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Monday, August 10, 2009

Deaf volleyball team

When I went to CSUN, I stayed in the deaf dorms on campus. These were the dorms on the furthest north end of campus, literally being the furthest away from all the classrooms while still being on the school grounds. I noticed that there were a number of people who chose to live in the deaf dorms - not because they knew sign, not because they wanted to meet deaf people, but because they thought that deaf people would be quiet.

Srsly?! Wha?!

Um, no. I learned early in life that hearing loss in fact makes you LOUDER. One morning while I was a teen, I woke up early on a Saturday morning at my Dad's house. I snuck downstairs, sneakily as can be, tiptoeing past my Dad and evil Stepmom's bedroom. I turned on the large TV as quietly as a can, getting a short burst of static while cranking down the volume to zero. I'd turn on the Nintendo and try to start playing a game - and inevitably, my Stepmom at the time would come stomping down the stairs in a huff ordering me in hushed tones to get back to bed, some people are trying to get some sleep, heavens be the neighbors are going to be woken up! I never did find out what I was doing that was so loud, but I did become somewhat paranoid throughout my teens that I was being loud all the time and didn't know it.

Aside from that, deaf people in general do listen to music louder than others, slam doors, stomp on the floor to get attention, hoot or yell to get people to turn around, and generally rate quite high on the dB generation scale. :-) So, yeah, those people who chose the deaf dorms - you had it coming!

That loudness has transferred over to volleyball. I'm a pretty spirited player - I'm enthusiastic, supportive, energetic, and uplifiting. I'll give everyone high fives, call out the other team's players, yell when I've got the ball, and generally unnerve the other team into losing. But those tactics were learned by playing with hearing teams - my strategies now need changing if I'm to play with a deaf team. I did play a bit of club ball at CSUN, because they eliminated the men's vball team the year I started due to Title IX issues. The club teams were both hearing and deaf players - so I'm going to have to re-learn my deaf team tactics. It'll be fun though!

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