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Transcript of DEAF Again
Linda Baine, the coordinator of Residence Education at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, offered Mark a Resident Advisor position at the school and he accepted.
Not only did Mark felt accepted, he gained confidence and leadership skills while working with Deaf children.
Mark Drolsbaugh Works with the Deaf Community
Mark Drosbaugh & Growing Up in the Hearing World
Mark Drosbaugh was born hearing but started to lose his hearing in the first grade.
Although he had Deaf parents, he was raised believing "deafness is bad and needed to be fixed" therefore he tried to blend in with the hearing world.
Mark was raised using Oralism, wear hearing aids and to avoid sign language because
it's a hearing world.
His parents and his maternal grandparents forced him to attend hearing schools during his primary and high school years. He was the only deaf student attending these schools.
Deaf Again is an autobiography of Mark Drosbaugh's journey as a deaf individual finding his Deaf identity within a hearing world. Readers get to see Mark Drosbaugh start from a hearing child, to a hard of hearing kid, to a deaf teen and finally a Deaf adult.
After PSD decided to close the dorms, Mark decided to transfer to Gallaudet to further his education.
Going to Gallaudet helped build Mark's confidence, make higher goals and improved his social skills in the Deaf Community.
Mark was involved with the Gallaudet baseball team, was an active member of Alpha Sigma Pi Fraternity, made Deaf friends and met his wife, Melanie, at Gallaudet.
Mark graduated from Gallaudet with a B. A. in Psychology and got his M.A. in School Counseling and Guidance.
By Group 8
Laura Kamada's Reaction
Mark Drolsbaugh's upbringing surprised me because I assumed that since he came from Deaf parents, he would be raised in the Deaf community or use sign language as his primary language.
Mark journey becoming Deaf Again reminded me of Robert Frost's poem,
The Road Not Taken
. Mark went through a different path to find the Deaf community, even though it's been practically under his nose, but in the end he found himself. "And that has made all the difference"
The biggest shock in the book was Mark's mother's experience with the hearing community. I couldn't believe the nurse told her she wasn't allowed to take her son home because "she's Deaf". Also, a 51 year old grown adult should not get her hand slapped for wanting to buy gum.
I could related to Mark's friendships with different types of people. He didn't care what religion or race his friends were, he just wanted people to accept him for who he is. We live in a judgemental world with black and white mindsets. It's rare to find people who looks past looks, religion, race, sexual orientation etc; they look at the bigger picture and see a colorful world filled with unique people.
Summary of Deaf Again
Contribution to the Hearing Society
: Mark did bring a positive light with some positive encounters with hearing individuals. When Erik, a hearing classmate in High School stood up for Mark and said, " How do you think Mark feels, 24 hours a day when he can't understand anything you and everyone else are saying?" Mark also has hearing children and considers it unfair if he were to keep his children away from other hearing people. He also stated that teaching his hearing children how to sign actually extended their vocabulary and they had higher communication skills compared to other children.
Kaylee Wilson's Reaction
The point of view he has is really unique, as far as being born into a hearing culture, while still having deaf parents.
He brings up great points that are not only relevant to the culture between hearing and Deaf, but also with religion and race as well.
The book was enlightening to see how he struggled trying to be hearing, and how his hearing family members took over control, although he had two Deaf parents that did not intervene.
After discovering his place in the Deaf culture, his contributions were truly inspiring and are a true testament to how Deaf people can be successful even being from a variety of backgrounds and education.
The biggest reaction I had during the book was how he grew up with Deaf parents, but was never exposed to Deaf culture until he was older, it shocked me that his parents did not intervene while he was growing up and help him discover his identity.
Contribution to the Deaf World
He shows a new viewpoint coming from Deaf parents and a large Deaf family. After many personal experiences within his journey, he has helped and currently still helps many Deaf individuals in the best way that he can. This book has given a great insight as to how he does help Deaf individuals demonstrate through his journey of obtaining a masters degree at Gallaudet and a career at PSD and other Deaf schools
He shines light upon his parents and his family for not supporting him growing up and not standing up to his hearing grandparents as well. At times he made it as if his mother did not have enough of a say to explain to his parents and family that they weren't being treated fairly at family gatherings.
Another small touch that he put in this edition was the cochlear implant. There was a couple pages where he ranted about how he felt about the cochlear implant, and you really get a different vibe of his judgement he used to have upon people who supported cochlear implants.
Mark Drolsbaugh was born hearing, and later became deaf.
His parents are both Deaf, but that had no influence on him growing up. He started out in the hearing culture.
He went to mainstream hearing schools that were highly prestigious and struggled throughout school but ended up graduating high school, being the first deaf student to graduated from this school.
He did not discover his Deaf identity until working at PSD as a dorm counselor and later transferred to Gallaudet University which was where his life really began.
He shines a different light upon his experience, which is very unique compared to most deaf persons upbringing. He had to find his Deaf identity himself after trying to be a "hearing" boy for so long.
Mark's life changed after high school when he got offered a job at PSD to be a dorm counselor. He began to discover that he belonged in the Deaf community.
He later moved on to be a influential person after receiving his masters at Gallaudet University. He returned to work at PSD and made a lot of himself in the Deaf community while also becoming an author of multiple books about his experience growing up.
: Mark dealt with multiple negative aspects from the hearing society. He was raised believing that deafness was bad, was told to blend in and avoid sign language to survive in the hearing world. For the longest time, Mark had a mindset of "not bad for the deaf guy" and believed this is the best it's going to be for him while working at the grocery store. He always felt excluded at his hearing family gatherings since they would never get an interpreter for him or his parents.
His mother even experienced a negative side with the hearing society; the nurse wouldn't let her take him home because "she's deaf", was scolded like a child at the age of 51 and almost died while giving birth because of lack of communication when there was no oxygen in the anesthesia mask.
Peter Boklund's Reaction
I find it interesting to see that a deaf individual, playing the part of a hearing person, can develop some of the characteristics that Mark had. There was a sense of denial that was pressed on him, trying to fit in, and the characteristics that struck the most way his easy "zoning out" phase that would become habitual until he focused himself to live
Mark has a very opinionated about him which causes this book to be a fascinated read. I like that with some good studying, Mark even changed his fixated mind to look at matters of the Deaf in a new light due to the various needs in the community
It home home for me to read Mark's book remembering a hard of hearing friend I first made back in my small hometown. I am so happy that Mark's reaction, although not hard of hearing, was very similar to my friend. He had shown that there are two distinct worlds out there; however, I am very glad to see his positive decision to embrace what he felt fit him best.
Despite past incidents such as Deaf parents that were not encouraged to sign, pushes for the cochlear implant, "learning how to hear" statements and whatever else that came across Mark's way and many others is that he overpowered it. He is an achieved Deaf man with many people encouraging him along the way. It shows me my place as a Deaf ally and my role within the Deaf Community.
Laura Kamada, Kaylee Wilson, Peter Boklund, Lacie Couvillion,
Sarah Lucckesi, Kelly Simmons
& Kaedryn Parker
Lacie Couvillion's Reaction
There are so many things in this book that just shocked me because of the blatant discrimination:
When Mark's mother was in the hospital having him, the doctors and nurses tied her down, messed up her epidural, almost suffocated her and then disregarded any complaints that she made because she was deaf!
Another thing that I found very sad was that his parents didn't really stand up for his rights as a deaf boy even though they were deaf themselves. In fact, they allowed the grandparents to basically take over any decision making n connection with his schooling. This can be seen as discrimination as well.
Because of this, to get into his particular high school (because he wanted to make his grandpa happy) he had to lie to the principal and pretend he was just like a hearing kid so that he would be allowed in. However, his hearing friends got in without all the fuss.
The one instance that really threw me over the edge was when Sherry was deemed unfit, by the hospital staff, to take her own son home from a minor operation and was made to sit in the waiting room for hours. All of this because she was deaf.
This made me glad that, even though discrimination still is a major factor in the deaf community, it's not nearly as prevalent as it was. With all the laws that have been put in place since this time, it's nice to know that deaf people have the legal right to not be discriminated against.
"Neither religion nor race mattered to me, but communication did. If you were willing to be my friend and accept my deafness, I didn't care if you were white, black, Catholic, Jewish, Swahili, or whatever. I didnt care if you worked as a CEO or passed your time handing out flowers at the airport. If you can communicate, you're my friend. This is a great example of how I feel that my deafness has helped me grow spiritually."
"When I was in school, I didn't dare rock the boat--I was too busy playing catch-up, too busy trying to fit in with hearing people. With my hearing family, with a haring girlfriend, I'd always felt I had to be super-nice and super-perfect to be accepted. There's nothing wrong with being a nice guy or trying to be the best you can be--but when you do so at the expense of your true inner feelings, it just doesn't work. It's called living a lie."
"I can't emphasize enough how much it means to have a sense of belonging. People need to realize that there's a difference between 'fitting in' and 'belonging.' Fitting in is something I did when I immersed myself in the hearing world. Fitting in requires effort. It's exhausting and you can also argue that its not really genuine because to one degree or the other, it involved trying to win other people's approval. Belonging, on the other hand, is a far more rewarding phenomenon where you can kick back, be yourself, and know you are accepted. This is far more authentic and often happens in the presence of one's true peers."
Other books written by Mark Drolsbaugh
Anything But Silent
Madness In The Mainstream
On The Fence: The Hidden World of the Hard of Hearing
Sarah Lucckesi's Reaction
As I was reading Deaf Again, I continually thought how interesting it was to learn about a completely different point of view that I haven't learned about a Deaf person's life before. I've never read about a Deaf person, with Deaf parents, born and almost forced into a hearing world
There are many stories that Mark shared that truly showed the major discrimination against the deaf community. I couldn't believe that Mark's mother was told that she was an "unfit" mother and was unable to take her son home because she was deaf! I was outraged! Mark's book is a true testament of all of the discrimination the deaf community has faced, and I hope that in our future we will be able to see the world overcome this discrimination.
Because I am a Special Education Instructional Assistant (and hope to continue my involvement in Special Education as I continue my education and career), it really made me sad to see the struggle that Mark faced while in school. Reading about his story, really strengthens my passion and makes me want to be able to reach out to every child i encounter and be their advocate.
Mark struggled and strived to live in a hearing world, without being able to depend on sign language while growing up. Even though he didn't have a deaf community to depend on, it made me feel happy knowing that he embraced his deafness later on in his life. His story is truly remarkable and inspirational; he shows that no matter what circumstances life throws at you, if you have enough drive, you will be successful.
Kelly Simmons's reaction
While reading this book for the second time there was a lot that I picked up an understood that I didn't catch the first time. I was really surprised at Mark's journey becoming deaf. When Mark discovered his place is the deaf community it really moved me how welcome he felt. It was inspiring how successful he was and how he was striving in his education.
The part of the book that shocked me the most was how Mark didn't grow up in the deaf community even though his parents were deaf. It made me sad that his parents didn't intervene when he was losing his hearing and showed and expose him to an amazing and welcoming culture he could have been apart of from the start.
Although there are parts in this book that are saddening, I think it is impressive how Mark became part of the deaf community, embraced his deafness and thrived within the deaf education and culture.
Kaedryn Parker's Reaction
For me, the most shocking thing in the book was the way that hearing adults treated deaf adults as if they were children. When Mark’s mother, Sherry, was in the hospital she was treated like a child throwing a tantrum and none of her concerns were important to them. This theme continued for her as Mark’s grandparents tried to come in and make the decisions for Mark while he was growing up rather than his parents, solely because they were deaf. It felt as though hearing individuals saw the deaf and interacted with them as though they were children that could not be left on their own.
I felt that this book is a great tool for a variety of subgroups. For example, this book is great for a deaf or hard of hearing student struggling with their cultural identity. Though the push to be “normal” and “hearing” is not as strong as it once was, it is definitely still out there and many children are like Mark; deemed “successful” in their oral skills by society but still miserable inside. I also feel that this book can be an asset to both the hearing and Deaf communities, as it showcases a number of struggles that deaf individuals have gone through. The only way to stop the ignorance of Audism is through education, and this book does a great job of giving insight.