Actual conversation with my boss in 1998, when I asked to adjust my work schedule to take classes to complete my BA:
Uncle Dale: Because i’m going to law school.
B: Why? You are a great interpreter, you have a good job and do you realize that when you graduate you will be 33-years-old?
UD: I will be 33-years-old anyway. I might as well be 33-years-old and a lawyer.
B: But you should have done that a long time ago. You’ve made your decisions in life.
UD: Know what? I can still make decisions. In fact here is a decision, I quit.
One of the best decisions I ever made.
Hello family! First of all I want to thank everyone for their concern about my absence. The outpouring of love this year continues and I am overwhelmed by the many and specific acts of kindness and thoughtful notes I have received.
I am fine.
I am better than I have been in a long while.
I took a little break to work on the book but then this happened…
This beautiful gift is the daughter of my son who we lost to suicide in July.
She arrived and everything else kind of went away for a while.
As I have said in my Rules in various ways no job or task is important enough to require you to abandon your family and the love and support of friends.
Truth be told, the book is only slightly more complete than it was. But my heart has undergone a healing miracle. I have the peace that can only come from looking into the eyes of my granddaughter (not used to that one yet) and realize I need my heart to be whole so she can break it for herself each time she leaves my arms.
She is not my son. She is who she is and who she will be.
She is all attitude and smiles like he was as a baby, but she is also herself.
But I can feel him. Wanting to hold her so I do it for him. It’s been my job for a minute-it took me a minute to overcome my fear, it went away the moment she looked at me-I could make this a full time job.
I am back though. I have a whole crop of new Rules and Notes and Random Thoughts on what you Probably Should Know.
I am starting out with a hard one for me. It makes me a bit nervous because it’s self reflective in a way I am not used to.
But that is for tomorrow. Today I am Grandpa Uncle Dale. Gruncle (Yes I know that is Gravity Falls but I’m retasking it for my own purposes).
Today is for this:
See you tomorrow.
Between Christmas and New Years I like to repost the most “popular” posts from the year.
This year that is an odd prospect because, as many of you know, I had some traumatic life events that caused some of my posts to be shared by this wonderful, loving community many more times than others. These posts were shared as much for the emotion as the content.
That gives me pause to think about what I mean when I say “popular.”
That is usually just a calculation of the most views. But, as I said, this year I cannot rely on the most viewed being the most helpful.
So I came to a decision. In this post I will include a few of those more emotionally powerful posts that may have skewed the numbers as far as views and start with the most viewed posts that are more directed at the experience of the interpreter and skill development tomorrow.
Thank you. Thank you all for the love you’ve shown this year for both me and my family.
1. Real Talk With Aunt SuperTam
2. An Open Letter to Lin-Manuel Miranda.
3. This is Where You Are.
Love to you all!
Aunt SuperTam, who doesn’t sign, offers this advice…
How hard could it be?
Here, let me help. It just goes:
Marley in Chains
Redemption with a big turkey
God bless us everyone!
There. That should do it.
They can Venmo me the payment.
A mash-up of real conversations with directors, artistic directors, casting directors and stage managers of theaters and production companies both large and small:
Theatre/Production Company: We have an interesting issue and we’d like your advice.
Uncle Dale: Ok.
T/PC: We just had auditions for [Insert the name of a production, famous or new] and a girl who is hearing-impaired auditioned.
T/PC: Excuse me?
UD: Deaf, not hearing-impaired. You can say Deaf. You should say Deaf. It’s alright, she knows she’s Deaf.
T/PC: Riiight. But I’m trying to be, you know, culturally sensitive.
UD: Then say Deaf.
T/PC: That doesn’t feel comfortable to me.
UD: Do you say Negro?
UD: Then say Deaf.
T/PC: What? Really?
UD: Yes. Go on to the issue.
T/PC: Well this, um, Deaf? Heh. DEAF girl was, fantastic! Her audition was transformative!
UD: Ok. Waiting for the “issue.”
T/PC: We are not sure what to do.
UD: Cast her?
T/PC: But the character is not written as Deaf. We are not sure how to square casting her with the fact that the script and original story don’t say she is Deaf.
UD: Is there any thing that says she is not Deaf?
UD: Issue resolved. Glad I could help.
(Gave info on finding a good Deaf consultant)
Dear ASL to Spoken-English Students:
Don’t be so easily impressed:
I’ve taught this principle for thirteen years; and,
I picked the video!