Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

I turned 16 on Monday, then got my license on Thursday. As great as it was having the day off of school (since my birthday also happened to fall on Labor Day), being sick put a bit of a damper on things. I went to the DPS on Thursday, since it was a Jewish holiday and I didn't want to have to miss school twice. Stood in line for 2 hours (starting at 7 AM..way too early!), and then made an appointment to take my driving test at noon. While in line, we chatted with a guy who was a year or two older than me (he was getting his license renewed) who also had hearing aids. I don't know know of his hearing background, but as far as I know he is completely oral, and if his hearing aids hadn't been visible I probably would have had no idea he had a hearing loss. We discussed whether or not to get hearing-related restrictions on my license, and he said that he didn't put anything about his hearing loss on the form when he went to get his. In the end, we told the person who was creating my license (which only flustered the poor lady further-it was her first time giving a license and it took her forever to figure out how to work everything on the computer!)

When I came back later to take the driving test, I was terrified.  All of the people who were taking the driving test had to line up in their cars in a certain spot, and the person testing would come out to you. There were about 6 of us in line, and I was 2nd. The first instructor/testing person came out, a jolly large old man who seemed quite friendly, and walked over two the first car. I thought to myself,  "Maybe it's not that bad!" Then, another person walked out and began making her way out towards my car. An audible gasp could be heard from my mother's mouth- this woman looked miserable, and I'm pretty sure if I'd been in a movie, they would have played that haunting music they play when the villain reveals herself! It didn't help that she insisted in speaking in her one-step-above-a-whisper voice. The test itself didn't last longer than 15 minutes, and I ensured that I didn't fail for "Not following directions" by repeating every single direction she gave me to verify I heard her right. I wouldn't say it was a joyride, and I wasn't quite flawless, but I passed and did well and I now have a license, so I have no complaints!

 On Friday I had my birthday part. It was a "sweets" party (get it? "Sweet Sixteen" Clever, right? ;)) and we spent 2 of the 3 hours in 2 teams "competing" by having a cake decorating competition. I was actually surprised at how artistic some of my friends are! There was no winner or prize, but it was a lot of fun.  Instead of gifts, I told my friends that I would love donations for the Dallas Hearing Foundation. We raised $300, and I know it was for a great cause! Here are some pictures:
This was a cake we ordered, we're not quite that talented at decorating. Isn't it beautiful?!
This was the table of sweets. Not all of the food was out yet, but I still think it's so pretty!
Cake decorating supplies

Team 1's cake

Team 2's Cake
Hearing is great! At the beginning of my party I began to regret having 16 already loud and hyper girls, who were also now on a sugar rush, all decorating and talking in one room, since it began to get so noisy that even my friends had  to ask for more repeats than usual. I then gestured my mom for my remote, quickly put it on the Zoom setting, and was able to hear fine for the rest of the evening!


  1. Just one pearl of wisdom: you likely to get some sort of a document that is part of a signing spree that has started in many parts of the world by the deaf community to ensure that media houses make captions free and available for all forms of visual entertainment...please sign one and yes, the Cakes look real good, so sad that this is my "cut back on calories" week!

  2. Bonne anniversaire! (Did I spell that right? I'm so rusty!) So glad to hear about the driving test (despite the stress!) and the great party -- and what a wonderful idea to raise money for DHF. And I'm sure your parents are just as excited about the driving license as you are -- my parents were delighted when I got mine and they could stop driving me everywhere! Oh, and I hope you had a good Rosh Hoshana. (Probably didn't spell that right, either....)

  3. Anubhav- I will definitely sign it if I come across it!

    Thanks Julia! I do believe you spelled both correctly :) I wouldn't say my mom is too excited about the idea of me driving myself- she is a nervous wreck! She's making me let her follow me (in a separate car) to school for the first few mornings to make sure I am able to park in the really busy/crowded/disorganized school parking lot. I get to go home all alone, though. It's scary, but oh so exciting!

  4. Happy Birthday! I have to say, 16 is one of the most exciting ones ever!

    I saw that first picture before reading the caption and was blown away. Then I read that it was professional! Your cakes are great too. Much better than the sad things I make.

    Your profile is finally going on this Sunday. I wanted to run the title by you - I have them titled: Hearing Loss Profile then each person's name. Can you think of something better?

  5. Those look really, really good. Which team were you on and how in the world did you guys know how to make the blue roses?!

  6. Just came over after reading my wife's blog and your guest post (Big Teeth and Clouds). Such a great post. I'm so glad you have the confidence to advocate for yourself and not be held back in the least. I hope my daughter can talk about it that way you can when she is 16. Happy Birthday.


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