It’s February, which means that a lot of people who tried to follow their new year’s resolutions in January have probably given up by now. So my trick is to start my resolutions in February, to give me a better chance of continuing them!
Personally, I’ve been racking my brain to come up with some ideas for self improvement, (despite being perfection personified of course…ahem) and I’ve produced a rather Deaf-tailored list.
So have a read and maybe join me on a resolution or two…or not.
Play more guitar/violin
Over the years I’ve tinkered around with the odd guitar and violin, but not as much as I’d like. So I’m going to dedicate some time to becoming a master at either/both of these.
After all, how cool would it be to approach an unsuspecting deaf-unaware person and introduce yourself with “Hi I’m Deaf, now watch me shred this awesome solo!”
Use the phone
In my house, I’m usually the first person to cower in fear at the ringing/flashing of a telephone (my Nan is the second, if you were wondering.)
However, I’ve recently purchased a phone that I can use with my hearing aids. With this newfangled technology I can just about manage to stumble through a phone conversation, and will therefore attempt to conquer my crippling fear of the ol dog and bone.
Use Deaf gadgets
Somewhere, in the back of a dark dank wardrobe, there is a dust coated cardboard box labelled “Deaf Crap”.
Within this box lurks numerous machines and gadgets that are designed to make Deaf life easier, but for some reason I’ve not felt the need for them.
This year, however, I intend to start using everyone single one of them!
After I’ve bought all the necessary plug adapters, extension cords and batteries of course…
Talk to strangers
Not the suspicious, unsavoury looking ones of course! I’m talking about shop assistants, public service workers and so on.
In the past, I’d usually ask whoever I’m with to do the talking for me or just avoid the task entirely, but NO MORE! It’s time to become more independent so, strangers, I’m coming for you!
During conversation with new people I always find myself slipping in the phrase “sorry, I’m deaf”, as if my lack of ability to hear is causing them some great grievance and it’s all my fault.
Now, truth be told, It may be slightly frustrating for the other party involved but from now on, I will no longer apologise!
If they don’t like it, they can, quite frankly, lump it!
Keep using BSL
There are two BSL certificates hanging proudly on my office wall, but my actual BSL skills are immensely crap.
This is due mainly to the fact that I rarely have the opportunity to use them. I pretty much only see other Deaf people once a year, at Deaffest.
So it’s time to get out there and communicate with other BSL users more often.
Deaf people, I’m coming for you!
Make another Deaf film
A while ago I wrote and directed Admit None, my first short film for the BSLBT under the Zoom Scheme.
It was a fantastic experience that left me hungry for more and sent me hurtling into the world of freelance film-making. I have since made a few micro short, corporate and wedding films, but I’d really love to make another Deaf based film.
With opportunities like Zoom, Ben Steiner etc this is definitely a possibility and if you’ve got a film, book or project on the back burner, why not make 2014 the year to get it done?
Go to the Cinema
I used to love going to the cinema but then I lost my hearing and an invite to the cinema now leaves me with a sense of impending doom.
Basically, cinemas are terrible at providing working subtitles, so I avoid them at all costs. This has got to change. Subtitles (when they work) are a great service for Deaf people and if we don’t use them, we’ll lose them!
So lets all get out there and watch some films! If we’re let down, we can always make a complaint but lets also not forget to be grateful when the subtitles do run smoothly, after all, you’ll attract more bees with honey!
Take a drawing class
I think this one’s pretty self explanatory…
Stop making lists
I seem to have become obsessed with lists. I don’t know how or why it started, but I blame the Limping Chicken entirely. I’m hoping that with time and therapy, I will be able to write an article without any numbering or bullet points.
Check back next month to see if I’ve made any progress…
Teresa Garratty is a Contributing Editor for this site, as well as being a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.
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