Monday, June 22, 2009

My daily deed

I was pumping gas at the gas station by my house today. While I waited for the gas to fill up my tank, I leaned up against the car and watched as a lady in a van was watching me nearby. My first thought was 'Oh crap, this lady is a psycho and she's getting ready for everyone to leave so she can mug me, steal my kids and ride away in my SUV.'

I finished my tank, and hurried furiously as I saw the lady drive closer. My next next thought was 'Ok, maybe she's disabled. My tank is closest to her so it's easier for her to get out and fuel up, or maybe she REALLY wants to use the tank that I am at even though there are several other tanks available to her.'

As I scrambled to get Little A into the car (he was out because he likes to help me), the lady drove up closer, got out of her van and walked right up toward me and Little A. I grabbed Little A close by me as she handed me a note. My next thought was 'Oh great! This is a deaf lady trying to ask me for $.'

Wrong.

I'll explain why I thought this later on in this story.

I was correct on half of that thought though. She WAS deaf.

The note mentioned the name of a place, cross-streets, and the name "Mike." She held up her finger for me to wait as she ran back to her car. My thought? Gun.

Wrong.

She was grabbing a pen and paper to write on.

When she came back, I signed to her, "Are you deaf?" To which she asked me if I knew sign language. I told her I knew a little, and then I proceeded to inform her that the place she was looking for was a church nearby and it was a block away. She still didn't really know where she was so I signed to her that she could follow me.

Let me just inform you that I took Sign Language in college as my "foreign language elective." After taking French in High School, I felt like I knew enough to get by in France (which I did), and opted for something else in college. Thus, I entered the silent world of signing. I loved it, became my teacher's favorite student (at least in my mind) and excelled in ALL of my work and exams without missing a point. That's right....I scored 100% on everything in those 4 semesters of Sign Language. I guess you could say that I was pretty damn good at it. Sorry to brag.

I still am.

I used it on Little A when he was younger. And he learned very quickly how to sign things to me without having to ask for it. I plan on doing the same for D.

Back to the story.

So I drove slowly up the street about a block, and turned into the church. I whipped around and signed to her that this was the place. She thanks me over and over again.

And I thanked myself for having done a good deed today.

Oh. And that thing about a 'deaf person trying to beg for $'? It happens. In fact, a little too much. One of my Deaf Professors stated that there are many deaf people who considered themselves disabled while other Deaf individuals don't consider it a disability. Many take advantage of being deaf.

It's pretty sad.

1 comment:

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Wow, that IS pretty amazing. I'm so proud of you. I have always wanted to learn sign language. I also believe in babies learning it because they can sign sooner than they can communicate verbally. I didn't even know I could take that course in school. Darn. Good job helping that lady! I bet it made your day too as well as hers. :)

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