Friday, May 2, 2008

What hood do you belong to?



My goodness how many hoods do I belong too? Wow, too many to count. I decided to reflect using my prior knowledge on what hood and why. Remember these are not dictionary definitions, just my thoughts. If you want to look up the definitions, here is a web site - http://www.onelook.com/?w=*hood&ls=a

Teacherhood
Teacherhood is a fellowship of educators who have a degrees in education. They may teach, be administration, psychologist, or aide.

Cons
I sat in an IEP meeting yesterday. Another teacher cut off the parents' questions and insulted the other members of the team. She did not take the parents concerns seriously. I spoke up and took the meeting from this teacher and back to the parents. I don't want to be part of this type of teachhood.

Pros
Our wonderful Title 1 reading teacher, Tracy, set up a carnival for the students for successful TCAP testing(state testing). When the original plans fell through, she set up a fantastic day for the children with guitar hero, pies in face, free books, tattoos, cotton candy, and more. She recruited teachers to assist and all of us were proud to help. I want to be part of that this hood.

CI Hood
A fellowship of children, adults, and family members who use cochlear implants.

Cons
A group of people who view cochlear implants as cure for deafness. This group thinks cochlear implants are the only option for anyone who is deaf. I don't want to be part of this type of hood.

Pros
Personal choices and experiences shared in a way that are respectful and intelligent. Watching with joy as each one has CI moments. The fact I can ask anyone a questions and get a positive answer back. Hell, yes I want to be part of this hood.

Dancehood
A fellowship of crazy moms and children who love to dance.

Cons
I watched a mom push her child to be the "top" dancer and argue that her child is not in the correct level. A group of moms wanting nothing to do with average dancers because they are not acceptable to be around their children. No, I refuse to be part of this hood.

Pros
Watching Ms. Cindy of the Dance Force tell my child she can do it and showing her. How Ms. Cindy allowed Jenna to go to the small group ice cream party even though Jenna is not in a small group. She said Jenna has improved so much she deserves to be a part of it. Then watching my child beam and tell me she loves dance because she gets to learn it from Ms. Cindy. The best part was watching the other parents welcome Jenna to the party because she belonged. Yup, that's my hood

Motherhood, Fatherhood, Parenthood
A group of women and men with a common bond to raise children

Cons
A few years ago, a dad walked into my classroom and took off his belt and whipped his child in front of the class. I was so upset that I left the room and cried. In the store yesterday, I watched a parent yell at her child for not keeping up. She made the child cry and was so embarrassed. Not, my hood, no way no how

Pros
A wonderful student visited this week, I had K in 2nd grade. Her mom beamed with joy as she told how this year was going. Then she turned to her child and said, K, I am so proud of you. I really want to be part of that hood.

Medicalhood
A group of medical professionals not limited to nurses, doctors, audiologist, and insurance staff

Cons
I had to fight my insurance company a year to get them to pay for my cochlear implants. They also would not talk to me on relay service. They embarrassed me. Also, when I went to my doctor with my hair falling out, he just put me on Zoloft. The doctor refused to listen to me. He thought I was making up problems. That hood has to change. I will not be a part of it.

Pros
Let Them Hear Foundation(http://www.letthemhear.org/) fought for my cochlear implants, as I gave up hope of ever being approved. They listened and provided a service without asking for anything in return. Not only did they get the approval for my implants, but they listened! really listened. There are not words to describe my appreciation to them not just for my implants, but for listening and accepting me. My neurologist listened and found the cause of my facial numbness and migraines. He listened! Now 5 years later, I am off all medicine and migraines are gone. My cochlear implant surgeon, Dr. Ladabie listened and answered any question I had. Some questions I asked 5 to 6 times. He e-mailed answers within hours. I love this hood. Sign me up for more medical hood like this.

Deafhood
A fellowship of person who have a hearing loss, they may use hearing aids, cochlear implant or nothing. This group understands the journey and respects others. I also include parents and other family members. They are also on the journey with their child. (MY PERSONAL DEFINITION)

Cons
Segregation, isolation, and judgement of person who use hearing aids, cochlear implants, limited ASL or other visual language(Cued, SEE, or others). Judgement of if the person is deaf enough. Use of "we" to show isolation and ridicule.

Pros
The most amazing group of people I have ever met. People who see Valerie first and accept me and my choices. They assist, they teach, they laugh, they suggest, they think, and most of all listen. My hood is joined by a common characteristic - deafness. It does not define me, it expands me.

There are so many hood we are members of - sisterhood, brotherhood, footballhood, bookhood and a ton more. As with all experiences in life, we must take the pros and the cons. I might not identify with a sample of that hood, but I can't give up on it because of a few who believe they control the definition and membership. Our life should be filled with harmony, love, friendship, and hoods, through good times and bad times. I love my hoods, I accept them pros and cons. I don't leave them when the times are rough. United we stand, divided we fall - let's not fall!


11 comments:

Abbie said...

I'm from da hood!

KiDDING!

You are an integral part of society. You bring a perspective of providing several different angles of your everyday life. A mother, a teacher, a daughter, a cochlear implant user and a deaf person. It is amazing how you can be a part of many different hoods but they are intertwined with one another. I would love to have peace in da hoods too!

Kim said...

"They assist, they teach, they laugh, they suggest, they think, and most of all listen. My hood is joined by a common characteristic - deafness. It does not define me, it expands me."

I SO loved what you said here! Yeah-- I have a group of late-deafened friends who are my lifeline. You're so cool I'm adding you to my deaf hood. :-)

I joined DeafRead to learn more about Deaf culture. Like ALL groups (hoods) I belong to, I've found I like some in the group and don't like others so much. I guess that's pretty normal.

elizabeth said...

You did a wonderful job pointing out that there are good and bad things about every "hood" -- thanks for helping everyone see that things aren't always so black and white!

Tales from the CI Gal said...

Thanks gals,
Kim you have been part of my hood!!
Abbie - let there be peace in da hood too!
Thank you Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

You said it beautifully, Abbie. I feel so inspired by you. Thanks.

As I re-read your blog and the comments, I thought to myself, what a shame it would be for DeafSide to not have blogs like yours listed. Everyone could benefit from hearing your message of unity.

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Oooh! Loved this post! Dug the pros and cons..You go girl with your LI tea drinking self. I don't know what I would have done had a man whipped his kid with a belt in my class, I would have been capable of throwing a freaking chair at his head. I'm a very passive person, though, usually. hugs, Jodi

Li-Li's Mom said...

Wow, that's a lot of gang colors you have to keep track of ... :) Are you taking applications for your hoods, because I want in, too!

Holy cow, that thug of a dad would have had me reaching for the nearest chair too, and I'd have found myself violating all my pacifist beliefs in a moment. But you are a better woman than I: I'll bet your heartfelt emotion reached him a whole lot deeper than some angry splinters -- you may have had more of an impact than you think in defusing his anger next time. (But that sort of thing gets reported, right? And someone else goes to his house and hits him with a metaphorical DSS chair and some strong guidance, right?)

Anonymous said...

fuck the rigid being so stone deaf . . .the world is darn hearing. we Deaf just need to fit into it. eeeekk a deafhood activist just becomes a principal at CSD-Fremont. a doom for the deaf students in the state of california??? yeah, unless that bastard person change his tone toward to the oralists and hearing lovers.

Valerie said...

Anonymous,
I'm sorry about the situation. It is a shame when someone discrimates against people for any reason. I do hope this person reflects that in an adminstration position, he should do positive changes not negative. If not there are ways of letting the school board know and changes can be made in a positive way. Good luck.

Li-Li's mom - yes these colors are hard to keep track, I just use a rainbow!

That parent - yes DFCS came and the child when to her mother. The sad thing is that the mother situation is just as bad. Wish all parents really understood how to raise a child. One thing I found is that there will always be good parents, so-so parents, and terrible parents, society MUST protect children from terrible parents and do it immediately! Oh I wish..I wish for a peaceful society and good parents, good schools and good feelings!

David said...

What a wonderful and thought provoking post. Thank you for this peak into your world.

Jim said...

Now I need to think of all of my "hoods" LOL You got me thinking.