When you consider a lifetime I see three things.
A life before deaf school which was none at all among the mental retarded insitutions for deaf mutes (Which was what they called me in those days) No knowledge, no freedom and certainly no opportunities at all. Your mind and self did not belong to you. The State decides what you can and cannot do in all things.
Columbia Campus was built for the Deaf in Maryland and a certain number of those who can be provided caregivers and taught something in Transitional Campus on the property. It was a provider of freedom in education in many things and eventually a language on which everything else included Freedom depended on. Frederick Campus was later in my schooling with certain changes by then.
The public school was treated as something called Main streaming. I was taken from Columbia which I had spend 4 years of my life building it inclduing relationships with girlfriends and strong friendships with classmates of that time. Some of whom have passed some time ago in my lifetime and are missed. A few live out their adult lives without contact and I hope the best for them. If God is good, Im fairly sure they are having a ball in life. Maybe raising a family or doing good work as I have done or other things.
The public school was something that should never have been done to me by the State. I consider it a flawed and failed time. I had to learn differently in those schools and unfortunately alot of damage was done across the board. I am not ungrateful for the experience but it turned me into a somewhat bitter and angry student who had decided that when school was finished one way or another I would not have anything more to do with it at all. Including college. End. Dot. Finis. I ultimately aged out at 20 from MSD in Frederick which by then introduced new problems. (Not to mention some pregnancies and other sexual type society changes by then which was not provided for or approved by the State...)
Thats the foundation of the rest of my life based on two things. First Freedom and trucking was a large part of that. I get to do important work running the Nation. Ultimately hauling blood plasma and very high dollar pharmacy loads for McKesson of Memphis. Which was for me the very best offered by Trucking. Other than some extreme situations like heavy haul, radioactive, military and very specialized work like Jet Engine hauling. The rest of the industry can be driven by Robots and not that special. But America depends on trucking and there we are building trucks that will someday replace humans. (Over my dead body, I hate computer anything)
Secondly I learned just how much in most of my childhood how much the State dictated everything. One could argue and make a case that you were able to do anything meaningful or with responsibility because you were handicapped and there is no permission for you to go do things in life. Some cannot buy a home, get married or have a family etc. Because they were not taught they could in a free country or because they simply did not know they could when they got to be of age. And so the State dictates everything for them. Which makes me sad because I was one of the few who were free. No one told me that I cannot do the things Ive done but here we are. Two completely different worlds. I would liked to have raised a family myself but trucking is not the sort of situation you brought babies and children into oh no sir. No way. It would ruin them just like the early schooling time ruined me. If not worse. Yes I got married and had a home etc. But Cancer came along and did some damage in the family department. Now I find myself a little older and dealing with medical stuff from my work in this lifetime. I am not going to be around long enough to really get old and fall apart as various mind and body things break. ive already been blind twice which surgery saved me and can see again for example. Im grateful for that because sign language and total communication was one of the things I depend on for freedom. Hearing aids and eyes take care of the rest in the hearing world.
What is this hearing world? well I see it as simple. Let me explain. When you are born without something you are not handicapped. To be deaf is not a problem or a handicap. UNLESS you were a hearing parents with no history of deaf children anywhere in your family. The baby is a freak of nature now. What do the frantic parents do? QUICK install a cochlear implant. Do not bother to ask the child what they prefer in life, to be deaf and free or to be issued hearing at any cost and then forced to learn how to be hearing, which is something they are not? I myself got hearing aids at Johns Hopkins at 6. I was fine until I got the damn things. Everything since then....
What a mess. But I'll die a American Trucker and thats what I am. Nothing else.
Retired Long Haul Trucker
I am a Long Haul Trucker by trade, To be deaf is not the problem in life.
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