Portfolio: Deaf Culture

Words: 1550
Pages: 7

Portfolio Reflection One: Deaf Culture
During my second week at my placement site I went on my first tours with students. I am working at the Connecticut Historical Society, a museum and education center that hosts classes on field trips, adult learners, home school groups, scouting troops, etc. almost every day of the week. On my first tag-along to a tour, this one themed around the American Revolution, I met a student who has lingered in my mind longer than most. For this piece, I will call him Jay, I don’t know Jay’s real name, because I was introduced to him by his name sign. His was a sweeping letter J next to his check, similar to where my own name sign is placed. Jay is Deaf. His needs are so unique and challenging that when he toured
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The expression “Train Go Sorry” translates roughly to the English expression “You missed the boat.” It encompasses a fleeting moment, a missed opportunity, and the idea that everyone else has moved forward without you. It seems that Jay’s whole day was made up of missed moments and his entire class moving forward, socially and academically, without him. The book “Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World” written in 1994 by Leah Cohen, explores Deaf culture and her own upbringing at Lexington School for the Deaf in New York. Cohen’s father was the child of her Deaf grandfather and the superintendent of the school during her childhood. The book features three case studies of sorts, which sort through the emotional, cultural, and academic nuances of Deaf culture. Throughout her writing she explores not only Deaf culture but also its intersection with racial cultures, religious cultures …show more content…
It seems to easy to want this for every Deaf child but it’s hard because schools sometimes involve going away from home, families, and other communities and cultures. However, Melissa’s story makes me think of Jay. Jay does not get to socialize, laugh, and engage with the other children. He is cloaked behind 2 aides, a translator, and a young museum intern trying to tap into his world, while his classmates, giggling, try on colonial clothing and try guess which spices are included in the “Early Trade of America” sniff test. Will Jay continue to “fall apart” as he pushes towards adolescence, a phase of life so embodied by peer interpersonal interactions? Is Jay being deprived of a culture, vibrant, accessible, and catered to kids like him? Deaf culture stands alone, its own culture, also linked to physical ability and its own language. It forms bonds for those who are so often disconnected in the world. Cohen writes about how Deaf guests often lingered late after dinner parties at her childhood