for me! Been a crazy few days though. Two-and-a-half allnighters in four days. Oh so exciting, yup.

It’s weird, but last-minute studying generally works for me. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the fact that, as a procrastinator, I’ve had to adapt to these slacker tendencies of mine and learn how to maximize my studying at the last minute, since I know I’m not going to make an effort to learn much in advance. Yesterday, I got to the lecture hall about 25 minutes before the midterm began, and then sat there doing some last-minute reviewing and cramming. And whaddaya know, I think I learned and retained more knowledge in those 25 minutes than I actually did during all those insane allnighters. lol. Osmosis rocks, yo.

That just reminded me of an incident from freshman year... I was rushing down a hallway so I could make it to a midterm on time, walking quickly, in my own little world, scanning a sheaf of papers raised at eye-level in a desperate effort to cram for a test that I had barely studied for. This random girl from my class was walking alongside me, busily smirking at my expression of intense concentration. Finally, she remarked patronizingly, "The way I see it, if you don't already know it by now, there's really no point at all in cramming at the last minute." I felt like smacking her. Instead, I restrained myself, raised an eyebrow, and shot back, "I'm not particularly surprised it doesn't work for you, but last-minute reviewing is a skill that I can pull off." She just shut up then. She was lucky she caught me on a stressed-out day when I had other, more important, things to worry out, otherwise I would have seriously lashed out. lol. Word of advice: Try not to piss the Yaz off, ok? She will beat you down. Thank you for your cooperation. :-D

So I missed halaqa on Sunday morning, thanks to my exhaustive allnighters and my bouts of studying up on campus. I always miss the fun stuff, darnit... Turns out one of the things they did in halaqa was, each girl wrote her name at the top of an otherwise blank sheet of paper, and then they passed 'em around the circle and everyone had to write something cool about each person. One thing I couldn't help noticing on my paper: EVERYONE wrote some variation of "funny" or "hilarious" for me. Woohoo! That made my day. Seher called me a crackhead. You swear like I can't recognize your handwriting, woman. lol j/k. Not like you were trying to be undercover or anything. lol. I liked the "A pro humble sister who got a lot going on!" part. How does one become "pro humble," is what I wanna know. Tell me, oh great Seher, my fellow cracked-out woman. Graaaaaaaand. hahaha. Oh! And someone else put down "best-dressed." LOL! Thank ya, thank ya veddy muchos. :) k, yeah, I'm finally gonna shut up about that. You know, contrary to what you might be thinking from this post so far, I really can't handle compliments. I think I did a whole post on that once, way back when. Back when I first started blogging.

Ok, I'm posting one of my random AIM away messages in here (and yes, in case you didn't know, ALL of my away messages are random, yo):

When you're having issues hearing someone's question and you've lost all patience, both with them and yourself, there are always three safe answers to fall back on...also known as the "b.s. answers"...“Yes,“ "No,” and “I don't know." Speaking from personal experience though, “I don't know," is a REALLY BAD answer to use...especially when someone asks you something you freakin BETTER know...such as, "What's your name?" or, even funnier, "Where're you from?"

This actually happened to me last week, when I got a phone call to set up an interview for an internship I had applied for a couple weeks ago (more on it later...I think it'll merit a whole post). I was talking to Seher and Somayya, and my cell phone rang. So I answered it, and this nice-sounding lady said, "Hi, I'm calling for Yasmine," so I was like, "Yes, that's me," and she said something that I didn't catch, so I was like, "I'm sorry, what was that?" And she repeated her well-intentioned question, and I sooo couldn't get it, so she had to repeat it once more. I mean, I could hear her voice, but somehow my brain just couldn't process the combination of words...I couldn't differentiate between the words themselves. Ehhh, whatever, I dunno how to explain it. But finally, I just gave up and kinda mumbled, "Uhhh, I'm not sure," and there was this awkward silence at her end, before she moved on to the topic of setting up an interview time. After I hung up, I went back to talking to Soms and Seher. A few minutes later, Seher was like, "Oh, and by the way, Yaz, you know what that woman was asking you? She said, 'Did I say your name right?' And you said, 'I'm not sure.'" HAHAHAHA. omg. I just about died laughing. So much for my genius b.s. answers. *sigh* Leave it to the Yaz, yo.

It's so wrong though, when people sitting next to me can hear stuff on my phone better than I can. Isn't that messed up?? I think it is. lol. Actually, my phone has such major reception that I can't really have private convos on it while sitting near someone else, cuz they can hear just as much of the convo as I can. Sooo wack. lol. I'm in love with my cell phone though. It's cute-lookin, and it rocks because (USUALLY, ok) I can hear EVERYTHING on it. Which is really a big deal, actually. When I first started college a couple years back, my dad bought me a cell phone since I was going to be on the road so much. An elegant little LG cell with a flip-top. *siiiigh* I sooo miss that phone, man. You don't even know. But my telephone plan was with MCI-WorldCom, and then those nerds went bankrupt, so last summer I had to switch over to my daddy-o's AT&T plan. Problem with that was, those freaks of nature over at AT&T wouldn't accept my cell phone under any of their plans. So I got a Nokia instead. One of those cutesy little ones that everyone and their mama has. Problem with THAT was that, as far as my hearing loss and I were concerned, the darn Nokia phones were only good for lookin' at, since it turned out they weren't compatible with hearing aids. I was like, wtf. I had that phone for 2 weeks, and I hated that freakin' piece of plastic with a passion. I couldn't hear jack off it, whether I was calling people or they were calling me. It would ring, and I would pull it out of my bag, look at the caller ID, answer it, be like, "Hello? What? What? Whaaaat? Ok, you know what, I can't hear you. Call me later on at home or something, ok? Bye" and then hang up all aggravated, without having heard a word of anything the person on the other end had said. After a few days of that, I just gave up on even answering it. The only thing that phone was good for was checking out the time, since I didn't have a watch. hahaha. Then I got an Ericsson. It's cute too, and we're good buddies, yupyup. Works out perfectly.

Phones are such drama, man. We have...one, two, three, four...count 'em, FOUR, regular phones at my house (not including cell phones), and there's only ONE of those that I feel comfortable using. The remaining are all annoying cuz they lack volume control, or the reception just isn't all that compatible with my hearing aids. So even if I'm sitting right next to one of those annoying phones when it rings, I refuse to pick it up, even if no one else is around. Or sometimes I run across the house to the one phone I love. Either way, it drives my family insane. They're like, "Answer the phone already! You're sitting right next to it!" I'm just like, Whatever, yo. Psshhhh. Oh, and closed-captioning rockt das Haus, says the Yaz. That's another thing that annoys the heck out of my family. But they can't say anything against it, cuz they know I have good excuses for needing it. Isn't that perfect? Muahahahaha. :-D

A lot of this post came about because I went link-hopping through my sitemeter and somehow or another ended up at LillyAnne's website. It's majorly interesting, especially since she's deaf/hard-of-hearing herself, and there's a whole section on her site devoted to "Deaf Resources." Go read the poems. NOW!! Good stuff. Trust me. Makes you think. Dude, I so want to learn sign language soon. I've been talking about it for years, but I'm always so busy with my regular college classes that I can't fit it in. *sigh*

Oh yeah, so the reason I got all sidetracked on talking about my hearing issues in this post was because I came across a post of LillyAnne's regarding how to effectively communicate with hard-of-hearing people. Yeah, so just in case any of you ever meet me in real life (not that I'm saying that'll happen or anything; that's just my example, ok)...and then let's say you're so busy madly chewing on your candy bar or friench fries, and of course keeping your gaze lowered like a good Muslim child should, or maybe you just have Attention Deficit Disorder and it's impossible for you to concentrate on making lengthy eye contact with the person you're conversing with...well, you might wanna take the following into consideration. lol.

Communicating with Hard of Hearing People

Remember, a hearing aid does not mean the individual hears normally. There still may be difficulty hearing, even when wearing the hearing aid, especially in noisy situations and rooms with poor acoustics.

Speak slowly and clearly, taking care to round off words without exaggerating. Don't shout. You may have to raise your voice a little, but shouting will only distort your words and could cause severe discomfort and/or embarrassment to the listener. Be careful in the pronunciation of proper names as they are especially difficult to understand.

Do not speak with anything in your mouth, such as a pipe or cigarette. Likewise, make sure your hands are away from your mouth.

Move away from background noise. Turn down the radio, TV, or stereo before speaking. People with hearing loss find it extremely difficult to hear above background noise or to selectively listen when there is other competing speech. Select seating in restaurants, and other such places, in the areas of least background noise and distraction.

Do not attempt to talk to the Hard of Hearing person from another room. Not only is the distance and intervening obstacles too great form them to hear you adequately, they cannot see your face. Nearly all Hard of Hearing people lipread to some degree.

Open your mouth sufficiently when speaking, but do not exaggerate lip movements.

Always face the person and make sure your face has adequate light on it.

Some people have difficulty hearing certain speech sounds. In these instances try rephrasing what you have said. Endless repetition of the same words seldom helps.

Determine what mode of communication the person prefers -- talking aloud and speechreading; paper and pencil or Sign Language.

Whenever possible, be sure a microphone and public address system, a room loop, or other assistive listening device is used for meetings, lectures, and so on.

Do not hesitate to ask what you might do to make yourself better understood.

Take care that you are talking to the person, and not down to the person. There is a tendency to speak in a humiliating, patronizing, and degrading way, especially when speaking to a hard of hearing person.

I remember once, when I was in Pakistan, an aunt of mine (well actually, she's technically Somayya's aunt. Muahahaha!) asked me a question from across the room, and because she was occupied with something else at the moment, she kept moving around and I couldn't catch a glimpse of her face in order to watch her mouth while she was talking. So after the usual her-repeating-and-me-saying-"What?"-about-five-times exchange, she came over, leaned close to me, and started talking into my ear. I jerked away, glared at her, and fumed, "Don't you ever, EVER do that again. If you want to say something to me, then say it normally, and look at my face while you're talking to me. But don't you DARE ever talk into my ear again." I got up and stalked out of the room, leaving her sitting there gaping, speechless, staring at my retreating back. Sooo funny, now that I think about it! I think she went and complained about my disgraceful attitude and sharp tongue to my mama later on. Ahhh, the things I get myself into, when I don't think before speaking. Hahaha. Who cares though; served her right. Psshhhhh...

Oh, and just in case you're all confused or something, go read my March 1st post.

k, I think right about now would be a good time to end this post, because the guy at the computer next to me keeps staring at me and it's majorly embarrassing the hell out of me. He's all trying to make eye contact (it's sooo obvious), and I'm avoiding it pretty well so far. I bet he thinks he's being all slick. Arrrrgggh. If he keeps it up, I swear I'm gonna get all sarcastically evil on him. Knowing me, I'll lean over and get right in his face and be like, "Excuse me, do you have a PROBLEM?" Heh. Yes, I have temper issues, in case you couldn't tell already. Oh wait, he's leaving now. 'S all good though, I have to go tutor anywayz. Calculus is the way to go, says the Yaz. Peace out, peoples, and be good children!