Friday, February 15, 2013

Response to the Breaking Wagon

My question is this... 
Have we all become so selfish that we are not happy to see others be helped, 
or better yet, help and influence others within our own ability?    

A lot of times, I don't like getting involved with politics - especially when it comes to discussing it online.  I know that it can get really messy really fast.  However, I had to put my foot down when I saw this image and it's message.  I am literally disturbed by the message that is being portrayed here.

It has been a while since I have so passionate written about a socio-political topic, let alone blogged about it - so I hope you get something out of this one!

A friend posted this on his facebook wall and I am not going to assume if he agrees or disagrees with the message - I just stared at it - dumbfounded.  I looked at the page from where it originated (at least as far as I could tell, and it comes from the "Conservative Patriots of America's" facebook page ( ).  I don't really think there is a ton of validity to the page overall - the overall vibe of the page is more opinion than fact.  And who's to say that the manager of the page is the one that created this image with the text - we can't immediately know that - so instead of continuing to share my opinion about the page from where I think it originated, I want to give my response to the image and the text alone.

My first thought is that he is not sharing a clear message or accounting for other variables.  The people who were not on disability income in the past probably didn't have a job, or if they did, it was probably minimal income or short hours.

Or, this could be a sad commentary on employers who wrongfully disqualify prospective employees from working because of their disability which then pushes people to apply for government funding.  

It's important to understand the impacts of social movements, laws, culture, and the economy, among other things - you cannot draw conclusions as Maher (supposedly) has based upon numbers alone.

I'm not saying that there isn't SOME validity to his statement.  I know there are those people who take advantage of the system.  I also think it's wrong to apply for government income if you won't apply yourself first.  (Get my drift?)  

I am just saying that this cannot be generalized to the entire population of people who are dependent upon disability income.  Plenty of good people utilize disability income and they make their lives better, they contribute to society - sometimes they grow so much that they do more than we ever think they can.

If you want to continue just reading my opinion, scroll down to the next section divider

Some of the comments & opinions  made on the original post are important to understand too.  A few of theses I agree with and there are a few that I don't agree with, but I can't make this be entirely about my view - we have to consider other viewpoints, such as these.  There are, currently, over 400 comments on the photo alone - I have chosen a select few to represent the greater part of the perspectives being shared.

Cathy Cleary Disability is part of Social Security and it is paid into. Welfare a different thing. I would love to see some of these people that don't know the difference have to apply for disability  while not being ABLE to work or pay bills, that does NOT mean not willing. Even some who are disabled have to apply for welfare due to some rule or another, they did not get the SSD or SSI.

Barry Perkins Maybe the wagon will break, more likely the people will. We're already seeing this. It's demoralizing to work when you see friends, neighbors, and family living off your dime while doing nothing. How long before you decide they were right all along, and just climb onto the gravy train with them?

Karen Dunn This Dip-S**t is part of the problem! He supported the POS getting re-elected, heck, he campaigned for it! Now "Opie" is finally getting a clue?

Kirk Matthew Spencer I'll just keep pulling the real complaints.

Violet Hanson What he don't get is that the funds put away (paid by us) for Scoial Security have been raided for every little government program that the left has decided they absolutely have to have and they see that- 'Wow look at that we can borrow some of that money to make up for the lack here, they won't even notice it is missing. Besides how else can we get the money we want?' This has been the attitude of both houses and the previous administrations and everyone having a seat at the spending table except for us, the one's who paid into this fund. By the time I retire I will receive maybe, maybe 50% of what I have been promised, and that only if a miracle happens. Bill you can take your attitude towards those of us who work and you can kiss my curvy white woman's a**.

Bill Wanner "... there are some of us who would love to be able to go back to work, but due to the fact that there has been a war going on for the last 10+ years, some of us, cant ever go back to work. First time in my life I haven't worked 14-18 hrs a day. I would love to be back out there, but I'll gladly trade you places any freakin' day! You take one of mine and I'll take one of yours, and lets see then. Did you forget there is a reason why the number has gone up some! I'm not saying there are not lazy bastards out there who don't want to work and are plenty capable of doing it. That's why we send all the illegals back and tell all those who are capable of working here's a job take it, because your not living off the people anymore!!"

Michael Withrow Leaving the military 13 years ago, I had 2 knee's that needed replacements due to injuries, both my hands were in casts, and I couldn't bear to be around people i didn't know. i could easily have joined that list of unemployeed. Instead, I found a job I could do. Answering phones. Today... after a car accident, I can add a bad back that shoots pain through my legs at various times, and super sharp pain's into my lower back. I'm still working, a reduced schedule, and I know i'll eventually have to quit, but only when and IF I can't find some other way to work. I was taught not to depend on anyone, and to make my own way in the world. This is what is missing from people. they are all to willing to sponge off someone else. I say, call up a draft of those who won't find work, send them Alaska to learn to fish, or build roads.

Kenneth Damborg The other side of coin is that back then the ways and ability of society to identify and understand (even treat) disabilities were (literally) decades behind where modern medicine and psychology are today. It is an important point to remember when looking at those stats, though that isn't to say that it isn't something to view with concern.

Steven Sloane i served my country, and worked for over 30 years before being injured on the job, which forced me to be placed on s.s. disability. if you think i like making less than a third of what i took home before you are crazy! somtimes people on disability really are there legitimetly.

Betsey Jung Owens Too many children are getting SSI for being hyper or having autism or other problems that wasn't even considered back in 1971  when I started in mental health. This is a shame so that people who are getting TANF and their 60 months are running out, apply for each child, one at a time for disability so that the family continues getting TANF until their application is either accepted or the appeals are denied. They can count on about a year for each child for extra TANF benefits. They get housing, medical, food stamps. No wonder the government is broke.

RE: Mental Health
Betsey's comment in particular really bothers me... if she is working in mental health then she should have a better understanding of the bigger picture.  And if she is in the field and considering things like Autism to not be an issue... wow... What she isn't saying is that some of these "newer" problems are things that have possibly been caused due to the lifestyle that the majority of the American population is living.  Some of the other problems that weren't addressed in the past were not addressed because no one wanted to cope or deal with it - they would rather not talk about it, and sweep the problem under the rug and pretend it isn't there - yeah, that's helpful... I suppose I feel more passionate in my response to her comment because there are problems that have existed since the beginning of time that STILL are not being fully addressed today.  Problem?  Yes.  Will it affect things like government funding for disabled persons. Definitely.  Is the answer to the issue pointing the finger at a minority group - that taking their support away will solve all of the deficit?
No?  People are just playing the blame game here - and it isn't ok.  We all need to take responsibility for our own lives, decisions, money, lifestyle etc - and when we can all be responsible we can also be there to support each other as compassionate human beings with heart and soul - not just greed and lust.

Lisa D Wetherbee-Todd where do these stats come from? why does the right eat this garbage up without any thought? there are how many mills of american workers? there are even people on disability working legally, this is just to feed the hate...and it works quite well

Stephanie Kelly I found nothing to support his statement anywhere. Is he including recent veterans ? Does anyone no where he got these statistics or do you just take him at his word?

Stephanie Kelly 1 out of 3 people on disability are over the age of 65 . This is mainly reflecting our aging population nothing more.

Travis Walton You can thank technology for part of that. Medicine has come a long way where people who would have been dead 50 years ago because we lacked the knowledge, the skill and technology to save them are now alive. One of many topics where there is no easy answer that Political jockeys like to throw out massive numbers without looking at the people behind them.

Jacki Dunham Tice "... 'Why does the right eat this up..?' It's called researching statistics  Your statement that there are millions of working people in this country is irrelevant to your point bc this is a ratio stat, so out of those millions it's still a 13 to 1 ratio genius  You talk about the right eating this up to fuel hate but what about the sheep on the left that take Obama at his word when he reads his teleprompter and says he wants to take care of you, he wants to do all this stuff but the right won't let him bc they're a bunch a greedy rich people... how about that for fueling hate?? The left believe any and all lies that come from this mans mouth w/out ever actually researching his statements bc if you did you will see that 90% of the time he's either lying or contradicting himself from a statement he had made in the past.

Stephanie Kelly The more I read the more of a lie this statement becomes. I wonder what the slacker numbers actually are. If you have given birth you have been on disability. This statement includes temporary claims of people who got hurt at work and our veterans . 1 out of 3 are claims are people over the age of 65. It always amazes me how very few of you want to know the whole truth.

Lori Skees We also had a baby boom in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Then we started aborting babies legally in the 70s. Do you think there is a connection?

Barbara Rosel Clingan Taken out of context. Search the reasons that so many are not working... Simply search the reasons... 

Vladimir Lojko What constitutes "Disablity"? It takes years of effort with specialized Disability lawyers to be granted a "Disability" status.... if your lucky....

RE: Comments - original comments
Wow... it's really interesting to read these thoughts, opinions, and otherwise various perspectives.  Everybody has their own experiences and they have their own thoughts... but sometimes people make me wonder.  What has happened to logical thought and common sense?  Here is the continuation and short conclusion of my perspective.


Do we all understand that for many people government funding actually results in putting citizens in an terrible cycle of near-poverty?  That is really hard to get out of, once you are in it, I don't know why someone would WANT to live an impoverished life if they truly are not disabled and are taking advantage of the system.

So, the overall response I have to this is while the numbers may be factual, the statement created around the numbers is not valid - more context and understanding of other variables involved is necessary before drawing such a conclusion.

My question is this... have we all become so selfish that we are not happy to see others be helped, or better yet, help and influence others within our own ability?  Really?


Saturday, November 3, 2012

America, We Have a Problem...

America, we have a problem.  Ok, so, to be fair, America has a lot of problems.  But never in my time of study of Deaf Culture and American Sign Language have I ever read about or seen something so terrible in CURRENT oppressive forces, particularly in the media. 

More often than not, Oppression is subtle.  Stigmatizations sneak up on people, most of the time they may not fully understand what message they are sending, when they send it - this is not the case with Chelsea Handler.  

I saw on Dale H Boam's Facebook status (he's a UVU ASL Professor, and a Lawyer) how TV Personality, Chelsea Handler had made mockery of Lydia Callis - and the Language (innately connected to the Culture) of the Deaf Community.  This was orginally posted on Nov 2, 2012 around 8:00 am. 
Re: Chelsea Handler.

I was recently shown a clip from Chelsea Lately where she makes fun of American Sign Language. Specifically she lampoons Mayor Bloomberg's ASL interpreter. As an attorney who represents persons who are Deaf I was highly offended at this unfunny an offensive portrayal of a skilled interpreter using the appropriate linguistic markers as being somehow amusing.

Historically the Deaf community as an oppressed minority have suffered for their language and lack of access. I have represented persons who have lost family members because doctors refused to provide sign language interpreters, persons who have been abused by the police for failing to follow orders when no interpreter was present and the police knew my clients could not hear. I have represented students who have been excluded from classrooms because the school felt their language was too distracting.

During a time of great emergency I was thrilled to see the Mayor mindful of persons who are Deaf; persons who are at greater risk by reason of the linguistic barrier they face.

As stated, the interpreter was using proper linguistic markers and frankly did a fantastic job. Just because Chelsea Handler is so culturally unsophisticated that she laughs at the funny Deaf talk, it does not mean that rest of the world needs to share in her cultural insensitivity and generalized stupidity. Chelsea joins the ranks of Michael Richards and other so called comics who to drag their audience into degrading others to hide the fact that they actually don't have anything funny to say.

Shame on her and shame on E!

Dale H Boam
I tried my best search engine skills to find the original video.  For obvious reasons, the "owner" has taken it down. --> Cowards. 

You guys, this isn't just about one person making light of another person's language or accent.  This is a perpetuation of arrogance and ignorance for the treasure that the Deaf Community is.  The vast majority (yes, I am referring to hearing people - and yes I know I am a part of the majority)  doesn't know or appreciate what the Deaf Community has to offer, and I will admit right here and right now that I still don't fully comprehend the amazingness of the Deaf Community and American Sign Language. 

In the comments on Dale's Facebook, I read about how some people may think that this uproar (true-business, there is an uproar) is unnecessary, due to the fact that Handler is bringing more attention to sign language, and such an overt response is a result of over-reaction.  His replies were as such:
If no one complains when it is not funny, or no one tries to educate when they see ignorance... Nothing changes.
 And this, regarding the idea of spoof/satire: 
A spoof or a satire require an understanding of the subject matter and an exaggeration of a humorous aspect thereof. Chelsea was not spoofing the humor of interpreting (that was done very well on an episode of spin city) she was ridiculing how stupid she thought sign language looks without understanding the implications thereof.
 Laurie Robbins Shaffer had this to add to Dale's insights:
I find the skits very offensive to the language of ASL, to Deaf people and to the profession of interpreting. Oppression in the form of humor is still oppression.
Oh, and this just in, it isn't just Handler who is making light of Callis' Interpreting and ASL as a whole, apparently Saturday Night Live just did something as well.  More on that later... 

Deaf Echo 
Deaf Network of Texas

Also, there are tons of video responses to this topic regarding Chelsey Handler and Lydia Callis on YouTube, feel free to search it up. 

So, raise of hands, who's coming to the Oppression Conference at UVU now?  Come learn more about what Oppression really is and how we, as decent human beings, can break through the barriers put up by ugly arrogance and judgment, and engage to bring change to the stigmatizing and oppressive perspectives & treatment of minorities.

That's all I've got for now, peeps. 


Monday, October 8, 2012

Stuck on the “Error” of My Ways…

I think I am starting to really identify what slows me up when I look at doing my work for ASL classes.  I am not confident in my ability with the language. Why?  I am not confident in myself to convey it [the language].  Looking over past reading assignments, I can see that I focus too much on finding reasons for errors, which Patrie reports (via Kussmaul) that such focus is appropriate for language learning.  (CI Book, page 7-8) So either I don’t know the language – which is doubtful since I have been learning, studying, and practicing ASL since 2005 – or I am psyching myself out.  I think it is the latter. 

A few of things could be happening to me.  I could be having more seizures and therefore struggling cognitively.  I could be experiencing more severe side effects from the Depekote which can cause severe drowsiness, irritability, and depression, among other things – so I might be unsure of myself because of that.  I could be focusing on the stigma and oppression of identifying as a person with a disability, as compared to when I was younger and I didn’t identify that way – being in an oppressed minority can cause depression, can it not?  I seemed to succeed more when I was younger, but then I am studying a foreign language.  Would it not be easier for me to study something in my native tongue?  Maybe I am finally dealing with the sorrow of the loss of my Father, which I was strictly instructed to put behind me and move on quickly.  I really do miss him.  Maybe I am tired of living with my Mother and feeling I cannot assert my independence.  Maybe I am just genuinely depressed apart from everything else – I have been diagnosed as being “depressed” in the past. 

Why do I base the worth of myself in what others say?  I berate myself for any little thing that is said negative about me.  Why do I fall apart when I am rejected by a romantic prospect?  Why do I live in the past where all of my sins are?  I can’t move forward if I am living this way, but I feel stuck.       

I want so much to give up and say that I can’t do it because of this, this, and that.  It would be easier that way.  I am behind on my schoolwork and it isn’t appropriate to utilize ADA accommodations for this, is it?  No, I highly doubt it.  I just have to face my teachers and accept the consequences for not being responsible. 

Anyway, I focus far too much on what is wrong with my signing, and I worry too much that I am going to screw up the interpretation.  I worry that I won’t pass the certification exams.  I worry that, if I do become certified, I will somehow inadvertently breach the interpreters code of ethics.

So, the main question here, aside from my psychological status, is how do you go about determining the communicative function of the [miscue]?  I read the example about President Carter’s interpreter and the grave errors that s/he made during a visit to Poland.  I know that I won’t be doing anything that… (For lack of a better word) “…Important” as I start of at the Novice level, but I am pretty sure I would die (literally) if I knew that I had be the originator of such a serious miscue. 

I am so… pardon my language, but I am so damn over-analytical of myself… I really want to pursue a career in ASL interpreting, but things like this make me wonder if can I handle it?  What are the necessary adjustments I need to make in order to do so?  Can I make those adjustments in a timely manner?  Is it worth it?  Really? 

That’s all I can think about for now.

Audfairy88 over and out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Memorial Day 2012 - A Belated Post

So, I was just thinking about family members who have passed away, and for an odd reason too.

I redboxed Captain America a day or two ago, and, out of all "hero" movies I have seen thus far, I would have to say that this is my new favorite.

Off-topic you say? Well yes, I see your point. What reminded me of my family members who have passed away was the time in which Captain America was set, as well as the twist on historical events it showed. My grandparents were adults during that time, and if I remember correctly, my grandfather was a soldier in the army.

I never actually knew Grandpa Kofford, but I feel most sure that we must've passed each other through the veil. My mom told me that, as a child, I said something to the effect of how I had known Grandpa in heaven, and how he had picked me out to be sent to my family, which I believe is entirely possible given that he passed away only a few years before I was born. 

Yes, I believe that he knew I was the right child for his baby girl. I am so grateful that I was sent tothe family I am sealed to now.

As for my Grandma Kofford, I knew her for just under half of my life, but those were sine of the best years of my life. Learning from her, spending time with her, sharing meals with her, and showing her she was able to make a difference in my life, even in her nineties.

I look at where I am at now in life, I graduated from WXHS, and next spring I will be graduating from UVU. I have learned how to be a part of the community and contribute in a positive way. I have developed many talents and skills, many of which were seeded by her life-lessons in my childhood. I only hope I have made her proud.

Then there is my Daddy. He passed away a little over 2 years ago. It's amazing how much I have grown and learned since then. I wish he was here. There are so many questions I still have for him. There is so much more I wish I could have learned from him. And I wish he was here so he could sit down with any potential dates I may have and grill 'em to find out if the boy in front of him was man enough to be a respectful, caring, gentleman to me.

I miss my Daddy.

But, in regards to Captain America, what reminded me if my dad was how he loved history, more specifically war history, and next to that, he liked classy action movies and if he were alive I am sure he would like this new movie.

Captain America was the underdog, but he stayed true to his morals and values and was able to succeed. That is something my dad would appreciate - that and seeing Tommy Lee Jones as Patton. ;)

This has been an odd blog, I know, but it was just my stream of thought. I hope you were able to get something from it.

Remember who makes you strong.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I first met Kimmie Hansen in 2010 and now that I look back at that first time it seems odd to think that it was less than 2 years ago.  Kimmie deemed me her BFF - well, her 2nd BFF - her first is her grandmother, and really, who can have a better BFF than her grandmother? 

Kimmie is 13 years old, but she has the cognitive abilities of a six year old.  Why?  Because she has Dravet Syndrome.  Nevertheless, she is playful, charming, sweet, kind, caring, and has the spirit of the Lord with her all the time.  I love this girl.  I really do. 

So, as a favor to her mom, Kris Hansen, I made a couple of videos about Kimmie.  The first is a bit about her, and the second is her wish for the "Make a Wish Foundation."  Yes, her case of Dravet Syndrome is severe enough that we don't know how much longer she will be with us. 

I remember that day, when Kris told me the news - Kimmie's prognosis.  I tried so hard to look strong for Kris, but later on I just cried and cried.  I love my sweet BFF, I love Kimmie.  I don't want her to leave.  But after general conference today, I was comforted and I realized that the only thing I can do is take comfort in the faith that I have that no matter what, our Heavenly Father will be with her, at her side or watching over her. 

Until then, the only way I know how to help her (since there isn't a cure for Dravet Syndrome) is to make these videos and share them with the world and hope that the "Make a Wish Foundation" sees it.  I know it is a big wish to ask for, but Kimmie is a priceless young lady - especially to those who know her.   

If you would like to find out more information on how you can help, please email Kimmie's mom, Kris, at

Please "like," comment, subscribe, and especially share this!

Thanks for your support everybody!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ASL Vlog 1: October Worries

Since my study in ASL began in 2004, this is my very first ASL Vlog.  Here, I discuss some of the things that are on my mind, such as my research paper for SOC 3000, my presentation for ASL 3530, and my presentation for the EAU Education Conference.  I also touch on my social life, and silent weekend.  Be sure to let me know what you think, any suggestions or questions are welcome!  I just might do my next vlog about your quesiton!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Looking Back...

I thought I would go back to one of my blogs that I started and still use to post my literary work.  There I found a poem I wrote back when I was in high school.  It still seems profound to me today.

This was originally written on September 5, 2006, it has been modified, and edited by me, ...on September 17, 2006.

Life is Like a Piece of New Sheet Music

Life is like a piece of new sheet music,
it is filled with sharps, flats
and unknown time signatures.

You have to watch for the little things,
the nuances, to make it
accented and memorable.

In some parts it is louder
and more profound,
while at other times,
it is soft and peaceful.

Like life, in music you have musicians,
instruments and directors.

In life you must find the right musicians,
you must tune your instruments and
watch and listen to
the directions your directors give you.

These things you must do
to get you through,
that piece of new sheet music
that is life.

I really miss my creative writing class.  *sigh*

If you feel so inclined, you can see some other work at this URL.

And yes, e.e. moone is my pen name.  :) 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Wish I Hadn't ...

So, this morning was a little frustrating.

Ok, so the entire morning wasn't frustrating, but part of it was. I woke up early so I could get to work on time, since I was opening and covering for another co-worker. I began to set up shop and go through the process of preparing the store for the day and the employee I was working with shows up, which was fabulous because at that point there was the two of us who were working.

So then another employee shows up, but I didn't know if he was working because he wasn't wearing his work shirt... yet. So, I find out that he's working. Awesome! I thought. Three of us in the store would make time pass by fast. Then I heard the third-arriving-employee comment about covering for another co-worker. I asked for clarification. He and I were both covering for the same guy!  This meant that one of us would have to clock out.

I began to feel selfish.

I began thinking all of these different thoughts, all of which were "I" statements, like, "I woke up extra early," or, "I commuted 50 miles," or even better, "I was here first!" Then it got worse. I started to take my frustration out on my fellow employee.

I began criticizing him.

I started naming all of the reasons, in my head, as to why he should leave.  "He isn't dressed appropriately," or "he was late."  The list went on.  Then, I had to try to decide how to professionally address the matter to one of our superiors, and I had hoped that one of them could make the decision as to who would go home, because I didn't really want to have that awkward conversation.  I knew it would be awkward because we had discussed in previous conversations, the importance of needed hours for income.  And really, who doesn't need income - especially in this economy?  So, I decided to go talk to one of our superiors and present the situation in a diplomatic manner, so as to address the issue that both of us faced and not just me.

 I didn't want to...

I was reluctant to explain what had happened and I was reluctant to go back to my station and have the "who is going home" discussion.  But I did, because I knew it was the right thing to do and the professional thing to do.  We talked it over and came to a common conclusion that it was he who would stay today.

I tried to look on the bright side.

I started to consider the positives of the situation.  It wasn't my fault.  And, more importantly for the sake of my criticisms, it wasn't his fault.  The responsibility for this mix up fell on the person who called us both and agreed to have us both work during that shift.  I thought about what I could do during the time that I had off.  I could go get breakfast.  I could do some social networking for the E.A.U., and finally, I could get an actual post published to my blog.  (Hooray!)  I could see a friend on campus.  I could actually read my e-mail and not just glean from the subject lines as to whether or not I should even look at them.  Then, BAM!  I was back into the mind-set of criticizing my fellow employee again, and the worst part was, it was something that I feared another person, friend, family, or stranger, doing to me.

I judged him.

I won't get into the details about why exactly I judged him, but what I will say is that in Utah, where the dominant religion is "mormonism" it is ironically far too easy to not be so "saint"-like.  In the multicultural class that I took during the first block of summer semester we discussed the influences different aspects of culture, ideology, and society have on us as human beings trying to figure out who we are exactly.  I realized that at this moment, I was taking stereotypical thoughts about people who are LDS in Utah's society, like me, and I was applying those thoughts to him and faulting him for what he had, or didn't have.  As soon as I had said the words I said, I felt my the color rush up into my cheeks.

I wish I hadn't said it at all, let alone thought it.

Who was I to know about what his life is like?

I thought about the things that I would hope that no one judged me for and realized that there was no reason why I should be judging him.

Anyway, I think that while this was an unfortunate even to occur, it was an important time to recognize that I can see what I did wrong and that I want to make my life be a better one and live it in a better way, so that I don't have these issues come up again in work or with my family and friends.  

Are there any little social issues that you regret?  Those little miss-communications that occur because of your mind being too set in your own gain?  Tell me what you think. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If I Had a Nickel for Every Minute I Multitasked...

Seriously people, if I had a nickel for every minute I multitasked, then I might just be a millionaire.

So, if you are a facebook friend of mine then you might have seen my post earlier then you might remember, among all of the various posts I made that I said, "I am sorely overdue for a blog-update... I have way too much on my mind, I just need to spew it all out onto my blog page."  This post is in response to the thought I had when I saw the little status box, which has the words, "what's on your mind?" in it.

Some of the topics I hope to cover are... *drum-roll please*
  • American Sign Language songs
  • Adventures with the EAU Board
  • Camp Spike and Wave planning 
  • Cuddling with a baby
  • Culvers
  • Deaf Culture
  • Deaf TV
  • Epilepsy awareness and education - Glenn Fenster vs. Joy Baher
  • Frustration moments and Facebook wars
  • Gag Policy for anti-gay-harassment
  • Glee is good for you
  • Lady Gaga's new album
  • the NEW Epilepsy Association of Utah
  • Prospects of Performing in London
  • Quotes via twitter
  • my Sister
  • Summer School Teachers
  • "Switched at Birth"
  • Taylor Swift's "Mean"
  • Working on capus

So, since that facebook post, my list has grown... and the actual blog-post, itself, hasn't really happened yet - I need to finish up schoolwork for summer block.  However, if you are interested in anything that I've listed and want me to write more about it let me know and I will get on that first.  Otherwise, this is a general guide to the posts that are soon to come (sometime in the future).  ;)

Over and out!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vegetarian? Vegan? I Love Me Some Meat and Cheese!

So, about an hour ago, there was a young lady who came up to me while I was eating my lunch and asked if I would be willing to sign a petition to have more vegetarian/vegan-friendly choices for students at my school.  I am happy to sign a petition to show my support of vegetarians and vegans.  They deserve to have several choices of food too.  I agree.  So upon my signature I was given a pamphlet, from PETA2, claiming to tell me "everything I need to know about animal rights."  As I read through it, I found it to have good information, but it was obviously biased towards animal cruelty and why we should all be vegetarians and vegans.  I honestly didn't see a list of "animal rights," or anything related.  

This is my question for you:  "Is it a hypocritical way of life to be a 'meat-eater,' but then promote no cruelty to animals?"  

restated:  "Just because someone's a 'meat-eater,' doesn't mean that they endorse animal cruelty - does it?"

To continue, the pamphlet went on to say...
  • Pigs are smarter than dogs and young children. They are affectionate and like to play video games.
  • Hens and their chicks talk to each other ...even while the chick is still in the egg.
  • If you give an apple or a small ball to a group of turkeys, they'll play with it together, kind of like they're on a football or soccer team.
  • Cows are excellent mothers - they even take turns babysitting for each other!
  • Fish grow underwater algae gardens.  Using their mouths like we use our hands, they weed out algae they don't like so the tastier kinds can grow. 
 So, as you can see, the authors are personifying animals, and discussing their lives as if they are, on the whole just as important (if not more important) than human beings.  This is a tactic to easily sway a reader on pitying an animal. 

My Physiology of Interpreting professor said (multiple times), "the only real difference between humans and animals is our thumbs," that move up, down and side to side.

I am one of those strong believers that everything that God put on the earth was put here for a purpose and I believe that animals serve various purposes and overall - they are to serve humans (in various forms).  I mean, I highly doubt that God just put animals on earth because they are pretty to look at.  And at the same time that I sit in a steakhouse with my medium-well 8 oz I am not thinking I hope that this cow was brutally slaughtered, abused or forced into stalls. 

Oh, and I just loved how the pamphlet used quotes from popular TV teen idols and their comments about how it's cool to be vegan or vegetarian.  Did you catch my sarcasm there?

Are all places that provides meat and animal bi-products really so violent?  Or is PETA just telling us about the few that are cruel to animals?

What's more, as I did some online searching for PETA, the first images that come up with their articles and on their official website could be considered pornographic, or at least inappropriate, in nature.  I'm guessing that PETA is putting a sexy-spin on their cause in order to gain more attention.  Not cool, not moral, not family friendly.  Nada. 

Now, my rant is done.  I am hoping that I get feedback from ya'll.  Tell me how you feel about being vegan/vegetarian.  Tell me what you know and how you feel about how some animals are treated in the mass production of meat and animal bi-products. Give me good links and sources so that I can be more informed in my opinion.  Because, for now, I am sticking with my Genesis reference of the King James Bible.  (Genesis 1:24-25 & 6:5 through 8:19).  I mean come on people, why would God ask Noah to bring animals aboard the ship he built, when the earth was going to be flooded for 40 days and nights, if not to preserve them for our use?  (LDS Primary Lesson) 

All I have to say for now is, "I love me some meat and cheese!"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Introduction to Understanding Disability Part 2: Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame

Previously Posted: Personal Preface


Does the media provide a correct portrayal of people with disabilities? Is Quasimodo, of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, accurately portrayed as a person with a physical disability? To address these queries we will discuss, first, the plot of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, then examine the specifics of Quasimodo’s character, and last and most importantly, we will scrutinize whether or not the portrayal of disability is an accurate one. In order to understand the main character and his disability, we must first understand his story.

Plot Summary

What is The Hunchback of Notre Dame essentially about? As inspired by Victor Hugo’s classic novel published in 1831, the story takes place in medieval Paris in the year 1482, specifically starting on January 6 – the day of the historical ‘Festival of Fools,’ which really did annually occur in Paris.2 It begins with a flashback of Quasimodo’s infancy, showing how he came to be raised by the antagonist, Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice.3 “Frollo, . . . . who detests adopted Quasimodo when he was a baby as a penance for killing his mother, . . . . but tells Quasimodo that his mother abandoned him at birth.”4 Clopin, the narrator, and male leader of the gypsies, explains the meaning of the cruel name Frollo gave Quasimodo – “half-formed,” then brings the story back to the present, twenty years later, introducing Quasimodo as a young man – “the man and the monster.”5 During Quasimodo’s first appearance, we see part of the monster.

After Quasimodo’s first appearance, we see the master/servant relationship that Quasimodo has with his “father,” Frollo. Despite Frollo’s sermon-like lecture to Quasimodo about the importance of staying in the bell tower, Quasimodo heeds his three gargoyle friend’s advice to, essentially, assert his independence and go to the Festival of Fools. Quasimodo has always watched it, for the past twenty years. He had been in fear of disobeying his master and not being accepted by the normal people. However, someone who grows to be more accepting of Quasimodo is Esmeralda.

At the festival, Esmeralda, a beautiful, tempting dancer as well as the female leader of the gypsies, mistakes Quasimodo’s appearance to be costumed and masked for the purpose of the festival’s King of Fools competition. She invites him up on stage and he is later discovered to be real (instead of masked). Clopin then invites the crowd to crown Quasimodo the King of Fools for having the ugliest face in Paris.

For a few moments Quasimodo is celebrated. Shortly after, however, he experiences a terrible humiliation, where food is thrown at him, and he is tied down like a wild animal. He sees the crowd’s tyranny and hears the awful calls and jeers reverberated in his ears. Esmeralda, soon realizes what is happening to the “poor creature,” and takes pity on him and the plight he is in.6 She cuts the ropes binding him and helps him to his feet.

Meanwhile, while this entire humiliating situation is going on, Quasimodo’s master sits back and watches while, in degradation, Quasimodo learns his lesson – essentially encouraging the peasant-crowd’s oppression of his would-be son. Frollo, regardless of the desire he feels for Esmeralda, charges her for the insolence she displays when he asks her not to help Quasimodo. At her retort of calling him the real King of Fools, he demands her arrest. The Guard then marks her as a fugitive, and Frollo marks her as an object of his desire. Frollo is not the only man who is spellbound by Esmeralda, there are two others – Phoebus, Captain of the Guard, and Quasimodo, Bell-Ringer of Notre Dame.

Realizing they have a common love interest, Phoebus sees past Quasimodo’s appearance when Quasimodo helps Esmeralda escape. Quasimodo and Phoebus become allies in aiding Esmeralda (and the gypsy population). Phoebus further encourages Quasimodo’s assertion to independence as well as acceptance. Quasimodo feels that friendship is strained for a time when Esmeralda chooses Phoebus as her love interest instead of Quasimodo. While Esmeralda is kind to Quasimodo, and even sort of identifies with the discrimination he experiences, it’s apparent that she is still somewhat repulsed by his appearance. This is an example of “the main theme of [Hugo’s] book…,” as well as the re-occurring theme in the movie – “…the cruelty of social injustice.”7

The violent search for Esmeralda and the gypsies is led by Frollo, and despite Phoebus and Quasimodo’s rebellious actions against Frollo, Esmeralda is apprehended and put to death by burning at the stake. In contrast to Hugo’s novel, Quasimodo’s rescue of Esmeralda, both of them live. In another contrast to Hugo’s novel, instead of Quasimodo throwing his autocratic master/father off of Notre Dame, Frollo falls to his death from a weakly attached gargoyle that gives way from his weight. Now that we understand the story surrounding Quasimodo, we can look further into his character.


Wikipedia. (2011). The hunchback of notre dame. Wikipedia: the free
encyclopedia. Retrieved February 6, 2011, from

#3 & 4
Wikipedia. (2011). The hunchback of notre dame. Wikipedia: the free
encyclopedia. Retrieved February 6, 2011, from

#5 & 6
Hahn, Don (Producer). (1996). The hunchback of notre dame [VHS].

Wikipedia. (2011).  Quasimodo.  Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Retrieved

Friday, February 25, 2011

Films with Deaf Characters - Critique #1

You'd Be Surprised
From the golden era of movies comes a film that is both a comedy and a murder mystery; it is entitled, You’d Be Surprised. This silent film was released in 1926, towards the end of that golden era, which the older generations of the Deaf community remember. The film’s director was Arthur Rosson, who directed two other films released that same year – Wet Paint (a farce) and Stranded in Paris (based on the play). B.P. Schulberg, who was, after the golden era, Head of Paramount Pictures in the 1930s, produced You’d be Surprised. Overall, a viewer of today’s generation can appreciate the work they put into the cinematography of the film. A few elements of the cinematography to discuss are the script, direction, acting, and plot. First comes the comment about the script.

A typical viewer of today would find the script of You’d Be Surprised, to be surprisingly entertaining, mysterious and comedic even upon it’s repetitiveness. A couple of phrases that were said at least four times to add humor to a seemingly serious moment were phrases such as, “Don’t touch anything! This is a case for the coroner,” as said by varying degrees of policemen and inspectors alike. There was also the daunting word, “guilty!” which was said by the bizarre jury who seemed just as keyed up to be done with the investigation as the coroner did. Their excited anticipation added superfluous humor to another, feasibly intense, moment. Another great thing about the script that a viewer might notice were the coroner’s witty statements on the title cards. It started with Aesop’s quote, then there is the playful accusation of murder to one of the women, and the coroner says, “Mayhap you did it – in a spirit of jest?” Or there is the solution to finding out who committed the crime, “…let’s offer a prize.” Other title cards are ironic, or they have the use of puns. While the script was written well, it wouldn’t be much use without the directing of the film, the second element of cinematography to be discussed.

The direction of the film seemed to be creative. It was referential to a few superstitious things such as the date, Friday the 13th, and the black cat that skulks around the houseboat. The film initially follows this cursed cat around – allowing the viewer to see different scenes of what is happening during the party before the mysterious murder. As for the acting, a viewer would find (in contrasting movies of today) gestures and expression really made up for the lack of voice or sound. Also, those who know sign language and are involved in Deaf Culture will recognize the extra effort taken for gestures and expression are especially beneficial to Deaf people’s understanding. Just as there were repetitive, comical things written in the script, similar actions were given as well.

Actions such as the coroner taking the inspector’s badge to indicate that he had solved the crime. Or there was the coroner’s corny flip of a coin to let fate decipher what would happen next. It usually worked to his advantage. Then there were the times when the policemen were told to take away the accused woman (Dorothy) and the coroner comically prevented it by his gestures and slaps. This happened three times with the inspector (Mr. Brown) and once with the deputy district attorney (Mr. Black), which provides an ironic parallel since he actually knows she did not do it. The last notable repetitive, comical action was when the coroner tries to use himself as bait, and every time he tells a man to turn off the lights, someone tries to surround him from being killed. First it’s Dorothy, then the jury, then the police officers. While this last set of actions is comedic, the resolution that follows isn’t quite as consistent.

Upon viewing the movie a second time, the viewer will notice more about the man who they arrest – Mr. Black. While he fits the character of murderer quite well with all that he says and does, the way in which he is arrested and accused is quite un-ceremonial (as compared to the interactions that happen between party guests and the playfully accusing coroner) and it is very disappointing to see that the coroner doesn’t really give him much of a hard time about being the murder. This is somewhat un-satisfying to the viewer. When something like this occurs in media, many times the viewers will observe other ways to present the same type of media to their satisfaction.

It is possible in today’s media that such a story, even to remain silent, would be a really comical and satirical skit/spoof for shows such as Saturday Night Live or Mad T.V. It would also be a good short play for high school and/or college drama programs, as I believe it would teach aspiring actors how to use more than just their voice to say what they need to say in order to portray the story. It would be very important, if the media did a re-make of You’d Be Surprised, to portray the role of the deaf butler in a more correct form, because anyone who is involved in Deaf culture will know that as a deaf character he was not portrayed correctly.

The butler was not portrayed correctly as a deaf character; they really made him seem less intelligent as they were not consistent with the idea of him having the use of his peripheral vision. Also, they seemed to direct him to have a face vacant of expression. This is another thing that misrepresents the Deaf community, as Deaf people are usually very animated in their body language and facial expression. An additional way that he was not portrayed correctly was having him hide childishly behind the chair and lastly, the fact that he was not included in the conversations, he stood as still as statue until the coroner addressed him. Even if this were how he was to act for the role of the butler, an advocate to the Deaf community would see this as an oppressive action to not include him in the conversation. Aside from the inconsistencies about the deaf character there was only two other inconsistencies that I found to be startling, first there was the positioning of Grey, the butler, when he is supposedly stabbed to his death. Then there was the fact that Grey miraculously re-appears as the deputy coroner. Let’s discuss specifically the positioning of Grey upon his “death.”

As Grey stood in the center of the room, waiting for the lights to go off, the viewer sees that he is facing the left side of the room (from the viewers perspective). When he is struck dead, he is laying facedown towards the right side of the room. Unless the murder is further investigated, this is a visual inconsistency. The viewer is to understand from this that the directionality and positioning of Grey’s body presents a sort of parallel with that of Mr. White’s dead body at the beginning of the film. This is the only real problem that a typical viewer might find within the film.

You’d Be Surprised is a witty, funny film about a murder at a dinner party, which seems like it could have been part of an influence for the game, Clue. Raymond Griffith keeps viewers on their toes for his moments of hilarity, irony, and wit. Overall, a very enjoyable silent film – especially enjoyable to those who understand the beauty of facial expression and body language.