The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Saturday, December 25, 2010]



Katie, Laynie, and I went skiing yesterday. I recorded my girls!

And Laynie recorded Katie and me... plus some.

So it's an easy hill... Who's going to videotape on a steep one? ;)

[Saturday, December 18, 2010]

Who, Me?


I went skiing today, and they were offering $10 group lessons. Score!

I was the only person in Level 5, so they combined me with the three people in Level 6. I wasn't too comfortable with that, but we had two instructors, and they promised to split up the group once they had seen us ski. I was saying that I ski parallel turns but prefer greens (easier runs). The two kids said they ski blacks, which is what every kid says. They still skied in a wedge. The other woman said she skis blues.

They took us straight to the highest part of the mountain. I was reeeeally hoping we would ski down the one green that is up there. The instructors were planning on blue. I made it clear that I was nervous about that. I know it's all in my head but whatever.

One of the instructors, a guy probably 5 or 10 years older than I, said, "You can handle blue. I can tell by your eyes." Eh? It sure isn't confidence you're seeing! While I was processing that, he continued, "You have beautiful blue eyes."

Who, me?

It's been years since anybody flirted with me. That was so not on my radar. Somehow I ended up with him when the group split, and it was the best lesson ever. I got plenty of attention. I kind of felt badly for the other woman, who got less attention, found out that although she was skiing blues her technique was wrong, and got plowed down by a reckless snowboarder.

That guy kept flirting with me and giving me way too much praise. Haha. I totally encouraged it, because I'm usually ignored during group lessons. I improved a lot today. I'm now a solid level 6! Last week I was Level 4. :) I think I'll request that guy if he's available next time. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

[Tuesday, December 14, 2010]



A few weeks ago, I was visiting one of my kiddos that I see as an itinerant teacher. I'll call her Hattie. She's a hearing child who is pretty much caught up with her language... except for her social language. She can use her words pretty ruthlessly, without really meaning to hurt others. I'm not sure how much she recognizes that others have feelings like she does.

On this day, Hattie sat down to do a puzzle, and her little friend from class, Opeibea, wanted to join in. She picked up a piece and said, "Hattie, I'll help you." Hattie grabbed the piece and responded, "No, don't touch it!" Opeibea said, "Why?" Hattie answered, "Because I hate you."

Hattie does not hate Opeibea. They play together every day and have a great time. She just wanted to play alone at that moment, and she said what she thought would make Opeibea leave her alone, without considering Opeibea's feelings.

But Opeibea did not leave her alone, nor did she strike back after the hurtful comment. With a concerned expression on her face, she gently said, "Is it me?"

This exchange has stuck with me, and I keep thinking what a good example Opeibea set, and how I want to be more like this 4-year-old child.

[Saturday, December 11, 2010]

Proud of My Boys


Earlier this week, my deaf kiddos went with all the first graders to a play, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The classroom interpreter went up separately, because she wanted to look over the script and music beforehand. The teacher of the deaf and I rode on the bus with the kids.

So the kids had not seen the interpreter that morning when they got to school. We got them unpacked and set up with their FM receivers, and then it was time to get on the bus.

When we got to the theater and got our kids seated (in the third row, while their poor hearing classmates were up in nosebleed), arranging Oil and Water so they were not sitting next to each other... My superstar boy happily greeted the interpreter and watched as she and I discussed where she would stand. The theater company had her way off to the side, which is totally unrealistic--like a first grader is going to look away from the action on stage for a second. Hm, a dancing mouth, a talking dog, and a wolf that loses his teeth all over the stage... or the interpreter that I see every day. Yeah. We got that changed.

When the interpreter was set and the kids were positioned so they could all see her (no grown-up heads blocking them), Superstar waved to get her attention and signed, "Interpret? You interpret?" When she said yes, he smiled.

The poor child thought he'd have to try to make sense of the action without the benefit of language, like in other non-school situations. I don't think he realized that interpretation was even possible outside of school.

That was sad, but I was happy at the same time, because he demonstrating understanding of the concept of interpretation. Oh, how I have worked on that! Our assigned interpreter is frequently absent, which is sort of frustrating, but I'm making lemonade. When different interpreters walk into the classroom, three of the kids could not care less, but this child is always interested in learning their names (signs and spelling). He is quite outgoing, introducing his deaf peers and me to the interpreters. The interpreters are always charmed by this brilliant and very big-D Deaf child. And I take a minute to emphasize, "So-and-so is not here today. So-and-so will not interpret. Today we have a substitute interpreter. Whatever-her-name-is will interpret." I guess somewhere along the way, those explanations clicked!

On a side note, our most oral child shocked me while we were at the play. I had the two boys sitting near me, which gave me the little superstar and the oral boy, who happens to be visually impaired. And have fine motor difficulty. And appear generally clumsy and immature. He rarely signs, and when he does, it's usually inaccurate, such as "bathroom" with an A or N handshape, "fun" with an R handshape, or "math" that frankly looks like the sign for "celebrate." But he's always happy, and he's a lot of fun. He's also the noisiest deaf child you'll ever meet. He loves to ask questions, and any instructions given will be met with a quick, "Why?"

During the play, he kept asking questions, like, "Why that dog sad?" and "What the mom said?" so I encouraged him to watch the interpreter. And I shushed him. Frequently. I guess he really wanted to talk to me, because he SIGNED, "What next?" The child knows the sign "next." And produced it clearly.

He signed, "Mom what-do?" You know, the "do-do" sign, not the "action/doing" sign--as in, the correct sign for the context.

We have worked on answering "what doing" questions for over a year, using that very sign. He rarely looks at us, seems to depend completely on his CI for language. When his processor broke last month, he stared at us like he had never seen ASL before as we explained that we couldn't get it working and mom would have to call his audiologist. And he knows "do-do"!!! Little stinker.

The teacher of the deaf likes to remind everyone that this boy is more with it than he shows, and she is soooo right.

Little stinker.

[Friday, December 10, 2010]

Sick Day = Ski Day


I've had a sore throat since Tuesday, and yesterday morning I woke up with palms that were funkifying and ready to peel. In my family, this is a sure sign of strep, so I went to the doctor. The rapid strep test was negative, but she was confident that I have it or at least something communicable, so I was ordered not to be in close contact with people for 24 or preferably 48 hours after starting antibiotics. At first I was upset, knowing that I would miss a Thursday, which is my insanely busy day, and that particular day happened to include a planned observation by the head of sped and an IEP meeting. Then I realized... I have to take a sick day, but (aside from a sore throat) I feel fine. Score!

So I went skiing. Wouldn't you?

It was a beautiful opening day at Whitetail Resort, in PA.

Not all the runs were open yet. Fake snow, natch.

So ready to ski!

Of course I dragged my bug with me.

It started snowing... from the ground up?

Yeah, it was just the cannons.

The place was dead. It was so nice having the mountain pretty much to yourself!

Laynie got a helmet this year. The chances of getting hit on an implant site is low, but it's not worth the risk. the helmet fits with her processors on (hooray for small Med-El processors), which is nice. She doesn't have to worry about them falling off and getting skied on. The goggles are also new. They are meant to fit over glasses, which means she can see where she is going. Bonus.

After two runs down the hill, Laynie was dead.

Hehe, she can't smile with her goggles on.


More ski! More ski!