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political correctness
thick skin
boys and girls
Learning To Lip Read
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Learning to Lip Read

Now first and foremost one must understand that I am not touchy. Secondly one must understand that I was brought up in a country where political correctness was unheard of. Thirdly, all my life I went to boarding schools. At junior school this was boys and girls, however after that it was in boys only schools. This also included my National Service in the army and my third level education at an Agricultural College.

What this simple means is one had to have a thick skin. It was inevitable that during these times one was going to be teased, bullied and all the other assorted things depending on who, and what you were. So the best way of getting around this was, not to let them get at you and more importantly learn to laugh at it all. It seems to me perfectly obvious that if they cannot get you riled up, then they will soon leave you alone?

As things turned out at senior school I was a mimic, , and I could imitate peoples accents, their idiosyncrasies and was often in demand. The thing is also, one doesn't necessarily have to be cruel whilst doing this. Most people do in fact have a tendency or ability to laugh at themselves? However others don't. Sometimes the first time you take someone off in their presence they are mortified and aghast. But they soon see it and the funny side of their idiosyncrasy as well. It's those that don't see the funny side who take the biggest offence?

I am actually leading up to something which was to become very important to me.

You see I left school when my course was completed and almost immediately went to do my National Service in the army. We had a terrorist war on in our country at this time and National Service was compulsory. If going onto University after leaving school one was exempt from this. However, once having completed University then one had to do National Service. I decided to get it over and done with whilst I was still used to school discipline, which in those times was very strict.

Sadly whilst doing this I became seriously ill with septicaemia and consequently lost all my hearing.

It was the perfect foil for all those lads at school, I had so often mimicked. Now, it was their come back time which indeed they did. I just had to grin and bear it although admittedly at times they had me rolling on the floor with laughter. I'm so thankful I had such wonderful friends who never let me feel left out.

Well as it turned out once I had learnt to walk again it was now time for me to learn to lip read. Now this where determining ones choices come in and everyone is different. Does one choose lip reading or sign language? For me it was an obvious choice and I'm glad I took it.

I remained like this for twenty years, being profoundly deaf and reliant on lip reading alone. Then medicine came to my rescue and for which I will remain, forever grateful and thankful.

Street Talk

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