Author Topic: Classroom noise  (Read 7522 times)

4cm in Pacific Northwest

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Classroom noise
« on: October 18, 2007, 03:44:59 pm »
Hi all,

I was reading this thread … this morning on our AN family forum.

http://anausa.org/forum/index.php?topic=3491.msg37589#msg37589

Could not stop thinking about it … all day (consequently I have accomplished very little of my domestic chores here at home)

Reading Windsong’s post really hit home with me- as she too was a high school teacher (her last town she taught in was the first town I taught in) … and her input into this discussion (I am hoping to generate here) will be greatly missed (as I know she is.) I never met Windsong – however she did reply to one of my posts before surgery… and I would have liked to have known her.


I know that many of the wonderful people I have come to know through this forum – have actually turned out to be educators. :) Lorenzo and I have already shared some teaching resources (one talented photographer is that man!)...

In Canada classroom noise has had quite a bit of media attention lately. (I have pasted some links below for you all to read if you are interested) My first buddy I contacted through this forum was teacher “Margâ€? … and she was someone I called just after my surgery. (BTW- thanks Marg!) In reading some of her recent posts, particularly about trying to cope in the classroom aspect and at the school bus loading zone, this autumn (months after her spring surgery), -  I feel prompted to bring up a new thread here… specifically on “classroom noiseâ€?. Patti (whose post I pasted above) appears to be the same age as me (i.e. midlife – we are not having a “midlife crisesâ€? here we are having a “midlife journeyâ€? LOL)

I too am trying to figure out, “what the heck I am going to do for my next career move in the field education?� It is amazing to me that people here in the USA are not being recognized as “disabled� once they loose hearing on the one side. (Particularly educators!) “I need to go back into a noisy classroom like I need a hole-in-the-head!� (Sorry little craniotomy joke there LOL)

Maybe the ANA needs to take on a federal battle here to enlighten the American voter… (and physicians who tell patients that losing hearing in one ear is no big deal)… that this really needs to be reconsidered. Some have to retrain their vocation … Maybe us educators have a calling to educate the public not just about “Acoustic Neuroma� – but about “classroom noise� (The calling bell goes beyond that ringing in our ears- do you think?)

I am hoping that my new AN buddy “Jeff� (lost hearing in both ears) might, too, be inspired to write on this thread. He has the most inspirational story to write about his “vocational rehabilitation� (but that is for him to share – not me) as he has certainly inspired me to think of going back-to-school as an adult.

Below are some articles that came to my attention. My dad used to teach educational technology at a University – he and his partner were the ones to recently bring it up, to me, re all the recent media hoop-ha going on in Canada about “classroom noiseâ€?  lately…

I am hoping not just us teacherly AN patients are going to read this thread ...but some bright young university research students or highly charged-up professors (and researchers) might get wind of this. Perhaps they can start looking to see if there is a definitive connection between “classroom noise� and acoustic neuroma. Asking on the ANA survey how many AN patients were subjected to this in their profession would be very interesting – to see the result there of… This might be our starting point…

Any thoughts?


Cheers,

“4�

P.S. Happy reading!


University of Victoria Canada
http://communications.uvic.ca/edge/uvatt.html

Victoria Times Columnist article Canada
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=fc72a9ed-2919-4e8b-a94f-fbb4569e629a


Australian study on classroom noise

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ766615&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=eric_accno&accno=EJ766615

University of British Columbia public affairs
http://www.cher.ubc.ca/News/MediaReleases/ClassTalk28-1-04.asp


Noisy classrooms cheat children
http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues073.shtml


Hearing loss in teachers
http://www.hear-it.org/

Acoustic Neuroma and teachers
http://time.blogs.com/daily_rx/2006/01/can_noise_trigg.html

American teacher resource
http://www.aasep.org/professional-resources/exceptionalstudents/hearingimpairments/index.html






4cm Left, 08/22/07 R/S 11+ hr surgery Stanford U, Dr. Robert Jackler, Dr. Griffith Harsh, Canadian fellow Assist. Dr. Sumit Agrawal. SSD, 3/6 on HB facial scale, stick-on-eyeweight worked, 95% eye function@ 6 months. In neuromuscular facial retraining. Balance regained! Recent MRI -tumor receded!

Dfcman

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2007, 04:19:58 pm »
I'm a 23 year old students and I can say, being this is my first semester being SSD in school, I too have many difficulties hearing in the class room.  As long as its quiet i'm ok but sometimes studies in groups are hard to work in, especially when conditions of over 100 ppl talking at once exist.  I explained these difficulties with my teachers through e-mail, and most of them are pretty good with my quote, unquote disabilities.  In Pennsylvania, a teacher MUST make accommodations to a student or else they will get fired and the school district can be sued.  It is a self-responsibility to make arrangements with your teachers for test taking and attendance etc but I actually had one e-mail me about a midterm.  Asking me if I need extended time or a seperate classroom without distractions.

 I usually don't need too many accommodations but since I am registered with the office of disabilities here at school, a red flag immediately goes up.

Chris
 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 04:21:31 pm by Dfcman »
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AIM is the best way to contact me
5.3 x 4 cm tumor removed by surgery(2 times)
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Post Op as of 7/20/06

Jeff

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 01:17:58 pm »
Thanks for the post 4 and thans for the links. They were interesting to read.

I experienced the frustrations of SSD as a teacher and as a student. I am traveling to see my eye doc. today and will post some of my thoughts/experiences this weekend.

Hats off to all of my fellow teacher colleagues.

Jeff
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 07:34:09 am by Jeff »
NF2
multiple AN surgeries
last surgery June 08

linnilue

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 06:32:47 pm »
I  just got home form taking my grandson to dinner at Friendly's (he's 19 months) and talk about classroom noise!  I alwyas get almost deaf and a bit disoriented with all that input anyway but tonight was brutal.  It's really sad you know because I used to be able to go out to dinner anywhere but only recently have I gone back after 3 years of eating only at home and some takeout.  The reason, noise.  I have little tolerance for it.  I feel bad becasue I want to live life to the fullest and experience these moments with my family.  But it truly is disabling.  I am now in bed where it is quiet so I can recoup.  It's sad what we aNers lose and noone really realizes this.  I do believe we need to be heard and seen.  If any of you have some specific ideas of how to approach this and get the word out, just let me know, I'm in.  Holly 
Left AN dx. 11/05 Linac radiosurgery 01/06 Burlington, VT for a 9mm x 5mm tumor.  No necrosis yet (2 yrs. post-op).  Multiple post radiosurgery complications, some permanent.  Have radio-oncologist here.  Now see Dr. McKenna, Mass. Eye & Ear Instit., Boston for flollow-up care as my main An doctor.

4cm in Pacific Northwest

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 09:31:57 pm »
Holly,

Good to count you in. We will see where the "CN" discussion leads us...

RE
 Noisy public places

I am still new at adjusting to SSD. "(Single Sided Deafness" for the newbies)

Tuesday I went to various stores (noisy background canned music etc) and in my caregivers car (i.e. I am not driving just yet). I came home with “wonky head and big time tinnitus�. I needed to lay down afterwards and just be still and silent. :(

Friday I did similar activities (I am only at 8+ weeks post op) and wore an earplug in my good ear. I only took the ear plug out when it was necessary to communicate (checkers, store clerks, etc- brief conversation in the car)… I came home with not near as much “wonky head and big time tinnitus� as the day I went out without an earplug. :)

When my friends, family and kids need to communicate with me (in the store etc) they have to get my attention first- then I take the ear plug out … this seems to help.

There are different grades of ear plugs that reduce various levels of noise… I pick one depending on how much sound I need to block out. When I use the blow dryer I use the one that blocks out the most sound. This seems to reduce the tinnitus on the deaf ear where the AN was. (Funny how sounds from a functioning ear can ring in the other deaf ear. :-\ How is that?  ???) I actually carry earplugs in my pocket all the time now.

MMM how this would work in a classroom setting? – I have no idea.

I am now asking people that if we meet in a restaurant please pick ones that are carpeted. Pre-surgery we were going to rip out all our carpets and install hardwood. Never did I think I would change my mind… then came AN surgery. Quiet carpeted places are nicer on the AN’ers head …I think.


RE “If any of you have some specific ideas of how to approach this and get the word out, just let me know�

Maybe get a class set of disposable foam ear plugs. Ask the students to function all morning with one ear plugged. Then have them take these out for the lunchroom time. After lunch have a class discussion of their observations of the two different audio experiences.

It might invoke empathy and understanding…

4



4cm Left, 08/22/07 R/S 11+ hr surgery Stanford U, Dr. Robert Jackler, Dr. Griffith Harsh, Canadian fellow Assist. Dr. Sumit Agrawal. SSD, 3/6 on HB facial scale, stick-on-eyeweight worked, 95% eye function@ 6 months. In neuromuscular facial retraining. Balance regained! Recent MRI -tumor receded!

OTO

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2007, 09:47:13 pm »
On wednesday, our building had a fire drill.  Walking down the corridor and down the stairs with the fire bell ringing, just about knocked me out.  I had my fingers in my ears, and yet my head was spinning with dizziness.   I went home early that day and went to sleep...

4cm in Pacific Northwest

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 09:58:14 am »
Keep an earplug in your pocket, sealed clean in a Ziploc bag, at ALL times (even for fire drills!) seems like we never know when we need one.

I guess you have a whole new definition for "ringing in the ears" beyond the tinnitus

Hang in  there and welcome aboard the “tackle the classroom noise trainâ€? - where there are no bells and whistles just support and understanding where hopefully you will find some refuge. :)

Ow- firebells!  :o

Cheers,

4

4cm Left, 08/22/07 R/S 11+ hr surgery Stanford U, Dr. Robert Jackler, Dr. Griffith Harsh, Canadian fellow Assist. Dr. Sumit Agrawal. SSD, 3/6 on HB facial scale, stick-on-eyeweight worked, 95% eye function@ 6 months. In neuromuscular facial retraining. Balance regained! Recent MRI -tumor receded!

Lorenzo

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 12:11:47 am »
Finally managed to get back into the forum! Wow, was locked out for a good few days, for some reason.

anyway, I have ear plugs with me at all times! Foam ones for moderated noise situations, and wax ones for when I need to cut out all the sound. Of course those are for my good ear, the other one is more or less gone anyway, so need to worry about that one!

My situation in a classroom has gotten better. I teach 18--24 year olds graphic design, so we don't have formal lectures as such, but it's a more studio based teaching, with a one to one tuition, with 40 people in a room! There could be three lecturers at any one time on top of the students. The babble most of the time is deafening, and not just for me. I tried to impose a silence rule, but might as well have asked them to go and buy me lunch. Last academic year it got so bad, I ahd to go and push for a separate office where i could work. I took me six months of e-mails, meetings and pleading, and a 6 weeks sick period due to to stress, to convince them I needed a separate space.

They eventually gave me a desk in a small room called the 'Disability Room', which I share with a blind person and her educational help (lots of talking) and another person who is hearing impaired and who gets her MA tutorials in the same room; more talking. So, not really a solution, but with ear plugs it's a lot better than 40 giggly kids in one room! That or turn into a Warden of the boot camp and make them shut up!

My experience with the administration in our college (in Ireland) is rather frustrating and one of little comprehension. Hearing issues are not taken seriously as a disability here, unless one is a student, then all sort of facilities are available to them.

When it comes to everyday life, I got used to noise levels and predict where they are, so I either use a plug, or don't go there. When people talk to me on the wrong side, I don't hear them generally if there's any noise. So, I ignore them. These are mostly people that I know and know that I have difficulty hearing. But they keep on babbling on the deaf side. So now, I'm tired of it, and I just don't hear them. Their problem if they insist on being on my wrong side. How many times does one have to say, 'I can't hear you, the other side' or get a twisted neck?

Restaurants: have to make sure I face the right way, so that my wife sits on my deaf side (for some reason I can recognise her voice much better even when she is on the deaf side, weird) and if the music is too loud I need to either  ask them to turn it down (sometimes works) or plug myself, and become socially inactive. I then concentrate on the food, which most of the time is a bit lonely. lol

My preferred moments are in the early mornings: i get up to a silent house. Just me, my books and laptop and my tinnitus. We keep each other company. Wonderful.

Rant over. Thanks for reading. lol

Ciao, Lorenzo
CK, Stanford, Drs Chang and Hancock, Dec 04,
doing great now.

4cm in Pacific Northwest

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 09:51:28 am »
Lorenzo,

Great to read what you have written... if “hearing abled� people can read this - there may be greater empathy and understanding in the future.

Teacher/instructor/professor readers you can always send our “classroom noise� thread link here … to your fellow colleagues in education
http://anausa.org/forum/index.php?topic=5313.0;topicseen
(“hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink – say no more… say no more…â€? Monty Python  LOL  ;D)

In the links of my very first post, on “classroom noiseâ€? here,  there is a website given
www.hear-it.org

Click on some of the articles and you will come across this one  titled:

Take the first step available in French, German and English (sorry Lorenzo not written in Italian - yet)
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=5426

Here are some others:

Living with hearing loss
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=5311

Living life to its fullest
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=5209

Record executive finds new life after hearing loss
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=3852

Hearing again is the best
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=3750
(I am sure curious to read what “Marg� has to tell us about her experience with the “transear� in the classroom – hint hint. My lack of directional sound is a problem I would love to overcome – if technology permits)

Life is a thrill
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=3654

BTW (I am posting these as sort of “Chicken Soup for the AN Teachers Soul� inspirational stories)

Into the world of the hearing, and back
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=3567

A hearing guy
http://www.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=3368


Happy Reading!  :)

Cheers,

4






4cm Left, 08/22/07 R/S 11+ hr surgery Stanford U, Dr. Robert Jackler, Dr. Griffith Harsh, Canadian fellow Assist. Dr. Sumit Agrawal. SSD, 3/6 on HB facial scale, stick-on-eyeweight worked, 95% eye function@ 6 months. In neuromuscular facial retraining. Balance regained! Recent MRI -tumor receded!

Jeanlea

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 04:26:41 pm »
Interesting thread.  I thought that I would add my thoughts as well since I also teach in a classroom.  I have had SSD since my surgery.  Before that I only had minimal hearning loss, but none of it could be saved.  As I read these posts I was wondering if there is a connection between tinnitus and the amount of hearing problems we have with SSD.  I have almost no problem with tinnitus.  I have minimal problems with hearing, even with only one good ear.
 I notice my biggest problems in the classsroom are with hearing students say a single word out of context like in spelling.  I make them repeat it and use it in a sentence.  It's good practice for them.  I also have problems with the locations of sounds.  I usually say, "Who's talking?" and my fourth graders point to the person.  lol  I've also gotten good at recognizing their voices.  The lunchroom is the most difficult place for me to hear, but it's not just me.  In fact, the principal has started a new program to  bring down the noise in there.  Apparently I'm not the only one who has problems hearing in there. 

I do have the TransEar and it helps me a little bit.  Still can't locate sounds, but I can get enough sound from my deaf side that I don't need to turn my head nearly as much as I did before. 

My students know that I'm deaf in one ear and will usually remember to sit on my good side when I work with them independently.  When I work with small groups I put the loudest kid on my deaf side.  It works out well for both of us.  Girls with soft voices are the most difficult for me to hear.  I really encourage them to speak up.

I hope that we can all find something that works for us.

Jean
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 04:43:48 pm by Jeanlea »
translab on 3.5+ cm tumor
September 6, 2005
Drs. Friedland and Meyer
Milwaukee, WI
left-side facial paralysis and numbness
TransEar for SSD

Johno

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2007, 12:02:15 am »
For me the worst thing about SSD is trying to interact in social settings where theres heaps of background noise, like people chatting, music and laughing. I can barely hear whats being said and my usual response is to either withdraw to a quiet corner or attach myself to one person and annoy the hell out of them by being a Seinfeld reminisque "close talker". The one good thing is that in Pubs being unable to properly interact on a verbal level meant more beer drinking time (however this is now useless as post surgery the taste of beer has become altered to a point I can't drink it - by far the worst side effect of this whole saga). I used to also always get in trouble with my wife for "not listening" untill the discovery of my AN and subsequent surgery gave me a plausible excuse! I can also block out noise at night by sleeping on my left side. As I lost effective hearing on the right side a year before they found the AN and was always "hard at hearing" I had time to adjust and getting total SSD after surgery to remove the 4cm AN was'nt a big drama.
I wish my taste buds would get back to normal though.

Lorenzo

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2007, 01:14:45 am »
the taste buds will get back to normal, mine did. i'm not into beer, but wine / coffee / food just did not taste the same, and as a food lover, it was just HELL!!!

The hearing loss at times has good aspects for me too, like being able to sleep almost anywhere. But in a work situation it's impossible. Our college is far behind in terms of appreciating what teachers have to go through, just like so many other people that work in loud situations. I now avoid the staff room, the canteen is out of bounds and any gathering of more than three students is verboten for me. Hearing disability can be very isolating I find, and social situations are probably the worse. One can ignore and avoid colleagues, but friends one wants to be able to hear and interact with. I've lost count of the number of parties where I had to excuse myself and ask everybody to repeat themselves so often, it go tedious. I ended up in a quiet spot with my wine and some food, and had a private party. Most often than not I'm leaving early as the noise gets too much.

One other effect I find from excessive noise is the fatigue it brings on. Brain overload as I call it is with me for good. It exists, it has effects. Last night we had a family gathering. It was 21.00 by the time we left to drive back. Dark. Poorly lit road. Nearly had an accident. Fatigue and loss of concentration are a big thing I find. And I put it down to the hearing problem.

I too had poor hearing on the AN side before treatment and it got a bit worse since, to the point of being useless. But the problem is not just tinnitus which distorts our hearing anyway, but the fact that not having hearing on one side causes a problem with our ability to discriminate between sounds. I tend to hear everything at the same level, be it relevant to me or not. It's  all ONE sound, and making out what we need to hear in that cacophony is just very energy consuming and confusing. Normal hearing people hear their name across a noisy room, I hear ALL of it and more.

This disability is probably one of the most difficult to explain. A few years ago I brought into college my iPod with some white noise, and gave the students a taste of tinnitus. As they got louder to talk over it, I turned up the volume, until they could no longer converse in their usual manner. Might have been a bit of a sledge hammer approach, but it kept them quiet for the rest of the year. When I get back to college in january, I will adopt the same tactic with them, and my colleagues too. I am thinking of starting a campaign in the place for less noise, maybe it could change something. Then again, it doesn't affect hearing people, so most likely it'll get ignored.

We shall struggle on and do as best we can and try to better things for us. In the meantime avoid loud noise as much as possible and protect that one good ear you all have left!

Ciao

Lorenzo

CK, Stanford, Drs Chang and Hancock, Dec 04,
doing great now.

Johno

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2007, 06:55:06 am »
Tinnitus I never had and think that it would drive me round the bender. A lot of people are now saying my hearing has improved since the AN come out. May'be I'm just compensating or sound is able to pass unimpeded through the vaccumn in my head without passing through a tumor on the way to my unaffected side.
Fully appreciatte the frustration of feeling isolated and missing information. They used to call me "Say again" at my last job because I was always asking people to "say again".

Jeff

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2007, 11:12:37 am »
Hello,

My thoughts about classroom noise. First, I long to hear it (I am deaf). On my journey to becoming deaf, I experienced SSD. This came as quite a shock as I had no hearing loss prior to surgery.

In terms of classroom life, SSD was tough. I was a band instructor prior to my NF2 diagnosis and 1 1/2 years after. I had surgery immediately after my diagnosis because one of my tumors was very large. When I returned to work, I found it difficult to deal with the overwhelming sound that I was hearing as I rehearsed the band. And, as many have commented, locating sound was impossible. I had spent years developing the ability to hear a sound that wasn't right, immediately identify the timbre, scan the section of the band from where I heard the sound, and look at many players' fingers to see who was playing a note incorrectly. SSD took away that ability. It was very frustrating, because I could hear problems, but could not locate them. Judging the balance of sound between and among sections in the band was very difficult. I struggled to hear sections on my deaf side that I knew were playing. Generally, I found loud sounds to be overwhelming. I also found any extraneous noise to make hearing impossible, if not difficult. In retrospect, this difficulty became a blessing as I was forced to look at mouths and learn to read lips to augment my hearing. I also told my students that I could not hear on one side and that they needed to make sure that they were on the correct side and that they had gained my attention before attempting to communicate. We all got by, but, as you know, losing hearing on one side changes everything.

When I was diagnosed, I talked to a number of doctors. All of them gave me two pieces of advice: Learn sign language, and learn a new vocation. So, I have done both. I am not fluent in sign language, but my family and I communicate okay. I also transferred into my school's library, replacing the librarian who was retiring. Part of my responsibilities included teaching technology courses to 8th graders. This too was frustrating with SSD. I found that I could not allow talking at all. However, I couldn't determine who was talking out of turn by locating the source of the sound! I also had difficulty because all of the computers were facing one direction so that I could see all of the monitors at a glance. However, with this arrangement I couldn't see anybody's mouth. I also required that students raise their hand so that I knew who was talking. I got pretty good at knowing voices so that I knew who was talking. I ignored questions that were posed without raising hands. Students adapt, and they did.

As part of my retraining, I took some classes that were mainly online, but required that I attend face-to-face class sessions initially. I arrived to classes early, sat at the front of the room with my good ear toward the speaker, and worked hard to listen. I did fine except when presenters moved around the room while they were speaking. Then, I couldn't always get what was being said. That was very frustrating, but I quickly learned to ask the persons next to whom I was sitting to repeat things, and they did. 

I hadn't ever given thought to the fact that working so hard to hear is physically and mentally draining, but in reflecting upon my past experiences I realize that it is. And now being totally deaf, I realize that much of my energy is used in communicating. So, I can empathize with all of you.

On the lighter side, I have volunteered to take lunch duty all year. The noise won't bother me a bit!

Jeff
NF2
multiple AN surgeries
last surgery June 08

4cm in Pacific Northwest

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Re: Classroom noise
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2007, 12:00:03 pm »
Jeff

Quoting you
"On the lighter side, I have volunteered to take lunch duty all year. The noise won't bother me a bit!"

You are just awesome ... truly an inspiration to us all!  :)

Thank you so much for sharing this. (Ok ok now I am all teary eyed)

What a trooper you are to accept each challenge and fly with it by taking various vocational training steps. Now my AN family- is this the most amazing Chicken Soup of the AN Teacher Soul story – or what?

Keep writing Jeff- you have lots to share and lots more we want to read.


Cheers,

4







4cm Left, 08/22/07 R/S 11+ hr surgery Stanford U, Dr. Robert Jackler, Dr. Griffith Harsh, Canadian fellow Assist. Dr. Sumit Agrawal. SSD, 3/6 on HB facial scale, stick-on-eyeweight worked, 95% eye function@ 6 months. In neuromuscular facial retraining. Balance regained! Recent MRI -tumor receded!

 


anything
anything