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Identity, imagined communities, and the third space in the life of a hard of hearing student in a high.. Webber, Theresa Lynn 2008-03-04

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IDENTITY, IMAGINED COMMUNITIES, AND THE THIRD SPACEIN THE LIFE OF A HARD OF HEARING STUDENT IN AHIGH SCHOOL THEATRE PROGRAMbyTheresa Lynn WebberB.A. (Theatre), University of British Columbia, 1996B. Ed. (Theatre and English), University of British Columbia, 1998A THESIS SUBMIYfED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTSFOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Literacy Education)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)August 2008© Theresa Lynn Webber, 2008AbstractThe purpose of this qualitative case study based on the life of a hard of hearingstudent in a mainstream high school is to examine ways in which the representation ofhearing impairment mediates the participation within an imagined community. In aninterview, “Lisa,” a nineteen year old, hard of hearing woman, reflects on the influence ofthe high school drama program two years after her graduation, recalling her attempt tocope with an increased loss of hearing, a cochlear implant, lip reading, the learning ofsign language, and the ever-essential quest — making friends — in the chaotic and verballydominated community of an after school theatre program. This paper is situated inresearch such as Norton (2006), in which second language proficiency is exposed as thegatekeeper to social worlds, examining the negotiated identities and their relationship toinequitable distribution of power. The role of the teacher is also explored in thesocialisation of a hard of hearing adolescent in a hearing society. This study discussesthe conflict of two cultural and linguistic communities — the deaf and hard of hearingcommunity, using A.S.L. (American Sign Language) or S.E.E. (Signed Exact English),and the hearing community, using English. How does she negotiate an identity whendenied membership in both communities? The influence of imagined communities isexplored (Anderson, 1991; Pavienko & Norton, 2007) in collaboration with the creationof the third space through shared dreams (Gutierrez et al, 1999). Lisa moves fromaccepting to resisting her representation as an “outsider” and “incapable deaf girl,”developing strategies to communicate with her imagined community, and negotiating heridentity as a valued member of the school. As Lisa finds leadership outside of theclassroom, the role of extracurricular activities and their potential to redistribute power isdiscussed. The findings witness her shift of power from seeking symbolic resources togiving symbolic resources (Bourdieu, 1991), which opens the door to the unexpectedcommunity for a hard of hearing student: the school musical.UTable of ContentsAbstract.iiTable of Contents iiiAcknowledgements ivCHAPTER ONE 1Introduction 1Literature Review 3Research Questions 14Participant 15Researcher/Teacher 16Interview 17Analysis Procedures 17Setting 19Overview 19Lisa’s History 21CHAPTER THREE 35English Class 35Drama Class 40CHAPTER FOUR 48The School Musical 48Grade 12 52CHAPTER FIVE 56Lisa Today 56CHAPTER SIX 64Discussion and Conclusion 64Works Cited 69Appendices 73Appendix A: UBC Research Ethics Board’s Certificate of Approval 73Appendix B: Lisa’s Consent Form 74Appendix C: Interview Schedule 77Appendix D: Emergent Themes 78111AcknowledgementsThis journey has been a challenge for me, and I want to thank those who lifted myspirits and reminded me that I am capable, even when I wasn’t convinced myself. Mom,thank you for teaching me that the arts are essential and that education provides limitlesspossibilities. You’ve made my world bigger because of it. Dad, thank you for teachingme at a young age that I can be the next Prime Minister, not the next Prime Minister’swife. I learned from you that I can have big dreams. Mom and Dad, for all the years thatI harassed you on road trips and asked, “Are we there yet?” you managed to have yourrevenge with, “Are you done yet?” Thank you for always using humour to keep memotivated. Elizabeth, Ruth, Roy, Jeff, and Tieneke, you each have inspired me with yourown accomplishments. I’m proud that you are my family. Tasman and Sage, you havefilled me up when I didn’t even know I needed filling. Thank you for opening my heart.To my dear friends, you are my extended family. I value your presence in my life, ourbook club banter, our Kamloops memories, our marathon phone chats, our confessions,and our laughter. George Belliveau, my academic advisor and thesis cheerleader, youhave proven time and time again to have patience that knows no bounds. Thank you forsharing your experience and knowledge with me. Joe Belanger and Kirsty Johnston, mycommittee members, your feedback was immensely valuable. To my teaching mentors,“Greenstein,” you have taught me that teachers are artists. Theatre will never be thesame because of you. To “Lisa,” thank you for participating in this research and allowingme to share your story. I’m not sure who’s the teacher, you or me. And last but not least,to my future hard of hearing students, I promise to dream big.ivCHAPTER ONEIntroductionWith My Hands I Can...With my hands I canFly a plane,Pluck a guitar,Shout,Tell a story,Cry...With my hands I canFrown,Dance,Smile,Take a chance...Tell me what you can do withyour Voice?By Maria Grace Okwara (as quoted in Adams and Rohring, 2004, p.75)Because language plays a critical role in the negotiation of identity (Norton,2006), how might a hard of hearing student find membership in an imagined communityif entrance is dependent on communication with a larger hearing society? An imaginedcommunity is threatened to live only in the imagination if the person seeking membershiphas a voice that is unheard, unrecognized or unvalued. In the following chapters, Iexamine the inequitable distributions of power in the life of my hard of hearing student,“Lisa,” offering an overview of her elementary and high school years, but paying specificattention to her grade 11 and 12 years, integrated into a mainstream school.1My involvement and deep commitment to this student increased monumentallythe day her mother visited me at the school. A caring and compassionate woman, Lisa’smom came to see me due to her great concern over her daughter’s severe loneliness andsense of isolation. She talked with me for some time, but one story stood out inparticular. She described Lisa spending her lunch hour hiding in the bathroom, crying,waiting for the miserable sixty minutes to end. There is no greater way to feel lonelythan to walk through the hallways of your peers who are laughing and enjoying eachother’s company, yet there is no place for you in amongst the many groups. As a result,Lisa hid, alone in the bathroom. I was determined to keep this from happening again, andI was embarrassed to admit that I had no idea she was experiencing school in this way.Lisa always smiled and participated during both classes in which she was my student,English and Drama. I was unaware of how she was spending her free time. In an attemptto avoid further painful lunch hours, Lisa’s mom drove at least 30 minutes to school eachday to pick up her daughter at lunch. They spent this time together. As considerate asthis gesture was, I knew it would only exacerbate the problem. How could Lisa connectwith her peers if she wasn’t there to connect with them?Throughout this chapter, I will examine specific events involving Lisa’sexperiences at the school, both in and out of the classroom, her acceptance of imposedrepresentations, her resistance to these representations and the ultimate creation of a thirdspace, which led to entrance into an unexpected imagined community: the schoolmusical. First, I will situate my reflections and data in the context of previous theoriesand research.2Literature ReviewMany researchers have explored the role of language in the negotiation ofidentities within a social world. Bourdieu (1991) places great credence on not onlywords spoken but on the person who speaks them. He brings to light the social dynamicsat play during communication — the power of one’s words is accredited to the value givento the person speaking them. Therefore, if a person is unrecognised, her words are notheard, regardless of their value. This creates a great dilemma: the hard of hearing personmust find membership within a hearing world before she may conthbute to it. One mustnegotiate this power through the use of language (Norton, 2000). Before any power canbe negotiated, it has to be imagined. Anderson (1991), from a political perspective,coined the term “imagined communities.” He defines nationalism as a product of ourimaginations, largely due to the fact that a sense of community is created amongst agroup of people who will never meet. Their connection is a creation of the mind.Pavienko and Norton (2007) move the term “imagined communities” from the politicalarena to the world of second language learners. They discuss the inequitable access tocultural communities — the legitimate membership of second language learners into thetarget community is sometimes never achieved due to the invisible nature of minoritieswithin the dominant group (the unimagined membership). Dagenais (2003) and Kanno(2003) have conthbuted much needed research, exploring the role of schools and parentsin the creation of imagined communities. It is integral for a society to imagine the future3collectively in order for dreams to shift from the mind to reality. Dreams cannot berealized with the efforts of a single person. The hearing world must dream for theinclusion of a deaf and hard of hearing community. For the community to be created, itrequires the dominant group to dream with the non-dominant group, creating a thirdspace.In an interview with Rutherford (1990,p.211), Homi Bhabha says:all forms of culture are continually in a process of hybridity. . .hybridity to me isthe ‘third space’ which enables other positions to emerge. This third spacedisplaces the histories that constitute it, and sets up new structures of authority,new political initiatives, which are inadequately understood through receivedwisdom.What does this mean for the integration of hard of hearing students in a mainstreamschool? The third space is a place of friction, conflict and diversity (Guteirrez, 1999),and it is through this tension that power is negotiated and new voices heard. A school isoften a place with multiple cultures and languages. Through the co-existence of thesegroups, a new dialogue emerges and a place for the hard of hearing is found. Legitimatemembership for the deaf and hard of hearing in a hearing community is initially imaginedand then realised in a third space. To understand the struggles that exist within the deafand hard of hearing culture within a hegemonic society, attention must be paid toresearch which examines the community members, their language and their socioculturalidentities.4Within the deaf and hard of hearing community, a movement erupted, in whichmany positioned themselves as a cultural linguistic minority as opposed to a group ofpeople deficient due to a sensory loss. In the 1 980s, Carol Padden, a deaf activist, foughtfor the definition of “culture” to include the deaf community, but membership was notdetermined simply by one’s inability to hear; rather, it was determined by one’s ability touse A.S.L., American Sign Language (Adams and Rohring, 2004). This movementallowed for people with hearing loss to develop a sense of belonging within a socialnetwork and to generate pride in their language. The benefits are clear, but a greatobstacle remains — how does one exist in the larger hearing world?If hearing impaired individuals wish to obtain optimum success in the economic,educational and yes, social dimensions of life, it is necessary to learn the socialskills associated with the culture in which one lives. (Schloss and Smith, 1990,p.viii)Parents debate whether or not to enrol their deaf or hard of hearing children in residentialschools, which can provide needed language development in A.S.L., or mainstreamschools, which can provide needed communication development in the hearing world.The majority of deaf and hard of hearing children are born to hearing parents (Power andHyde, 2003; Adams and Robring, 2004), which highlights the importance of seekingopportunities for language development and role models elsewhere. As many studieshave shown, residential schools offer opportunities for their students which are notequally available at mainstream schools. For example, leadership roles are rarelyafforded to the hearing impaired teenager. Socially, these young people often suffer fromsevere loneliness and isolation due to a lack of communication with their hearing peers.5One study noted, “Deaf students in the mainstream frequently reported not being invitedto parties and other social events attended by their hearing peers” (Foster, 1988, 1982;Mertens, 1989 as quoted in Holcomb, 1996,p.184). Upon reflection of his mainstreamexperience, one student in the study said, “I was feeling lonely because no one seems toask me to participate” (Holcomb, 1996, p.191). Another said, “I had no one to be with”(Holcomb, 1996, p.192). Why does such loneliness exist and what can be done toprevent it?The hearing community may not know how to communicate effectively withthose who are hard of hearing. In addition, many adolescent social activities areinaccessible for the hearing impaired: talking on the phone, going to the movies, andattending school dances. However, many other activities are available: text messaging,emailing, renting movies with subtitles, or just hanging out in small groups. The barriersto successful communication need to be explored not only by peers but by teachers andadministrators as well.Access to information is the chief obstacle for any hard of hearing student,particularly in high school. From childhood to the teenage years, ability to use languagedevelops. Vocabulary becomes more advanced, sentence structures are increasinglycomplex, and abstract ideas are of the utmost importance in classroom discussions(Mahshie et al, 2006). In order for a hard of hearing student to access this new dialogue,the potential obstacles need to be eliminated or at the very least downsized.Communication for those with a hearing loss is heavily reliant on visual cues; therefore,6teachers and administrators need to provide those cues with the help of a support team(interpreters, district resource teachers, buddy systems, etc.) (Schloss and Smith, 1990).As recognised by multiple researchers, teachers need to provide more thancommunication support by encouraging the development of a biculturallbilingualcommunity. Role models need to be actively included into the curriculum (Anderson andMiller, 2004/2005).In addition to creating access to a diverse community for all students, teachers canhelp to support their students with hearing loss by fostering a sense of independence.Weisel, Most and Efron (2005) pointed to the over-involvement of some adults in thelives of hard of hearing young people in order to control social interactions, but the resultis the youths’ inability or lack of confidence to initiate. Students need to develop self-advocacy skills to contribute within a hearing world. They need to develop a sense ofcomfort when discussing their communication needs, because educating those aroundthem will be a permanent part of their lives. Eriks-Brophy et al (2006,p.68) presented ayoung boy in their research who said, “I wanted to fit in more, I wanted to be dependenton myself and not on my itinerant teacher.” Students need to be empowered.Extracurricular activities are an excellent way to develop a healthy identity in asocial world.Leisure is an important context for adolescent development in that it providesopportunities for youth to select and manage their own experiences by exertingpersonal control over their environments and becoming autonomous in theiractions. (Silbereisen and Eyferth, 1986, as quoted in Darling, 2005, p. 493)7Activities that take place outside of the classroom provide another opportunity forstudents to negotiate their identities and engage with one another in an informal setting.Research has indicated that involvement in school activities contributes to variouspositive attributes, including higher self-esteem, increased positive peerinteraction, and a stronger sense of belonging. (Marks and Cohen, 1978;Mergendoller, 1982; Tripp and Turner, 1986 as quoted in Holcomb, 1996,p.182)This involvement is even more essential in the life of a hard of hearing youth who maystruggle to create meaningful relationships. Students with a hearing loss can useparticipation in extracurricular activities as an opportunity to display leadership andstrengths, shifting focus from disabilities to abilities. Participation in a club or team canalso offer legitimate membership in a community with a common goal. Experience insuch a community is essential for all members to recognize the potential of eachindividual. Contributing to a shared dream points to the earlier discussion; first, acommunity needs to be imagined, and then it may be realised in the third space. Is itpossible for the arts to play a role in the construction of this space?The arts have long been used as a process through which to develop community.In Lowe’s article, “Creating Community: Art for Community Development” (2000), adrama project is studied to understand its impact on participants. The community comestogether to create a play, and through the process solidarity is found — a collectiveidentity. The group of neighbours that were divided by culture, language, and age werebrought together with a shared interest in the arts, which gave them the opportunity to8interact socially and develop relationships. Lowe posits that it is the arts that combat theisolation that is too often found in society. When art is valued, self is valued.If art and identity can be clearly linked in community building projects, the role ofdrama communities in high schools ought to be studied to better understand theirinfluence on young people in the education system. Extra-curricular activities in schoolsettings are extremely influential on the lives of young people, contributing to theirpositive youth developments (Eccies, 2003; Johnston et al, 2004; Kahne, 2001; Larson2000). Today’s youth need to be empowered as valued members in society, and this isachieved when they are given decision-making opportunities, ultimately acting as changeagents.As caregivers and educators, our inclination is to do things “to” youth and “for”youth rather than “with” youth. The insight of positive youth development is thatyoung people thrive when we listen to them, respect them as current contributors,and engage with them in meaningful investment in the community. (JohnstonNicholson et al, 2004, p.55)Extra-curricular activities — when designed to value and empower young people — canoffer the possibility of identity negotiation and voice discovery. What might happen ifteenagers were given the opportunity to use the arts to discover their own voices?Identity negotiation and construction takes place in after-school settings with thearts as a communication medium. Conrad (2005) values the potential of drama, inparticular, to change the lives of youth. She suggests that the process of characterdevelopment on the stage leads to the students’ ability to “create new roles for9themselves, to create new knowledge, to become producers of culture” (Conrad, 2005,p.38). In this paper, I argue that students can create new roles for themselves bothonstage and off. As a contributing member of the production team, a student workingbackstage can experience a great sense of satisfaction and value. In a society that doesnot give teenagers meaningful decision-making opportunities, drama has the potential tocreate culture producers rather than culture consumers. Identities, as shown by Norton(1995, 2006), are continuously shifting; therefore, society’s prescribed identities are oftenlimiting to a young person’s complex and often contradictory perception of self. Throughthe creation of a drama production, young people learn that role negotiation on the stagecan transfer to role negotiation in real life. Young people are empowered, learning thatthey have a role to play in the construction of their individual identities and communities.Who is denied access to particular communities? Who is denied the opportunityto self-represent? As shown earlier, hard of hearing students experience life too oftenfrom the margins, on the periphery. Fortunately, studies have shown that the arts havethe potential to position oppressed or marginalised students as legitimate members intheir target peer groups; although, most of the studies consider “gender stereotyping,sexual harassment and cliquishness,” for example, as leading contributors to discomfortin schools (Astor, Meyer, and Behre, 1999 as cited in Nicholson et al, 2004), but moreresearch is needed to explore the potential of drama to benefit those living with sensorylosses. Researchers have examined drama in the identity development of girls, forexample, arguing that the potential of drama, at its best, is to give life to the imaginationand to “unfix” restrictive and prescribed identities, liberating girls, allowing them to10define and create their own roles — their own reality (Boehm & Boehm, 2003; Gallagher,2000; Hatton, 2003; Lev-Aladgem & First, 2004). Theatre has also played a role in theemancipation of those who are silenced and victimised due to race. The Black Powermovement, for example, evolved through the desire for black art to be offered to blackaudiences (Elam Jr., 1997). B.A.R.T.S. (Black Arts Repertory Theatre School) andB.R.T. (Black Revolutionary Theatre) were established in response to the constantstruggles and oppression facing African Americans. Questions about inequalitieserupted. Suddenly, the voices of African Americans were heard by black audiences andexpressed by black actors. The horrors of World War II were also contrasted by thebenefits of theatre. Through humour and creative banter, prisoners of concentrationcamps found relief through theatrical performances (Wolff, 1999). Plays surreptitiouslybarbed the Nazis, yet the mockery went unrecognized by the guards. The anti-Naziperformances gave strength to the prisoners during a time of unimaginable terror, serving“to hearten the prisoners for weeks” (Wolff, 1999,p.146). Beyond a momentaryreprieve from hell, the performances provided the prisoners with a determination to defytheir oppressors and resist the dehumanisation of their beings. Many artists andresearchers have been inspired by Augusto Boal, because he has fought for years to usetheatre to bring about solidarity, protesting that theatre needs to represent “us” not “I”(1996). Privileged voices often prevail in society, yet theatre has a history of dismantlingtraditional systems of power distribution and exposing alternate ways of being to thepublic eye. Because a large body of literature exists on the role of drama to give powerto those oppressed by gender stereotyping and race, for example, I aim to satisfy a need11for more research on the potential of drama to redistribute power in the lives of those whoare hard of hearing.Theatre is a legitimate participant in the ongoing struggle for social justice. Iftheatre can have such a profound impact on those who have been historically oppressed,it is important to ask how theatre can shape the lives of young people who are continuallydiscovering and redefining themselves in high school. Freire (1970), in his book,Pedagogy of the Oppressed, critiques the traditional “banking system” of education inwhich students are fed information by their teachers, and the role of the students is tosimply echo the teacher’s words. Freire contends that this approach to education isharmful; students should play a central role in the process of their own learning. Libertymust be created with the oppressed, notfor the oppressed, because this collaborationexhibits a genuine trust in the abilities of the oppressed to develop a solution. Youngpeople have a great capacity to learn when they are given the opportunity to lead. Inorder for youth to be empowered, teachers need to relinquish some of their power andcontrol. As previously shown, marginalised groups use theatre to imagine and create anew reality, but how does this translate to the high school environment? Qualitativeresearch must be conducted to elucidate the impact that drama communities have onyoung people when they are placed in decision-making positions, when they have a stakein their own learning, when they have control over their own representation.Booth (2003) contends that theatre is essential in the education of young peoplebecause it teaches them that they are valuable contributors to society. Theatre teaches12young people that they count; therefore, theatre, Booth argues, can no longer becategorised as a want, but rather, it must be categorised as a need.I need for students of all ages to be shocked and surprised by ideas that can onlybe shared in the safety of the theatre frame; I need the sounds of powerfullanguage filling their impoverished word world; I need for them to sense howthey and those on stage breathe simultaneously as one; I need to witness thestruggle of students of every age participating in drama work, listening to eachother as they interact, so that they begin to see that everyone matters if the fictionis to become real.(p.2 1-22)Drawing on Booth’s theory that participation in theatre and the tension that accompaniesit teaches those involved that “everyone matters,” my research explores the experiencesof a student working backstage. A great deal of literature examines the influence ofperformance on the lives of the actors (Boal, 2003; Boehm et al, 2003; Conrad, 2005;Elam Jr., 1997; Gallagher, 2000; Gonzalez, 2006; Hatton, 2003; Heathcote, 1984; LevAladgem et al, 2004; Lowe, 2000; Wolff, 1999), but more studies are needed on thepeople who work behind the scenes. My study will examine if Booth’s theory, “everyonematters,” is applicable in the life of a hard of hearing student searching for self-valuewhile working backstage in a high school musical.Beyond examining my student’s experiences in high school, this paper will alsoconsider my reflections as her teacher. Reflective practitioner research is essentialbecause, as Philip Taylor (1996) argues, educational research in the arts includes limitedauthors. The discussion needs to expand the inclusion of new positions, new ideas, andnew voices. Taylor suggests that “arts educators’ ability to investigate fully why theymake the decisions they do, or how they reflect in action, might unravel the intricate and13messy happenings which characterize a pedagogical moment” (1996,p.30). Themessiness is inevitable as teachers, in their attempt to accommodate students’developmental needs, offer students opportunities to practise self-agency (Gonzalez,2006; Heathcote, 1984). Reflection is needed on this redistribution of power.This case study will aim to elucidate the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of theparticipant, expressing her struggles and victories in a high school drama community.Her voice will be the forefront of the investigation. The goal of my research is to sharethe experiences of a hard of hearing student before, during, and after her participation in ahigh school drama program, honestly exposing her pitfalls and triumphs whileinvestigating the role of language on her participation and non-participation within thatcommunity.Research QuestionsThis study will explore the following questions:1. How does language acquisition influence access to imagined communities forhearing impaired students?2. How does a student with a severe to profound hearing loss find community in amainstream high school?3. How does involvement in a drama program influence the identity negotiation for ahard of hearing student?14ParticipantThis research includes a case study based on the experiences of “Lisa” in thedrama program at “Carson Secondary.” To protect the identity of the participant, I haveused the pseudonym, Lisa, and the fictional school name, Carson Secondary. Theresearch was ethically approved by the University of British Columbia (see Appendix A).Lisa is a graduate from the high school; therefore, the study examines her reflections onthe drama program and its influence over her identity negotiation. Included in thisresearch are my own reflections as Lisa’s Drama and English teacher.I have chosen to focus on Lisa, a drama student with a hearing loss, because I hadthe unique experience of teaching her in both Drama and English in grade 11, and shealso became involved in an extracurricular activity, the school musical, which Isupervised. During her grade 11 and 12 years, she participated backstage in the schoolmusical as a dresser. Lisa had a sincere commitment to the musical as she continued tovolunteer her time backstage at Carson in her two years as a college student. Because Ispent such a significant amount of time with Lisa, I am able to reflect in detail on hersocialisation at Carson, and Lisa, herself, is a very articulate young woman who canclearly express the role that the school musical has played in the renegotiation of herrepresentation.15Lisa is a 19 year old college student who graduated from Carson in 2006. Sheattended Carson for grades 11 and 12 after having been home schooled for her grade 10year. During her two years in post-secondary life, she has worked as an accountsreceivable clerk at a car dealership while attending college. Lisa describes herself ashaving a severe to profound hearing loss, which contributed profoundly to her difficultiessocialising at Carson.Researcher/TeacherI have been an English and Drama teacher for ten years, and during one of thoseyears I also taught E.S.L. For the last three years I have taught one block of drama tostudents with special needs. In addition to working with mainstream students and specialneeds students, I have also been part of a small group of teachers who originated aleadership program at Carson. Through this program, I teach English to highly academicand gifted students who are selected through a critical review process. After school, Isponsor a club, “Thespians,” in which senior high school students direct the juniorstudents in one-act plays. I also stage manage the school musicals each year, overseeingthe countless volunteers who support the productions from behind the scenes. In total, Ihave worked at three different schools. For the past six years, I have been teaching atCarson Secondary. I am a white, monolingual, hearing person.16InterviewLisa was a voluntary participant in the study. Because I asked a student who is agraduate from high school to participate, she did not need to concern herself with anyrepercussions for sharing her views openly with me, as I am now her former teacher.Being 19 years old, Lisa signed a consent form agreeing to be interviewed for thepurposes of this study (See Appendix B). Before interviewing Lisa, I asked if she wouldprefer to conduct the interview over email or in person, giving her the option tocommunicate with me in a manner that was most comfortable to her. She chose to meetme in person. My interview with Lisa was an hour and a half — audio-taped and latertranscribed. The interview was open-ended. I prepared an interview schedule (SeeAppendix C), but I encouraged the participant not to feel restricted by the questions. Iwanted her to express her thoughts, memories, and reflections openly. To encourage aninformal environment, my interview with Lisa was conducted in a park near her home ona beautiful, sunny day. The interview was very informal and conversational.Analysis ProceduresThe interview transcription is the central source of data collection in this study.To familiarize myself further with Lisa’s thoughts, I transcribed the interview,approximately one and a half hours of conversation, into 27 pages of dialogue. Whilespending time transcribing the information, I made a list of emerging themes (SeeAppendix D). Once I finished the transcriptions, I re-read the interview multiple times17and condensed my list to a few major themes and sub-themes that continually surfacedthroughout the transcriptions. Under each category, I listed the relevant quotes, and Ibegan to add my own analytical notes to the emergent themes. Some of the themesincluded “Identity,” “Community,” “Third Space,” “Resistance,” “Power,” and“Imagination.”The study also includes my reflections as participant-observer. As a dramateacher, stage manager of the school musicals, and sponsor of the extracurricular dramaclub, I was actively involved in the drama program, and therefore, actively part of theparticipant’s high school life. This study includes my own memories and reflections inaddition to those of the participant. My notes include many of the same memories asLisa; although, some include conversations with parents, other students, and staffmembers — conversations in which Lisa did not participate, adding new insight to thedata.In order to capture Lisa’s voice genuinely, I conducted a lengthy interview, whichI audio-taped. During the interview, she shared both the obstacles and triumphs thataccompanied her involvement in the drama program and her overall socialisation atCarson. Lisa shared her memories of being a sixteen year old, hard of hearing girl whoseimagined community was within the school musical.18SettingCarson Secondary is located in an affluent neighbourhood in the lower mainlandof British Columbia. Approximately 1200 students attend the school, and a large part ofthe population is categorised as E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) learners. Thepopulation has multiple ethnic, racial and linguistic communities, including Chinese,Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Russian, Indian, Tnnidadian, Jewish and European. Theschool includes grades 8 through 12, and it has a strong academic reputation. Themajority of students are represented as university bound, but the school also has a specialprogram catering to students with individual learning needs, focusing on the developmentof life skills. Study Skills is another program that exists at Carson to support studentswho require smaller teacher/student ratios to overcome learning challenges. Within thefine arts department, the drama program caters to a large number of students as many ofthem participate in both the classes and extracurricular drama activities.OverviewI will examine Lisa’s experiences within the boundaries of the school curriculum,both in English 11 and Acting 11, discussing levels of integration that were successfuland otherwise. In addition, I will analyse her time working backstage as a dresser for theschool musical in order to provide insights into her non-classroom socialisation with herhearing peers. Included in this study will be my reflections on conversations with herinterpreter, a member of her support team, and her mother.19While reflecting on my year teaching Lisa and my four years working with Lisabackstage, I became aware of the important influence of power to negotiate identities andthe inequitable distributions of power throughout the school. This study discusses Lisa’sdaily struggles to integrate within a hearing world and my struggles as a teacher tosupport her. Themes of identity development, imagined communities, and third spaceswill arise through discussion of the school happenings.Before analysing Lisa’s time in the extra-curricular theatre program and itscontributions to her socialisation at Carson, I will first assess her history before coming toCarson Secondary, as seen in the section “Lisa’s History.” I will also examine her timein my two classes, English 11 and Acting 11. The first few situations highlighted below,“English Class” and “Drama Class” will paint a picture of Lisa’s experiences before hermother discussed with me how Lisa was spending her lunch hours in the bathroom. Thetwo following segments, “The School Musical” and “Grade 12,” will explore Lisa’sexperiences after my discussion with her mom. Finally, I will conclude Lisa’s story byupdating the reader on her life, following her experiences at Carson. The segment iscalled, “Lisa Today.”20CHAPTER TWOLisa’s HistoryBefore discussing Lisa’s involvement within the drama program at Carson, I willshare the history of her hearing loss. Lisa strongly believes that she was born hearing.Lisa: Um, as far as the doctors and my parents and even, innately, as I’mconcerned, I was born hearing. And then I got to be one and a half, my parentsstarted to notice [my hearing loss]. . . And then by the time I was two and a half,three, I got my first hearing aids. I had a little bit of speech, but it wasn’t much atall. I had speech therapy. I had walking therapy. Everything.Lisa’s speech development was delayed, as is the case with many children coping withhearing impairment (Svirsky et al, 2000). Because she was unable to hear people speak,her own ability to learn verbal communication suffered. As a result, she worked with aspeech therapist. Walking therapy was also necessary, a common form of treatment forchildren with hearing loss, because this sensory impairment is often accompanied by aloss of balance.In my interview with Lisa, she explains how her level of hearing differs from thatof a fully hearing person: “I have what you call a severe to profound hearing loss. So,technically, on paper, I can hear thirty decibels without my hearing aid. With my hearingaid on, it’s about 80.” She goes on to explain that most hearing people are capable ofhearing 100 decibels in each ear, giving them a total of 200 decibels, but Lisa is limitedto a total of 80 decibels with the assistance of her hearing aid.21Faced with the reality of a child who has a severe to profound hearing loss, Lisa’sparents had to make a decision about her education — a mainstream school or a school forthe deaf and hard of hearing. This decision would have a profound impact on Lisa’sacademic and social development. They came to the conclusion that mainstreaming Lisawould be the best choice; therefore, Lisa was set up with an FM system in order to hearher teachers speaking.Lisa: So I had an FM system.. .it connects to your hearing aid - a little mic thatconnects to your hearing aid - and the teacher has a microphone and they speakinto it and then you can sort of hear them.Being able to “sort of hear” her teachers must have made learning the curricula extremelychallenging. To cope within a hearing classroom, Lisa developed strategies to keep pacewith the other students:Lisa: For the most part I was always relying on lip reading skills. I would alsorely on my ability to follow the leader, and go with what everybody else wasdoing. It was a lot of guessing.It is important to note that for eleven years, Lisa’s education involved the FM system, lipreading, following the lead of her peers, and guessing, but it did not involve aninterpreter. Lisa struggled to hear her teachers, yet she was expected to progressacademically with her peers. While the hearing students focussed on their learning andsocialising, Lisa spent an enormous amount of energy simply trying to understand themany voices around her. On the other hand, having spent years in mainstream schools,22Lisa developed excellent lip reading skills. She learned to function in a hearing world,despite the overwhelming obstacles.School was not Lisa’s only exposure to a hearing society: she experienced a veryaural upbringing in her family. Both of her parents are hearing and they do not know anysign language.Lisa: My parents have never really learned it. My mom has, to her credit, madean effort to try, but I think my parents are slightly older. And for them, it’s justnot a natural language for them. . .For our main, primary mode of communicationat home, it’s just speech, talking, in whatever language.Lisa’s dad is Italian and her mom is Brazilian; therefore, three languages are used inLisa’s home life: Italian, Portuguese, and English. When Lisa was a child, doctorsrecommended to her parents that she be raised in a monolingual home in order toimprove her language skills. As a result, her parents chose primarily to use English athome. With the loss of her parents’ languages in the house, an important part of Lisa’sculture and heritage was kept from her. As Norton (1997) explains, ownership oflanguage is a major contributor to identity construction. With the recommendation of herdoctors, Lisa was separated from her parents’ languages and, therefore, lost ownership ofwhat once belonged to her — her language, her identity. At one point in Lisa’s youth, shespoke Portuguese more fluently than English. Fear led the decision-making surroundingher language acquisition:Lisa: I stopped speaking Portuguese all together because I was scared I was goingto lose my English. But I look back in hindsight now, and I kind of realise, that’s23not true. I could’ve had both, fluently, along the way.. .Again, my parents werejust doing what they thought was best for me.Fortunately, her exposure to Italian and Portuguese did not entirely disappear. Lisa hasspent a great deal of time with her extended family in Brazil (they do not speak Englishfluently), which has ensured that she maintains some Portuguese. In addition, she hashad Italian relatives stay in her home, during which time Italian is spoken. When Lisa’sparents do not understand something in English, Lisa translates for them. Because herdoctors and parents were making choices with the information they had at the time, Lisais not fluent in all three languages, but she, fortunately, has maintained the ability toconverse with her family.Lisa’s hearing loss disconnected her from fully immersing herself in her culture asshown through her loss of fluency in both of her parents’ first languages, but herconnection to her English speaking society was also threatened when she experiencedincreased hearing impairment at school one day.Lisa: I’ve always had a severe to profound hearing loss. It was always stable. Itwas never fluctuating. And then in grade nine, I was in gym class one day, and itall of a sudden felt like somebody threw me under water or something. It kindof. . . .1 felt an echo. The sound sort of hurt.Theresa: The sound hurt?Lisa: It hurt a little bit. So what happened was that my tolerance level for soundhad actually dropped. So what it meant is that my hearing got a little bit worsebecause they had to turn my hearing aid settings so low, to the point where I couldtolerate the sound, but then I couldn’t hear it.24Lisa’s hearing aid gave her access to the hearing world and allowed her to participatewithin it, but with a decrease in tolerance for sound, she was incapable of using herhearing aid at the level to which she had become accustomed. Because she did not knowsign language, her parents did not know sign language, and no one at school was signingto her, it was utterly essential that she have the ability to communicate with spokenEnglish. Lisa explained to me that her frustration levels increased astronomically. Shewas heavily reliant on a device that she could no longer use in any useful way. She wasisolated and cut off from not only her teachers and peers, but also from her own parents.Because verbal communication became extremely difficult for Lisa, sign languagewas finally introduced into her life from January to June of grade nine. She was given aninterpreter, but the interpreter was only provided for two out of her eight classes. Shewas still expected to struggle in the remaining six. Nevertheless, Lisa’s initial exposureto sign language was an awakening, a realisation that an entirely new mode ofcommunication was available to her that did not require her to hear. Finally, she wasintroduced to a language that she could understand.Lisa: It just opened up a whole new world for me, and I somehow.. .1 understoodthe language.. .It was interesting because the minute that I met my interpreter andthe minute she started signing, it was almost like a light went on in my head. Itwas like I understood. It’s so weird because I can’t explain how it just felt sonatural. . .It was amazing.A weight had been lifted from Lisa’s shoulders. She was no longer expected to guess andfollow the lead of others. Rather, she was given the opportunity to participate — to hearwith her eyes and speak with her hands.25A.S.L. (American Sign Language) is a common form of sign language used inNorth America, yet Lisa learned to sign using S.E.E. (Signed Exact English). BecauseLisa was accustomed to communicating in spoken English, her interpreter started herintroduction into sign language by signing exactly what was said in English, word forword. This gave Lisa access to the language in a way that was familiar to her. Inaddition, her interpreter would verbally say everything that was being signed, allowingLisa to lip read if necessary. Through this process, she was able to learn S.E.E.Eventually, Lisa was introduced to A.S.L., which is not a direct translation from Englishinto sign. It is its own language with its own rules. Lisa described A.S.L. as a languageof concepts and pictures that requires one to use his/her imagination.Because language plays a major role in the construction of identity (Miller, 2000;Norton, 1997, 2000, 2006; Pavlenko & Norton, 2007), Lisa’s exposure to sign languagewas not only an opportunity to communicate; it was an opportunity to negotiate her senseof self. It was an introduction to a community to which she had not previously belonged,a community that she knew existed but one in which she was not a member. With herexposure to sign language, the doors were starting to open to a community of A.S.L.users. Lisa was beginning to discover a new language, a new culture, a new identity, butshe could only share this with her interpreter. A.S.L. simultaneously connected her to thehearing world and kept her from it; it connected her to the deaf and hard of hearingworld, yet she had no one with whom to communicate, other than her interpreter.Hovering between two communities, both incomplete, Lisa, with the support of her26parents, elected to undergo surgery in order to be fitted with a cochlear implant — a finalattempt to hear.Lisa: Because I wasn’t benefiting from my hearing aid anymore, I was sofrustrated. My parents couldn’t sign. I had very few people around me that couldsign, just my interpreter at that point.. .so I was so frustrated. I wasn’t hearingstuff. I was missing out. I needed to hear. . .1 felt really isolated. The hearingworld, in a sense, was the only world I ever really knew. I felt like, ‘I’m lostwithout hearing.’ So I made the decision to get a cochlear implant.In an article on speech recognition using cochlear implants, Wilson et al(1991) describes how the system works:A cochlear implant system consists of one or more implanted elec-trodes fordirect electrical activation of the auditory nerve, an external speech processor thattransforms a microphone input into stimuli for each electrode, and atranscutaneous (if-link) or per-cutaneous (direct) connection between theprocessor and the elec-trodes.(p.236)The implant essentially converts natural sound to electronic sound. As a result, Lisa hadto relearn every sound. The crinkling sound of a crumpled piece of paper as shepreviously knew it, now had an electronic cue to which her brain had to adapt. Imaginefor a moment the shock Lisa must have experienced upon hearing her own parents’voices through her cochlear implant. They would be unrecognisable. In an attempt tobecome a legitimate member of the hearing world, Lisa would first have to experience acomplete disconnect from everything and everyone she once knew. She would have torelearn how to interpret sound at the age of fifteen. Lisa describes the experience:27Because a cochlear implant isn’t like regular hearing at all.. .the sounds are sodifferent. I heard some with it. It’s more that you have to train your brain how tohear with it. It would take me a while to decipher exactly what that sound was.So, like, for example, water running, I would have to be cognitive. I think thefrustrating part for me was that I knew what water running sounded like. Youknow. It sounded so funny with a cochlear implant. It didn’t sound like waterrunning at all. It was noise. That’s what it was. Everything was just noise.Lisa and her parents recognised that the process would be incredibly trying, so in anattempt to alleviate some of the ongoing challenges, Lisa was home schooled for hergrade 10 year. She successfully completed grade 10 at home, all the while hoping to turn“noise” into identifiable sound. If she could master this process, she imagined that thiswould give her the opportunity to participate fully in the hearing world as a legitimatemember. Her imagined community was a clear target.Because Lisa was being trained to hear, she did not have an interpreter;therefore, her access to sign language was gone. In many ways this mirrored herexperience with Portuguese and Italian. Because she chose to use a cochlear implant, shehad to face the consequences of her decision: a monolingual life yet again.In addition to losing A.S.L., Lisa’s hearing aid was taken away from her. Infact, it was hidden. For ten months, Lisa was not given access to her hearing aid, whichhad always been a great source of comfort. As Lisa stated, “For all intents and purposes,I was deaf for about ten months.” Lisa describes this time as a “horrible process” forboth her and her parents. In our interview, she wanted to be clear that her parents weremerely following the directions of the audiologist. If Lisa was to benefit from thecochlear implant, she would have to be separated from her hearing aid.28Lisa: I cried. I think it was scary for me, and I’ve got a lot of anger over it too,because I couldn’t hear. I had this thing that could help me hear sound, and Iwasn’t allowed to use it. . .1 was mad. I was frustrated. I couldn’t hear anything.My parents’ communication was horrible. I had to read their lips. My speech hadgotten worse because I couldn’t hear myself talk. So, you know, I was talking inmore of a deaf way.Lisa had such high hopes that the cochlear implant would give her the gift of sound, butshe was unprepared for the ironic silence that accompanied it and the painful emotionaljourney she would have to experience. Her self-esteem suffered as a result of her verbalcommunication changing. One could anticipate the angst that Lisa would experiencewhen she could no longer recognise the sounds of those around her, but one may notconsider that the loss of her hearing aid would prevent her from hearing herself. She lostthe sound of her own voice. She was not only losing a connection to the world aroundher; she was losing a connection to herself. The sound of her voice changed. She begantalking in a “deaf way,” separating herself further from her imagined community, thehearing world.How much more might Lisa have to endure? Unfortunately, her strugglesremained. A side effect of the cochlear implant that Lisa experienced was facial nervetwitching. “Pretty much, everything that I heard, I not only heard it, but I felt it.” Shegave the example of someone slamming a cup on a table. Her brain interpreted the soundas pain, causing her face to twitch. Lisa was unaware that this was not supposed tohappen. She thought it was part of the cochlear implant package — a necessary byproduct of hearing.29Lisa needed to find a form of escape, because without her hearing aid, shehad lost sound. With her cochlear implant, she only heard unrecognisable noise.Ironically, her escape from the silence was music.Lisa: I was lucky enough that I could hear music without my hearing aid if I hadthe thing that goes in your ears, the inner ear headphones, I’d use those. And I’dlisten to the music when I had it cranked up. That was the only thing that Iheard.. .Yeah, that’s what got me through, because that was the only thing I heard.Like, for ten months I could barely hear my parents’ voices. That was my way ofgetting through it.Music gave her strength to persevere, foreshadowing what would help her to survive hertwo years at Carson— the school musical.After experiencing incomprehensible levels of stress following her cochlearimplant surgery and year of home schooling, Lisa began to prepare herself for re-enteringhigh school. The adjustments would be vast as Lisa would have to attend school for thefirst time without the use of her hearing aid, a daunting prospect.Lisa’s investment in the hearing community was vehement. She exemplified thedeep levels of her investment by undergoing surgery, living without a hearing aid for 10months, re-learning sound, and leaving high school to be home schooled. Her sacrificesto enter her imagined community were profound. Despite these many sacrifices, Lisaknew that going back to a mainstream school and simply subsisting would not be enough.She wanted to be academically successful and she wanted to make friends. She had30given up the possibility of a social life that exists only in high school when she chose tocontinue her education at home, so she was ready to claim her membership as alegitimate member of the grade eleven student body. Lisa recognised that she wouldstruggle to manage school work and to socialise with her peers because she was stilllearning to hear with her cochlear implant. With her imagined community in mind, Lisaknew that she would have to improve her communication in order to participate, but howwas this going to happen? Lisa dared to demand an interpreter — a request her parentswere reluctant to support.Lisa: Before I even came to [Carson], they didn’t want me to have an interpreter,because they wanted me to just hear with [my cochlear implant] and learn.Theresa: Why?Lisa: Their reasoning is that if I had an interpreter, I’d be so focussed on theinterpreter that I wouldn’t be listening to what the teacher was saying. But Irefused. I told them, ‘No, I’m going to have an interpreter there, because I’m notgoing into a new school, grade eleven, sixteen years old, and it’s my last twoyears of high school, and I really want to get everything. And I’ve missed somuch up until now. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that I get everything foronce.’ So, I stuck to my guns, and they had no choice. And that was the bestthing I ever did.How did Lisa find the strength to stand up to her parents and insist on an interpreter? IfLisa continued her final two years of high school having to guess her way through hereducation, she knew that she would not be reaching her full potential. Her brief exposureto sign language in grade nine highlighted for Lisa how much she had been missing priorto having an interpreter. Before returning to high school, she knew that she needed torestructure the communication process so that she would have equal opportunities toknowledge as her hearing peers. With her interpreter in place, Lisa successfully reframed31the power relationship between the hearing society and herself. Her desire to understandher teachers and her peers outranked her parents’ desires to have her learn solely with hercochlear implant. Lisa, for the first time, gained control over her own education needs.She discovered her voice, and with this identity recognition, she discovered the power ofher voice to create change.In the article, “Social Identity, Investment and Learning,” Norton (1995) studiesimmigrant women; in particular, their investment in learning English is examined interms of their social identities. Norton writes:.if learners invest in a second language, they do so with the understanding thatthey will acquire a wider range of symbolic and material resources, which will inturn increase the value of their cultural capital. Learners will expect or hope tohave a good return on that investment — a return that will give them access tohitherto unattainable resources. (p.17)In other words, immigrant women were motivated to learn English depending upon theirinvestment to learn the language. For example, if being fluent in English meant that awoman’s children would be better educated, then she would be more motivated to learnthe language. The return on her investment would be educated children, which in turnwould offer symbolic and material resources, such as social status and employment. Herdesire to learn is in relationship with her investment to learn. I argue that Lisa, as a signlanguage learner, was extremely motivated to learn A.S.L., as it signified access to thehearing world. If she could gain access to the hearing world, then she could gainmembership within it. She was beginning to envision herself as a full participant in highschool as opposed to an outside observer or non-participant. Lisa did not only want to32exist within high school; she wanted to make meaningful contributions to its community.Her investment led to a shift in power, an identity negotiation, and potential access to animagined community.Fortunately for Lisa, “Joan,” the assigned interpreter at Carson Secondary,voluntarily went to Lisa’s house, free of charge, to teach her sign language during thesummer months. These lessons in A.S.L. were integral if Lisa was to integrate into amainstream high school by fall. Lisa’s gratitude, two years after high school with Joan,remains strong: “She’s such an amazing person. I’m so blessed to have her in my life.She changed it, really she did.”Lisa’s demand of having an interpreter would not come without a cost. Becausethe school board had a limited number of available interpreters, she would have to changeschools. Beyond being identified as the “deaf girl,” Lisa would also have to developstrategies to cope with being the “new girl.” As a new student at Carson, Lisa did nothave any pre-existing relationships with her peers; whereas, the majority of the studentsat Carson had been attending the school since grade eight. Cliques were already preestablished upon her arrival. Lisa’s goal to belong within a hearing school would involvemultiple struggles and emotional pitfalls. Her imagined community was not going tooffer automatic membership upon arrival. In order for Lisa’s dream to be realised, shewould first have to imagine it. That she had accomplished. While in high school, shewould learn that membership in a community requires social dreaming, not merely thedream of one. Social dreaming occurs in the third space (Gutiérrez et al, 1999;33Rutherford, 1990), a space where diversity meets opportunity. Would the third spaceexist at Carson Secondary?34CHAPTER THREEHaving reviewed Lisa’s history before reaching Carson, I will now examineLisa’s experiences in my English and Drama classes. I will do this by using my ownreflections as Lisa’s teacher, and I will, of course, highlight Lisa’s memories of her ownexperiences and feelings during this time. How did Lisa manage to cope with her newcochlear implant in a mainstream high school? What was the influence of A.S.L. on herability to communicate with teachers and peers? Did Lisa make friends and find acommunity in which to belong? How could I, as her teacher, help her to find acceptancewithin herself and among her peers? With stress that was unfathomable, Lisa startedgrade eleven at Carson Secondary.English ClassIn my English 11 class, I had two hard of hearing students, Lisa and “Alice.” Theschool provided them with an interpreter, “Joan,” who signed in A.S.L., translating whatI said and the discussions that included the other hearing students. At the beginning ofthe year, the district resource teacher provided me with information on students withhearing loss, and she organized a meeting with herself, the interpreters, and teachers ofhard of hearing students. As a result of that meeting and conversations between theinterpreter and me, I decided to place both Lisa and Alice at the front of the classroom.This gave them clear access to any visual cues that I could provide and a clear sight line35to the interpreter positioned near me. During class discussions, I tried to write all keywords on the board in order to highlight necessary terminology for academic success.This helped not only my hard of hearing students but all students in the class. Lisa wouldperiodically get involved orally in class discussions, but I noticed that it was occasionallydifficult for her to follow the conversations.Because both hard of hearing students were placed at the front of the room, theyin turn had their backs to all the other students. Lisa’s signing abilities were quite good,but she also used lip reading a great deal in order to communicate. This meant that shewould turn away from the interpreter at times in order to see the students(s) speaking, aswell as turning to include herself in the dialogue. She then would turn back to Joan if shegot lost. Imagine the great difficulty Lisa would have in participating in a conversation,when she never faced the individuals who were speaking. Due to the lack of eye contact,the student with hearing loss is instantly situated as the “outsider.” Another obstacle thatsurfaced during classroom discussions, of which there were many, was the limited abilityof one interpreter to represent the true nature of any verbal discussion fully. Aninterpreter can only sign for one person at a time, yet conversations often include studentsspeaking over one another, not to mention the quiet asides that occur throughout thelesson. Joan might be interpreting one person’s contribution to a conversation, whensuddenly the whole class laughs due to a quick interjection by another. Both Lisa andAlice are excluded from the spontaneity of the moment. They are not let in on the jokeuntil it has already passed.36At Carson Secondary, each lesson is 80 minutes in length, which increases theneed for shifts in activities. I would often include small group work as another way oflearning, and this permitted students to have the opportunity to discuss using moreinformal language. In addition, it encouraged social connections, creating a congenialand safe environment for the students to share ideas. A problem arose, which I did notpredict. Alice and Lisa were not close friends and preferred to work with differentgroups, yet there was only one interpreter in the room. Joan could not be in two placesat once. Alice and Lisa certainly did not dislike each other by any means; they just didnot have a close connection. Alice, having been at the school longer, had a small butcommitted group in which she belonged. Lisa, on the other hand, did not have a group offriends in which to situate. Despite their lack of closeness, simply sharing the space withanother hard of hearing student made a positive impact on Lisa. She recalls, “The coolthing about the English [class] is that I had the other student that was needing theinterpreter there too, so it was nice to know that I wasn’t alone.” Lisa was no longer theonly hard of hearing student in school. She shared the hard of hearing experience withanother person, which slightly lifted the loneliness of her existence in high school.Nevertheless, Lisa needed to build meaningful connections. It was integral for Lisa tointeract with her peers in order to find a place in her imagined community.I dealt with this problem through trial and error. I attempted giving them theopportunity to work with whomever they chose, encouraging the development ofidentities with different social circles. The downfall of this approach was that theinterpreter was left to divide her time between two groups. As a result, information, both37academic and casual, was lost for Alice and Lisa. The group work also meant that 30students in the room were encouraged to discuss and speak to one another, creating a loudenvironment, which was not conducive for Alice or Lisa’s learning. Upon reflection, Icould have given both Alice and Lisa’s groups a quiet space to talk, outside of theclassroom. Another possible solution would be to remove two of the other groups toanother space, keeping both Alice and Lisa’s groups in the classroom, but creating aslightly quieter environment.On other occasions I encouraged Lisa and Alice to work in the same group toensure the necessary information was being passed on through the interpreter. Again,this had its downfall. The students were given greater access to necessary information,yet the continual presence of an adult (Joan) in the group likely changed theconversations, the content and the way in which the students spoke. Groups speakdifferently, depending on their audience. Lisa, who had not yet situated herself in agroup of friends, was particularly in need of opportunities to create social connections,yet she would never be given access to meaningful relationships if an adult were alwayspresent.From my perspective as the teacher, I believed that having an interpreter wasessential for Lisa’s education but potentially hazardous to her socialisation. What I didnot understand until my interview with Lisa was that she was far more socially isolatedwithout an interpreter than she was with one. Lisa explained, “It helped me knowing thatI had somebody. That I wasn’t responsible for trying to figure everything out.38Somebody was being my ears for me for once.” I had not considered the incredibleresponsibility Lisa carried, having to self-educate in many ways. Joan was able to liftthis weight off her shoulders, take away the guessing, and insert concrete answers.Joan’s job as an interpreter was to sign everything that was being said in the room, givingLisa the opportunity to understand group discussions and social interactions for the firsttime. Lisa was painfully aware that she was not connecting to her peers in a meaningfulway, but she was connecting more than she had ever connected before.To magnify Lisa’s struggles in her first year at Carson further, Lisa started to gaina limited amount of hearing back in her left ear, potentially resulting from the medicineshe received post-surgery or from her intense ear training she received. Why wouldincreased hearing ever be perceived as a problem? Normally, this would be deemed anunexpected gift, but for a person with a cochlear implant, it results in multiple andcontradictory stimuli being sent to the brain. It meant that Lisa would sit in class, gatherinformation from the sign language, hear limited sound in one ear, and a fraction of asecond later she would hear the electronic sound in the other. It was as though an echowas occurring in her head at all times. Despite these communication barriers, Lisaattempted to succeed academically and make friends in a new school. The stress wasunfathomable. This dilemma was even more profound in the drama classroom.39Drama ClassI conduct my drama classes in a very different manner from my English classes.The very nature of the physical space — no desks — requires a different approach to theteaching. The students are given much more physical freedom (e.g., no assigned seating)and the emphasis on verbal interaction is heightened. The following is a typical outlineof the Acting 11 class: 1) P.A. announcements, 2) class discussion, 3) group rehearsal and4) group performance. Each activity contained a multitude of barriers for a hard ofhearing person.To intensify the obstacles further, the interpreter provided by the school boardduring Drama was temporary. The district had so few trained interpreters, yet the needwas great. Another student at a different school was considered to have a need moreparamount than Lisa’s, due to his severe hearing loss. As a result, the interpreter wasreassigned to another school. For the majority of the year, Lisa was left to fend forherself in an environment that produced even greater obstacles than an academic class. Iwould argue that the school officials likely viewed an elective as less important than anacademic class; hence, an interpreter was not provided. At this point, a parent has morepower to create change than the student or the teacher. Lisa has a right for equal accessto information, yet her needs were overlooked. I have witnessed in the past that parentsare necessary advocates for their children’s rights, and demands are usually met whendemands are made by a parent seeking necessary support services. Had I brought this to40the attention of Lisa’s parents, would they have fought for that support? Why did Ichoose to stay silent?Because I was able to view Lisa with an interpreter in English and without one inDrama, I witnessed her potential for access into imagined communities without an adultever-present. I noticed that Lisa was not as comfortable with her Drama interpreter,“Fanny,” as she was with her English interpreter, Joan. Lisa explains why she felt distantwith Fanny: “[Joan] was the person who introduced me to [A.S.L.]. She was the personwhose signing I had gotten so connected with. And to have someone else come in washard.” Simply providing a student with an interpreter does not solve all of thecommunication problems. The connection between the interpreter and the student isessential if successful communication is going to exist. When Fanny left, Lisa appearedto become more socially involved, although great improvement was still needed. I hopedthe lack of adult involvement would encourage her hearing peers to include her morefully.It is important to note that Lisa’s difficulty with her cochlear implant wasresolved at this point. She no longer used it, choosing to employ only a hearing aid toamplify natural sound. This choice came after a visit to a new audiologist who informedher that the cochlear implant would not ever reach her hopeful expectations. After a yearaway from high school, serious surgery, uncontrollable facial twitching, and intense eartraining, Lisa’s dreams for a successful cochlear implant were discarded.41Lisa: I just knew for me, it was never going to happen. I knew I had to let go,because I wanted to enjoy my years at [Carson]. I told my doctor, ‘I’m sixteenyears old. I just want to be a kid...’ When most kids were worrying about theirdresses for prom, I was worrying about whether or not I was going to hear again.I didn’t want that anymore. I didn’t want that responsibility. . .You know, it washard for my family and I, because my parents felt guilty about keeping myhearing aid from me. They didn’t know how to help me. It’s a learningprocess.. .1 never blamed my parents for it because I knew they were only doingwhat they were told.When Lisa stated, “I just want to be a kid,” it exemplified how a part of her childhoodwas stolen from her due to her sensory loss. She refused to let it take a piece of her finalhigh school years as well. She wanted to experience life as a sixteen year old, a life inwhich she would not have to preoccupy herself with re-learning every sound. Shewanted her hearing aid back. Once again, Lisa found the strength to demand a change.Her hearing aid was returned to her.In Drama, Lisa had to learn how to participate in a class without an interpreter andwork in groups with the limited assistance of her hearing aid. When facing an individual,Lisa was usually able to decipher what he/she was saying, and her spoken English wasquite clear. When listening to Lisa one would be able to hear that she is hard of hearingdue to the way in which she speaks; although, this “accent” did not impede anyone’sunderstanding of her words. I would argue, though, that her “accent” did act as a barrierto her legitimate ownership of the language. She would never be granted fullmembership into the hearing world because she could never communicate as hearingpeople do.42The first struggle that Lisa faced each day in Drama was listening to the P.A.announcements. They were inaudible to her. As noted earlier, equal access toinformation is of prime importance to a hard of hearing person in a mainstream school.Lisa could not listen to the announcements that included multiple opportunities forsocialisation, for example, club meetings, theme days, sports tryouts, or volunteerpositions. In order to provide all students with needed information, the school deliversannouncements over the P.A. system in addition to a written bulletin, given to eachteacher every day, which is supposed to be read each morning. In reality, the P.A.announcements are often different from the information provided on the bulletin, and thebulletin never includes the fun banter that students transmit orally over the P.A. system.In addition, many teachers choose not to read the bulletin, as they feel it is redundantafter hearing the announcements. Therefore, equal access is not provided. In an attemptto combat this inequality, I would listen to the announcements and repeat or summarizewhat I heard. Lisa would read my lips, thereby receiving news of social and academicevents. This was not a perfect system, because it assumed that I was always available torepeat the announcements at that given time. On multiple occasions, another studentwould need my attention, and the announcements would go unheard by Lisa. I would askother students to share this information, but it was always a highly edited version. This iswhere I needed to release some of my responsibilities and control of the situation, andoffer it to other students. A buddy system would have been much more effective,allowing a student to interact with Lisa one on one, rather than simply having her rely onme.43As theatre is a collaborative art, group work was a daily routine in the class. Afterdiscussing the theme or topic of the day, students would work in small groups to createscenes. Their scene work was inspired by group dialogue, and then the scene would takeshape when movement and gestures were added. Music was occasionally used to addanother sensory layer onto the performance. One day I asked Lisa to stay after class todiscuss her progress. I was very concerned with her ability to participate in a verballydominated curriculum, and I needed her input to learn how to support her. After talkingwith her, I realised that the other students in the class would benefit from a similardiscussion with Lisa. I asked if she would be willing to share her valuable informationwith the class. She was nervous, but she agreed.Lisa: It was scary and good at the same time because I think at that point I wasn’tsure how to communicate with myself. I was very aware that I could not expectpeople to be sure how to communicate with me. I mean, I have an interpreter, andthen I don’t, I talk, but then I sign a little bit.. .Even now, it’s always been thatwhole, who are you thing. Where’s the identity there?As Lisa reflects on speaking before the class about her communication needs, shediscovers the relationship between language and identity. Her sense of self isintrinsically linked with how she communicates. Speaking before the class was anopportunity to self-represent. This was a daunting task for Lisa as her identity wascomplex and constantly in flux. She was given a position of power and had to considercarefully how she might use it.The next day, Lisa stood in front of the class to tell them how to communicatewith her most effectively. She provided the following information:441. She needs to see you to “hear” you.2. She lip reads.3. If everyone speaks at once, it’s difficult for her to follow along.4. If her back is turned and you need her attention, just tap her on theshoulder.5. She is capable of hearing some of what is said. She is not deaf.By standing in front of the class to explain what could facilitate her participation, Lisapositioned herself as a leader. She turned the tables so that she was the person in power,self-representing, as opposed to accepting the imposed representation of “disabled deafgirl.” By including the other students in the conversation and being open about herunique communication needs, she informed her hearing peers that it was okay to askquestions. Discussing hearing loss was no longer “taboo.” I told Lisa that some hearingstudents might not approach her because they may not know how. In particular whenthere is an interpreter in the room, the hearing students may assume that Lisa can onlysuccessfully communicate with sign language. My first experience working with aninterpreter initially made me quite nervous. It was strange having another adult in theroom, translating everything that I said. I felt pressure to say something important! Isoon became totally comfortable with the process, especially after getting to know theinterpreter, but if I was experiencing some tension, what might the young people in theroom be feeling? The comfort level with sign language never developed in the dramaclass because the interpreter left so early in the school year. Although the initial presence45of the interpreter did create an identity for Lisa as “unapproachable” due to her use of adifferent language, her self-representation was a powerful way to renegotiate her identitywithin the class.Lisa’s approachability improved, but mainly on a superficial level. Studentswould talk to her when they shared an assignment together, but what about time outsideof the classroom? Whom did she spend time with at lunch, after school, or on theweekends? What meaningful relationships had developed?Theresa: How was it making friends?Lisa: It was hard. It was really hard.. .1 was just so awkward. I was angry, Ithink, a lot. I was very hurt and confused. It was such a hard year for me alone ingrade 10, and I didn’t really trust people. And I was still getting used to the factthat I could hear again. It was overwhelming for me to start a new school, thatlate too.. .Like, I knew people. I think people knew who I was. I was neverbullied or anything like that. I was just kind of there. I was just there.Lisa’s imagined identity was a person who contributed to life at Carson, not simply aperson who sat on the outskirts, yet the other students did not recognise her as a personwho had anything to offer. Lisa was viewed as a person who required assistance, but shewas unable to construct an identity as a person who could offer assistance. She had nopower.Because I was observing only classroom time, I was unaware of Lisa’s trueloneliness until her mother talked to me. It was at this point that I recognised that Ineeded to have a greater role in her socialisation at the school. This would be a difficult46task, because part of adolescent development involves a claim for independence, a moveaway from adults. How could I contribute to Lisa’s social identity without intruding onher independence? Through discussions with both Lisa and her mom, I learned whomLisa admired. I was fully aware of her imagined community. When the teacher andstudent have differing goals, the student may respond through resistance or nonparticipation (Norton, 2000). But what could happen if the teacher and student shared animagined community?47CHAPTER FOURThe School MusicalI am a strong advocate of extracurricular activities. My involvement with thetheatre department allows me to see the contributions that extracurricular activities bringto the lives of young people. Some of the students whom Lisa identified as her imaginedcommunity belonged to the theatre department. As I was the stage manager of the schoolmusical, it seemed a logical choice to involve Lisa in some way. I asked her if she wouldlike to work backstage as a dresser, helping to organise costumes and assisting actorswith quick dress changes. I warned her that the commitment would involve rehearsalsafter school, including one Saturday, and six evening performances. She lookedabsolutely ecstatic. Her face lit up and she smiled from ear to ear. She happily agreed toparticipate.Lisa worked with the costume crew, and it just so happened that the parent incharge of costumes was also hearing impaired. She had a very minor hearing loss incomparison to Lisa’s, but simply seeing another person wearing a hearing aid allowedLisa to recognise that she was not alone. One of the directors of the musical also wore ahearing aid. Two adult role models were present, and without realising it, they showedLisa that hard of hearing people could make valuable contributions to the world, eventhrough a musical. In addition, both role models held positions of high authority. All ofthe actors showed great respect to the parent who worked backstage and to the director48who was held in high esteem. Lisa was able to witness them function in a hearingsociety, and follow their lead.How did Lisa’s role in this extracurricular activity differ from school groupwork? First, student volunteers involved were there because they wanted to be there.This is how they exerted autonomy over their own time, working on a theatre project.Second, each student shared a common goal. This, I argue, is the creation of the thirdspace.Lisa: [Working as a dresser] was a good way to break through in the school.. .Atthe time I was so isolated from everything. And I just needed something that Icould be involved with that was something that I could not focus on my problemsand my feelings, and could just focus on something else for a change, and just getmy mind off of everything. And, you know, it was just so nice to be able to helpsomebody else for a change.Lisa became essential. The actors, many of whom she identified as her imaginedcommunity, depended on her contributions. Lisa gained power by defining herself ashelpful in the eyes of her peers. Her identity shifted from someone who neededassistance to someone who offered assistance.The musical was a product of an ensemble. Absolutely every single personinvolved in this musical was essential to its success. if one person stepped away from thechallenge, all would feel the effect. Actors needed to remember lines and dancechoreography, stage crew needed to change set pieces, technical crew needed to controlsound and light, musicians needed to work collaboratively with the singers, and dressers49needed to ensure that each actor stepped on stage with exactly the right costume atexactly the right time. Lisa was assigned to dress the lead, a role that signalled herreliability.As actors were usually anxious and nervous on performance nights, theybecame very dependent on their dressers to help them during high stress scenes. Onopening night, the lead actress suffered from a serious case of stage fright,hyperventilating backstage. The play could not start without her. The audience waited inanticipation, but the curtains did not open. The lead was in the dressing room with herdress unzipped, sitting in a chair with her head between her knees, desperately trying toregain her composure.Lisa: I got assigned to the lead, of dressing the lead.. .And I was there for her. Shealmost fainted, right? Remember that?Theresa: Yeah.Lisa: Well, I was her dresser, and I was trying to calm her down, not to freak out.It was nice to be there.Lisa witnessed a student in an extremely stressful situation, and she saw her emotionallybreak down. This experience showed Lisa that breaking under pressure can happen toanyone. Fear is a part of everyone’s life. Fortunately, with the help of Lisa’s consolingmanner, the lead gathered her inner strength and performed magnificently. Over andover again, Lisa witnessed mishaps: one girl broke her tap shoes, another went on stagewith her dress tucked into her underwear, someone missed a cue, and microphones went50missing. Lisa was part of the chaos. She witnessed, she consoled, she problem-solved,she laughed, she took part.Some actors had only seconds to change from one costume to another. Lisahad to know when the change was coming up, and she had to be waiting in the wingswith the appropriate costume. One of the actors was particularly appreciative of Lisa’sefforts. When the production was over, I had the pleasure of seeing the actor approachLisa at lunch in the drama room. She presented her with a gift to thank her for herkindness.In my interview with Lisa, she shared with me an experience that I did notwitness, an experience that lifted her confidence.Lisa: And then I remember it was the nicest thing. I’ll never forget this. One ofthe guys comes up to me and goes, ‘You know, we’re all going for bubble tea.You should come.’ And, you know, this is a grade 12 guy asking me to come tosomething. I was flabbergasted. I wanted to scream inside. I was so happy. Mymom was picking me up and I didn’t want her to go all the way back, so I said,‘No, unfortunately, my mom is on her way. I can’t make it.’ And he goes, “Ah,that sucks. Another time.’ And it was so funny, because I just felt connectedwith something there. And everybody treated me so nicely. The next night Iasked [him], ‘Oh how was bubble tea?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, it was great, but youshould’ve been there.’ It made me feel so good. I wish I did get the chance tothank him for that because it meant so much.The simple gesture of a grade 12 boy helped Lisa feel connected. The continuousacknowledgement of her existence and the gratitude she received for her contributions byactors and crew members shaped Lisa’s identity. Lisa became a participant. In a movingstatement, she says, “I felt like I was there.” Her self-imposed identity was actualised51through the acknowledgement of her peers. She was a significant member of thebackstage crew. She was part of a team, part of a community.No longer did Lisa need to hide in the bathroom. She finally became visible.Her many strengths were seen, valued, acknowledged and respected. The doors to theimagined community were opening, and a third space was created. The shared vision ofall students was achieved collectively, and this is what made all the difference. Lisa nolonger imagined how she might contribute. Together, each student dreamed, and eachstudent achieved.As I watched from a distance, I saw Lisa make connections with her peergroup. I had to be careful not to assume that a few days of working on the schoolmusical would grant Lisa legitimate membership within her imagined community. I wasviewing the beginning of potential friendships, but not yet in full bloom.Grade 12I did not have the pleasure of teaching Lisa in grade 12, but we kept in touchregardless. She would occasionally stop by my classroom for a quick hello. This aloneshowed great improvement. At one point, Lisa had become quite dependent on me totalk to. During her grade 11 year, I believe our conversations during recess and lunchhour acted as an avoidance of her peer rejection. By grade 12, she was occupied withother activities at lunch and only occasionally came by for a visit.52Lisa became a peer counsellor. Lisa proudly told me, “I think I was the firsthard of hearing person at [Carson] to ever be a peer counsellor. So that was a hugemilestone.” She applied for the prestigious position after confiding in “Annabelle,” oneof the actors, who was also a peer counsellor, that this was her dream. Annabelleencouraged her to apply, and Lisa was pleased to learn that she was accepted into theprogram. Through this position, Lisa was given the opportunity to expand on theleadership skills she gained from the school musical. As a peer counsellor, she wasconsidered a mentor to grade 8s who were new to the school. Again, Lisa imagined herfuture, negotiated for a position of power, and achieved her goal. The group of grade 12students involved in the program became very close. Their community membership waseven publicly displayed through t-shirts. Only peer counsellors wore them.Again, Lisa became involved in the school musical, but this year she was a partof the theatre company as a production assistant. The two directors of the school musicalasked her if she would be willing to take the theatre company class, earn credit for herwork, and act as a leader to the backstage crew members. She was delighted to take partin the team formally. As part of her duties, she supervised the costume crew. She heldmeetings at lunch hour with the volunteers, created a schedule of their shifts, andanswered any necessary questions. She also worked collaboratively with a graduate fromthe previous year to supervise dressers on performance nights. Lisa faced challenges thatother students did not face, yet she was so successful working backstage that she becamea supervisor.53Working backstage in a school musical is particularly difficult for a personwith a hearing impairment. First, there is barely any light backstage, making it extremelydifficult for Lisa to lip read. Second, her cues were sound cues (e.g.: a spoken line or theend of a song). Because Lisa could not hear her cues, she was forced to ask for help.This meant that Lisa had to take initiative in her interactions with other people. She nolonger waited for someone else to begin dialogue. Her commitment to the musical wasemphatic because actors and other dressers were relying on her. She understood thatperforming well as a head dresser would situate her as capable in the eyes of her peers.Therefore, she asked questions and found answers. She reviewed the script. Shememorised songs. She watched the backstage monitor. She read the scene orders postedbackstage. She did everything she could to ensure her success.Despite her efforts, she would occasionally get lost or confused. This is whentwo actors in particular reached out, “John” and “Alan.” Lisa explained how theycommunicated with her:[John and Alan], two boys, knew some sign.. .They knew some sign, sosometimes when I didn’t understand something, they would finger spell, or theywould sign what they knew to me. . . They knew some and it was amazing. It wasamazing.Imagine attempting to speak broken French to a fluent French speaker. For many, this isintimidating. For those two boys, using sign language and finger spelling with Lisa mayhave been intimidating, but, again, their investment levels forced them to try. They54understood the necessity of Lisa having the correct information. Without it, she may notperform her job properly, which would in turn affect the two boys. As a result, they werewilling to take the risk of signing poorly if it meant that Lisa would receive theinformation. The power dynamics shifted. The hearing students had to learn how tocommunicate with a hard of hearing person, as opposed to the other way around, Lisaconstantly having to adapt to the communication needs of the hearing. Lisa was thrilledto learn that she could share her language with two of the actors. Their acknowledgementof sign language was an acknowledgement of her identity.Backstage, many of the crew members would get up and dance to theirfavourite songs in the musical. Lisa always joined in and often led the dancing to musicthat she could only partially hear. There was a hidden value to the musical productionthat I had never previously considered — repetition. Lisa could watch each night, followthe pattern, and then begin to predict the events. For example, she was able to watch thebackstage monitor to know exactly which scene followed which scene. The performancewas the same every night, so she began to learn during which scenes everyone would getup and dance. After a couple of nights, she was the first one to participate.55CHAPTER FIVELisa TodayAs a nineteen year old, Lisa’s hearing impairment has led to her involvementvolunteering and working with deaf and hard of hearing youth. She volunteers for abuddy program, which is similar to Big Sisters and Big Brothers, except she works withdeaf and hard of hearing children in particular. She visits a child for two to four hoursonce a week. Together they simply spend quality time with one another while signing.Lisa acknowledges the benefit that the parents receive from her relationship with the deafor hard of hearing child: the parents are given exposure to a young adult who has alreadyencountered and survived much of what the child will likely be experiencing. Becausedeaf and hard of hearing children are often born from hearing parents, the mother andfather may not have any prior exposure to the deaf community. Lisa provides that insightand removes the mystery. The children can benefit from befriending a person with ahearing loss, which hopefully removes the intense sense of isolation that too oftenaccompanies hearing impairment, and the parents learn that their child has a communityin which he/she is a legitimate member.Lisa also worked as a camp counsellor for deaf and hard of hearing childrenduring the summer. Because Lisa had very little exposure to other children with hearinglosses when she was young, she is determined to be part of the solution for youth today.Her experience working at the camp reinforced her career choice — social work. After56working at the summer camp, her future plans were validated. Lisa praised theopportunity to work with the deaf and hard of hearing children, “It was the bestexperience of my life so far. I really enjoyed it.” The other staff members were all deaf,so for the first time, Lisa was able to immerse herself in a community of people whocommunicated with A.S.L. They all worked collectively to communicate with oneanother, yet speaking English was not part of their dialogue. Through sign languagealone, Lisa and the other staff members cared for 43 children, planning outdoor activitiesand organising games. Lisa was able to learn what she could accomplish with the supportof her new imagined community, the deaf and hard of hearing.Lisa has had social work as a career goal for many years, but her latestexperiences have altered her plans somewhat. She had previously wanted to work withstreet youth and other youth at risk, but now she would like to work and contribute as asocial worker within the deaf and hard of hearing community. Lisa’s entire life has beenliving on the outskirts of the hearing world, but with her new goals in sight, she appliedand was accepted into a university which caters to deaf and hard of hearing students,where she will study social work.Where did Lisa find the strength to stand with pride as a hard of hearing person?Lisa accredits the after school drama program for the shift in her sense of self. Lisarecalls her volunteer work in the school musical:..having drama there, it made me feel like, okay, I’m not alone. There are otherpeople out there. Maybe we won’t ever be the best of friends, but it’s just nice to57know that there’s someone else there.. ..I think that’s what started me on so muchmore. That’s what made me get involved. That was my stepping stone. If Ididn’t have that, I’m not sure everything else would have followed.. .It changesyour life.When Lisa learned that she had meaningful contributions to make within the hearingworld, it gave her the confidence to seek the deaf and hard of hearing world; because itwas no longer a community she was forced to take part in, it became a community thatshe chose. Lisa voiced her gratitude to the drama program which taught her that she cansuccessfully exist among fully hearing people and participate in a meaningful way. Shedoes not romanticise her experience by suggesting that she made lifelong friendships, butshe recognises that being a part of the school musical changed her life by acting as astepping stone. Because Lisa’s identity was as a valuable, capable, visible person, shewas able to carry this identity to her application into the peer counselling program atCarson. She learned that her dreams were attainable.Lisa: I think [the drama program] taught me for the first time in a really long timethat I could do things. I could belong and I was important. I felt that when Idressed all those people, and I did a good job at it, and people were telling methat, I felt like I was part of it. I felt like I’m not invisible. I do exist here. Itgave me that much more confidence to be a peer counsellor. It gave me thatmuch more confidence to be in the school, to want to go to school. I fully admit,grade 11, I skipped. I hated it. I did not want to be in school. There wasn’tanything that anybody could have done at that point, until the drama camealong.. .to make me stay. Ijust did not want to be there, but then knowing that Ihad responsibilities, knowing that people were counting on me. Me! Knowingthat it was me that was important, and not everyone could do what I was doing. Itmade me feel special.For the last two years, Lisa has continued to take part in the school musicals, returning asCarson alumni. Because the program was so beneficial to her development, Lisa has58conunitted to helping other young people find a place to belong through theatre atCarson. Lisa’s memories of skipping school in grade 11 are memories of resistance. Sheresisted high school because she was not invested in it. As soon as she had a stake in theschool musical, she found a reason to attend, participate, and interact with her peers.People relied on her attendance. She had resources to share, resources that were in need.By continuing to volunteer, she reinforces her self-value, and she is able to help otherstudents who may be experiencing school in the same way to feel part of a community.Lisa wants to pass on to others what she gained.Lisa: I think that’s why I wanted to come back and help [Carson’s dramaprogramj so much. It helped me so much. Good memories. It really taught methat, I don’t know, we’re not all alone in high school. It looks like we are, butthere’s a lot of people there who just feel the same way.Because theatre is a collaborative art and the storytelling behind the art form requires theparticipation of many, a community is formed. Making theatre has the potential to shiftidentities, create relationships, and build communities. Through theatre, Lisa was nolonger alone.Theresa: Is there anything else that I should ask you or that you want to say that Ihaven’t thought of asking?Lisa: I think the only thing that I want to say is that this program, drama. . .1 thinkmore kids deserve something like that.. . Everybody just wants to feel like theybelong somewhere. . .because high school can be, it can be the hardest place in theworld.. .It’s hard to feel confident in who you are when everyone’s telling youwho you should be.As a student who benefited from drama, she is now active in keeping it alive.59High schools need drama programs because they give students power,responsibility, a place to redefine themselves and a place to connect with others. Becauseso many students volunteer their time to partake in Carson’s school musical, it also givesthe students autonomy over their own time. For the majority of the school day, students’schedules are determined by the government, counsellors, administrators, teachers, andparents. Students deserve the opportunity to self-direct.As I witnessed Lisa gain control over her life and change inwardly, I asked her,“What is your identity? How would you describe yourself now?” Her answer revealsreflection, maturity, and aspiration:Lisa: I think honestly, I’m still figuring it out, even two years later. . . In grade 12,with [Carson’s theatre company] and Peer Counselling, those two classes reallygave me a better sense of self, in the fact that I was being a production assistant, Iwas being responsible, I was contributing to the school by listening. And it reallymade me more aware that I felt so isolated for so long from everyone, partially, Ithink, because of my hearing loss. I had always been the only kid with a hearingloss. But my family... part of me does wish, even today, that they knew somesign. Just so that it would make me feel that they did accept it. I don’t think thatthey realise that it’s that important to me.. .1 mean, it’s not like I blame my parentsfor anything. My identity now, I think I’m sort of figuring it out.. .1 know who Iwant to be, and I want to be somebody who takes everything that I’ve learnedfrom [Carson’s theatre company], from Peer Counselling, from the teachers, frommy parents, from my friends, and pay it forward. Right? That’s what I reallywant to do. And I’m looking forward to doing it.A great deal of Lisa’s identity comes from having a clear sense of direction. She knowswho she would like to be; therefore, I argue, she knows who she is. Her dreams are a partof her self-concept. She will interact with society based on who she would like to60become and based on how she envisions herself contributing. If Lisa could not imagineherself as a production assistant and peer counsellor, then how could she possiblyimagine herself as a future social worker? Imagined identities need to be realised bythose who live in target communities. For example, Lisa imagined herself contributing tothe drama department at Carson. The drama students and teachers, too, needed toimagine her membership within the community, because it is the social dreaming - thethird space - that creates change.In Lisa’s description of her identity negotiation, she naturally gravitated to adiscussion about sign language. This signifies the relationship between identity andlanguage. Throughout Lisa’s time at Carson and her years since, she has envisionedmultiple communities for herself: the school musical, the theatre company, peercounselling, college, a deaf and hard of hearing university, social work, etc. Her mostrecent imagined community is one in which her family communicates through signlanguage. Although, there is a problem as Lisa reveals, “I don’t think that they realisethat it’s that important to me.” Immediately following this statement, she defends themto me by ensuring that I understand that she does not blame them for their choices. Sheclearly loves her parents, but she believes that if her parents were able to communicatewith her in A.S.L., this would symbolise their acceptance of her identity as a hard ofhearing person. I reiterate that social dreaming is required to bring about change. Lisa’sparents need to imagine this community that includes A.S.L. in their home in order forthe community to be built. Hopefully, when Lisa is ready, she will disclose to her parentsthe importance of language sharing in the construction of family. Just as Lisa’s parents61shared Portuguese and Italian with her in order to give her a piece of their identities, shetoo would like to share her language, A.S.L., in order to share a piece of her identity.Lisa’s exploration of self will continue. Before travelling abroad to attenduniversity, she considers her place in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Withinthe hearing world, Lisa cannot hear enough, and within the deaf world, she is not deafenough.Lisa: In a way I haven’t really established that part of my identity. Up until grade9, I always thought of myself as more of a hearing person. . .1 could talk on thephone, I listen to music; I do everything to fit into that world. And then, I think,grade 9 forced me to be more introspective, and I realised, there’s limitations towhat I can do, and I have to be okay with the limitations because they’re alwaysgoing to be there. It’s interesting because I’m always in the in between. I neverhear enough to be fully in all the time, but then I hear too much sometimes.Despite the hardships that will surely accompany her new life in a deaf and hard ofhearing university, she is content knowing that she is able to mediate between two verydifferent cultures and ways of communicating. She will likely find a community of “inbetweeners” who fluctuate as she does between the hearing and the deaf. Once again,Lisa will learn that she is not alone.As Lisa embarks on the next stage of her life, she looks forward to learningabout herself as a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community. She has displayeda true desire to explore this side of herself to expand who she is and who she can be.62Lisa: And who knows? I’ll come back and be like, ‘I’m hard-of-hearing-deafhearing!’63CHAPTER SIXDiscussion and ConclusionAs the data show, Lisa negotiated new identities over a two year period in highschool and continues to negotiate as a university student. Initially, she accepted herposition as an “outsider,” not knowing how to reposition herself within the hearingcommunity. She withdrew from public places during social times, such as lunch hours,in order to avoid facing her isolation publicly. Socialisation is an essential part ofadolescent life as it fosters a sense of belonging. However, Lisa was excluded from allgroups for a multitude of reasons. One, hearing students did not know how tocommunicate with her, which points to the importance of initiating. She needed toeducate those around her, and she will likely have to do this for the rest of her life. It is areality of her hearing loss; therefore, it is essential for teachers to help equip students withthe necessary skills to do this. Opportunities for education and leadership must beopened to deaf and hard of hearing students. Teachers have the power to createopportunities, but it is ultimately up to the student to use them. Without question, the jobof the teacher is to help the student to recognise that he/she is worthwhile and capable ofcontributing. It is only then that the student will accept opportunities that come his/herway.Bourdieu (1991) and Miller (2002) argued that a person must be recognised asa legitimate member by the target community before being granted full license to operate64within that community. Lisa became invisible to her hearing peers because they wereunable to recognise her communication practices. It would require a great risk on the partof the hearing student, who is situated comfortably as a member of a dominant culture, toenter into a dialogue in which he/she is unaware of the rules. Hard of hearing studentsneed to be educated on the insecurities that exist around them, not only within them.Because Lisa displayed communication practices that situated her as “other,”she was not viewed as a legitimate owner of English. Norton (1997) quotes Leung,Harris and Rampton as saying, “there is an abstracted notion of an idealised speaker ofEnglish from which ethnic and linguistic minorities are automatically excluded”(p.123).If Lisa could not claim ownership of English, and her fluency in A.S.L. was somewhatlimited, in what culture or linguistic community could she be accepted? Linguisticminorities are often denied entrance into imagined communities, and hard of hearingindividuals who cannot claim to be legitimate owners of English nor A.S.L., suffer severeand extreme loneliness. The isolation experienced by deaf individuals is often contrastedby involvement in the deaf community. There is limited access to this community for ahard of hearing person who has a limited grasp of A.S.L. It is of no surprise that a personwith hearing loss who positions herself within the hearing community negotiates heridentity as broken’ (Mahshie et al, 2006; Evand & Falk, 1986).Nevertheless, an argument exists for the education of hard of hearing studentsin a predominantly hearing school: the larger society is hearing, and those with a hearingI am aware that “broken” is a contentious term in disability literature. However, I have deliberatelychosen to use it in this context to highlight the damage that can take place on a hard of hearing person’simage of self when educated among a hearing majority.65loss need to learn how to function within it. I learned that teachers can support theirstudents by creating a space for open dialogue. The teacher needs to initiate dialoguewith the hard of hearing student, the hearing peers, parents, and the school support team.Through this dialogue, it is integral for the teacher to learn the student’s imaginedcommunity if he/she is to play a role in helping the student to gain membership.Assuming Bourdieu’s argument to be true, one’s words are only valued if the speaker isvalued, the teacher then has to investigate ways in which to provide value to the hard ofhearing student in the eyes of the target community. The student needs to be given aposition of public leadership. It is necessary that the position is recognised, becauserecognition raises the awareness of cultural difference. In addition, it promotes the valueof the individual’s voice on a large scale. Presenting a hard of hearing student with aposition of power and leadership is not enough. When considering the potentialdiscomfort involved for a hearing individual to approach one with hearing loss, themeeting of the two is unlikely to take place unless the exchange is necessary. It becomesnecessary when the person in power has needed symbolic or material resources.To review, the teacher needs to create an environment in which 1) the hard ofhearing student is given a recognised position of leadership, 2) the hearing communitymust communicate with the hard of hearing individual out of necessity, 3) the hard ofhearing student is given symbolic or material resources to distribute, and 4) all theindividuals must share a common dream.66Lisa’s job as a dresser provided clear positions ofleadership, the actorscommunicated with her out of necessity in order toenter the stage prepared, her symbolicresources included the comfort and reassuring wordsshe offered to highly anxious andnervous actors during performance, and finally sheparticipated with a larger group toachieve the collective dream of a successful theatricalproduction.Lisa moved from seeking symbolic power to giving symbolicpower(friendship) simply because she imagined the possibility.She saw herself as beingcapable and helpful to others, yet she neededher hearing peers to recognise this in herbefore she was able to contribute to this community.Making theatre is not only a construction of a story;it is the construction of anew reality. When Lisa became a necessary figure in the productionof multiplemusicals, she became part of a culture which values the contributionsof a hard of hearingperson. Her contributions were not fictional. Lisa was no longer invisible.She was anintegral part of the play-making process, and shefound a legitimate way to participate inher school.As her teacher, I learned that Lisa’s potential surpasses the imagination ofmost. For my future hard of hearing students, I would liketo dream bigger than I didwith Lisa. I would like to see them perform on the stage, making visibleto the audience,the actors, the crew members, the teachers, the families,and to all members of thehearing community that we must take some responsibilityin the construction of “broken”67identities. We must allow our imaginations to meet the scale of those who are hard ofhearing so that our communities can reflect the diversity of those who dream to enterthem.The tension and ultimate co-existence of the hearing world and hard of hearingworld is the discovery of the third space. When Lisa could not hear the music, shedanced. When she could not hear the words, she signed. Theatre, at its best, is socialdreaming, on the stage, behind the scenes, in the audience, and outside the theatre walls.Reality is only limited by our imaginations.68Works CitedAdams, J. W. & Rohring, P.S. (2004). Handbook to Service the Deafand Hard ofHearing: A Bridge to Accessibility.San Diego, California: Elsevier AcademicPress.Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities:Reflections on the Origin and Spread ofNationalism. New York, N.Y.: Verso.Anderson, G. B. & Miller, K. R. (2004/2005).Appreciating Diversity through Storiesabout the Lives of Deaf People of Color.American Annals of the Deaf,149(5), 375-383.Boal, A. (1996). Politics, Educationand Change. In J. O’Toole & K. Donelan(Eds.),Drama, Culture and Empowerment. Brisbane,Australia: IDEA Publications.Boehm, A., & Boehm,E. (2003). Community Theatre as a Meansof Empowerment inSocial Work: A Case Study of Women’sCommunity Theatre. Journal ofSocial Work, 3(3): 283-300.Booth, D. (2003). Towards an Understandingof Theatre for Education. In K. Gallagher& D. Booth (Eds.), How Theatre Educates: Convergencesand Counterpointswith Artists, Scholars, and Advocates.Toronto, Ontario: University of TorontoPress.Bourdieu, P. (1991). Languageand Symbolic Power (G. Raymond & M.Adamson,Trans.). Cambridge, Massachusetts:Harvard University Press.Conrad, D. (2005). Rethinking ‘at-risk’in drama education: beyondprescribed roles.Research in Drama Education,10(1), 27-41.Dagenais, D. (2003). Accessing imaginedcommunities through multilingualismandimmersion education. In Y. Kanno& B. Norton (Eds.), Imagined communitiesand educational possibilities[Special issue]. Journal ofLanguage, Identity,and Education, 2(4), 269-283.Darling, N. (2005). Participation in ExtracurricularActivities and AdolescentAdjustment: Cross-Sectional andLongitudinal Findings. Journal of YouthandAdolescence, 34(5), 493-505.Eccles, J.S., Barber, B.L., Stone, M., &Hunt, 3., (2003). Extracurricular ActivitiesandAdolescent Development. Journal ofSocialIssues, Vol. 59, No. 4,pp. 865-889.69Elam, Jr., J.J., (1997). TakingIt to the Streets: The Social Protest Theatreof Luis Valdezand Amiri Baraka. Ann Arbor:The University of Michigan.Eriks-Brophy, Al, Durieux-Smith,A., Olds, J., Fitzpatrick, M., Duquette, C.&Whittingham, J. (2006). Facilitatorsand Barriers to the Inclusion of OrallyEducated Children and Youthwith Hearing Loss in Schools: PromotingPartnerships to Support Inclusion.The Volta Review, 106(1), 53-88.Evans, A. D. & Falk, W. W. (1986).Learning to be Deaf. New York,N.Y.: Moutonde Gruyter.Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogyof the Oppressed (M.B. Ramos, Trans.)(pp.27-56). NewYork: Seabury Press.Gallagher, K. (2000). Drama Education inthe Lives of Girls: Imagining Possibilities.Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Gonzalez, J. B. (2006). TemporaryStages: Departing from Traditionin High SchoolTheatre Education. Portsmouth, NH:Heinemann.Gutirrez, K. D., Baquedano-Lopez,P. & Tejeda, C. (1999). Rethinking Diversity:Hybridity and Hybrid Language Practices inthe Third Space. Mind Culture,and Activity, 6(4), 286-303.Hatton, C. (2003). Backyards andBorderlands: some reflections onresearching thetravels of adolescent girlsdoing drama. Research in Drama Education,8(2),139- 156.Heathcote, D. (1984). Teachers and Teaching.In L. Johnson and C. O’Neill(Eds.),Dorothy Heathcote: collectedwritings on education and drama.London:Hutchinson.Holcomb, T. K. (1996). SocialAssimilation of Deaf High SchoolStudents: The Role ofSchool Environment. In I. Parasnis(Ed.), Cultural and Language Diversityand the DeafExperience(pp. 18 1-198). New York: Cambridge UniversityPress.Jambor, E. & Elliott, M. (2005).Self-esteem and Coping Strategies amongDeafStudents. Journal ofDeafStudiesand DeafEducation, 10(1), 63-81.Johnston Nicholson, H., Collins, C.,& Holmer, H. (2004). Youth as People: theProtective Aspects of Youth Developmentin After-School Settings. TheANNALS of the American AcademyofPolitical and Social Science,59 1(55),55-71.Kahne, J., Nagaoka, J., Brown,A., O’Brien, J., Quinn, T., Thiede,K. (2001) Assessing70After-School Programs asContexts for YouthDevelopment. Youth andSociety. Vol. 32, No. 4, 421-446.Kanno, Y. (2003). Imaginedcommunities, school visions,and the education ofbilingualstudents in Japan. InY. Kanno & B. Norton (Eds.),Imagined communities andeducational possibilities[Special issue]. JournalofLanguage, Identity, andEducation, 2(4), 285-300.Larson, R.W., (2000).Toward a Psychologyof Positive Youth Development.AmericanPsychologist, 55(1), 170-183.Lev-Aladgem, S. &First, A. (2004). CommunityTheatre as a Site for PerformingGender and Identity. FeministMedia Studies, 4(1), 38-50.Lowe, S.S., (2000). CreatingCommunity: Art forCommunity Development.Journal ofContemporary Ethnography,29(3), 357-386.Mahshie, J., Moseley, J.J.,Lee, J., & Scott, S.M.(2006). Enhancing CommunicationSkills ofDeafand HardofHearing Children in the Mainstream.New York,N.Y.: Thomson DelmarLearning.Markus, H. & Nurius,P. (1986). Possible Selves.American Psychologist,41(9), 954-969.Miller, J. (2000). LanguageUse, Identity, and SocialInteraction: Migrant StudentsinAustralia. Researchon Language and SocialInteraction, 33(1), 69-100.Munoz-Baell, I.M.& Ruiz, M.T. (2000).Empowering the deaf.Let the deaf be deaf.Journal ofEpidemiologyand Community Health,54, 40-44.Norton, B. (1997). Language,Identity, and the Ownershipof English. TESOLQuarterly, 31(3), 409-422.Norton, B. (2000).Identity and language learning:Gender, ethnicity and educationalchange. Harlow, England:LongmanlPearson Education.Norton, B. (2006).Identity: Second language.In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopediaoflanguage and linguistics,Volume 4(2nded.)(pp.502-508). Oxford, EnglandElsevier.Norton Peirce, B. (1995).Social Identity, Investment,and Language Learning.TESOLQuarterly, 29(1), 9-31.Pavlenko, A., & Norton,B. (2007). Imagined communities,identity, and Englishlanguage teaching. InC. Davison & J. Cummins(Eds.), InternationalHandbook of English LanguageTeaching. Netherlands: KluwerAcademic71Publishers.Power, D. and Hyde, M. (2003). Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf and Hardof Hearing.Disability, Development and Education, 50(4), 385-40 1.Rutherford, J. (1990). The Third Space. Interview with Homi Bhabha.In: Ders. (Hg):Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. London: Lawrence and Wishart,207-221.Schloss, P. J., & Smith, M. A. (1990). Teaching Social Skills to Hearing-ImpairedStudents. Washington, D.C.: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.Svirsky, M., Robbins, A., iler Kirk, K., Pisoni, D.,and Miyamoto, R. (2000). LanguageDevelopment in Profoundly Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants.Psychological Science, Vol. 11, No. 2,p.153-158.Taylor, P. (1996). Doing Reflective Practitioner Research in Arts Education. In P.Taylor (Ed.), Researching Drama and Arts Education. Washington, D.C.:Falmer Press.Weisel, Al, Most, T. & Efron, C. (2005). Initiations of Social Interactions by YoungHearing Impaired Preschoolers. Journal ofDeaf Studies and Deaf Education,10(2), 161-170.Wilson, B., Finley, C., Lawson, D., Wolford, R., Eddington, D., and Rabinowitz, W.(1991). Better speech recognition with cochlear implants. Nature, 352(18),236-238.Wolff, D. (1999). Drama Behind Barbed Wire. In Rovit & Goldfarb (Eds.), TheatricalPeiformance during the Holocaust. (pp. 145-150). Baltimore: The JohnsHopkins University Press.72AppendicesAppendix A: UBC ResearchEthics Board’s Certificate ofApprovalThe University of British ColumbiaOffice of Research ServicesBehavioural Research Ethics BoardSuite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL- MINIMAL RISK RENEWALPRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: bEPARTMENT: UBC BREB NUMBER:3eorge BelliveauUBCIEducation/Lan9uae and LiteracyH07-o1 098EducationINSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT:Institution I SiteNIA N/Alther locations where the research Will be conducted:ancvrSchool Board Jules Quesnel School Maple Grove SchoolDO-INVESTIGATOR(S):Shelley HymeI3PONSORING AGENCIES:5ocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)‘ROJECT TITLE:ddressing the role of the bystander through drama in bullying situationsEXPIRY DATE OF THIS APPROVAL: June 12, 2009PPROVAL DATE: June 12, 2008The Annual Renewal for Study have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical groundsor research involving human subjects.Approval is Issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Boardand signed electronically by one of the following:Dr. M. Judith Lynam, ChairDr. Ken Craig, ChairDr. Jim Rupert, Associate ChairDr. Laurie Ford, Associate ChairDr. Daniel Salharii, Associate ChairDr. Anita Ho, Associate Chair73Appendix B: Lisa’s Consent FormTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIADepartment of Language andLiteracy Education2125 Main MallVancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z44ZTel: (604) 822-5788Fax: (604) 822-3154July 11, 2008Identity Negotiation and Community Development in an Extra-curricular Drama ProgramDear participant:As a graduate student at UBC, I am investigating the impact of extra-curricular drama activitieson students over both a short term and long term basis. I aim to learn, in particular, how youthdirectors negotiate their identities when given positions of leadership in a theatre context. Thisstudy would be conducted under the supervision of professor Dr. George Belliveau. I amproviding written information along with a formal consent form regarding the SSHRC-fundedstudy that I wish to conduct in July 2008. Examining the impact of extra-curricular dramaactivities has the potential to inform educators about the benefits that the arts may afford youngpeople as well as the obstacles that they must face. After-school programs are integral sites ofresearch as young people spend a significant amount of their time participating in these activities.The investigation proposes to better understand the community of young theatre participants thatexists at Magee.This is an invitation for you to participate in the study for two months beginning in July 2008.During the two months, you would be involved in one interview and potentially a second follow-up interview or questionnaire. You will be asked to reflect on your experiences as a student andvolunteer within the drama program at Magee.Any information pertaining to you will be kept strictly confidential, and records will be keptcarefully in locked locations at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of theproject’s investigators. All information that I collect for this study will be used for research andeducational purposes only.I am seeking your consent to take part in this study. Your consent is entirely voluntary, andthere will be no consequences if you prefer not to give your consent. You are free towithdraw from the study at any time.The Vancouver School Board and the school’s principal have given permission for this project to74be carried out at Magee. If you agree, then sign the extracopy of the consent form on page3, return it to me, and keep this original letter and formfor your own records.If you would like to have further information aboutany part of this project, or have any questionsabout it, please call George Belliveau at 604-822-8654 or emailhim at george.belliveau@ubc.ca.I, too, will do my best to answer your questions.You are welcome to contact me at 604-713-8200or email me at — ifyou have any concerns about your treatment orrights as a research participant, you may contactthe Director of Research Services at theUniversity of British Columbia at 604-822-8598.Thank you for your interest and kind cooperation.Theresa WebberM.A. candidate, Language & Literacy EducationThe research team:Principal Investigator: Dr. George Belliveau; Graduate Student ResearchAssistant: TheresaWebber75CONSENT FORMMy name is______________________________and I am willing/not willing toparticipate in the study, Identity Negotiation and Community Development in anExtra-curricular Drama Program.I understand the nature and involvement of this study and I agree to participate in thisstudy.I realize that my work may be included in presentations or publications arising from thisstudy. I understand that no information that reveals my identity will be given.I have kept a copy of this letter for my own records.Participant’s signature:DATE:__________________76Appendix C: Interview Schedule1. Could you share the history of your hearing loss?2. How did having an interpreter change your experience in high school —academically and socially?3. Describe your experience making friends at Carson.4. Describe your experience working backstage for the school musical.5. Why did you return to help backstage after you graduated from high school?6. How important is it to belong to a community of people in high school?7. What did you learn about yourself from your experience in the drama program?8. What is your identity? How would you describe yourself?9. How do you relate to the hearing community and the hard of hearing community?10. Is there anything that you would like to add that I haven’t thought of asking?77Appendix D: Emergent ThemesDeaf and Hard of Hearing CommunityHearing CommunityPost-secondary LifeContributionsHearing HistoryTechnologyFollow the leaderGuessingCommunication with ParentsFrustrationSign LanguageFriendshipSpeechHome SchoolingSoundsPhysical TraumaInterpreterNew WorldFound CommunicationLife Changing MomentsAngerIsolationLack of ControlFrustrationLonelinessEscapeKid ResponsibilitiesLisa’s ResponsibilitiesVoiceCourageDiscoveryCategoriesIdentityHigh School CommunityPeer CounsellingPowerCoping StrategiesPeers AdaptingPeers in StressParticipationInvolvementImagined Community78Invisible GirlImaginationSocial DreamingThird SpaceIn/visibilityResistanceWho is Lisa?Pay It ForwardEnvyBelongingTn-BetweenDo I Have To Choose an Identity?FutureExplorationCommunity“Being There”ConnectionsExistenceFloatingFearsWalls/BarriersOutsiderMeaningful Relationship79


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