jenny & sue


After describing her experience in grade school, Sue moved her considerations to middle school. She seemed unconcerned that she had spent six years of school with a speaker tied around her neck. I found it somewhat odd that in order to understand the teacher Sue was wired for sound. Apparently, Sue had spent her entire grade school experience with an auditory amplifier, or small speaker, hung around her neck. Sue's amplifier picked up signals from the teacher's microphone that, in turn, amplified the teacher's words. This apparatus was designed to help Sue, whose hearing was slightly better when she was younger, to hear and understand the teacher so that she could participate in class with other children. This is a theme that continues throughout Sue's narrative - she was given devices, gadgets, and technologies that allowed her to act normal such that the institutions that engaged with her did not have to change. Even in college, Sue prefers to read lips and speak to both colleagues and teachers so that she is perceived as "normal." I wonder, though, what this costs her in clarity and depth of understanding - she admits to only "getting" 80% of what she lip-reads. What is the price of Sue's "normality?"

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john in context | jenny & sue
deaf:audist | hearing pedagogy | enfi | techno-teaching
city on the hill | "othered" outside
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