Monday, September 24, 2007

The struggles within

So Ive been having an internal struggle with myself for a number of years, but just now finally realizing this isnt something I can't accomplish on my own nor is it something I am willing to openly share with the world, for my own privacy's sake I wont disclose exactly what it is. Now before you go making assumptions I will assure you it is not drugs nor alcohol, nor is any child including my own in any danger.

You see church is a wonderful cover up for any number of fleshen sins that can be hidden from plain view. Something just beneath one's skin and fighting to come out. Sometimes I have thought about coming right out with my personal problem and somehow in the process liberate myself. Only problem is, liberty often comes with a cost. For now Im not willing to pay that cost.

So today I took up Jamie's call to come ask for help - only I did not go directly to him. Not that I dont like him I just feel that if I were to disclose it to him, I would lose a friend - and honestly friends are few and far between for me. So I talked to Tim, again I never disclosed not feeling right to share with the world. So I asked for some outside prayer and maybe perhaps one extra prayer will help, or maybe not.

I will say this much I have a bizarre problem which makes me even more uncomfortable discussing it openly with anyone, even behind closed doors. OK so 2 people, maybe 3 already know but for now its not spread too far, and I like it that way.

ANd because of this problem I am very reluctant to have a close relationship with anyone. So I guess it's a "push them away before they push me away" sort of mechanism. Bad thoughts enter my mind at night, while listening to music and whatnot and its hard to escape, its wrong and I know its wrong. Im holding on to something I can't have. Sometimes I just tell myself just once more then Im done, but then I change my mind again and say no more whatsoever.

Sometimes I think my dress, my personality and whatnot gives it away - but maybe it doesnt and Im just overly self-conscious.

And in another self-conscious aspect - Ive realized Im much too round and unshapely for anyone to love me and see me beyond the fat. Maybe Im doing this for the wrong reasons maybe Im not but Im now officially on a mission to lose weight, albeit in a healthy manner which could prove to be too slow going for my short patience span. How do I plan to lose it? Very simple equation really- a woman needs 2,000 calories a day for healty living. Right now Im consuming an average of 2,500 -3,000 daily, way more than I need. Now I simply cut back my calories to around 2,000 plus or minus 100 extra calories - so basically for phase 1 of this diet no more than 2,100 calories a day max, but if I go over one day then I need to cut back a little bit the next. Next more fruits and vegetables, less junk. When I fix a plate of something at least half of the meal should be fruits and vegetables. The other half is split into quarter of meat and dairy. And overall staying away from sweets.
Finally, up the activity level. I already stand on my feet eight hours a day, but Im not doing physically demanding work that causes me to break out in a sweat. I have no goals other than to lose weight and get healthy looking again which in turn makes me more desireable. No one really likes to hang out with a fat person, much less see them as a potential mate. I know I dont - and its very hypocritical of me to do so knowing that Im fat too. Does this mean when I get skinny will I make fun of fat people? Absolutely not, but if they want to lose weight then I would be more than happy to encourage them along the way and tell them to stick with it, the smaller jeans will come.

So those are my two struggles - the thoughts and desires I need to do away with and the weight issues.

Friday, September 21, 2007

AWANA what?

What in Zues' rear end is AWANAs you ask? Sounds like some sort of cheesy children's camp doesnt it? Well you're right about the cheesy part if you are an adult, but if your'e three it's a blast. Not to mention a free snack that mommy doesnt have to pay for. Well OK, the real reason for AWANAs is to teach young children the importance of Bible study, verse memorization (ok Im not all gung-ho about the verse memory for youngsters (3&4 year olds), but thats just me. Not only that they get to hang out with friends from school, and to make new friends with those that dont go to their school or daycare. To me it's all good fun and I get to act my shoe size rather than my age for a short while. Anybody that knows me, knows that Im just a big kid at heart. Ive been known to play with my daughters tinker toys or Lincoln logs sets. (Yes I did say that and yes they are still in production.)
So whay capitalize AWANAs, doesnt sound all that important - well no not in the great scheme of things AWANAs itself isnt all that important, but its good to go. AWANAs is actually an acronymn. Write this down if your'e absolutely particular:
Now if you look down the left sand side of those previous four lines you have AWANAs spelled vertically. Im not sure what scripture it relates directly to but Im betting its somewhere in the New Testament. AWANAs has three sub-goups or clubs. Cubbies, Sparks, and Truth & Training. Cubbies is for the youngest set - the three and four year olds, the next one up is Sparks, those are for those that are entering school - Kindergarten up to 3rd grade I believe, but someone who knows what they are talking about can leave a correction for me under the comments for this specific entry or leave me an email at dr_vfib{at}
Truth and & Training is for what I call upper-elementary or at least that is what they called when I was stil in school. Its for grades 4-6th I believe, but nowadays they integrate 6th grade into middle school. Beyond 6th grade is the Youth Group but we'll get into that in a few years when Maddie gets there.
Now your'e probably sitting there thinking - yeah this is knock-off Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts wannabe club that instead of teaching children something useful, they shove Bible verses down their throats and the kids are expected to recite them from memory. Well, you're sort of right and mostly wrong.
Yes AWANAs is somewhat of a knock off of Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, but as far as structure, lessons taught and what not - it bears very little resemblence to those afore mentioned Scouting clubs.
Here they teach kids lessons such as making right choices, having morals, and whatnot. It also gives the kids some time to go over the classic Bible stories that we've all heard at some point or another, but maybe we dont have all the details down. I know I dont. I didn't exactly grow up in the church, and I admit its a little embarrassing to have these stories referred to in the lesson or storytime but not able to answer for the details of the story. For instance, the story of David and Goliath. OK we all know the story and there's some science in that story that seems to give it some credibility. But as for specific details such as knowing that this David is the boy King David that is the son of Solomon (or maybe he's the father of Solomon, either way there is a Father-Son relationship to Solomon somehow). But back to my main point is - these kids get repeated exposure to the stories, and the lessons they present. Not only do they get the details, they get to keep the lesson that they learned from it as with David and Goliath, the lesson of that story is anything is possible through faith and believing you can do it (although to Miss_P that lesson does have its limits :wink: ) You dont have to be big, strong, or powerful to bring down a bully. You can use your head to do so.
Making right choices and having your morals about you, these are foundations towards building a better childhood, better relationships, and hopefully these lessons will stay with these kids for rest of their life if their home life is consistent with what they learn at AWANAs as well as at Scouts, school, or anywhere else for that matter. This is the main point of AWANAs. Laying the foundation for a brighter future.
To find out what really happens at AWANAs see below. Oh yeah, there is a 56K warning - I have included a short video along with the pictures, so if you have a slow internet connection this may take a while to load, if not, scroll down mates!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You have to be deaf to understand:

You Have to be deaf to understand the deaf
What is it like to "hear" a hand?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be a small child,
In a school, in a room void of sound --
With a teacher who talks and talks and talks;
And then when she does come around to you,
She expects you to know what she's said?
You have to be deaf to understand.

Or the teacher thinks that to make you smart,
You must first learn how to talk with your voice;
So mumbo-jumbo with hands on your face
For hours and hours without patience or end,
Until out comes a faint resembling sound?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be curious,
To thirst for knowledge you can call your own,
With an inner desire that's set on fire --
And you ask a brother, sister, or friend
Who looks in answer and says, "Never Mind"?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What it is like in a corner to stand,
Though there's nothing you've done really wrong,
Other than try to make use of your hands
To a silent peer to communicate
A thought that comes to your mind all at once?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be shouted at
When one thinks that will help you to hear;
Or misunderstand the words of a friend
Who is trying to make a joke clear,
And you don't get the point because he's failed?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be laughed in the face
When you try to repeat what is said;
Just to make sure that you've understood,
And you find that the words were misread --
And you want to cry out, "Please help me, friend"?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to have to depend
Upon one who can hear to phone a friend;
Or place a call to a business firm
And be forced to share what's personal, and,
Then find that your message wasn't made clear?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to be deaf and alone
In the company of those who can hear --
And you only guess as you go along,
For no one's there with a helping hand,
As you try to keep up with words and song?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like on the road of life
To meet with a stranger who opens his mouth --
And speaks out a line at a rapid pace;
And you can't understand the look in his face
Because it is new and you're lost in the race?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to comprehend
Some nimble fingers that paint the scene,
And make you smile and feel serene,
With the "spoken word" of the moving hand
That makes you part of the word at large?
You have to be deaf to understand.

What is it like to "hear" a hand?
Yes, you have to be deaf to understand.

Written at 1971 by Willard J. Madsen, professor of journalism at Gallaudet University.


What is it like to be deaf?

"What is it like to be deaf?"
People have asked me.
Deaf? Oh, hmm... how do I explain that?
Simple: I can't hear.

No, wait... it is much more than that.
It is similar to a goldfish in a bowl,
Always observing things going on.
People talking at all times.
It is like a man on his own island
Among foreigners.

Isolation is no stranger to me.
Relatives say hi and bye
But I sit for 5 hours among them
Taking great pleasure at amusing babies
Or being amused by TV.
Reading books, resting, helping out with food.

Natural curiosity perks up
Upon seeing great laughter, crying, anger.
Inquiring only to meet with a "Never mind" or
"Oh, it's not important".
Getting a summarized statement
Of the whole day.

I'm supposed to smile to show my happiness.
Little do they know how truly miserable I am.
People are in control of language usage,
I am at loss and really uncomfortable!

Always feeling like an outsider
Among the hearing people,
Even though it was not their intention.

Always assuming that I am part of them
By my physical presence, not understanding
The importance of communication.

Facing the choice between Deaf Event weekend
or a family reunion.
Facing the choice between the family commitment
And Deaf friends.
I must make the choices constantly,
Any wonder why I choose Deaf friends???

I get such great pleasure at the Deaf clubs,
Before I realize it, it is already 2:00 am,
Whereas I anxiously look at the clock
Every few minutes at the Family Reunion.

With Deaf people, I feel so normal,
Our communication flows back and forth.
Catch up with little trivials, our daily life,
Our frustration in the bigger world,
Seeking the mutual understanding,
Contented smiles and laughter are musical.
So magical to me,
So attuned to each other's feelings.

True happiness is so important.
I feel more at home with Deaf people
Of various color, religion, short or tall.
Than I do among my own hearing relatives.
And you wonder why?
Our language is common.
We understand each other.

Being at loss of control
Of the environment that is communication,
People panic and retreat to avoid
Deaf people like the plague.

But Deaf people are still human beings
With dreams, desires, and needs
To belong, just like everyone else.

--Dianne Kinnee (Switras)

Guest Vlog Entry

This is a guest Vlog entry by my friend Freaky Cat (not using real name for privacy reasons). Enjoy.

A man at the bar saw a beautiful woman so he went to her. He asked her, Can I buy you a drink? She said, no thanks! Alcohol's bad for my legs. He said Oh you mean your legs get swollen or what? She said no. Alcohol made my legs spread!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What should I blog about? Im running out of things to blog about as I am trying to enter something new at least twice a week so you readers won't get bored. So if you have something that you see is blogworthy - send me a link and I will blog all about it. Some of my recent blog ideas have been:

Southern Baptist News - but who wants to read about musty old doctrines and types of thinking not well suited for the modern generation. Such as the witnessing tools that worked back in the 70s and 80s, are now ineffective due a shift in society.

Deaf news - but this seems to be something of a turn off for my hearing readers. They want to read something that relates to them and their world and something that interests them. This is a blog where I hope to bring the the hearing and deaf together and learn the only difference between the two groups is that the deaf can't hear.

Guest bloggers/Vloggers: Not sure who to ask to write a guest entry for this blog - its only 9 entries long and not that popular. I may add my blog to sometime.

Sure the blog title says deaf baptist - but its not all about religion or the deaf congregation, its simply a small reflection of who I am and where Im coming from. Im not going to be a bible thumping militant nor a deaf power militant. Im not even remotely militant about any subject.

So this is your chance to give me some input as to what you would like to see on the blog.

You may contact me at dr_vfib[at]

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Deaf Football Players

In light of football season being started as of last week and the NFL season starts tomorrow on CBS - I thought it would be fitting to blog about deaf football players...

The first one is only a high schooler but is so good he is getting looked at by major universities such as Virginia Tech (The Hokies)- here is an article on the boy:

September 7, 2007

WASHINGTON -- When Thomas Schaefer is on the football field, it's silent.

He can't hear the sound of hard hits, or the cheers from the crowd. Schaefer is deaf. The Robinson High School senior has lived with hearing impairment since birth.

But he said not hearing the noise on the field allows him to focus on the game he so passionately loves.

With the help of a hearing aid, Schaefer does have partial hearing in his right ear.

But he only wears the device when he's not playing because it gets uncomfortable during a game.

On the sidelines, Schaefer is a loud six foot three inch defensive end who is always jumping up and down and cheering on his teammates.

Schaefer, a two-year varsity starter and captain for the Robinson Rams, is so good that he's already received interest from several colleges, including Virginia Tech. The 18-year-old is thankful for the opportunity to play football.

Even though Schaefer is deaf, he's proving that with a disability, it's hard work and determination that makes him one of the most talented players on the football field.

And the other more known deaf football player: Martel Van Zant of OSU:

Here is a written transcript for the HH/Deaf readers out there

Deafness doesn't keep Cowboy cornerback from making big plays

By Michael Harris Daily O'Collegian
October 6, 2006

Stillwater, OK (CSTV U-WIRE) -- On any given Saturday between early September and late November, football stadiums across the nation erupt as teams tear onto their fields, fight songs blaring, to the thunderous approval of their fans.

Cheers and applause rain down from the stands, creating a din that is as much a part of the game as the ball itself, but for Oklahoma State cornerback Martel Van Zant, there is only silence.

Van Zant, who was born deaf after his mother contracted chicken pox during pregnancy, couldn't even hear the roar of the crowd after he caught the first interception off his career earlier this season, but he still feeds of its energy.

"Because of the noise and everything, I can feel the vibrations in my body," Van Zant said. "I can't hear the people, but I can see the people when they clap. I can see that, and it makes me get more motivated and play better."

Van Zant, a junior from Tyler, Texas, uses sign language to communicate to his interpreter, Allie Lee, who then relays his messages to teammates and coaches.

"I'm signing it and my interpreter is saying it, but they're my words," Van Zant said. "He's my mode of communication. If I didn't have an interpreter, I wouldn't have a clue as to what's going on."

Lee said he heard of Van Zant when he was being recruited out of high school and contacted Cowboy coaches about interpreting for Van Zant on the field.

"It's been a good learning experience," Lee said. "There are interpreters all over the U.S. in sports, but to be at this level is pretty interesting."

After becoming a starter on the Poke defense this season, Van Zant has tallied 11 tackles and an interception in OSU's four games.

Generally, Van Zant said, secondary coach Joe DeForest signals calls from the sideline with a kind of sign language "slang" and Lee communicates any audibles. Playing the game, Van Zant said, just comes naturally.

"It wasn't really hard to learn football because I'm deaf," Van Zant said. "I can go out and do whatever I want.

"Just because I'm deaf doesn't mean I'm not capable."

His resolve isn't going unnoticed.

A week ago, Van Zant was nominated for the FedEx Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award - an award created by ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski that honors athletes who have displayed exemplary grit in the face of adversity.

Still, Van Zant said the obstacles he's overcome don't make him exceptional.

"It shows that anybody can do it - not just me," Van Zant said.

It's this kind of ethic that has made Van Zant a fan favorite. When Van Zant appeared on the Boone Pickens Stadium video board and signed "M-A-R-T-E-L" during his introduction before the Cowboys' season opener, he received the loudest ovation of any player, and his triumph over adversity has made him an inspiration to many.

"All these kids that look up to me as a role model," Van Zant said. "I've received letters from all these kids, and when I went to the state fair the other night, I met some deaf kids out there who recognized me from TV. I think it's pretty cool."

Van Zant's deafness has had a positive impact on the lives of his teammates as well.

"At first I get picked on because I'm the deaf guy, of course, but that's fine," Van Zant said. "I understand - it's not anything mean. I'll take the ribbing, and I'll give it back, too. I like all my teammates and they're like my brothers now."

In fact, Van Zant said some of his teammates are trying their hands at sign language to better communicate with him.

"There's a lot of them that are taking the ASL [American Sign Language] class," Van Zant said. "A lot of them start out with the alphabet and the basics.

"I help them out with their homework and things like that."

Van Zant and the Cowboys return to action Saturday, when Oklahoma State travels to Kansas State. Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m.

(C) 2006 Daily O'Collegian via CSTV U-WIRE

Now as you know Im not a DEAF POWER militant - but however Im out there to try and dispel some myths and mis-truths about the deaf and HH among the hearing. Yes there are certain jobs a deaf or HH person should not do due safety concerns but as far as living a life - the only thing we can't do is hear. It has to be a good attitude and a good outlook on life. Just because Im deaf does not entitle me to any special treatment, but I do have to make accomodations such as carrying pen and paper with me when I go to starbucks to have a coffee. At wal-mart I may come across as a rude customer, but I generally sign "thank you" to the cashier as they hand me my change back. Also I have a friend or my mom make phone calls for me if I am using a phone that doesnt have an adjustable volume control. Does it make me any less independent or less productive or even any less of a hard worker? I dont think so.

MY parents once believed that because I could not hear I should not participate in school sports, I went out in the8th grade against my parents wishes. By the end of the season I had learned the drills, and most of the plays. But I had to continually remind the coach that I am HH so whenever we were practcing I had to make sure he kept himself visible when he called out a new play, or if we changed from 5 pt gaurd to man-to-man defense. Some of my teamates did not like it but I was a benchwarmer so whats it to them anyway.

But my senior high coach had a very bad attitude towards my deafness and refused to work with me on it. I was not asking to be on first string, I was simply asking that hey could you please alert me when things change? I ended up not getting much practice, barely got to suit up and I ended up quitting and went to track and cross country full time. I ended up putting my good work ethic to good use and ended up doing fairly well. 2 state cross country meets, several 5K ribbons, and spring track season placement - yeah I could say I was fairly good but no scholarships.

Hopefully in January I'll make my re-debut into the running world again and run the no-name 5K in town. Im not going to flag my deafness around but I sure ain't going to feel ashamed of it.

On the field or off - deafness shouldn't stop you from doing what you love.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Heart of A Razorback

The cool crisp air signals a new beginning, a new era for the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas sports club. The Hogs Football Club has a top Heisman Trophy contender in their ranks, Darren McFadden. The Hogs have moved on from the Mitch Mustain era to usher in the McFadden Era. With Mitch Mustain removed from their ranks, Casey Dick once again steps up to the starting plate to possibly lead the hogs to a long - awaited SEC (Southeastern Conference) Championship.

Heres a 2007 Preview of our beloved Razorbacks....