The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

From sound to silence

Personal narrative by journalism staff member
From+sound+to+silence

   My seat has a designated spot in the front of the classroom. But no matter where I sit, my hearing loss impacts my success in school. The summer going into my junior year of high school, I was told that hearing loss was common after such a severe ear infection. However, the sound in my right ear had not returned after months of healing. After being officially diagnosed as hearing impaired in 2022, I must put forth additional time to focus on my academics and social life. 

   Hearing loss has impacted my life in numerous ways. The challenge of self-acceptance after being diagnosed as hearing impaired was, and still is, complicated. I determined my worth by my academic achievements. In my eyes, any mark below an ‘A’ was entirely unacceptable. To succeed, mastering the art of lip-reading, eye contact, and advocating for myself was crucial. However, I was too stubborn to seek help. I had never had an issue obtaining exceptional grades, but now that content was harder to grasp due to a lack of understanding, my confidence was tarnished. 

Senior Emma Flynn (Shawna Gerry)

  Not only was my academic success beginning to plummet, but my social life was as well. I felt excluded within my friend group and considered myself an outcast. It was challenging to detect social cues. I found myself laughing in situations where I was meant to remain silent, and silent in situations where communicating with others would have been beneficial. I was inept at holding conversations because I could not make sense of what others were saying to me. It can be easy for the “hearing world” to not be aware of obstacles a person with complexities might face. Being neglected from conversations, or social interactions, is a common occurrence in my everyday life. 

   “Influence the energy in the room,” said Chasity Flynn, my mother. 

   This is something that she stole off of Facebook, but a phrase she actively used in our home. I never understood the power of my mother’s words until my disability impacted parts of my life that meant most to me, such as my education and relationships. I was tired of receiving low grades because I could not gather the knowledge being presented to me. I was tired of soaking in an ocean of self-pity and despair. I was motivated to make a change.      

  This adversity has now instilled a passion for fostering awareness about hearing loss and advocating for accessibility. In my daily interactions, I strive to create a comprehensive environment that fosters a sense of belonging for everyone. In social gatherings or collaborative projects, I embrace the unique perspectives and backgrounds that individuals bring to the table. By seeking out diverse voices, I contribute to the definition of inclusivity. Finding a voice advocating for others is driving my career choice as a special education major. 

   As I embark on the path to becoming a special education teacher, my motivation is deeply rooted in the profound belief that every student deserves an education tailored to their unique needs and abilities. My goal is to contribute to creating a more inclusive educational landscape. Intending to attend Grand Valley State University (GVSU) next fall, I am thrilled to begin my journey assisting others in need.

 

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About the Contributor
Emma Flynn, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Emma is a Senior who loves football games, playing tennis, and watching true crime documentaries.   “Live for the hope of it all” -Taylor Swift