Here I am again, sitting in the back row of the classroom staring blankly at the teacher. She is going over today’s lesson with vivid verbal detail. More gestures flow from her mouth before she turns her gaze towards me and all I do is give her a confused look. I can see her mouth moving but the words are as blurred as one trying to look at their own nose. It gets to the point where a student next to me has to tell me that she wants me to answer the question. It was never easy sitting in the back of the classroom with impaired hearing because you could never understand anything the teacher said. You can her the noise of their voice but no words would form from it. Therefore I had to learn without the usage of verbal communication.

Imagine that you are in a language class learning new foreign words. You sit there trying to sound them out and keep messing up the syllables.You get to sit their and watch the clock because you know that the class will end and so will your enunciation nightmare. For me that was never the case because my whole life is like learning a new language. When people say certain words, I will hear something completely different than what they say, which can lead to some rather interesting conversations. Since I heard words a certain way, that is how I would pronounce them, which lead to me being scolded for saying a word wrong. For many years I had to go to a speech class just so I could learn how to say words that were simple vocabulary to everyone else. Going to speech did help with me learn how to say words correctly and how to hear certain syllables, but it cut my time down in the classroom. I would miss a huge chunk of the lecture and I would have to catch up with the rest of my peers on my own.

People learn in all sorts of different ways, but for me it was one way or the highway. Because of my lack of hearing the teachers in the classroom, I had to rely on visual learning. I clinged to examples that the teacher would give on the boards or when we learned from the textbook. Only bad thing about that is most teachers hardly give you examples or teach from the textbook. They stand up at the front and will explain in full verbal detail and not bother to write any of it down. So I normally just sit in the back and try to figure it out on my own.

For most people learning is over when school is over, but for me that was never the case. I would have to go home and learn what the teacher taught for that day. Within my years of elementary and middle school I had to give up my free time just so I could learn what I could not hear at school. However, once I got out of middle school and entered the dreaded high school, I found that things were much easier for me. In high school you have access to computers, Ipads, and laptops which meant that I could learn what the teacher was lecturing over right there in school. This may not sound all too good, but I would sit there and completely ignore the teacher so that I could learn the day’s lesson.

There have been many drawbacks when it comes to learning while being hearing impaired, but there were some advantages. Due to my hearing, I could tune out people while I tried to learn so that they don’t distract me. Also, I learned that the internet is the ultimate teacher because I have found so many different ways to explain the same way and websites will offer different examples to look from which helped immensely. Sadly, those two I just listed are really the only good things about bad hearing. Well I guess my hearing has made it to where I will actually try hard to achieve something whether or not there are many obstacles in my way. Having to deal with always sitting in the back of the room, constantly having to deal with people who mumble, having to say “what” every five seconds, and so on have made it to where I am accustomed to a challenge, therefore I have no problem overcoming my problems.

Dustin’s Story:-“I’m Sorry, But What Did You Say?”
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