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Monday, September 26, 2016

ALDAcon Day Three - part two

This is the final installment of my experiences at the national convention for the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) held in Brookfield, Wisconsin, September 14-18, 2016. Since my last post, I changed my mind about writing about the dinner plans that didn't work out. Instead, I'm going to share about the Saturday night karaoke party and the Sunday morning Farewell Breakfast. All photos in this post are by convention photographer Ken Arcia and used with his permission.

The karaoke party is an ALDAcon tradition which I had heard about but never experienced before. I was very much looking forward to it! In the photo above, I am singing "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher with friends from ALDA Chicago. I had never sung karaoke before and I have to admit that sometimes the words just passed me by. I didn't know the song as well as I thought I did! Later on a group of us got back on the stage to sing "I've Got Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks. This time (in the photo below) I'm in the back row on the far left, only partially visible. 

We held balloons so we could feel the music through the vibrations on the surface of the latex. The volume in the room was LOUD. Foam earplugs were available for those of us with residual hearing to protect.

Elvis was in the house!

At midnight, we all gathered round in a circle and clasped hands to sing "The Wind Beneath My Wings", the traditional closing song of ALDAcon karoake nights. Then, some of us went upstairs to get some sleep and others went out to a local restaurant for an after party. I knew I had an hour's drive ahead of me the next day, so I chose to return to my room. I heard later some people had an after party after the after party which continued until about 5 a.m. Party animals!

At 8 a.m. the next morning, we had a Farewell Breakfast. In the photo above the crowd is "deaf applauding" my newcomers group. I hadn't known it in advance, but it's customary for the newcomers to come up to the microphone to share their experiences at the con. I managed to get those that were there up to the front and I stood close by for support as they shared their remarks. As you can see from the photos below, it was an emotional moment. I was very glad I had the opportunity to serve as Newcomers Chair for the convention and get to meet all these great people. I hope to see them again at next year's con.

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