Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Can't Life Have Subtitles?

On my Facebook profile page under favorite quotes, I almost added, "I'm sorry. What did you say? I didn't hear you." As some of you may know, I have recently been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease and have lost some hearing in my left ear. I've prayed for healing, and feel confident that it will happen. In the meantime, I have to deal with day-to-day living. And in my hearing impaired world, I don't understand what lots of people are saying.

It seems that there are certain tones that I am incapable of hearing. Apparently this tone is the same one that fourth graders have, because I have a real hard time understanding my students. I have some students that have legitimate speech impediments, some that hold the record for speed talking, and pretty much a whole class that mumbles. I have to tell my students many times a day to look directly at me and slow down when they speak. It never fails though...they will come up to tell me something, and then point in the direction of their issue and turn their head as they talk. It becomes very frustrating.

I looked into getting a hearing aid. As you may guess, I have state insurance, which means I pay way more than I should when it comes to medical bills. Wouldn't you know that hearing aids are not covered under my insurance? According to my audiologist, the type of hearing aid I probably need costs about $2,000. Um...yeah....I think I'll stick to just saying, "What??"

Before I had hearing problems, I discovered that watching movies with subtitles was great. I was watching "Pride and Prejudice" and was having some trouble understanding the dialogue. I feel this is because of their accents but also because it was set like 200 years ago and they certainly spoke different back then. (On a side note, I read the book but had to use Cliff Notes in order to get through it.) Watching the movie with subtitles was very helpful. I'm a fast reader, so I was able to follow along with the dialogue. Now that I have this hearing problem, it's become vital for me to have the subtitles so I can understand the movie. There are some movies that don't have it and I hate that. I think that all movies at the theater should have them too....the people who need them will use them and those that don't won't even look at them. It's a win/win situation for us all.

Now mind you, I don't care at all for closed captioning. The captioning doesn't appear as the dialogue appears. And when it does appear on the screen, it's often incorrect. I think that if I ever totally go deaf, I may change my mind about this, but for now, I prefer movie subtitles only. If only my life was on screen and the subtitles appeared for me to keep up with what's going on. Until then, I'll just keep a steady stream of, "Huh? What'd you say?" as a means to understanding what you're saying. Remember: Speak slowly and look directly at me when talking to me!!!!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Great blog! I hope you'll consider adding it to the aggregator at Deaf Village ( -- we'd love to have you as part of our community!