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Brian M., Brother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The bell rings but one student stays seated, oblivious towhat's going on around him. As students pass, he realizes thebell rang. He couldn't hear it, though, and never will.Embarrassed, he quickly stands and smiles, hoping no onenotices his late exit. Wanting to fit in, he rushes to catchup with a group of football players. Courageously, he attemptsto enter the conversation, but no one understands what he istrying to say. They turn their backs and laugh. I watch from adistance with tears in my eyes, wishing everyone could see thehurt on his face.

The student, though, keepsstruggling to find his identity. He is persistent and takesyears of speech classes with the hope that one day when hespeaks, everyone will understand. He learns to read lips so heknows what others are saying without an interpreter. He dreamsof a normal life where he doesn't need hearing aids. He usesnew technology, such as a TDD, and a special alarm clock thatshakes the bed. He speaks with his family using sign language,though people often stare and mock him when they see hisgraceful hands telling a story. He is very strong, though, andtakes it all in stride.

With years of patience,persistence and continued speech classes, he gradually makesprogress. He tries to talk with others, remembering what hehas learned in speech class. When he has his first realconversation with a group of new friends, I smile because I amso proud of him and know that he is a real role model.

When he tries to test his newly gained independence bytelling me not to sign anymore, I am happy he keeps settingnew goals. I am particularly proud when he takes the challengeof being the football and basketball teams manager, and I beamfrom ear to ear when he tells me he is going to trainers campfor a week with new friends.

This once solitarystudent now has many friends. This student is my big brother,my hero. He has taught me many laws of life, including courageto face the world, patience with others and persisitence inachieving goals. The most important law he has taught me,though, is always to hope

for a better place where allpeople will see the world, hear its harmonious sounds and beable to speak with their own voice.




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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