July 27, 2015

Hearing in The Classroom


Last September I enrolled into a college program through BYU-Idaho called Pathway. The program is three semesters long and last week I finished the last semester of the program. Wahoo! It was a great experience and now I am waiting for acceptance into the Online Degree Program with BYU-Idaho.

The Pathway program was online and on Thursday nights we gathered with other pathway students in the area and went to our religion class. After the religion class we spent time teaching and reviewing what we learned from the online portion. Being deaf, wearing Cochlear Implants and hearing in a classroom setting can be rough and very challenging for me. Hearing as a student brings its own set of challenges as does hearing as the teacher/instructor.

Being a student and listening to instructors often resulted in asking a classmate what was being said. For most of my online classes I took advantage of the captions that are available along with the pause and rewind features. It was totally awesome and perfect for me. When I learn something new or something finally makes sense to me, it makes all my efforts to hear everything worth it.

Being an instructor is really challenging. When there is constant interaction between instructor and students it can get a little overwhelming. Every Sunday I teach a small class of 7-8 year olds. They are really energetic and love to share what’s on their minds. This past Sunday was particularly challenging as I tried to teach the lesson. When the class time was over, I was cleaning up the room and one of the kids stopped at the door. He turned to me and said, “Thank you for teaching us.” Those words were loud and clear to me and made my constant efforts to hear worth something.

Hearing in the classroom can be challenging, but every now and then you will find a moment that makes it all worth it.

My advice for the new school year:

· Don’t be afraid to ask for someone to repeat something.

· Not sure you fully understand what someone said? Repeat back to them what you heard.

· Need specific accommodations? Contact the school ahead of time and explain your needs.

· Don’t wait for them to come to you, go to them first.

· Take control of your education – be creative.

July 1, 2015

Photography // Wedding Guest Books

    Last week I got to create this lovely Wedding Guest Book for this newly married couple. The couple had their wedding in San Diego and then an open house a week later in St. Louis. During the week, I was working on this masterpiece with the photos that Mary Clair Photography took on the wedding day. Take a look!

The story behind the Wedding Guest Books concept came about when my wife and I were planning the wedding. We didn't want a guest book where people just come by, sign their name on a dotted line, then box up the book and never see it again. We wanted it to be a piece of artwork that tells part of our favorite love story.