The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

And That’s The End Of The School Year Monday, May 28, 2007

Back home in Phoenix now, but not without a crazy end to the year, but well worth it.

I moved out of my apartment, then the next day was Mandy’s wedding, which was absolutely wonderful. I caught Mandy’s bouquet, so we both were laughing over that. Then I was at the airport 4 hours after the reception was over, so I’m exhausted from all of that plus finals week and little sleep.

Anyway, I finished my first academic year (trimesters) with the cochlear implant. 3 quarters of getting a GPA of 3.00 or higher, and 2 quarters of being on the Dean’s List . That’s a first for me in college, to be on the list twice in one year.

Was talking to Catherine about it at the break between the wedding and the reception…was it the cochlear implant that helped me do better in school, or was it just the result of being older, more mature, and doing what I love? We debated that for awhile.

The reason why I think it might be the cochlear implant, is because it’s forced me to listen more in class, because I want to hear everything that’s going on, to try and understand the teacher and listen to the interpreter. Maybe it’s that extra focus that’s causing me to pay more attention, and therefore, do better.

Things Of Note
– Recognized the word “Toostee Roll” at the wedding, and then realized it was that song.
– Wearing the CI for almost 2 days straight = makes the area around the magnet sore. My hearing aid ear was sore, but not as much as the CI.
– Hearing my cat meowing constantly as he rushes to the landing, down the stairs, and greets me as he realizes I’m finally home is one of the best feelings ever.

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Get Your Hands Up! Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Filed under: ipod,music,school,sound discovery,sound identification — Allison @ 6:10 pm

I’m in the PPL lab working on my website for my web design class, rockin’ out to my iPOD as I’m coding away. I’ve been on a hunt for new music to listen to, since I’ve been getting bored with music lately, as there isn’t THAT sound that’s catching me.

So I picked Fergie’s “The Dutchess” album, since I haven’t listened to it yet, other than “Fergalicious” and “London Bridge”.  I have no idea what tracks are on this album, so I’m not even paying attention to it.

“get your hands up (x8)”

It caught my attention that I could understand the words faintly in the background, at the beginning of the song.  I picked up my iPOD to find out what song it was, and it was “Get Your Hands Up”, which I haven’t heard before.

It’s not even listed in the lyrics online, as it’s “background” lyrics, but I understood it clearly, and on my first time listening to this song, without even paying attention to it.

To fellow students at school (and to people online), I’m more than willing to sit and talk with you or answer any questions you may have about the cochlear implant. I really appreciate those of you who come and ask me questions about it, and I hope I can help you in any way!

I promise, I don’t bite. 🙂

 

Recognizing Crazy Town’s “Butterfly” Within A Second Monday, February 12, 2007

Last time I talked about the sounds I was hearing at the hockey game. It held true for the next night.

The most exciting moment happened on Saturday. I was fiddling around with the camera, when I instantly recognized a song as soon as it started. Once again, Crazy Town’s “Butterfly” was recognized within less than one second and played for about 3 seconds, as the game started up again.

I turned to JJ and said “That sounds like Crazy Town’s ‘Butterfly’.”

“It is.”

“It is? No way, are you serious??? That is SO awesome!”

I was all excited over that because I have no idea what they’re going to play at the games, and usually everything sounds distorted coming through the PA system.

Finally, here’s a picture of me shooting away! I took about 12+ gigs of photos this weekend of ice hockey alone. It was my first time doing sports photography, and I found that I absolutely love love LOVE it. I plan to continue with it but next weekend is our last two home games, and then the season’s over. We’re not eligible for the playoffs this year, but next year.

I’ve met so many people this year through hockey, including some cute guys. I may have a date or two…we will see. ^.^

(photo by JJ)

 

What’s The Most Important Thing A Newbie Needs To Know About The CI? Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What’s the most important things that a newbie wants/needs to know about the cochlear implant?

I ask this because the other day, K asked me if I was willing to be videotaped for a “documentary” about the cochlear implant. They have 3 or 4 faculty/staff in the tape, talking about the cochlear implant itself. Do I talk about the device itself? My surgical experience? What activation and the post-activation has been like? So many things, but what’s most important? I don’t want to scare off people through the videotape, because it’s easier to tell people in person, have that interaction, versus just talking to the lens. But I need a haircut first, ahhhhhhh!

Later in the day, I got an email from L asking if I was willing to come to her class on Thursday morning. She wants me (and the other guests) to talk about strategies for success in college. This is going to be interesting, since I’ve had my own share of failures at school, and I don’t really think I’d be the best person, but I’ve learned from my mistakes. It’s funny, some teachers prefer you make mistakes than turn in perfect work, because when it comes to the end of the quarter, this is how they are able to measure if you’ve actually learned from your mistakes and shown improvement. To me, it’s so backwards, but I’m a perfectionist.

I still need to think about the student panel that’s coming up in February or March. So much to think about, and what I want to say. This is already a busy start to 2007, and we’re not even done with January yet.

A student of Mandy’s came in to observe our listening therapy session, and I answered questions for her about the cochlear implant and more. She was really nice, and we did the AlphaCats word lists before we all had to take off for the day.

 

Tiger Hockey Friday, January 19, 2007

Oooh, Tiger Hockey tonight with Jen G. We picked ringside seats, first row, right next to the home team.

Sounds I Discovered
– the “thuck” of the body pads of the hockey players, when crashing into each other.
– the skrrriiiiiiiiiich of the skates across the ice, as the players did side stops (aka Snow Showers, thank you to Patrick of the Corner crew).
– the “tink” of the puck hitting the ice after the ref dropped it during a face off (or maybe it’s the sticks hitting each other, either way, it’s high-pitched).
– the following words in announcements: “and his wife Carolie”, “Tigers”.

We lost 4-3 but it was a good game that went into sudden death overtime. There’s another one tomorrow night, but I have a field trip/photo shoot all day.

 

What Have I Gotten Myself Into? Thursday, January 18, 2007

Having one of those “dear god, what have I gotten myself into?” days.

Nothing like a good dose of frustration in many areas to end your day and push your emotions over the edge.

First part was great, as I had therapy with Mandy, then went off to the luncheon hosted by the Women’s Council.

Since we didn’t get to do therapy on Monday due to school being canceled because of the ice storm, I was happy to see Mandy today, even though I had talked to her over the weekend. She and Catherine reassured me that I looked fine, since I was all dressed up. They gave me the once-over and proclaimed me good to go for the luncheon. While this was going on, I found out the panel discussion is going to be either March 16th or March 30th, so I need to start thinking about what I want to say, and prepare myself for questions from the audience. Mandy had just gotten the Harmony release kit from Advanced Bionics, so it was cool rummaging through it and seeing the different items in it. It’s mostly audiologist tools, cds, and booklets. Nothing new to report, that we don’t already know. The release date is still TBA, according to the email.

After that was done, Mandy and I settled in to do word lists. I felt I wasn’t understanding words as well today, even though I could tell if the words were the same or different. I think it was because of my nervousness about the Women’s Council luncheon.

Sarah picked me up and we headed off. The two of us were invited by the members due to being honored with a scholarship. I’m grateful to the Women’s Council for selecting me as one of their scholarship recipients because it does help financially. What I didn’t expect was to stand up in front of the entire room, especially when they read the short bio of information that they collected about me. It’s not a situation one encounters often, so it was a bit nerve-wracking.

After that, there was a wonderful presentation by Bill Klingensmith, who did the Drive Project. I got some ideas for future projects from today’s presentation. Go check his website out, it’s excellent. I’m going to pick his brain one of these days, because I have more questions for him.

The biggest surprise was running into an old professor of mine and getting a hug from her. She’s one of my all-time favorite professors, and I haven’t seen her for a year and a half, so it was a real treat to see her there. I had been thinking about her the other day, and resolved to get back in touch with her. Unfortunately, it was at the end, and we were in a hurry to get back to campus, so I will have to meet with her soon.

I met several wonderful members of the Council, and I look forward to talking with some of them again. I had some good conversations with some of them about deafness and cochlear implants. Plus, the food was delicious, especially the Creme Brulee cheesecake we had. As Sarah put it “it was worth the wait”, since we both were planning to leave before one, but ended up staying for 40 more minutes.

The real trouble happened when I got back to campus an hour and 10 minutes late. Unable to find my class after searching the usual places in 7B, I sent my professor an email asking what was going on. Everybody was out shooting for the workshop, and we were meeting up again at four, but I didn’t know where. Finally, one of my classmates IMed me to tell me the details, so I was able to rejoin the group.

I had an impossible time following my teacher in the classroom we were in. His back was to us. It was dark in there. I couldn’t see my classmates. At that point, mostly out of sheer tiredness from the last few days, dry eyes, and frustration, I was biting back tears.

I’m just tired of and afraid to speak up and say “hey, I can’t understand most of what’s going on”, especially when there’s a good flow of conversation going on. I’m afraid to admit that I’m getting pretty lost lately. I understand him clearly if he stays put, there’s adequate lighting, and he’s the only one that’s speaking. But add in demonstrations, critiques, commentary, and it’s a mess.

I don’t want other people to have to make accomodations for me. I don’t want my deafness to be the first thing that they think of and see. My deafness is not what defines me. The same thing happens with my hearing friends. They forget that I’m deaf and treat me just like one of the group. But that itself is a negative because they forget and I miss out on coversation at the moment.

With the CI, one of my goals and hopes would be that it would allow me to meet hearing people on their own turf, instead of making it all about me and my needs. My teacher and I have tried different strategies, but none of them have stuck from day to day. The class does not revolve around me, especially since I am in a non-designated section for support.

I’ve been working on getting support for 2x a week, but since it wasn’t on the list of supported classes, I was told that I can’t request 4 hours a week of services. I understand that, as there are rules to be followed.

I know this is the risk that I took. I was aware of the consequences of making this decision. I just didn’t expect to hit me this hard, especially in the middle of the quarter. And I know part of it is my fault because I’m not being more aggressive in making sure I know what’s going on.

I didn’t want to fail. I still don’t. But here I am, feeling like that this whole experiment of being independent was a failure. I’m feeling more and more left out. It’s not easy for me to admit, since failure is not an option.

I just wasn’t ready. Or was I ever really ready in the first place?

 

Rockin’ The Holidays Party Pictures Friday, January 12, 2007

December 15, 2006, we had our Rockin’ The Holidays party for all cochlear implant users, friends, faculty, and staff at school. It was a great success as 35 people showed up between 2 and 5 pm.

We played Guess Who This Person Is, Pin The Magnet On The CI, Musical Chairs, Red Light/Green Light in chairs, decorated cookies, listened to music, and general conversation.

Here are a select few pictures from the party. The rest are on photobucket.com. Contact me for access to the folder to see the pictures and/or download them to your own computer.

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