Posted in Happy Little Photos, Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Word Wonder

Affection & Wonder

20180112_072541via Daily Prompt: Wonder

This little girl of mine fills me with so much adoration and wonder. As I watch her off and on throughout the day, I’m in awe of who she has become. I think back to her quirky days as a toddler and the funny things she used to say as she was first developing language.

“Mama, I can feel my heart beeping!!”

Or how she would recognize the appropriate time to show appreciation and joyfully exclaim, “Thankum!” (Which meant “Thank you!”)

And I remember her at around 2 years old when she would speak so quickly I’d have to interpret for my friends because they had no idea what she just said.

One afternoon in the spring there was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years older than my daughter, who started playing with Makayla in our yard. They tried to strike up a conversation and after a few minutes the little girl looked at me strangely and asked, “Is she speaking Chinese??” It was funny because Makayla wasn’t quite 2 at that time and whatever she said to the neighbor girl really did sound like Chinese to me, too.

Now, she’s going to be 11 in less than a month and she’s so articulate. Since she was 4, people have noticed what a great memory she has for things and a vocabulary that you wouldn’t expect from someone so small. At almost 11, people don’t notice these things as much because she’s older now and it sort of goes along with her age.

She’s more independent than ever and knows exactly who she is. There is no shy bone in her body. She can definitely hold her own. And she is a bright, radiant light. I look at her full of love and wonder. It’s still hard to believe she’s mine.

Posted in Ponderings, Word Wonder

Ruminations of a Sign Language Interpreter

via Daily Prompt: Rube

I was standing at the corner early one morning, waiting for the go ahead to

city-cars-vehicles-street.jpgcross the busy city street.  The corner was packed full of people. It was raining and foggy out. I stood there patiently waiting with my black pok-a-dot umbrella, sipping my luke warm coffee.

A few people sauntered up to the crowd and started debating something. I couldn’t decipher the words until the conversation got a little louder. I kept looking straight ahead as though I heard nothing, something I am accustomed to doing mostly when I work in the city.

As I waited, I starting paying attention to the variety of umbrellas and rain boots people were displaying as they shuffled off to work. I stopped hearing the conversations around me, lost in my observations & thoughts. I got jilted back when a woman lost her temper shouting, “You know, you’re nothing but a rube! You have no idea what you are talking about! So naive, I can’t even stand another minute talking to you. I’m walking to the next block. Don’t follow me!!”

“A rube, ” I thought, “what is that?”

The sign changed and we all quickly walked across the street with our poker faces in place. A couple of men passed me speaking Russian, a guy flew past on his rented City Bank bike, splattering street water on some executives.

I had no idea what a rube was but I knew I’d google it later and that it was clearly not something I’d ever call someone. Still, it’s interesting how just walking a mile and a half to work can broaden your vocabulary.

Later on in the day, back at the train station, I read the train schedule for the Hudson Line and walked to track 13. I found a seat and called my mother to see if she could bring my daughter to Girl Scouts that night. While we were on the phone, the conductor made an important announcement informing us that they had to “change some equipment” on our train and that we needed to board the train at track 33 instead. As I power walked to track 33 with everyone else,  I overheard a couple of people reading Metro North news on one of the TV screens in the station, “Now there was a fire on the train somewhere?” Strangely, it didn’t phase me. These trains are more than 30 years old.

It struck me that if I was deaf or hard-of-hearing, I wouldn’t have gotten that message from the conductor. I would have seen everyone on the train getting up and exiting quickly, wondering in this day and age, what in the world was going on. I would have followed the group from my train car, paying close attention to if they were mostly all going to the same place. That is, if I wasn’t sleeping. We (people who can hear) take information that we so easily receive for granted.  And most of us don’t stop to think about the people who are not getting that same pertinent information.  We don’t always do it on purpose. We just make this subconscious assumption that we’re all on the same page.

Then, I thought about that woman losing her temper and calling someone a rube. I thought about the vocabulary that I’ve acquired from reading and hearing other people in their conversations. We take incidental learning for granted. Countless hours are spent teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing kids things we all learn without trying because we just happen to hear it. It made me think about an elementary school student I work with every week and all of the vocabulary that comes up in lessons that she isn’t familiar with.  She remembers the things that she learns with her eyes and the way it feels to talk about things in American Sign Language and she’s just learning to read.  She’s not hearing any of these words, we are showing them to her on a page, then showing her how to sign the concept and use it in signed conversation.  It requires a lot more work for a deaf child to retain English vocabulary than it does for kids who can hear & hear it often.  Also, remembering how to use new vocabulary words in ASL is much different than being able to recognize the written word & remember it’s meaning.

Just some random musings of a Sign Language Interpreter at the end of her work day…


Posted in Miss Sassypants, Word Wonder

Daily Prompt: Carve

via Daily Prompt: Carve

The teacher asked, “Where are your hearing aids? Did you bring them today?”

The elementary school student hopped up pretending she forgot them, “Oh! Just a minute!” She skipped to the closet to check her lime green backpack with her hand over her mouth, muffling a giggle.

Returning to her seat with her turquoise hearing aids with tye-dyed ear molds in her little hand, she signed, “They’re broken. The latch for the battery won’t close.” The student pretended to be disappointed, but the adults in the room weren’t buyin’ it.

As her Sign Language Interpreter watched the conversation, she thought to herself, “I bet she’d like to carve out a hole in the wall and drop them in. She really dislikes those things.”

Posted in Word Wonder


via Daily Prompt: Cozy

I have my coffee sitting close to me on the bookshelf near my couch. I chose a mug with a giant snowlady, as I like to call her. She has a thick, sassy, red scarf tied around her neck that appears to be flying in the imaginary wind. For some reason, this seems to make her happy.  In one hand, she’s holding a red tea kettle with what I imagine to be filled with Holiday Chai Black Tea by Stash. This is my new favorite tea since a Teacher of the Deaf that I work with gave me a box for Christmas. There are candy canes, Christmas trees and dancing gingerbread women, snowflakes falling from the sky, and a happy snowman standing by her side holding an apple spice cake that was made in a festive bundt pan with mistletoe garnish.  I’m dressed to work in NY today, making sure I have all the right things to keep my face from freezing as I walk to 34th Street. My lunch is packed, my phone’s charged, the new book I’m reading for Blogging for Books is in my backpack. An eighteen year old NIV bible is open on the couch to the book of Proverbs.  My apartment is so cozy as I sip my hot coffee and read Proverbs 3:5-6.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Looks like I have to get off my cozy couch and take my coffee to go in order to live out this important word for the day. Trust.  See you later, cozy apartment. Time to find a cozy seat on the train and read a good book on my way to video relay services.