1. Examine the situation.
Fears, there are so many and they can either come unexpected, or they seem to hover around us like a dark threatening cloud. I feel that the fears that I see in life can be immediate or chronic. The immediate is that sudden sense of alarm when something that frightens us appears in an instance. Maybe a loved one got hurt, or you lost your wallet or purse, or you are in an accident. Then there is the chronic, the one that always seem to sort of float around because of situations that sometimes are beyond your control, like unexpected bills, illness, change, duties.
To me the first type is much more manageable because it is faced on immediately, if a wasp appears you swat it away, or you get medicine for your sick child or you pay that one bill you forgot. Then there is one where the problem seems to drag on endlessly. That is the one fear I abhor the most. The constant feeling that something needs to be fixed, repaired or dealt with and it always ends the same, needing more adjustment. Not completing something, or failing at something I work so hard are some of my biggest fears. Staying in a stagnant stage of life without flux is another. Always worrying about the next project and the next and the next, here in school or at my job can be a very stressful fear. Fearing that others think I haven’t done my best or that I missed the point of the project can also create fear.
My way to deal with fear is to try and work within its confinements, try to solve one problem at a time, not letting the stress of overwhelming tasks engulf and defeat me. I usually make a schedule to follow each project’s development until it is complete. I try to leave everything to the last minute, although it seems that no matter how long I work on something, it always seem to come down to the last few days, hours and minutes that its due.
2. Formulate an experiment.
I decided to do my fear project on the fear I felt when I first lost my hearing. For my experiment I want to have the class split in 2 and have 1-2 students in each group put earplugs in to block out noise completely. Then test them by having the students without earplugs talk to each other for 10 minutes or more, then switch and play music. I also want to experiment with a student standing behind the student with earplugs in and talk behind them.
3. Hypothesize the expected outcome.
I think that my experiment might bring some awareness to some, and it might also entertain others, and I believe that this fear may be somewhat better understood afterwards. My hope is to demonstrate it in a fun and safe manner. Some may have done something similar before, or maybe never, so there is a chance that for these students it may be a first. I hope that they gain something from my experiment when they leave the classroom.
- How do you think people (your classmates) will react to what you came up with?
I believe that most of my classmates might find my experiment amusing, maybe even funny, but they will also understand the seriousness of it. They may be surprised and may think about issues to do with it differently. I want them to be surprised, amused, thoughtful and inquisitive.
4. Conduct the experiment.
My original intent for experiment was to have a few people wear earplugs or something to totally block out noise, but failed in that I could not find anything that could block out noise to the total deafness level I wanted. I tested on my boyfriend with two types of ear plugs; one was at a 22 decibels noise reduction while the other was 32 decibels. The 32 decibels blocked out a lot more noise than the 22, but he was still able to hear noises and make out words, maybe not as well as without.
I had still planned to tell my story of how I lost most of my hearing when I was 9. Since I still needed or wanted an experiment, even though I’m sure my story is experiment enough, I wanted to demonstrate deafness in some way. I ended up signing ASL for my intro before I told my story, for those wondering what I said: Imagine if I signed my whole presentation, how does that make you feel? Do you understand what I am saying? Do you??
In my story, I told about the day I lost my hearing. I was 9 years old and home alone and the last thing I remember hearing before waking up that day was the fan in my bedroom. When I woke up and quickly realized I couldn’t hear anything, I frantically called my mom at her work, and she had to shout very loud in order for me to hear pieces of what she was saying. I also recounted the situation following, when I had to go to my babysitter’s house and interact with her children. They were singing and dancing on the furniture while I sat clueless in the corner watching them, and until I read the lips of one of the girls and realized she was singing our favorite song and I didn’t even know it.
That day I realized I would be socially an outcast, since likely others would not understand my situation or know how to deal with it. It has impacted me in many ways in straying away from others because my every attempt to communicate, as most people seem to distance themselves and do not communicate back.
5. Observe the reaction.
Some people stared, laughed, cried, and some looked shocked. I think the way it impacted me emotionally as well was unexpected. I think I have been holding up so many emotions for so long, that it made it difficult to remain aloof as I had plan doing while telling my story. I have purposely not revisited certain events in my life because they are difficult for me, and I guess the experiment presentation was one of those moments where I had to let myself out completely. That alone was very scary for me.
6. Analysis of hypothesis with actual outcome.
I think many of my original hypotheses were correct. When I signed my intro in sign language, some people laughed; did they feel uncomfortable or nervous? Did they realize that the way to communicate had changed for that small fragment of time? Some looked even startled or confused. That’s very much how I feel every day, especially when I don’t have an interpreter around 24 hours a day. When I told my story, many seemed shocked, and some cried as well. I didn’t expect myself to cry either even though revisiting those memories was painful for me.
7. Propose changes to your idea based on what happened.
If I could find some sort of sound barrier, I would really love to conduct my original experiment. Even then I really liked the outcome of my fear presentation. I felt there were many reactions starting from laughing and confused, to shocked and crying, to awareness and a bit of comfort. I really appreciate Beth’s discussion and how she admitted that she never thought of my situation and the things I have to deal with especially in a classroom with more than 30 students. My hope is that people will remember…, that when they encounter a similar situation they would stop for a moment to think what it must be like to be in that person’s shoes. That they give a chance to people with differences, embrace their individuality, and be prepared to have their life enriched by them.
Discuss the experience/presentation from class which you responded to most strongly, be it yours or someone else’s.
1. What was it and who did it?
I think the presentation that I responded the most to, was Robyn’s. She made a video demonstrating the possibility of her children being abducted. To lose a child in such a way is very frightening. I have watched shows where children have been kidnapped, and have never been recovered, and the suffering of those families is difficult to watch. In those instances, most outcomes rarely end in good news, and the families affected are never the same. Most never recover, that one terrible event creating a domino’s effect of pain.
2. Why did you respond to it so strongly?
Even though I don’t have children, I have a 5 year old niece who I am very close to and I couldn’t imagine if anything like that ever happened to her. Just picturing from her video, if my niece was playing in the park and suddenly wasn’t there, or if she went for a bike ride and I found her bike lying on the side of the street…. Those images were very unnerving.
I also loved the captions! 🙂 Thank you!
3. How does it impact how you see your own project?
In the sense of losing something, her project made me think that, it may not be your hearing, your eye sight or another of your senses that you could lose, but you could still lose something physically connected to you, in an emotional way, like your children. I cannot imagine anything worse than losing a child. Not having them there, laughing, creating those moments that you remember a lifetime, carrying with you an emotional ghost full of memories; how devastating that must be.