Being Deaf This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Students stampede out of classrooms. Halls fill with thecommotion of students rushing to their next class, catching up on the latestgossip with their friends. I don't join in, not because I don't care, but becauseI can't hear their words, only sounds.

I am deaf and attend a regularschool. It's not easy to be a minority of one - I am the only person with ahearing loss. I am near the bottom of the social ladder; how many popular peopledo you know who would befriend someone so different? People don't realizehow hard it is to participate in a simple conservation.

I sit in the frontrow and an interpreter sits near me. I feel self-conscious as I give anotherstudent carbon paper and two sheets of lined paper. I try not to feel like alleyes are on me as my interpreter begins to sign what the teacher is saying. Allmy attention is on the teacher.

In class, I have to concentrate 100% justto get all the information, while most of my peers give much less of theirattention. My sign language interpreter helps me tremendously, but I still needto devote all my focus. I also have a note-taker in every class. Many studentsmight say, "Wow! You're lucky! You don't have to do anything!" but it'sjust the opposite. I really dislike having a note-taker because it makes me feelbeholden. I can't be as independent as I would like to be.

At lunch thecafeteria is busy with students buying lunch and shouting to friends. I make abeeline toward the crowd I know best and start eating. I usually don't socializetoo much, but I can comfortably talk one-on-one with my friends. In order tocommunicate, I read their lips, which allows me some freedom. My best friend alsoknows quite a bit of sign language and helps me socialize. She's the person I cantalk to easiest. I am so lucky to have a friend like her.

If I couldexchange my hearing aids for 24 glorious hours of perfect hearing, I would gladlydo it. I wish everyone in my school could experience just one day of being deaf.After that day, they would be more compassionate and open to others, particularlythose who are different. But this is impossible, and I can only hope that now youknow hard it is to go to a regular school with a disability.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 8:20 am
i love this so much!
EricaPersoluta said...
Apr. 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm
"If I could exchange my hearing aids for 24 glorious hours of perfect hearing, I would gladly do it." Maybe if it was for only a day it would be alright; never wish you to be someone you're not. I doubt you're reading this, but if you are, keep these quotes in mind: “Just a thought….it is interesting to see that DEAF people can function in the hearing world very well while hearing people cannot function well in the DEAF world. “ – Gil Eastman ( G... (more »)
Alecksander92 said...
Sept. 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm
This article has really got me to thinking about how it must be for people with hearing loss. At my high school, there are a few kids who are actually deaf and I've never really stopped to think about how much effort they have to put in to doing things we do easily. Thank you for writing this and inspiring me to make a difference.
K.M.Simpson said...
Jul. 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm
I lost my hearing when i was 10 due to surgery gone awry and i too attend a regular school.from 5th on,i felt like a i am due to be a senior and my friends still treat me different. i know how you feel.
Forgetful01 said...
May 30, 2009 at 11:30 pm
Wow...I never really thought about it like this. I mean, I have a blind girl at my school, but I never give her a second glance. I can't really even imagine what it must be like.

Thanks for opening my eyes.
MeanMs,Mustard said...
May 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm
I cannot even imagine what it must be like for you. But you don't have to be freaked about what everyone's thinking about you. You're different, and that's OK. It just make you more of who you are.
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