Thursday, November 20, 2014

Deaf to Myself

This semester in grad school, I have been taking a class on listening. I never had a chance to take a listening class before so I was wondering what it would be like. At the beginning, I was inwardly hostile to the idea of learning how to improve my listening. I felt as though I did plenty of work already being hard of hearing and struggling to hear what other people said. Thank you very much! In fact, I had structured much of my day around not having to listen. I found sustained listening tired me out and gave me headaches.

My teacher has given me an entirely new perspective on listening. She says that to be able to listen to others you have to listen to yourself first. She calls that intrapersonal communication. This was a new term to me and something I did not learn about when I got my undergraduate degree in communications twenty-five years ago.

My teacher told us that trust is a gift you give to yourself. I have not been in the habit of trusting myself or validating my internal thoughts and feelings. I had always been taught to put others' needs and opinions ahead of my own. But in this class, I learned about standing in your personal power, paying attention to what you actually experience in your life, and creating the life you want through your thoughts and words. My teacher said, "Patience is the crux of listening. Be patient with yourself then others. To care about another person can often be expressed best through listening. To care about yourself can also be best expressed by listening."

I realized that until now I have been deaf to myself.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Chicago Walk4Hearing

Today was a beautiful day for the 2014 Chicago Walk4Hearing in Lincoln Park. The temperatures were in the low 70s and the sky was sunny. Walking along Lake Michigan we had cool breezes to enjoy.

I was really happy to be walking with my ALDA Chicago friends Kim, Julie, Nathan, Jenifer,  Carol, Marsha K., Marsha S., Beth, and Joe. We were joined by a student named Mimi that I took ASL with last year. We were given delicious cookies and bottles of water before the walk. Afterwards, we were fed slices of pizza and ice cream treats. It was  a really fun event.

Of course, the reason for the event was to raise both awareness and funds. My final tally was $1, 025. Thank you, supporters! My ALDA Chicago team surpassed our $3,000 goal to reach $3, 283. The Chicago Walk4Hearing total of all teams together was $82,557.68 or 83% of the $100,000 goal.

I am sorry that I do not have photos to add to this post. My camera malfunctioned at the walk and my cell phone memory was full. If I receive photos from friends with permission to post, I will share those later. Thanks again, readers, for making this walk with me via my blog.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Who is Tinsel?

I had a funny thing happen to me during my fundraising for Chicago Walk4Hearing. I just can't resist sharing it with you.

A couple days ago I noticed a donation posted by Tinsel on my fundraising page. For more than a day, I could not figure out who Tinsel was. I thought maybe it was one of you, my blog readers, but no one had ever posted a comment and signed it as Tinsel. It finally hit me who Tinsel is - a donkey on my aunt and uncle's farm in Maryland. A while back my aunt had sent me this photo (below) when I blogged about something ear related. More recently, when she and my uncle were visiting us, she had been delighted to see a photo of my son with Tinsel included in a family video.

In light of the generosity of Tinsel (and his owners), I will let Tinsel announce my fundraising update. As always, my thanks go out to all who have donated. Okay, Tinsel, take it away.

Hee haw! Hi, everybody. I'm Tinsel. Here's the latest from Sarah on the Chicago Walk4Hearing:

Sarah has raised $850 (an increase of $115 from the last report). ALDA Chicago (Sarah's team) has raised $2,336 (78 % of their $3,000 goal). Overall, the Chicago Walk4Hearing has raised $42, 403.68 (42% of the $100,000 goal).

Eeyore. Sarah made a mistake when giving you her last report. She said the Chicago Walk4Hearing goals was $1.4 million. That is actually the goal for the whole year from all of the Walk4Hearing events around the country combined. Eeyore. She regrets that error.

If you still want to participate in the fundraising drive, there are 14 days left. Visit her donation page where you can see my name scroll by on the Fundraising Honor Roll! Hee haw.