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Gobsmacked Night Owl

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    Gobsmacked Night Owl

    Several things happened today to completely restore my faith in people.

    My daughter has profound hearing loss. She doesn't like to meet new people because she has trouble hearing them and knowing what to say when she misses part of the conversations.
    Her school sends the 5th grade class for a couple of nights to camp to get some outdoor learning with science and math every year. Our school has 70-75% of the kids that qualify for the free or reduced price lunch program, putting the families at or below the poverty level. We try to do a bunch of fund raising events to ease the pressure on these families and allow all of the kids a chance to go.
    My step-dad is a longshoreman and has been for a bajillion years (40+). We have helped volunteer with a lot of the Union activities over the years. When Dad heard we were working on finances for this, he suggested we ask the Pensioners division for a donation for scholarships. Emily just needed to give a little speech to ask for the money and explain what it was for. (This is the kid who wouldn't ask our next door neighbor for their BoxTops.)
    We worked on a short speech and practiced it again in the car. When it was her turn to speak she almost melted under the table. The president coached her through her fright and the audience was incredibly patient. They gave her a round of applause when she finished, as her confidence had steadily gained while she was speaking. They were generous with the official funds, and she generated private donations from many of the retirees that came within $10 of the official check. The personal comments on her bravery for standing in front of a group of strangers was worth even more.
    One of the guys encouraged her to stay for the general meeting and request a donation from them. (I had some serious reservations about this, as it seemed like milking the system. I was told it was the same farm, but a different, bigger cow.) We opted to stay for the general membership meeting. Their earlier kindness gave her the courage to stand and read her speech in front of an even bigger group of people.
    The Union president asked what the Pensioners had given. Then he asked what were the wishes of the membership. One of the guys that has known my dad and worked with him, named a figure that would cover the balance of the entire bill for the camp, and said "Let's send these kids to camp!"
    I was flabbergasted. I figured that they would debate it and halve it or some such. The president restated the figure and said "What says the membership?" NO debate! Just a chorus of "Ayes!" with enthusiasm. I couldn't help it. I was speechless and started crying. I thanked them profusely and deeply. Then they moved on to the next item of business. Emily didn't hear how much money they stated, she though she heard, but she was off, by a lot. She was stunned when I explained to her exactly how much those people had donated to her school.
    I guess it was worth hanging around town for a couple of hours after all. I have some serious Thank You cards to write tomorrow.

    Oh, and it's snowing.
    How are things in your neck of the woods?
    Be who you are and say what you feel
    because those who mind don't matter,
    and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

    Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

    Oh, what a wonderful story and God bless those gentlemen (and you and your daughter!). It brings tears to my eyes to read of human kindness and generosity.

    It is not snowing here yet but it starts this weekend. It will be alarmingly cold next week so I'll keep working on my applique quilt. I figured out how to change the schoolhouse blocks (which are the only pieced part) to something I like better. The designer put an odd extra bar of fabric over the windows. But it is the same fabric as the windows, so it looks pretty goofy to me.

    I'm just going to use the same strip above the windows as below them. I'm leaving out the hexagons as I doing know how to paper piece and after watching a tutorial, don't want to learn how. Maybe I'll put some other applique in there.

    Guess I'll try to get some sleep! Joan, write when you are recovered enough!


      Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

      I'm a sometimes night owl, and I read your posts almost daily. That story of the generous longshoremen is just amazing! But the story of how your daughter overcame her fear of speaking in front of a group is even more fabulous! I am so happy for all of you, especially the kids who now can go to camp and have a great time!

      When I was teaching in elementary school, we had special education kids in our building. One young man had some real social issues where speaking to others was very difficult. But the music teacher invited him to participate in the holiday program in a non speaking walk on part as Frosty the Snowman. At first when he cam on in his snowman suit, the kids laughed at him. I was dismayed that he was put into this position. But he enjoyed entertaining the crowd and stepped up his comic snowman dance and the kids really enjoyed his performance! After the program dozens of little kids came up to him, saying " we saw you in the program, you were really good!" You could just see in his eyes the pride and confidence this brought to him! It gave him so much confidence that a couple of months later, he played Ghandi in a school program, and he WAS GHANDI, wise and the great philosopher himself! All because he overcame his fear and agreed to play that small part in the holiday program! This is why the performance arts need to stay in school curriculums. It is especially important for students who learn differently. I have seen it so many times. I hate it that kids today don't get to experience these activities because of time needed for testing!

      Off my soapbox and about to try Jenny's newest tutorial! Have a great day!


        Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

        Wonderful post!
        Blessings on those gentlemen.
        I am so proud of your daughter and Jean's young friend.
        I so wish that every young person could be given that small opportunity to shine. It goes so far in developing self-confidence.
        Please take every chance you see to help our young people.


          Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

          What a wonderful story and especially for your daughter. This rings like a Christmas miracle to me. Bless you and your family.

          Scottie Mom Barb


            Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

            What a great experience for your daughter. Kudos to the longshoremen's generous hearts making a real Christmas story for not only your DD and family but all her school mates as well.


              Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

              Wow Cathy, what a great way to start the day! I just read your post and have tears in my eyes too. So very proud of Emily.....that took a lot of courage. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story of generosity.

    's NOT snowing here......thank goodness!
              "I'm putting together a list of 100 reasons why I am NOT relentless!" - Sue Heck, The Middle

              Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
              Sheldon (intrigued): You have a sarcasm sign?


                Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                What a wonderful story! How generous of those longshoreman to help like that - and congratulations to your daughter for overcoming her fear to speak to a group. Thanks for sharing!


                  Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                  Its so wonderful to hear a real life story of good things happening. Peace on earth, good will to man.
                  Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.


                    Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                    Same farm bigger cow!!!
                    Love everything about this story.
                    Thank you so much for sharing and brightening my day. Lots of Love and Hugs to your brave daughter.


                      Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                      I too, have a hearing loss from childhood having had multiple surgeries and eventually the removal of all the bones from my left ear. 20 yrs ago a virus killed the nerve in my inner ear of the right side.
                      Encourage her to look people in the eye while watching their mouth and body language. I have found you really don't need all the words to figure out whats happening. I have been a pitchman (girl) at large venues selling kitchen products and my own cookbook. I have difficulty waiting tables at the restaurant or tending bar because of the light being so dim and the ambient noise, but do fine in the kitchen.
                      Tell her to learn the tricks...*1. if you are the speaker, you are in control of the conversation, :*2. look them in the eye when you are listening and your listener will speak more slowly, *watch what they are doing with their hands and will give you additional clues to what they are saying. *4. break the huh habit, stop and think about what you "did" hear and try to figure out what the context is.
                      a quick story...35 years ago, I remarried a man from the south...we were driving along a mountainous road and he said, "I just missed a reindeer" in his southern accented voice. I said, "where"? I didn't see it" He said, "its all over the road" I said, "what!" He said, what did you think I said? I repeated and he laughed....he had said "It just must have rained here". I informed him that that sentence should have been "It must have just rained here" But, he just shook his head.
                      Anyway, the fundraiser was a great experience. Encourage her to make another speech to present the grand contribution back to the student body. Congratulations to her and kudos to your father for setting up the wonderful event. He needs a big thank you as well
                      success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiam
                      Terry of NC


                        Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                        What a blessing, both for the school, but more for your daughter. Incredibly nice, good people are all around us.
                        A day patched with quilting Seldom unravels Sharon


                          Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                          Cathy, what a wonderful moment for your daughter. Not only did she face her fear, she was also victorious in her goal.

                          I hope that in the future if she ever has any doubts about if she can do something, she will remember this night and the joy she must have felt.

                          She is truly a Shineing Star!


                            Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                            Ok, this is one of those stories I would really love to read to my hubs but know there's no way to make it through it. I barely made it thru reading quietly to myself!

                            Thank you for sharing this. I love it when kiddos are given opportunities like this, well received, taken seriously and rewarded for their courage! I love that feeling of pride and joy we get as Mamas when it all goes this well. Imagine how this will replay in her mind forever. I mean, we all have scenarios (good and bad) we replay in our heads, right? She's got a biggie! How wonderful!

                            I'm with Barb. This rings of Christmas Miracle to me!

                            Quilters make great comforters.

                            Friendship is sewn with love and measured by kindness.


                              Re: Gobsmacked Night Owl

                              That is great! Tell her from one profound hearing loss/shy 5th grader (now adult) to gets easier and you learn how to deal with social situations better as you get older.

                              I am totally deaf in one ear and only hear 30% in the other ear. I have never had hearing aids because 45 years ago when they were debating it my parents were told I functioned fine without it. I was very shy and had a hard time with even speaking up in my classroom at school. I was mortified if the teacher called on me.

                              As a young adult I 'bluffed' my way through a lot of conversations and my dh fussed at me and said you have no idea what you just agreed to! LOL I learned to speak up and say, "Please move your hand and look at my face- otherwise I can't 'hear' you." I read lips and faces a lot!

                              People don't know and most are very helpful. Deafness is the invisible disability but a lot of people are willing help when they can.