Friday, December 21, 2012

Ignorance

I might return to the CART Problem Series in the future, but I think the 18 posts that I've made on the subject will do for now. At least for a little while, I'm going to go back to making posts on various and sundry subjects as they occur to me, rather than just framing them as problems and solutions.

I mentioned in my Communicating Sans Steno post that my dad has had significant hearing loss for as long as I can remember, but since he was largely in denial about it for most of that time, I didn't learn much about how hearing loss worked or what it was like to deal with in daily life, so I'm ashamed to admit that I've been staggeringly insensitive to at least two hard of hearing people I've known over the years.

The first was when I was a teenager. Her parents were friends with my parents, so she and her brother used to come over to my house when we had parties, and sometimes I'd go to theirs. We went to different schools, so we only saw each other a few times a year, but we always had a good time when we got together. I didn't notice that she wore hearing aids until several years after we first met, when she mentioned that she'd won an essay scholarship for teenagers with hearing loss. Like the ignorant blunderer I was, I said, "Wait, you have hearing loss?" For the first time I noticed the aids. "But you wear hearing aids." "Yes," she replied patiently. "So... Why do you qualify for a scholarship if your hearing aids have already fixed the problem?" Like so many people, I'd assumed that if my eyeglasses were able to correct my severe myopia to normal vision, then hearing aids would be able to do the same thing for anything short of total deafness. I had no idea until almost 20 years later that amplification often doesn't improve clarity, that some frequencies can be incapable of amplification due to permanent loss of specific cochlear hair cells, that hearing is an extremely complex mechanism that doesn't have an easy or complete fix when any of its components malfunction. My misrefracting cornea could be completely compensated for by a piece of light-bending plastic. Even with hearing aids, my friend's hearing loss remained something she needed to reckon with.

I'd never noticed her misunderstanding me or asking me to repeat myself when we talked (the way my dad often did), and I didn't realize that the casual one-on-one conversations we had at parties were totally unlike her situation in the classroom, where she was learning new material, sat several feet away from the teacher (losing any ability to lipread, especially since the teacher faced the board most of the time), and was forced to work twice as hard as her classmates to get the same amount of information through her ears and into her brain. The fact that my friend had managed to do this all her life, getting excellent grades and becoming an extremely literate and eloquent writer, totally blew past me. I took it for granted; instead of congratulating my friend on her essay, I was rude and dismissive. I haven't seen my old friend since high school, but if I ever run into her again, I'll apologize and explain that I know a lot more now than I did then -- not that that's any excuse. If I had actually asked her to tell me more about the scholarship instead of assuming that it made no sense, I would have learned something that day, instead of having to wait 20 years to realize how much of a jerk I'd been.

The second incident is even more problematic, because I was in a position of authority. At my college, all sophomores are required to take a year of music theory, even though their degree (there's only one on offer) is in Liberal Arts. Music classes are led by professional instructors, but there are also weekly practicum classes, where students are supposed to try out what they've learned in small 4-to-5-person groups. Students with musical experience are chosen to lead those groups as work-study assignments, and because I'd played in the pit orchestra of a summer repertory theater, I got to be one of them. My job involved drilling the students in singing simple multipart songs and rounds, helping them to analyze counterpoint examples discussed in class, and answering any questions they had about the stuff they were studying. The emphasis was on getting an intellectual understanding of the music rather than in becoming accomplished performers, so it wasn't a problem that a few students in each practicum were tone deaf. Most of them just hadn't been exposed to much formal music training, and once I gave them a few exercises, their pitch discrimination and singing tended to improve quite a bit.

There was one student, though, who found both the music class and the practicum intensely frustrating. I noticed his hearing aids right away, because he'd decorated the earmolds in bright colors. He was forthcoming about his hearing loss, and explained that he got very little out of all the singing, analysis, and call-and-response pitch practice, because he couldn't hear any of it accurately enough to duplicate. Again, I assumed that the hearing aids should have solved the problem, and didn't understand what his issue was. He wasn't being graded on his accuracy in singing, and he wouldn't be penalized if he wasn't able to appreciate the aesthetic nuances of the songs. All he had to do was understand the mathematics of the music on the page, so that he could speak about it in class. The singing exercises were just intended to help build first-hand experience with hearing and repeating music in realtime. I figured that his hearing loss put him in the category of the "tone deaf" students, and treated him accordingly. I didn't realize that, unlike them, the problem wasn't his ability to distinguish the notes on an intellectual level. Unlike them, he wasn't going to improve with practice. He couldn't hear the difference between pitches no matter how many times they were repeated, so he felt like he was being forced to bang his head against a wall every week in practicum. When he expressed his frustration to me, I thought he was being oversensitive, and just reassured him that it wouldn't affect his grade even if he didn't improve by the end of the semester. I didn't realize the emotional consequences of being asked to do something you weren't physically able to do every week in front of your peers, over and over, and failing every time. He eventually wound up transferring to another college, and I'm afraid that my inability to understand what he was telling me played into that decision.

Like any good essay writer, I've Googlestalked both of these people as research for this post, and today they're both extremely successful and well-respected in their fields. Obviously my ignorance didn't stop them from doing what they wanted to do. But when you add my ignorance to the ignorance of everyone else they had to deal with, how much more exhausting, frustrating, annoying, infuriating did it make their educational experiences, not to mention other parts of their lives? If I hadn't gone into CART, I never would have realized the mistakes I'd made in trusting my own assumptions instead of listening to their experiences. Now I do, and I'm mortified when I think of the way I behaved. There's no easy solution to this problem. One out of every seven people in this country have some degree of hearing loss, and yet so few people actually understand how it works. It'll take a lot to educate all 312 million people about the 45 million who are Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing, but it badly needs to be done.

30 comments:

  1. Your story somehow relates to my story. My small angel is also suffering from hearing loss. She has faced so many challenges not only in her school life, but in the society as well.

    Being the mother of a child with hearing loss, I have always given extra attention, care and love she needed. I usually get shocked that why people behave so badly with hard of hearing people. Her friends usually used to come at our home to play with her, but suddenly they stopped to come and the reason might be, perhaps their parents asked them to do so.

    It is really a big shame on our society. Hearing loss is not a transmissible disease so people should aware about the facts of hearing loss. Various conferences and conventions should be conducted to spread the awareness about hearing loss.
    Reference: http://www.hiddenhearing.ie/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Engineers who wish to migrate to Australia must submit a Competency Demonstration Report and the Engineers Australia must approve it. Thus, engineering students look forward to getting Cdr Australia which assists them to get a flawless CDR. This reduces the chances of rejection by the EA.
    Most students and experienced civil engineers are today looking forward to migrating to Australia as the job scope is better and bigger with a high pay scale. Therefore, getting CDR help is the only scope to gain entry into the country. The service providers who assist the students with CDR have experienced CDR reportwriters. These writers know the requirements of a CDR and do it accordingly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Finally, when you are done with your dissertation writing services UK, make sure you have sent it to the respective source or saved it in your drive. It’s always better to follow these AssignmentHelp tips rather than moving around with guilt of unfinished work hanging over you. We know that every student faces this situation during their academic life and when you have lots and lots to do, a proper way to manage your Online Dissertation Help UK you spend less time getting more adept. Hire best Online Assignment Help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with you. Students need a lot of time to get the right grasp over things. But the problem is homework never stops, that's where teachers go wrong, loading them with the work. I think websites like Go Assignment Help, help in such cases with their Online Assignment Help Services.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our Assignment help
    service is helpful for the students in writing the assignments on various subjects. Assignment Help provides online assignment help to the students. The students can trust on our service without any hesitation.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Welcome to the review of AllAssignmenthelp reviews, a writing service in Britain aimed at USA. AllAssignmenthelp.com reviews is best reviews site in USA.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In Texas hire Texas assignment helpers for getting the expert help in your assignment writing. Students can improve their grades with the help of our expert's written assignments.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Best price assignments with Irelandassignmenthelp to increase your academic grade scale and keep yourself No. 1 in research paper writing help

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for sharing this informative post.MyAssignmenthelp is giving assignment help to students.we are already trusted by thousands of students who struggle to write their academic papers and also by those students who simply want to hire assignment experts to save their time and make life easy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Get Online perdisco-test help in Australia.There are thousands of Best Academic Experts with PH.D. Degrees with interested in Academic.Who feel that helping students in their Assignment is the most important key to change the world for better.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great write-up! All doubts regarding Assignment Help solved after reading the post. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to manage the time for writing homework due to some unavoidable reasons. I have recommendation for website greatassignmenthelp for ordering best writing services to complete your academic task.
    Assignment Help Online
    Online Assignment Help
    Assignment Help Online Services
    Assignment Helper
    Assignment Assistance
    Assignment Help Experts
    Online Assignment Help Services
    Assignment Writing Help

    ReplyDelete
  12. StudentsAssignmentHelp.com has Assignment writers Australia that work on different assignments projects for the students for giving them genuine assignment help services by 24*7.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Studies show that around 56% of all students consider their homework as the most primary source of stress in their life. It is no wonder then these students constantly think of ‘who can do my homework ’ in UK. Fortunately for them, we provide expert homework help at very reasonable prices. Recent research has also revealed that on average students between the ages of 6 to 17 have to spend a little more than three and a half hours each day of their school life doing homework. Our aim is to cut the time you spent doing your homework by more than a half by offering homework online services in UK to students. We offer you with several extraordinary benefits that make us the best choice for you. Homework help uk

    personal statement writing
    ghostwriter
    coursework help

    ReplyDelete
  14. It’s good to share information with others. I am also sharing something very important for students seeking MATLAB
    Assignment Help
    . Visit MatlabSolutions and get best
    assistance in your MATLAB, simulink assignments and projects. You can also visit MatlabHelpers for Matlab
    Assignment Help
    from Mathworks certified experts that provide online help services to students.


    You can also get CDR
    Report
    if you look to immigrate to Australia. We provide CDR
    writing services
    to all students.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice Post! When you are facing technical errors related to Quicken, our technical experts are technically experienced for solving common quicken problems in very nominal charges. We are technically known for solving all technical issues related to Quicken. Our Quicken Help is open 24 hours to provide instant solutions for any difficulty.
    Quicken Customer Service
    Quicken Customer Service Phone Number
    Quicken Customer Service Number
    Quicken Customer Support Number
    Quicken Customer Support Phone Number
    Quicken Customer Support
    quicken.com/support
    www.quicken.com/support
    Quicken support Phone number
    Quicken Support Number
    Quicken support
    Quicken Error CC-501
    Quicken Error CC-502
    quicken error cc-503
    Quicken won't open
    quicken won't open after update



    ReplyDelete
  16. Very nice!!! This is really good blog information thanks for sharing. We are a reliable third party Quickbooks software company, offering technical support for various types of technical errors.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Look no further and get accounting assignment helps from bestassignmentexperts in Australia . if you want to maintain a good academic record than contact our best assignment experts.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gotoassignmenthelp Service strives to meet the higher education standards of the university through the best quality assignments when you require Goto Assignment Help. Assignments are written logically and all errors are corrected for a flawless finish in our assignment help service online. When you choose our MYOB assignment help service, you need to think about the quality and your grades as well. On taking Gotoassignmenthelp service online from worldwide, We guarantee the original content and flawless work.. Professors of the reputed universities consider assignments to be the most efficient method to assess a students’ writing caliber along with their understanding of the course. Gotoassignmenthelp is the best thesis writing help
    provider in worldwide. Therefore, Gotoassignmenthelp provides online services like project management assignment, do my project management assignment, supply;chain management assignment help for students pursuing Bachelors’, Masters’, and Ph.D. Level studies in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, UAE, Singapore and worldwide.

    ReplyDelete
  19. “Get help from experts for Canon printer setup”
    Wondering how to configure a new printer on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android mobile device? Just download the Canon PRINT App, hit your printer’s Wireless Connect button and the data stored on your phone, including your Wi-Fi name and password, will automatically be shared allowing the overall setup process quicker and easier than ever. There are different methods to set up the canon printer in different versions of the printer. If you want to know the Canon printer setup guide, contact our experts. They will give you the easiest steps to do so. Just dial our toll-free number and talk with the experts. The best part is that you can call round the clock.
    canon printer setup
    Canon error code 5b00
    Canon B200 Error
    Canon Wireless Printer Setup
    Connect Canon Printer To Wi-Fi
    Canon printer offline

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wonder mouse technologies is a popular website designing company in delhi going ahead with contemporary techno skills set but with futuristic approach alloying small business to increase and big business to grow. Simultaneously from it, it is also an web development company in delhi, mobile application development company in indiaThe services are extra ordinary & unmatched and catered by dynamic and highly professional team. The experience will be fascinating in a reasonable price and delivery time.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We are proud of our best Goto Assignment Help Singapore experts because of their dedication providing continuous support to students by helping them meet deadlines and scoring better grades. We understand how important academic assessments are in developing a student's career and future opportunities, this is why we take extreme measures to ensure that all our solutions are best-in-class. All students looking for assignment help Singapore can reach us and avail the best online assignment help Melbourne from our academic experts. Our primary motive is not only to provide you with the best help but also to make your journey smooth. The increasing importance of writing assignments has prompted students to take a helping hand from assignment writing services. During higher studies in colleges, students often have to prepare multiple documents, quizzes, and surprise tests. This is the main reason why most students search for assignment help Perth over the internet and choose only the most proficient and trusted academic writing experts.

    ReplyDelete
  22. We are proud of our best Dissertation Help Online Singapore experts because of their dedication providing continuous support to students by helping them meet deadlines and scoring better grades. We understand how important academic assessments are in developing a student's career and future opportunities, this is why we take extreme measures to ensure that all our solutions are best-in-class. All students looking for assignment help Singapore can reach us and avail the best online dissertation writing services from our academic experts. Our primary motive is not only to provide you with the best help but also to make your journey smooth. The increasing importance of writing assignments has prompted students to take a helping hand from assignment writing services. During higher studies in colleges, students often have to prepare multiple documents, quizzes, and surprise tests. This is the main reason why most students search for MBA Dissertation help over the internet and choose only the most proficient and trusted academic writing experts.

    ReplyDelete
  23. There’s no doubt that Epson printers are one of the finest printers that are available in the market these days. But that doesn’t mean these printers are perfect or free from any kind of errors. There’s a high possibility that you will be a victim of Epson Printer Error Code 0x97 especially if you are using Epson printer for a very long time. The error code 0x97 can come about at any time without any prior warnings or signs. Usually this error code will turn up while the printing process is going on and your printer suddenly stops printing afterwards. So, as long as this error keeps showing up, you won’t be able to printer from your Epson printer. Thus, taking help from ingenious engineers is a very excellent choice at this moment.
    Epson Error Code 0x97

    Epson windows service disabled error

    Epson error code 0xf1

    Epson wireless printer setup

    Epson printer offline

    Epson Printer in error state

    Epson Support

    ReplyDelete
  24. Assignments carry a lot of marks and in any case, these should never be neglected. We understand that students face many issues related to assignment writing task and we are here with the best solution you might get.Best assignment help provides you a chance to score better grades while learning from the top assignment experts.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Management can be considered one of the topmost jobs that students always dream to get. management-assignment-help
    is for those students who are studying management.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your information is very detailed and useful to me, thank you for sharing. I hope you will always be up to date. We also provide affordable Assignment Help in Australia.
    Assignment Help

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi, I am anyageorge as an Office tech support executive well praised among the customer to help them in resolving their queries related to office setup. As problem or queries can turn up at anytime so you should be ready for it, just visit Office.Com/Setup and download the latest office setup. While doing so if you come across any difficulty then you can make connection with me.

    office.com/setup

    www.office.com/setup

    https://o-officecomsetup.com/

    https://onlinehelp345.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Scam. Don't be fooled by positive essayvikings reviews, they are all fake. This company is total scam (edusson.com, edubirdie.com, paperell.com, papersowl.com, essayvikings.com these are all belong to the identical company). Better avert them.

    ReplyDelete
  29. It is a systematic approach to find out how things went and what other approaches could have been taken. A case-study-assignment is for the law students to make them understand the basic concepts of law and know-how how the proceedings were done when that case was in the court.

    ReplyDelete