Saturday, February 12, 2005

What To Do With VSDB?

Main Hall

There has been some intense moments about my alma mater in Staunton which the General ASSembly of Virginia Pricks has been working on what to do with VSDB's future. Close and move to Fishersville which is about 20 min east of Staunton in midst of nothing -- it seems to me that the General ASSembly wanted the deaf students to mingle with developmentally disabled, retards and physically-challenged folks at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) on a daily basis. How nice of them to think of us like that, is it?

Hey, folks, anything that is "different" from able-bodied of white trash that can speak, hear and see is not normal in Virginia -- but if you're deaf, blind, black or even gay, it's off to that location, really.

This is the message the General ASSembly wants to send to the world that Deaf people can function in a place with these 'tards!

There is another option is to consolidate both schools in Virginia and remain in Staunton which many Deaf alumni, students, staff, faculty and community leaders wanted -- where it has been running just fine since 1839, 22 years before the Civil War.

Here are four articles in Staunton News Leader.

VSDB amendments offered

Sic semper politicus
VSDB hopes still alive, Saxman says
A call for unity

All right, Here is a quote by Bill Sanger of Winchester on why VSDB should remain in Staunton, "Life near the school was also very beneficial, like walking to town, going to the movies, eating out, going to the library, and most of all going to the park to feed the animals and fish, these little things were very important to me while I was receiving my education at VSDB. These small things are present at Staunton and not at Fishersville."

He basically nailed on this subject. At 8 years old, I had a houseparent leading us by foot to the local park known as Gypsy Hill Park where we could play and feed the ducks. The houseparent did this because she wanted us to be familiar with the surroundings so that when we get lost, we know the way back to the campus. It was one of the most memorable things as a child to venture outside of the campus without the escort of my mother and father.

Later, when I was 10 or 11 years old, I was allowed to head out to Downtown to dine, read, see movies (no captions, go figure!) and to the park. At first, I go with two friends or so -- but when I gradually hit 12 or 13, I go on my own. I became familiar with the surroundings to a point where I know the city with my eyes closed.

I must admit that the most odd thing about my experiences growing up in Staunton is that I was able to befriend different hearing friends from different schools like Waynesboro, Buffalo Gap, Riverheads and Fort Defiance High Schools but certainly NOT Staunton's own Robert E. Lee High School -- perhaps they felt that they were a notch better than us? They were dumb, though. But Trey Scott was cute, though.

However, I think it played a role in my desire to live in bigger cities like New York.

I'm enclosing the aerial view of Staunton to give you the general idea of what VSDB is in its close proximity with Downtown Staunton.

Okay, the circle is self-explanatory, really. But look inside the circle.

1. That building used to be my first dormitory when I was in elementary and middle schools.
2. My dormitory when I was in junior high school
3. My dormitory when I was in high school -- the best dorm of all because it contains the mythical dramatic moments that I cannot forget.

You can see the red dot right above Mary Baldwin College, a privately-owned college for women -- that is where the Akens family lives. I always sneaked out to visit them from time to time. Miss 'em lots.

See the rectangular? That is Downtown.
See the star? That is Shenandoah Valley Club of the Deaf
See the square? That is Hardee's where I used to munch the char-broiled hot dogs with chili & onions. Ummm.

I have few issues with some administrators that runs the school -- they do it with the attitude that is more of "Let me help you" instead of "I want to educate you". I absolutely find it insulting and demeaning to my dignity. But it seemed to me that the school finally improved its attitude only to be wreck with the General ASSembly's desire to align us with 'tards.

But the cartoonist at Staunton News Leader said it eloquently with this portrait.



No comments: