English 341: It’s Like This

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I Can

I Can

MAKE 3

Out of my mind is about a girl named Melody who has cerebral palsy. For my make, one of my classmates came up with the idea of not talking for a day or however long we decide. And I must say, it was probably the most frustrating and sad 4 hours I had to endure. Oh man, what an eye opener it was for understanding someone with a disability… Let me begin by saying, be grateful that you, who is mostly likely reading this is able to read it and can function normally.

My experience:

Before I explain my experience, let me give you a quick rundown on the rules and guidelines I decided to follow. The first thing I did was made a diagram of a select amount of words that I could point with my finger to communicate with (see my blog post image). After making said diagram, there could be no adjustments made to it. Secondly, writing down something on a piece of paper is also forbidden. Thirdly, using my phone to text is also not allowed, however I can talk using memes (which was actually very fun). Now lets get to the main part!

So the first hour wasn’t to bad. I kept to myself and didn’t really “socialize” with anyone. I decided if I wanted to get results I needed to at least be in a social setting. My brother and his wife showed up for breakfast and I get my little paper handy. I walk up to my bro and point to the words “I, can, not, talk.” He then proceeds to ask me why I can’t talk, and so I point to the words “for, class.” Then he asks me for how long…. I don’t have anything on my paper to communicate time, so I just shrug my shoulders. I decide that while we are waiting for breakfast to maybe show my brother my new car. So I walk up to him with my keys and point out the window and he plays dumb acting like he doesn’t understand me. So then his wife tells him, I think he’s trying to tell you he wants to show you his new car. He responds “I know he is, but there is no point in going to look if he can’t answer the questions I want to ask him.” I knew what he meant and he was right, He wanted to know how much I got it for, how many miles, what am i going to do with my other car, but there was no way of communicating those things to him…

After the second hour, something strange happened. From not talking and just observing everyone, my sense emotions was heightened. It’s hard to explain, but I could tell my brother was very anxious about something. And then I noticed it in my dad as well! Something was bothering my dad… Personally I think it was because he was hung over from the night before, but I could tell something wasn’t sitting well with him. He looked rather fatigued. Well it turns out that on top of work stress, my brother was going to be having surgery on his shoulder Tuesday, which is why he was so anxious. As for dad, He did drink a lot last night, however he was not very hydrated and the dinner he had was taco bell. So from not having enough water paired with taco bell and booze, it makes sense he was as miserable as he looked. I just think it was really cool that I could key in so easily on it. It was just so frustrating though because there was no way of asking them. I had to find out as the day went on.

Another hard part was not being able to tell jokes. my mom was talking about sign language and i wanted so badly to tell her how HANDY it is. But I couldn’t. Another time, My brother asked how church was and my mom responded, but she left out the part that I thought was important which was about how the priest was talking about how we have to practice death! But again, I couldn’t. I just sat there, and listened. I got a text from my buddy asking me what I was up to. I sent him a meme of Patrick from Spongebob eating a bunch of hamburgers.

At about the 3rd hour I started to get really depressed, I wanted to show my brother my car, but I couldn’t. I wanted to tell a joke, but I couldn’t. I wanted to tell my mom how delicious the potatoes she cooked for breakfast turned out and use my manners and say thank you, or excuse me after I burped, but I couldn’t. That’s when I decided to go outside and wash my new car. While I was doing that, my buddy that messaged me happened to swing by. I took out my paper and showed him that I could not talk. Honestly, that stupid piece of paper was worthless. The only use I had for it was to tell people I couldn’t talk. Other than that, I didn’t use it for anything else. So my buddy hung out with me for a little bit while I washed my car. and he was just telling me about some cool things that happened but of course I could not respond. I signed to him telling him that we had leftover breakfast and to go get some. Thankfully he understood that. So after I’m done washing my car I go back inside and hangout on the couch. My mom is talking to my friend asking him what he wants to be for Halloween and he makes a comment on a costume that I had worn in the previous years, Then I hear my dad ask a question about the football game. I want so badly to tell him because I know the answer, but I can’t.

The hardest part for me though was I noticed that everyone stopped making eye contact with me. It was like I was there, but I wasn’t. Imagine if you were at your own funeral and everyone was talking about you, but there was no way of talking back to them. I decided to use the remaining minutes in my room by myself, that way I wouldn’t have to feel ignored and no one would have to worry about trying to talk to me. As I sit here with the final minutes of me not talking, I can’t help but reflect on Melody. I can’t help but think about anyone who has a disability or even people who are injured and to the extreme, vegetables. And what is weird is that even though my time is up now and I can talk, I don’t want to. I again think of Melody and start tearing up because I can almost feel her pain as she so badly wanted to tell her mom that the legos had led poisoning but she couldn’t. All she could do was cry…

I realize and feel so bad for these people that actually have to go through it that I feel ashamed for taking myself and what I can do for granted. This experience was defiantly an eye opener for me. My biggest takeaway from this experience is: Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do something, because there are people in the world like Melody who actually CAN’T. If I ask Melody to pick up a pencil and write, she physically can’t do it. Take care of your body and become what you want to be, because you can. It might take practice, It might take hard work, but in the end just remember that you can.

One Reply to “I Can”

  1. Side note: I cant find my diagram. I think I threw it away because I got really frustrated with it.

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