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When I first arrived at school, I felt confused and sort of awkward when all of my friends were together engaging in conversation and I couldn't chime in because they don't know sign and a pen and paper was too complicated for the small talk.
Second hour is my strength/conditioning class where we happened to be playing baseball on our break day. My buddies were all cracking jokes at me and I didn't take offense because I know they didn't mean anything by it but I can only imagine how humiliated a deaf person would have felt in the same situation.
In third hour we were taking a quiz in math class and a very rare event happened in which our teacher let us collaborate with a partner of her choice on the questions and I found this a very difficult task to complete without vocal methods. My partner and I used a pen and paper to show our thoughts and I felt bad that I must not have been much help to him.
At lunch was when it became increasingly difficult to not orally communicate with my peers. Luckily, one of my friends at the table knew sign language and we began to have some conversations and he would even interpret for me to the other fellas.
In one of my classes, I brought my friend to the front of the class to have him interpret to the teacher for me why my paper was late. When I began to sign and explain to the teacher that my printer was broken, he told me that I needed to speak to him directly about the issue. If I actually was deaf, I would have been enraged.
I was exhausted after the day had finished. It was pretty stressful going through the experience and I gained so much respect for the deaf and hard of hearing who go through this everyday of their lives. I learned to always be respectful and include everyone no matter what and to show patience and help people who need it whether they have a disadvantage or not.
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