The Flip Side

Earpluggers! We have survived. I’m not going to say it was the smoothest ride ever — there were some casualties to be had, for sure. Nonetheless, we have arrived at our desired destination: “the flip side.”

Ah yes, winter break.

Three and a half-ish weeks of glorious freedom filled with Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, and other winter holidays galore.

This year’s winter break is perhaps one of the most exciting for me. The parental unit had prepared three separate surprise trips for my sister and I, and at the time of writing this, we have just returned back from our first surprise trip. Drum roll, please.

It was an overnight stay at DISNEYLAND and CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE.

This was me the whole way there: 

(yes, I am 19).

I love Disneyland as much as the next person. Wait, that is a lie. I love Disneyland probably a little more than the next person because my love for Disneyland is somewhat unhealthy. However, trips to Disneyland are no walk in the park (pun totally intended).

My go-to move when heading to amusement parks is to use wig tape to securely fasten my cochlear to my head. Now, I know Disneyland isn’t exactly known for its fast rides, but I always veer on the side of caution because you never know what will happen on those rides! The wig tape ensures that even when/if the magnet falls off, the cochlear will remain attached to me. I don’t tend to need wig tape on my hearing aid, particularly because of the hearing aid mold that secures the device to my ear. Now, there is no excuse for us not to ride the big roller coasters, unless of course, you’re scared?

The issue of background noise, though, is one that is not particularly solvable. But, ever since I received my cochlear implant, my experiences in amusement parks has drastically improved. I no longer have to do this awkward sideways-twisty walk to ensure that I have a visual on the whoever is speaking while we’re weaving through the crowds. With the implant, I am able to pick up speech simply by being in the immediate vicinity of the source of sound (just like everyone else).

Hearing the music and voiceovers on rides is also a relatively new experience for me. It all makes so much sense now! I could hear the creepy dude in the Haunted Mansion, I could hear all the lyrics to It’s a Small World and the yo-ho yo-ho it’s a pirate’s life for me songs. Most importantly, I have recently become aware of the fact that a lot of announcements made in the parks are made in English and Spanish, so back when it all sounded like another language to me, 50% of it actually was!

One thing I have not figured out how to crack is how to wear those cute little Mickey Mouse ears without displacing my implant. Somebody, anybody — if you have figured it out, how? HOW??

Okay. Well, I better get off the internet and go back to enjoying the Flip Side. And I better get to packing. Surprise Trip #2 is happening at some undisclosed point in the foreseeable future at some undisclosed location. My whereabouts will be entirely unknown until I am whereabout I will be.

If you don’t hear from me, send help. Please.

Almost Famous

Hey hi and hello!

I am writing to you from the depths of the biggest library on campus. That’s right. I am resurfacing from finals studying just for you guys (as if I wasn’t already searching for a reason to procrastinate more).

Anyway, the purpose of this blog post is to share that fun little project I had been working on (yes, the very saaame one I mentioned in my “Holidaze” post).

And, drumroll please . . . .

Earpluggers, I have been cheating on you. It was a one time thing though, I swear. I was thinking of you the whole time.

If you feel like you can forgive me, check out my guest blog post on the Cochlear Wire! The Cochlear Wire is an official blog by the company that produced my own cochlear implant. It was an honor to be able to post on their blog, and I hope they will have me back soon! The post is all about the craziness of the holidays and the craziness of being deaf/hard of hearing, and the craziness of the two combined.

http://thewire.cochlearamericas.com/shayna-shares-tips-and-stories-for-the-holidays/

Hope you like reading it as much as I liked writing it! Let me know what you think in the comments.

Okay, procrastination attempt 927 is complete. On to attempt number 928. See you on the flip side Earpluggers.

How to Become a Jedi Without Really Trying

A progression of my emotions as finals approach:

1. Ready for anything.

2. Hey, wanna hang out?

3. I love school. Studying is the best. Is ball life? No. School is life. No, really. I will say it until it is true.

4. Why am I taking organic chemistry? And statistics? In the same semester, no less.

5. HALP.

6. No, c’mon focus. You got this. Right. So, what subjects am I in again?

7. First practice test: gets all the questions wrong.

8. Office hours. Must. catch. them. all.

9. Cue Pompeii. But if I close my eyes . . . I will fall asleep. Also, yes, I have been here before. Last spring.

10. Re-evaluation of my entire life. Why did I ever let go of those childhood dreams?

So yeah, finals suck. The end is near, though. Stay motivated. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot be a jedi.

(I’ll be back with a more substantial post after finals. I must save my brain cells for memorizing every line of Gilmore Girls before I start cracking down on studying)