Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Follow up to: ASL in the Mainstream...

Short Clip of Darren Hayes learning the sign language to Crash and Burn.

Who Would Have Thought? - Darren Hayes

This is not only a cool sound - the video is absolutely amazing! The animation is STUNNING!

EDIT: 9/1/07 - The animation was done by Richard Cullen - well done mate!

Nobody told you that the heart is like a deep deep freeze
So many lies
So much of it broken
And nobody told you deep within a well so cavenous
That maybe I could shed some light on

Who would have thought it could be amazing?
Who would have thought the tiny courageous?
Who would have thought the love so belated
Could save me and bring me back to you?

And nobody told you the everyday's a silence that no one heard
A river swells and overwhelms you
And noboody told you deep within a heart so ravenous
That maybe I could spare a beat for

Who would have thought it could be amazing?
Who would have thought the tiny courageous?
Who would have thought the love so belated
Could save me and bring me back to you?

I had to find you
Had to let you know
That you aren't alone
We didn't make the rules
I had to find you
Had to get right back to you

Oh no,
I had to find you
Had to let you know
That you aren't alone
We didn't make the rules
I had to find you
Had to get right back to you
It's always been you

Now tell me,
Who would have thought it could be this amazing?
Who would have thought the tiny courageous?
Just tell me,
Who would have thought the love so belated
Could save me and bring me back to you?

For God's Grace IS Sufficient...

Just the other day in an un-named deaf discussion forum - there were two threads pertaining to spousal abuse and mistreatment in the physical sense as well as the emotional and mental sense. This seems to be coming to the forefront of my mind almost daily whether it is on Dr. Phil, on the internet or even in the news. As some of you may or may not know, after I seperated from my husband of 9 months - yes months - I lost my house and was stuck with bills illegitimately put in my name. In matter of 3 days I became homeless with an infant and thousands of dollars in debt. One of the members of this forum pointed out to me - that all of those things are just material things and if I wanted to place my self-value into those things I was going to continue to live an empty life and even though have not seen nor heard from my ex-husband in 4 years, I was still continuing to allow him to control my thoughts, actions, and decisions.

This morning it all seemed to come together during Brother Jamie's sermon which seemed to hit the nail directly on the head. The specific verse I am going to refer to is in Phillipians Chapter Three when Paul says, "For these things are rubbish," in reference to the worldly wealth that we strive to attain so that maybe our children and grandchildren may have an inheritance. Those things are great ideas as they provide for the future, but they are nothing, rubbish, refuse, and filth compared to the riches that God provides. So many times when we find our selves in hardships and financial struggles, we often believe that God is going to provide financially, when the truth is that God may provide for us in the relationships that we have, the grace of having hope in our lives knowing that we will live eternally. So often I find myself wondering if I just entered into the lottery, I could possibly win extraordinary amounts of money and that my financial worries and hardships would be solved for several years, often telling myself - it woud be OK if I tithed the 10% as recommended by the church. But the truth is, its greedy and Im trying to justify it any way possible.

You see I have realized that God has provided for me immeasurably in the last 4 years. When I thought I was homeless - I am reminded that I am seeking shelter in my parents home. When I feel that I am financially incapable, I am reminded that I have sought and found work. When I feel that I have come to the end of my road - God shows me a path to follow, where there are opportunities waiting to be fullfilled. I have put too much emphasis on the wrong things, prioritizing my life backwards. I am reminded of the illustration that a professor uses to show the fullfillness of ones life. First he fills a jar with sand representing the little things in life - hobbies, bills, and commitments. He asks the students if anything can be added, they reply no, the jar is full.
Next the professor fills another jar with pebbles representing the larger things in life such as school, work, and family. When he fills the jar, he again asks the students if the jar is full - they again reply yes, the jar is full - nothing else can be added. Next he fills a thrid jar with rocks, a thrid time he asks the students if the jar is full - they reply yes the jar is full. He asks them - are you sure? The students said they were sure. Then he demonstrated-
He added in the pebbles and they filled the gaps left by by the stones, the students looked on. They again said the jar was full - the professor demonstrated further -- he poured in sand which again filled the gaps left by the stones and pebbles. Then the professor announced - now the jar is full because we first put in the largest most important things first - God and family, then followed by lesser but still important things, such as school, work, and bills, then followed by less important things that we find joy in such as hobbies, commitments, and friends. So you see - that if we prioritize our lives correctly, putting God, faith, and family first and foremost, the other things in life will fall into place, then we realize our lives are TRULY full.

Jamie has often said "For Gods Grace is sufficient" I dont think I really understood the meaning of it until today when things finally came together in my mind. Gods grace is sufficient to see that I have provisions. My life is what I make it, I dont have to put my self worth into material things that I once thought were important - they are - but not nearly as important as they once were in my mind. I still have my self-respect in knowing that I am not out ruining other peoples lives for my own self gain. I am not out continually giving up my body for a little pleasure. I still have my daughter, and more importantly, I still have hope and faith in God that I will make it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Proper Church Etiquette

Deaf or hearing - anyone will get a good kick out of this:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

RE: Hearing student in Deaf school.

This is in response to SeekGeo's vlog on YouTube.com. To get the initial part to this post please view his vlog below:

I hope you dont mind me posting your video here Geo!

So anyway I thought about his post and realized he made many good points.

1.) Why dont we allow 'exchange students' from American mainstream schools to spend a semester or a year enrolled in a deaf school, not mandatory but optional for those who are considering working with the Deaf as a career, whether it is Interpretation at public speaking events, or for Deaf students needing ASL interpretation at mainstream schools, a VRS/TTY Relay operator, or even Deaf ministries in churches.

2.) It will give students an exposure to a different way of life for someone who has a handicap - they cannot hear, so they must rely on a visual means of communication. This will also help people to realize just because you cannot hear does not mean that life is a silent confusing world. The Deaf can enjoy many things that hearing people do - including music. I myself often cannot hear the lyrics well enough in music to enjoy songs with words, so often I listen to techno, house, or what hearing people have termed as "video game music" (pshaw - whatever you can have fun with this - this is how I got in on the rave scene a few years back and enjoyed it.)

3.) There would be fewer stereotypes of what a deaf person is, or what they look like or how they act. So often I hear the term "deaf and dumb" and it really grinds my nerves. I grew up hearing this from my classmates, my brother, and often any boyfriend that my cousin had at the time. All during highschool I never dated. I was the odd one, the geek, whatever you want to call it. What these kids didnt understands was that I was not mentally deficient as they perceived, but rather I did not hear some things. People often do not realize that the person you could be talking to could very well be deaf. Not every deaf person signs, some grew up strictly oral for whatever reason their parents chose. There have been some successful deaf people, there are 2 deaf actresses in mainstream hollywood. Alexander Graham Bell grew up with a Deaf mother, and I should not even have to mention Helen Keller OR Beethoven, whom composed his most well known works at age 22-24 and was post-lingually deaf at age 3 or 4 if memory serves me right.

Even though these are excellent points that I agree very much with there are couple of things that are going to hinder a hearing student from enrolling in a deaf school.

1.) Deaf school enrollment is on the decline in light of student-on-student sexual assualts as well as teacher-on-student molestation. For sources on the subject click here for in-depth stories of a group of students at Seattle School for the Deaf:
It is lengthy but engrossing and well worth the read.

2.) More and more students are being mainstreamed into hearing public schools that are having specialized programs to meet the students needs such as hiring an interpreter by the district, offering CART typist - someone that types the classroom conversation on to a laptop for the deaf student to follow in real time as it happens. Also many larger public schools as well as colleges and universities are offering ASL (American Sign Language) as a foreign language for students to full-fill a foreign language requirement in order to graduate. Currently UALR offers an ITP (Interpreter Training Program) for students who wish to work at the ASD (Arkansas School for the Deaf) or as interpreters for the deaf elsewhere in the state or wherever they may be qualified to take such a position.

3.) Safety concerns - would a hearing student be able to take advantage of a deaf student that could jeopardize their safety? Maybe, maybe not - but is the risk worth it to parents and educators alike?

I am however not stating that schools should be segregated by hearing and deaf, neither should classes. The real world is not segregated - hasnt been since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. You could be waiting in line at Wal-Mart behind someone who is deaf, but you would not know that. The car next to you on the interstate could be driven by someone who is deaf - there is nothing hindering someone who is deaf from driving, only the blind. The lady behind the jewelry counter at JC Penneys could be deaf - but how would you know? Like blindness there are also different degrees of deafness. Personally I am profoundly deaf in my right ear with a 65 db (Decibel) loss in my left ear. But you would not know that because I grew up orally, I have almost perfect speech and could easily pass as hearing. A friend of mine works as a CNA for the local hospital - she is deaf and requires hearing aids to hear well enough to do her job. But you would not know that because she too went to a mainstream school and she wears powerful BTE aids (Behind-the-ear hearing aids). Her speech is well enough that she often passes for hearing unless you noticed her aids.

Most deaf people that you meet will not tell you right off they are deaf, but they are not going to flaunt it every chance they get.
I still wish for a time for a hearing student to get the chance to spend a year at a Deaf school to learn about the deaf community - but unfortunately there are obstacles we (the deaf) have to overcome ourselves. We have to get the hearing world to take us seriously when we decide to do something that stereotypically we cant or shouldnt. It is sad today to think that some people will think or say something such as "Oh look that deaf boy wants to become a mechanic - but how will he communicate with his customers?"

or even something like this " Oh that daf girl has gotten married, I hope she can be a good wife to him because she cannot hear well."

I am for giving these same people the chance to REALLY get to know the deaf community and realize we are not just a bunch of nutcases that think we are entitled to the same rights as the hearing because we deaf. Actually we are for the most part. The only thing we cant or shouldnt do are jobs that actually do require hearing such as civil service jobs or the military.

Those are my closing thoughts - giving someone a chance to truly embrace the deaf culture would open many many doors for us, especially those in the employment sector where some employers deny us jobs simply because we cannot hear (not all employers are like this, but there are a few out there that have) and they give a different exscuse such as the position was already filled by someone who was more suited or qualified for the job.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Forget YouTube when youve got GodTube! (sense the sarcasm)

Now I may be Southern and Baptist but that dont make me Southern Baptist and on top of all of that, I am not a fan of religious knockoffs of certain sites, brands, TV shows, etc. For one, it never works. Rule number one - dont copy - get something original going.

Now to my main point - GodTube. This is a ridiculous knockoff of YouTube.com for religious nut jobs that insist that everything they own must be from a Christian - based store, if it does not come from a LifeWay or other large Christian franchise it is of the Devil and must never ever be entered into or touched.

Now bfore you get all riled up and think - I thought you were a churchgoer, why are bashing Christians? Let me put it out there for ya - Im not bashing anyone except those that take Christianity too far to the point that it is no longer a religion but a cult and a way to control things that are beyond their control and to control others by luring them in with Godliness that is based on 99% works and very little faith.

Now I think this is mostly a knock-off YouTube (YT from here on out) that is to become the TBN of the internet. Who knows we may see our next Tammy Faye and Jim Baker come out of this GodTube (GT from here on out). Ive not watched any of the videos yet but from what I have seen alot of this stuff is Catholic based. Nuffin'wrong with that - God takes all kinds. But I hope they dont start putting up huge banners saying the more money you donate the more blessings you'll receive while we two pocket the cash for ourselves so we can go vacation in Cancun every summer while you still live your miserable life in a run down trashed out trailer in Holler County, Arkansas. Uh huh Jims in jail Tammy's dead - boy they retired well didnt they???

Like the Bakkers this will start off with good healthy intentions then they start getting distracted, then derailed, and finally off into the ditch and hanging precariously close to losing it all before they realize they've fed themselves the rope, they're hung and its over. Whoever the creators are of this GT need to remind themselvs daily no matter how popular the site is, it will never be mainstream, the money may be better than flipping burgers at McDonald's, but like the site, the money should not be for themselves but for Him.

Its amazingly odd how one can get lost in Church and end up leaving to save themselves. I did that. I got too involved, too close, and ended up losing myself in a negative way that caused me to pursue Godliness in an unhealthy way. Do I blame it entirely on the church? Absolutely not, but the magical thing about it all is that in all reality we have an understanding God that says - when we lose our caringness and generosity, He holds our hands and says He understands our pain. I do however blame it on the people that were mis-managing, and conducting themselves unbecoming of the Gospel that they took an oath to uphold. When this happens people are driven away from the church.

In my own conduct I know and understand that there are times that even I am unbecoming of a Christian that I say I am. I curse (as a matter of fact cursed in the house of God yesterday - oops - Jamie wont know....shhhhhhhhhhhh - it was accidental. Tim wil vouch for me, lol.

Back to my main point. We dont need to go out beating people over the heads with the Bible, we dont need to go around banging on peoples doors and the firt thing we ask are you a Christian? Personaly if you come to my house and I dont know who you are and you start preaching to me right off - it is a big turnoff, you'll have a red nose from the door being slammed in your face. I have done it once before, I would not be surprised if I did it again. What worked in the 70's and 80s no longer work. Religion and truth are relative in todays society. GodTube is another variation of this seems like. ou cant preach like you did 20 years ago and expect the same results is all Im saying. If you really want to reach out to the lost - be their friend first and foremost. If they show an interest in church, feed that interest but dont shove it in. If they are going through a rough patch - tell them you are thinking of them - but also pray for them as well. Dont just sit and pray for 20 years and expect something to happen, sometimes when you keep praying and praying and nothing happens -- thats God telling you to get off your fanny and actually do something useful.

Spend time with people OUTSIDE your comfort zone - eventually your zone actually EXPANDS and yor actions around these people and for these people will speak volumes of the person that you are. No witnessing required.

GodTube is a mockery of the Christian sub-culture that says we are too pure and holy for the world so we create our own fantasy world, so we can stay out of the real world. We dont watch secular news because its Devil fed. We dont buy secular books because they promote witch craft. We will continue to put the Mormon church under Cult Groups in our bookstores because we have our own view of what a person should or should not believe.

(Im personally not a Mormon nor do I agree with their doctrines, I do however have friends in the Mormon church and are actually quite levelheaded).

GT - is basically the TBN of the internet - flip through it without a second thought and you'll be better off without it - Christian or not.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ASL in the mainstream, ASL in the Christream....

OK so welcome to my new blog affectionately called Deaf Baptist. I am not a big blogger but if you see something noteworthy for deafread.com to pick up then, by all means send it up.

My first post is going to be about Darren Hayes and his video "Crash and Burn". Now before you think yeah all of that was make up and crack up his nose I can guarantee you that yes he was pale in real life because he has a long term virus that makes him well exhausted. He woke up the prior day with a fever well over 100 and feeling like he had been hit by a truck. So he was taken to a doctor and was ordered to cancel the taping of his visit to the Jay Leno show. Being the trooper that he is, he refused and the show went on. The next day was the taping for the video "Crash and Burn" and as you can see in his eyes he looks like he could crash and burn at any moment due to his ongoing illness.

The video itself was taped using alot of extras and Darren was only in a few clips. At the end of the video Darren completely stops singing the chorus and SIGNS it, wooho! (Lets hear it for ASL!) This is very moving for me in a sense that this is one of my favorite songs by far. Now before you ask - "But your deaf! how do you enjoy music?" I am actual Hard of Hearing or HH as its coded amongst the deaf. I can hear enough to enjoy music but I prefer music without words since I cant enjoy the lyrics anyhow. But Darrens voice is high enough that I can enjoy the lyric as it carries quie well over the music enough that I can hear. Now as for me I can sign as well and I am currently working on the ASL to Amazing Grace, I have already completed the ASL for "Here I am to Worship". I will give credit where credit is due, first to God and partly to Darren for giving me the idea - instead of having music to words - do just an instrumental and use signs instead. I think this will be very moving. Because everyone knows the words to Amazing grace - they will be able to follow the harmony and follow the signs.

Anyway back to the main part of this post -- the video clip of Darren Signing the chorus to Crash and Burn. Also if anyone knows where I can obtain a GIF clip of this please let me know it would be greatly appreciated.