Credentials. I don't like them, but it seems like I may need more of them shortly. For one, I'm interested in hacking academia, and the best way to hack something is from the inside, and they put rather a lot of stock on pieces of paper up in the ivory tower. For another, I tend to need to prove my geek cred more than most folks that I know.
Steve told me that I should get accommodations (interpreters, CART, etc) in graduate school. I told him that would be very hard for me to do (not to get access to those services, but to allow myself to ask for them and use them). Both of us know that we're both right.
Running outside today, I was reminded (nothing happened, just jogged an earlier memory of another time I was running and had a similar jacket of similar too-large-for-me-ness) of the peculiar moments only made possible by my hearing loss. I've always had a somewhat androgynous physique and wear clothing such that I'm not infrequently mistaken for a guy in passing; I also can't hear high noises. I also didn't wear my hearing aids at all between the ages of 10 and 16, during which time I went through puberty and befriended other girls who'd done the same, except with much more apparently female clothing choices and figures and such acquired in the process (I must have missed that memo; I still don't have, nor do I want, a purse).
So when I was out walking with some female friends shortly after I had gotten my new hearing aids - pretty good-looking young women in feminine (but not at all skimpy) clothing walking several steps ahead of skinny (and ~2 years younger) teenage Mel slouching in a thick jacket (who'd gotten distracted and dropped back to look at something and was running to catch up) - I overheard commentary like this for the first time as we passed a group of guys.
"Hey, baby." *whistle* "Hey, pretty mama." (etc.)
The following thoughts rapidly flashed through my head.
- Wait, what?
- They're talking about my friends.
- But not me. But wait, I'm about to walk by them.
- SLOUCH MORE! ACKNOWLEDGE NOTHING! LOOK LIKE BOY!
- ...it worked! Feel slightly guilty now.
And then something like "my god, do they... hear this all the time?"
I think I just forgot about it afterwards. It wasn't a thought I could do anything with then, and I'm not sure it is now, but I reckoned I'd at least write it down.