Friday, March 25, 2011

My Unusual Experience Today--Dealing with the Deaf

I had a very unusual experience today at the gym.  I had just finished up a set of squats when a man came up to me and started motioning to my back and demonstrating putting on a belt.  Well, I don't squat heavy weights like I used to, so a belt is not necessary.  I shook my head no, realizing the man was deaf.  He thought I didn't understand what he was saying and went and showed me the belt.  I learned and taught my daughters a bit of sign language when they were babies.  My mind raced to try to get organized and remember it.  Due to an accident years ago, I permanently have problems with recalling information.  And of course, I only learned certain basic signs.  I did remember read and signed to ask him if he could read lips.  He said no.  I signed my name and he signed his back, Mike.  He then attempted to sign a few other things to me and I communicated that I only knew a few signs that I learned to teach my children.  He was able to sign (using the alphabet) that he liked to train doing super sets and I understood.

The entire experience was quite interesting to me.  I can't imagine a world where most people would be unable to communicate with me.  How lonely that would be.  Even though I didn't know much, I was really glad that I was able to communicate somewhat with him--it really seemed to make his day. 

I did learn a new expression to sign from Mike, "Pleased to meet you."  And I was pleased to meet him.

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