Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kudos to Home Depot!

One day early in this month, I received an email from Home Depot requesting I call a certain number to set up for a job interview (I had applied online). I called the number via the Sprint Internet Relay, and went through the process. We eventually set up the interview for August 16th, and I was really looking forward to this interview!

Fast forward to the morning of Aug. 16. I quickly checked my emails, and noticed I had an email from Home Depot. Oh no! Oh wait... They wanted to reschedule my interview so they could have an interpreter on hand. Really? I didn't even request an interpreter. I guess because I called using the relay, they decided they should go ahead and call for an interpreter.  Ok, props to them. I appreciate their efforts! But I was disappointed that the interview had been postponed. I called the local Home Depot number and told them I appreciated their efforts, but I would be absolutely fine to do an interview without an interpreter on site. The person I spoke with said she would inform HR and that HR would take it from there.

Yesterday, I received another email, from HR. Apparently they were still trying to get a hold of an interpreter, and asked if I could wait until a later date, when this out of state interpreter would be available. I responded and said I would be happy with this date, but again, I do not need an interpreter. I explained that I have bilateral cochlear implants and get by without needing an interpreter. I mean, I do still struggle with the phone (it's more of a me issue, I.E. "did I hear this person right? huh?" and anxiety). When making phone calls, I still prefer to use the relay... it's handy to be able to read what is being said, and also be able to save the transcript after the call has ended, if needed. I know there are captioning apps (CapTel, InnoCaption), but it requires actually using my phone and then I would be paying extra on my cell bill (I only have the text and data plan, no voice plan added).

But seriously, kudos to Home Depot for going that extra step! All the other potential job interviews I've gone to in the past has never gone out of their way to accommodate me just for an interview. Normally, if I absolutely feel like I need interpreting or accommodations of some sort, I will request it, which is pretty rare for me to do outside of classes. I really absolutely do appreciate Home Depot's efforts though.

Total Solar Eclipse 2017

This is my video of the total solar eclipse that happened August 21, 2017 in Wyoming, right in the path of totality.

I live right in the path of totality, which was pretty neat. No traveling necessary. Just drove the few blocks over to my mom's, and we chilled out in her backyard with our cameras. This was the first time we've experienced a total solar eclipse, and of course we had to pull out our cameras and capture some shots. It was very interesting to feel the temperatures drop as the moon moved across the sun, watching as daylight darkened. As it got darker, the solar-powered lights that were scattered around the backyard lit up. I meant to take some photos or get a video shot of the lights having turned on, but missed the chance.  As we reached totality, we could hear the entire neighborhood cheer! That was pretty awesome. Some fireworks went off too, from the sounds of it.

Here are some of my photos:

Afterwards, I did go back downtown to the festival, just to roam around and mingle for a bit. I didn't know what else to do with my day!

It was most definitely a very interesting, exciting day.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

What is that beeping?!

For weeks, late at night, I'd hear this beeping sound out of nowhere.  😲 I would go around my apartment into different rooms, checking the smoke detectors and all, and could never figure out where the beeping sound was coming from. I always gave up, and decided it must have just been my imagination.... My brain playing tricks on me (wouldn't be the first time!).

Well, just last night (okay, make that VERY EARLY this morning), the beeping started again. What the?! I looked at the time on my laptop, and it's 1 a.m. Then I got to looking at my watch, as the beeping seemed to get louder as I moved my left arm/hand closer to my head. Lo and behold! The alarm on the watch is set to go off at 1 a.m. I'm not sure how I managed that.... But mystery solved! I turned off the alarm signal. 🔕

At least now I know it's my watch, and I can quit worrying about the smoke detectors or thinking I'm losing my mind! 😄

I don't think I would have ever heard this with just a hearing aid.... The beeping wasn't that loud. But it's enough that I can hear it with my cochlear implants, even if it takes me weeks to figure out what it is.

Is this wall deaf or something?

Oh the  joys of having magnetic headpieces.... Anything metal will attract the headpiece and steal the entire processor right off my ear!

But the fun part of having magnets under the scalp.... I can stick paperclips, metal bottle caps, or other small metal items to my head for the fun of it!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Connecting with Supernatural 12x11: Regarding Dean

Watching Season 12 of Supernatural on Netflix these days, and episode 11, “Regarding Dean” comes up. Just what Sam was doing for Dean to help his memory, made me think of my own childhood. There’s Sam, writing names to objects of their hotel room onto post-it notes and sticking them onto the actual objects. My mom did this when I was a kid, as a way to help me learn the name of the different objects. Being a deaf kid, I didn’t always hear the words, and it was while I was also learning how to read too. Being able to read these words on notecards taped to different objects helped me. It helped with my reading, and it helped me learn how to identify different things. I learned how to make the connection between different words to objects.

It’s funny how something in a TV show or movie will bring back memories.

Dean: This is a gun. This is a coat. This is a…a…a… light stick.

Sam: A light st– All right. We’re gonna get you some help.

Dean: Look, we could figure this out, okay? Don’t go callin’ Mom or Cass with this.

Sam: Fine, but until you get better…(Sam puts post-it note on the lamp with the word “LAMP”)

Dean: Lamp. Right. So close.

There was also a scene where Dean is watching a security surveillance video from when he followed someone out of the back of a bar, and he was trying to read his own lips. This
made me laugh

Dean: I’m trying to read my lips. “Now salsa you mittens”

Sam: You can’t read lips.

Dean: I can’t read lips.

This is true for many D/deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. A lot of hearing people seem to think just because we're deaf/hoh, we can very easily lip-read everything. Not true. And I'm proof of that. I'm a horrible lip-reader, can't lip-read to save my life really. I can only read lips if I also have the auditory input. Take one or the other away, and I'm lost.
My teachers at the deaf school worked hard with all of us, teaching us how to lip-read and listen, trying to give us as many tools as we could carry in our toolbox for life. They wrote sentences and words on pieces of paper, laid them out on the table/desk/floor/wherever we are sitting, and they will say the sentence/words and hope we pick out the right piece of paper. For listening, they would cover their mouths; for lipreading, they turned off their voices. We had a lot of practice as kids, but lipreading just didn't stick with me. Now as an adult, even with bilateral cochlear implants, I still need a combination of tools to make sense of what is going on around me.

SPN quotes and graphic came from ScatteredQuotes.com.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Long time no post!

It's been nearly two years since I last blogged. Sorry about that. I have been rather busy. Working two jobs, and going to college, I wasn't left with much time to even worry about this blog.

I am still doing well enough with my implants. I still see my audiologist every now and them to make some tweaks when needed. I contact Advanced Bionics when I need to replace a cable, doing my best to keep on top of maintaining my implants.

I no longer work for Walmart at this time. I have had a rough time with my mental health, and it just made things worse for me at Walmart. So I quit, because I needed to. I couldn't continue with the way my mind was functioning. I still had my other job so I am still working and paying my bills. It would be helpful if I could get hired at another job, but I still haven't had any luck with that. I don't even hear back from any of the places I've applied at, which is frustrating. But in the mean time, I am trekking away with my job at our library services for the deaf.

I was a co-coach again for Deaf Academic Bowl. We were only able to take one team this year, and we made it to the nationals. These students did fantastic, they worked hard all year long, and studied hard. This time, the team didn't have a chance to even get together and practice in person. They all kept in touch online and used Quizlet to quiz one another and keep everyone practicing. It worked out very well for them though, as they placed second at West regionals and we made it to the semi-final round at Nationals. Everyone enjoyed their time at the competitions, and we even worked in a bit of site seeing while we were in DC too, which was great!

And now, onto something that happened today. I'm in my office at the library, scanning things and fussing with my iPad, listening to songs. As soon as the song quit on the iPad, I heard this sound. Then I realized there was a light flashing right outside my office. What is going on, is that the fire alarm going off? Sure enough, it was the fire alarm. But... it's after 3:30, school's out, so this isn't a drill. The other two employees in the library came over to the doors to see what the fuss was about. The alarms are LOUD (remember, this building used to be a deaf school, and these alarms installed were specific for the deaf, LOUD and flashing).  It kept going off, 5-7 times in the 15 or so minutes it was going off. Finally it was turned off, and the hearing employee could relax. Every time the alarm went off, she about jumped out of her seat and had to plug her ears. Myself, and the other deaf employee, we were fine. Our cochlear implants and hearing aids handled the loud sound just fine, so the alarm wasn't that loud for us. The hearing employee complained it was too loud, so of course, I wanted to be funny and said "well yeah, this used to be the deaf school! Of course it's loud." Deaf employee also gave me a hard time, teasing me when I mentioned that I noticed the flashing lights outside my office. She had to share the story with our hearing employee.

When I was a kid, I was a student at this school for the deaf. And it was standardized testing time if I remember that right. So, I'm sitting at a desk, completely focused on this test. To eliminate any noise distractions, I had my hearing aids or FM off so I could focus. Here I am, completely focused and working away on this test.... and the fire alarm is going off. I didn't hear it, I didn't see the flashing light, and I was sitting right underneath the alarm. Everyone else got up and headed out in orderly fashion, as is expected during a fire drill. But there I am, still working away on this test, completely oblivious to what's going. So the interpreter (who is the deaf employee sharing this story with our hearing employee) had to get my attention and get me up and going.

Later, the custodian came in to clean up and he told us it was a kid who had pulled the alarm down by the cafeteria/gym. Kids, fire alarms are not toys and are not to be pulled for fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


It's been ages since I've posted! Things have been insane since the last update, which was... well I don't even remember.  I still plan on posting about the Academic Bowl trips with photos attached and all that jazz.  I just need some more time in my day it seems.

I've been let go from my newspaper job in late May. That was a shocking surprise, but once I got over the shock, I was okay with it. I have been unhappy for a while there, so now I had no choice but to get serious about job hunting. So job hunting I did!  Of course, it was awkward.  Being deaf and trying to get jobs can be tricky.  The jobs always want to call when they want to set up interviews and such.  I'm still not ready to handle phone calls, and just about went out of my mind trying to figure out a solution for this.  I use the Sprint IP Relay app on my iPhone, but relay calls can be slow and awkward, especially when the caller isn't sure how to deal with it. I downloaded a couple of different captioned call apps, and decided to give Hamilton a shot. I absolutely wish InnoCaption was up and running again, they were truly the best app, with real live operators and the captions didn't lag much.  Anyway, I did the best I could with my job hunt. Did a few interviews, only to either not be hired or never heard back.

I did set up an appointment for a mock interview through the local vocational rehab. That was a complete disaster. I wasn't feeling all too well that day though, with my back hurting and my mind being all out of place. Came home feeling depressed and hopeless, only to get a call from Walmart saying they wanted to do an interview for the very next day. Okay! Did the interview the next day, then waited for the call back about orientation. Never did get that phone call, so I called them and found out they had tried to call me to no avail. Dang! But I made it to orientation and have been working at Walmart since around mid-June. The department managers are nice and understanding, and willing to answer any questions I have and work with me.  There have certainly been incidents where I just plain cannot make sense of what some customers want, even when they act it out. Those are always tricky, and I always feel bad that I can't make sense of what they want. But I'm working hard at Walmart, and doing the best I can to help customers when they need help. There have even been several mis-hearings as well (pinto beans or pickled beets? massager or mixed nuts? 16 or 60?). I stock shelves in the consumables department, which I am happy with.  It's pretty much a full time schedule (scheduled for 40 hours a week), 5 days on, 2 days off each week.

Soon, Walmart will not be my only job. I was contacted by someone at the state department of education, and she told me she was creating a couple of part time positions at the local Library Services for the Deaf and HoH. Awesome! For a few years, the library resource specialist and I have talked of going through the old photos and files and doing some archiving, but it just never happened.  But soon, the archiving project will finally get started! Not only will I be working on the archiving, I'll also be helping with the coaching of the Deaf Academic Bowl students, and doing community sign language classes with the other person who is taking the second part time contract position. There will probably be other tasks as well, but these are the three I'm aware of at this time.  I'm really looking forward to getting started with this job! They will work around my Walmart schedule, so that'll be nice. And for the fall semester, I only have one class on campus and the rest are being done online, so that shouldn't be an issue with working around my college schedule.

Also, after the visit to Gallaudet University in April for the National Deaf Academic Bowl, I started reconsidering the idea of attending Gallaudet... and filled out an application and sent it in. Gallaudet University has a Deaf Studies program, which really grabbed my attention. I have always been fascinated with Deaf Culture, Deaf history, and American Sign Language. I figured this program would be right up my ally, and it can be done online! Score!  Weeks went by, with emails back and forth with the admissions office at Gallaudet, and my having to gather transcripts and information and a video of why I want to join the program, etc., I finally got the acceptance notice.  I got the acceptance notice in email one day, and the official acceptance packet from UPS at my door the next morning! I was definitely very giddy with glee at the acceptance! After reading the acceptance letter, I also found out I could get a scholarship, which is amazing! I followed up with Admissions, and it turns out the scholarship is if I attend Gallaudet on campus, there are no scholarships for doing the program online. Well shoot. I was counting on staying at home, continuing with my job at Walmart so I can pay my bills, and doing Deaf Studies online. I'll just have to figure out a way to pay, see if there are any scholarships out there, see if FAFSA would continue to help (I've been receiving the Pell Grant for 5 semesters, and possibly again for this fall semester at the local college), etc. I already know Vocational Rehab won't be able to help as I just saw my counselor yesterday. Ah well, I'll figure out something somehow.  For now, I'll focus on finishing up my last semester at the local college and getting m Associates degree in General Studies, and going from there.  I do would like to spend at least one semester on campus at Gallaudet, just so I can get the full experience. Doing so, I would be able to see more of Washington, D.C., something I have been wanting to do for a while.

I'm most definitely going to be one busy gal soon enough!  Well, I'm already busy enough with my Walmart job, but I'll just be even busier when the library job starts and the fall semester starts. Yay! Here's to hoping I don't completely 100% lose my mind at some point :)