Today was all about finishing up a personal statement for an award. The paper is not even for a class. After walking to work and finishing up some projects, I went right into the personal paper that was due at 5pm. Writing and expressing my thought is my weakness and so when I was finishing up, I really needed to read my paper out loud so I can edit, but I couldn’t. I only moved by mouth to say the words but with no sound. I caught myself whispering and I stopped myself. By the time for my late class, I was wiped out. I only did minimal work and left as soon as I can. Only 4 more weeks of school.
As I walked to work in the morning, a group of students in a booth asked me about the taped. I handed some note cards to three of them and continue walking. They said to come buy some popcakes and I gave them a thumbs up while walking. I meant to do an Ok sign but I was in a hurry. I always have a thumbs up and so it was automatic. Lately, people have been asking me how long am I going to wear the tape, or how many more days. Even I lost count too. I hold up 8 finger but I think I did that yesterday, so that means today was suppose to be 7 days left.
I worked later in the afternoon helping students with softwares such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator but I emailed my professor how I can help without talking. Eventually, we just started texting each other because it was easier compare to writing down everything. I still went to work and finished that personal statement. I saw a student’s hand rise and I look across making eye contact and gesture to her if she had a question. I usually help her but this time she said “..ummmmmmmmmm……….I was going to ask about the softwares …….” Another student next to her jumped in to help her. I thought I was going to be able to help but I guess not. I thought about writing down instructions when a student needed help but that was not realistic. People don’t have that much patience.
Again in my late class, I have to communicate with my group. At this point, I just work alone at the moment and only write if it was necessary for me to ask. Sometimes I get too comfortable and I forget that people can’t read my mind. And they would remind me again that they don’t understand my gesture and muffled sound. They asked how many days and was impressed when I had my 8 fingers up. They said that they can not go on without talking even for a day. A classmate said she have to talk. I was wondering if they knew what I was doing this for, even though I had given them the note card the first week. I knew that some people will not look at my website or even read the notecard but It feels strange that people praise me and are impressed with my silences without knowing the real meaning. It’s not about how long I can go for without talking, its about me physically silencing myself. Haven’t they stop to think about why am I doing this? Why this topic?
I think today confirm somethings about the taped stories project. I think people don’t understand what I am really trying to do and what I am asking of them. I thought that if people are curiosity enough, then they will search through my website. I thought that my family and friends will do that but I was wrong. And so for them, I finally wrote about the symbolic of the taped on here and Facebook, and many people responded.
My sisters finally read my story and posts, which I have given them my note cards and provided my website right when I started. I understand that I didn’t tell them much but I was hoping they look into the website, which I felt explain most it. But today, just a couple hours ago, my sister told me that she read my story. My sister came in into my bedroom and wanted to talk. Her eyes were red. I think she cried when she read my story. She wanted to know more and asked how was I doing. I avoided her by giving her a thumbs up. She open her arms and said she want to hug me but I moved away. I didn’t want to get emotional too. For the first time of these past week, I was thankful that I couldn’t talk because I didn’t want to talk about it now. I knew there was going to be many questions but I was not ready yet. She said that the other sisters are talking about it on Facebook messenger and I briefly looked at the messages. And I comment “oh, so yall all finally read it lmao…” And then not even 15 minute or so, another sister dropped by and said that she finally read my story (she was the one who said that she do not want to read my story yet because it may change her view on me). She said she didn’t know. She asked more about the story and I didn’t really give her an answer. I didn’t know if I should tell her that the sister that was with me that one night was her. If she reads this, then she will know. It seems like she forgotten.
Now, one of my friend is texting me saying she read my story and some of my reflection posts. She apologized for make a joke about making the decision since I can’t talk. I told her that I know she doesn’t mean any harm and that I understand that my tape and not talking may have been uncomfortable for people and so people have to joke about it.
As my days of silences are coming to an end, I am getting ready for the weekend, where I will go home and spend some time with my family. In some of my first post here before I started, I talked briefly of what I fear most of this projects. It is the reaction, response from my peers, friends and family. And if there is no reaction, that too is terrifying.