Dear Thomsen: 2.20.2012

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Dear Thomsen:
If it's not too personal a question, what percentage of hearing do you have? What's your opinion on cochlear implants? I have a friend who has partial hearing loss and is going to school to be an ASL interpreter and I get the impression that cochlear implants aren't too popular in the Deaf Community (is that the most polite way to refer to that community?)...
In the left ear, I have about forty percent hearing left. My right, nothing. Since the age of 11, my hearing has leveled off and has not gotten any worse, however, they say that by the early age of 40 is when you show signs of hearing loss. I decided at the young age of nineteen to learn American Sign Language (ASL) to be my backup language in case I fully lost all my hearing. I grew up in a mainstream environment where I got my education at both private and public schools. Thus, I did not get involved into the Deaf Culture until after I graduated from high school.

Now to answer your second question, my opinion on cochlear implants is actually quite conflicted. If you asked me now if I would get cochlear implants myself, I would answer without hesitating, no. But if you asked me that question again twenty or thirty years from now, I might say yes. Just like glasses, we already found the technology to be able to "correct" our eyes with the use of lasers surgery. Within time and with our infatuation with improving technology, there will be a time when our hearing can be "corrected" without anyone actually knowing that we were deaf. (People know that we have a hearing loss when they see our hearing aids/cochlear implants for example,  but the day will come when that will cease to exist.)

With your last question, the Deaf Community is somewhat tricky when it comes to cochlear implants; they are frown upon, yet, if a friend or family member decides to get them, they'll support their decision. Now, just like in any other culture, you have your extremist(s). They tend to be people within the community (or even outside the community) who are totally against cochlear implants. They will do and say anything to make people think twice about getting a cochlear implant. They totally frown upon them and think that cochlear implants will destroy the ASL/Deaf Culture Community. But, I'm not going to go into that; I'll save that for when the time is right. Yet, I think when it comes to the debate about cochlear implants is that what the Deaf Community is really trying to say is that they want equal opportunities when it comes to knowing what their choices are.

Just do not leave ASL out of the picture...
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Mozzeria

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Two days ago, I had the opportunity to find out what was all the buzz was really about.

Now, I can see why this restaurant is starting to get headlines all over the United States as well getting international raves through unique channels. About a month and half ago, two of my colleague decided to try out something new for our students: What would it be like to order food in ASL? However, most restaurants do not have an environment where they are required to use ASL or write on paper what they would like to order. However, when we heard that a new restaurant opened called Mozzeria...we knew it would be the perfect environment for our ASL students. Why? It was owned by two deaf owners and their staff are required to know or must be willing to learn ASL.

I stood outside the misty cold San Francisco weather waiting for my two other colleagues to show up. We wanted to be there early to make sure that any students who showed up early could give the parents reassurance that all was good. Mozzeria is a quite small restaurant; it was designed specifically this way because they wanted a European feel to it. The decor is simple and sleek; the lighting extremely good (this is perfect for those who are deaf/hard of hearing who know ASL). They had a mixture of unique furnishing (red chairs with black tables) with industrial-style bar stools. 

With a beautiful smile, the host (who is also the co-owner) signed to us if we had a reservation. We signed back that we did. Since we arrived early, I think it was quite amusing to watch the students expressions as they tried to sign back to the host and their servers as well! As I chatted with my colleague, she shared with me that she had visited Mozzeria a week ago with her husband and loved it. I looked over the menu and knew exactly what I wanted to order; I had heard that the Mozzeria Bar was quite famous. Delicious. The tomato sauce. So good that I wanted to lick the plate clean. Our server name was Roxy; she was caring, bubbly, and friendly. She's a student at San Francisco State University who is majoring in psychology. According to their website blog, Roxy's favorite at Mozzeria is the Margherita pizza with mozzarella di Buffala!  
"How could you go wrong, it's the basic of every pizza!"~Roxy
For three long tortuous weeks I was finally excited to finally order pizza! Margherita with fresh mozzarella. I ate half of it since both I and my colleague were on a diet, but man, I wanted to eat it all there and then! 

I truly wanted to take pictures, but got myself caught up chatting with my students and students from two other schools who wanted to get to know us and our life stories. :-) 

I loved the food, ambiance, and the staff! And will be going back soon! 

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