There was a young boy who was born with a hearing impairment and had never known what the meaning of sound is. He did not know how beats vary to create harmony. But he was quite observant. He realized that whenever people were dancing, there was a certain excitement which they wore on their faces. He also realized that one did not have to undergo training or any form of special dance classes. (Bboy Kuzo, 2007) They could simply follow the rhythm and find themselves dancing and moving naturally. This boy would feel the floor vibrating and learnt how to dance. He decided to follow this vibration and has made memorable music ever since.
Bboy Kuzo has made quite a name for him, he has served as a role model to those who have hearing impairments and to those who think that their life cannot go on. This moving story gave me the courage to start my forty –eight- hour- hearing loss experiment. Cases of hearing disorders are very common in the United States. This is especially prevalent in children. (Cheryl, 1997)Hearing loss can cause severe effects in any human beings life. This is amplified within a social setting or a classroom. I performed an experiment by placing a Taper fit into both my ears for two days. I experienced part of what some people go through all their lives.
My experience The first thing l noticed when l blocked my ears was the fact that l frequently gave inappropriate responses to any questions asked. When a new person came over in the house, they were not aware that l could not hear. It was quite common for them to ask me for salt and l would pass them a plate. Sometimes, it would get worse when l got out of the house. I tried purchasing some goods in the supermarket and could not communicate with the supermarket attendant. He tried telling me to pay for the groceries from the grocery section but l could not grasp such a simple instruction.
Instead, l decided to leave everything behind. Later on, my friends came by to keep me company. I had told them about my situation but it seems like they forgot about it. Most of them tried telling me one thing and l ended up doing the other. The other problem I experienced as l had partially lost my hearing was the fact that l could not maintain attention when long speeches were being made. This was mostly due to the fact that l could not understand what was being said. On that first day, my friends decided to watch a movie with me.
The movie was only one and a half hours long but ten minutes after it had started, l had already lost interest. I suddenly felt this horrible feeling l had when l used to watch those Chinese movies as a child. I could not understand a word of Chinese! I started feeling quite bored since I was not in touch with my environment. My friends seemed like they were enjoying themselves; they kept laughing all the time and l couldn’t join in. It became very frustrating for me. I also noticed that l had to ask very many questions. If l was not facing someone directly, l had to do so then ask them to repeat the question.
If l had been in class, this would really have slowed me down. Others hear a question as soon as it has been spoken and focus their time and energy on their responses. This was not the case with me. Most of my time was spent concentrating and figuring out what other people were trying to tell me. L felt like l was always behind the others in their thoughts and actions. Hearing loss makes someone quite impulsive. This is because you one cannot depend on instructions from others since you cannot hear them. I kept on doing things without planning and simply trusting my gut feeling.
The problem with that kind of reaction is that it causes a lot of misunderstanding to the people around you. If l had continued with this hearing disorder permanently, it would have caused my failure in school. I made this conclusion after trying to do some assignments we had been given in class. Our lecturer tried explaining every requirement to us in very simple terms but this did not help me; l had blocked my ears at that time. Most forms of teaching are verbal and no one will try to use some other means of communication like gestures unless they have been prompted to do so.
Other people also thought that l was trying to be rude. On the second day, my next door neighbor yelled out my name and asked for the camera l had borrowed. I didn’t understand any word he was saying and ended up wishing him a nice day. He thought that l was looking for an escape route although this was not the case. We did simply not understand each other. Deafness can also bring danger into one’s life. This implies that one may be given an important warning and he/she may not be able to act accordingly. I experienced this situation on the second day of my experiment.
I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. This was done on a side walk near my home. As l was walking, l got off from the side walk and decided to walk on the road itself. This was because there seemed to be no driver around. Unfortunately, someone emerged from nowhere and he was coming at a terrible speed. This driver tried to hoot and shout so that l could get out of the way. But his efforts did not bear fruit. Instead, I walked on by without a care in the world! As he brushed beside me, l saw a very angry man inside the car. He seemed like he was trying to scream at me.
That was when l realized what had just happened. This driver jerked his car suddenly after he realized that l couldn’t hear him and that l was not going to get out of his way. I had been very lucky because he had just managed to prevent a very deadly accident. I could have been in hospital that day because of the partial deafness. (Cheryl, 1997) Perhaps my worst experience during these two weeks was when l could not enjoy music. I am a popper, that is I love dancing or practicing popping. It is a known fact that one can only dance when music flows within them.
It must inspire someone to dance by its harmony. This implies that it is quite difficult to dance as a deaf person. I could not even sit down and listen to my favorite songs because nothing can be heard. I tried following what the young deaf boy used to do- feeling the vibration on the floor but this did not work! Music lost its touch and l just could not feel the rhythm and soul. As the second day progressed, l began feeling very frustrated, people could not understand me, I almost got into an accident, my neighbor thought l was rude and l couldn’t get my messages across to others or vice versa.
This made me feel out of place so I just decided to stay in my room. Others were out there having fun and l couldn’t join in. Feelings of isolation started creeping in. I had lost all the confidence necessary to have a normal life as I started thinking about all the things l used to have before l blocked my hearing. This made me very lonely. In addition to this, I also became very stressed. This worsened and by the time it was nightfall, I had lost all enthusiasm for life. Conclusion There were lots of losses I experienced.
These can be summarized as follows. • Leads to potentially dangerous situations • Academic failure • Inappropriate responses • Feelings of isolation and stress • Impulsiveness • One cannot enjoy music • Misunderstandings and complaints about being rude • Difficulty following instructions • Lack of concentration during long speeches.
Bboy, K. 2007): retrieved from http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=JaKpfLK2P2w accessed on 28th November Cheryl, D. (1997): Educational Audiology Handbook; Oxford University Press