As you know from last week's Memories post I was mainstreamed at an Oral use-only school. When it was time for High School, I begged my parents to let me go to the Deaf school. As we were "all the same" and not teased because we were Deaf.
Well I was wrong, I was teased for other reasons heh. Mainly because I was Oral and didn't know sign, I hung out with the hearing teachers because then I could communicate. So "brown-noser", "teacher's pet" etc. became the new norm. There were also notes stuck to my back, lights turned off while I was in the bathroom, only to catch a group of girls scrambling away when I came out to check, threats of getting punched if I bump into them again, and my head slammed into the wall while I was up close trying to read something. There's been more incidents that I can't exactly remember, but I remember the frustration and tears.
Well one day I was tired of if and wanted a good "snap back" next time I got teased, so I went and got a big yellow book of SEE - Signing Exact English. I wanted to learn signs for "shut up" so I can sign to the next teaser. Well the sign for "shut" was two horizontal flat palms coming together, demonstrating a window shutting close. The sign for "up" was the fingerspelled "U" moving in an upward direction. I was ready! A few days later Steve started mimicking my poor signing so I signed "shut up" to him, he stood there totally shocked. I felt good for standing up for myself and walked away.
After class, Deborah, who can speak as well as sign, cornered me at my locker "Why did you say that to him?" she demanded to know. "He was teasing me so I told him to shut up", I defended myself. "No you didn't! You said a really bad word!" she snapped back. I tried fruitlessly to defend myself but only ended up in tears and running off to my next class.
I couldn't understand what the big deal was. I asked my teacher "Uhhh I saw two girls fighting and one signed this but I don't know what it means (I signed 'up')", I white-lied to her. "Oh don't ever sign that again! That's a bad word" she scolded.
To this day I still don't know what I did or what it means!!