Friday, March 28, 2003

CI Kids Camp

I just found out I can be a volunteer for the Cochlear Implant camp thingy for kids/teens with CIs that's in June! And it'll be treated as a FIELD TRIP for school rather than missing school.. This is gonna be soo much fun!

My interpreter Jo volunteered to be an interpreter, and her best friend (who used to be my teacher back during the deaf school years) is also going. We're gonna share a cabin, they get 1 bedroom and I get the other room to myself. Oh yeah it'll be fun and a great experience!

I'll be able to talk to others about their experiences, get some ideas for myself, and even do some research =P This would be a good opportunity for me to gather up some ideas like from the CI specialists that will be there for the deaf/cochlear implant problem I created for school. WE BETTER BE DOING THIS PROBLEM NEXT YEAR as I really wanna do it before I graduate!!!!! lol

HEATHER WHITESTONE's a featured speaker at the camp in June! This is gonna ROCK! YEAH! I'm now excited about this!

Thursday, March 27, 2003

audiologist on CI, CI Kids Camp

oh yeah! while at the Alpine Hearing Center, the dude there (I never did catch his name lmao) said that he took a class on cochlear implants about 5 months ago, and he wants to work with the Denver CI specialists and see if he can like.. fix any problems with the CI's or make adjustments to them for people that live around here that have CI's (which is very few) so that they wouldn't have to drive ALLLLL the way to Denver to get it taken cared of. My mom asked if he knew anything about CI's as I do want one for myself. One thing he said is that the criteria for being a candidate has definitely decreased as the CI really does help and work for a lot of people or whatever.... so I could be a candidate!!!! My mom and I just need to get going and meet with specialists and even contact the DVR and see if they'd be willing to help us with the fundings for the CI.

Another thing!!!!!!! Theres a Cochlear Implant camp for kids/teens who have CI's. Their families can attend it too, and it's like a 5 day camp or whatever. My interpreter's alreadt signed up to be a volunteer interpreter... Problem is, since we had 2 snow days last week, the school days have been extended to June 9th or 10th.. which is a problem. The person in charge of the deaf education department or whatever, she probably wouldn't let my interpreter go because of the extended school days. So! This morning Jo told me about the camp, and thought that it might be possible that I could be a volunteer or something like that, and go with her! Then it would be for sure that she could go! I think it'd be a wonderful experience! That way I can meet many others who have CI's and ask them about the CIs and stuff like that. Heather Whitestone is a featured speaker at this camp in June too, as she had gotten her cochlear implant just last year so she can hear her kids. My mom could go too if she could be a volunteer somewhere.. that way she and I can talk with the specialists and all.... find out what we're supposed to do and so on. It'd be really cool I think! I hope I can be a volunteer!!!!!!

new mold new mold!

I had an earmold made TODAY instead of MONDAY!!!! THANK GOODNESS for Alpine! We now have an Alpine Hearing Center right here in town... so we don't haffta drive to the University of Wyoming for new hearing aids or repairs to my equipment or whatnot! It can all be done HERE! and the guy at the Alpine here, he says he'd make my mold today and have it for me by Monday or Tuesday! and when I have my molds made through the school district, it takes 10 days to the mold from the company! And... I think the guy who made my mold will be better than the school district audiologist Linda.... The guy says my earmold should be going into my ear more, but it's not cause it seems like someone cuts off the tip of the earmold that goes into the ear canal or whatever. BUT HEY! I'm getting my new earmold MONDAY or TUESDAY! ain't that grand?!?!?! I'm excited!

AAANNNNDDDD!!!! he also said while sending out the mold of my ear to the company to have the earmold made, he'd also send in the damaged cord for my personal FM system and get a replacement. He also said he'd order a few more of the cords so he'd have them in his office available for me! He doesn't have much at his office right now as he just opened the Alpine Hearing Center a few months ago and doesn't exactly know what his customers need. I'm happy!!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

lots of rambling

Wow! Today's like the FIRST time I ever went through the entire school day being completely DEAF! No hearing aids, no FM systems.. Just an interpreter there interpreting for me so I knew what was going on and such. It was kind of nice!

I didn't wear my hearing aid as I am still awaiting to have my new earmold be made (we had to reschedule my appointment to the 31st of this month due to our Snow Days last week hmph). The earmold don't fit my ear as well anymore, and is loose. So I keep hearing squeaks all day, and I am SICK of listening to the squeaks. Sure is nice to know I have the option to just go through the day being completely deaf. And not once did I get a headache as I sometimes do when I do have my hearing aid on... Must be because I didn't have to rely on my hearing throughout the day AND watching the interpreting.... Anyway it was pretty interesting. I may do it again as it'll be a while before I even get my new mold.

I still am considering a CI for myself. Just not sure if my mom wants me to get one. I don't know.. We were talking the other day, and it seemed like she didn't care about the CI, and that she just doesn't want to do anything about it. It just seemed that way to me. Maybe it's because she has no idea where to go now. We have video tapes on CI, we have the audiologist we can ask, my interpreter's best friend has contact with CI specialists from Denver and that sort of thing. I guess after finding out that my dad's insurance won't cover it, she gave up on it or something. I just plain do not know! This frustrates me a bit.

Anyway... Spreading deaf awareness is a good idea I think. People should know about deafness, and how deaf people do things. I mean, deaf people can do ANYTHING that hearing people can do! Drive, be doctors, ministers, TEACHERS, even be an INTERPRETER! I have an interpreter at school and she is deaf herself! BORN deaf too. I find it truly amazing that she can interpret and she has even less hearing than I do! But she benefits greatly from her hearing aids.

I had to create a problem for my senior year for the school that I go to (it's a way for juniors to get in as seniors since this school is VERY different). I decided to do something with deafness, and decided.. hey why not look at the controversys with Cochlear Implants! a lot of Deaf people are very against CI's as they think hearing people are trying to FIX deaf people, or trying to ruin their culture. That way, the students at the school I go to will have some deaf awareness... I decided they should learn some signs, look into the anamoty (sp?) of the ear, find out how CI's and hearing aids work, look at audiogram and understand how soundwaves are measured and hearing loss is measured, the list goes on! My interpreter and I were talking the other day that we should plan for a DEAF DAY for when we actually do this problem at school.. Plug up everyone's ears and force them to use the signs they've learned to communicate and so on.

Sunday, March 2, 2003

2003 Deaf Academic Bowl

The trip was fun and all, but man I sure missed home!

University High School won the western regional Academic Bowl. Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind came in 2nd, so both teams get to go to the National competition in May. Wow this was such a great experience and I'm definitely GLAD I went.

My interpreter Jo and I arrived in Cheyenne just in time, and met up with the rest of the team. The other team players besides me were Dawn, John, and Matt. The coaches are Mandi and Tony. Jo was the 3rd coach, and was to take over in case Tony had to leave. Anyway, we went for lunch then headed to Colorado Springs. We made it to Colo. Springs and drove around trying to find the school. We managed to find it and checked in. Got out cards that served as our keys, passes, blah blah blah blah; Gallaudet Academic Bowl t-shirts, pens, room assignments and stuff like that.

The boys were in Jones Hall and the girls in Argo Hall. Jo stayed at a motel. Dawn and I were roommates. Mandi and the coach for the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind were room mates. Matt and John had to share a room with 5 other boys, and Tony shared with 3 other coaches.

We went out for dinner (Matt was about to talk to me when he pulled his card out of his pocket and spilled an entire tin of MINTS onto the floor, which he picked up HAHA!) then went to the gym. There I saw my friend that I practically grew up with, Will! We greeted each other and talked for a while. Then everyone went upstaird to the old gym. The coaches left for a meeting, and the students stayed in the gym to get to know each other and to do some activities. I didn't participate in some of the activities as I had hurt my wrist getting Jo's suitcase out of the back of the van at the motel! I may have sprained it, or even broke it a bit!

Next day, the first day of the competitions! We were given a tour of the campus so we knew where the 4 sites for the matches were and just so we knew our way around.

1st Match: Thursday; 1:30 PM, New Gym; Wyo vs. South Hills High School; 6-28
2nd Match: Thursday; 4:00 PM, Adams Building; Wyo vs. Madison High School; 32-30
3rd Match: Thursday; 7:45 PM, Lions Building; Wyo vs. Phoenix Day School for the Deaf; 29-35
4th Match: Friday; 2:00 PM, Gottleib Building; Wyo vs. California School for the Deaf, Freemont; 6-58
5th Match: Friday; 4:30 PM, Adams Building; Wyo vs. Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind; 17-19 (WE HAD A TIE AT THE END OF 3RD ROUND, 17-17, WENT THROUGH 16 QUESTIONS BEFORE ARIZONA WON)
6th Match: Saturday; 8:00 AM. Gottleib Building; Wyo vs. Spanaway Lake High School; 10-9
7th Match: Saturday; 10:30 AM, Adams Building; Wyo vs. University High School; 10-75

University High School won 1st place, Colorado School for the Deaf won 2nd place. Both teams are going to the national competition in May.

This was a great experience. Not only did I get to see THREE of my old friends, I also made new friends and really felt at ease in the deaf community.... I didn't feel left out or anything like that. It was just great. I'm definitely doing this again next year!

2004 competition will be held at Riverside, California School for the Deaf.
2005 competition will be held at Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.