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"The soul that can speak through the eyes, can also kiss with a gaze."
~Gustav Adolfo Becquer

Making my Italian-ness

>> Thursday, January 10, 2008

Work for me.

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Question: If you ever want to get me to stop talking, what would you need to do??




Give up yet?





Answer: Simple.

Just hold my hands.

Yes, there are a *few* characteristics that I have that would be considered stereotypical traits of my Mediterranean Heritage. Talking with my hands is definitely one of them.

This is something I've learned to accept. I have even been affectionately teased by my own family members about this. (TRAITORS YOU ALL!!!) I recall a time, several years ago being at my mom's house. Several of my siblings were there, among them, my older brother M. I remember telling a story of some sort, when M. started to bust my chops about being so animated with my hands. Of course he had to be a bit dramatic about it by walking over to me grabbing my hands and asking me to continue,
which of course, I could not.

Anyway, not to be undone by this, I pushed him away, shoved both my hands in my front pockets of my jeans and continued.
(I'll show him, damn it!)

About 4 minutes into my story, M. just about rolls on the floor roaring with laughter, spewing out "Look at her hands!" between gasps of laughter.

Lo and Behold, as he said that, I suddenly had a burst of self-awareness, and had realized that though both my hands were still in my pockets, my thumbs had wiggled out and were doing their own little dance.


Even my own body betrayed me!

I couldn't even continue with my story 'cause I was laughing hysterically.
At my self.
My own 'Italian-ness'.
And certainly my own human-ness. :)

And it's a damn good thing I'm able to laugh at myself.


What does my tendency to talk with my hands have to do with making it work for me???

Well, for those who may not have been long time readers of me, I work in a Mental Health Clinic. About a year ago, I had begun seeing a client who is deaf. Obviously, I have established a collaborative effort with an interpreter.
This has been a very unique experience for me, as it was all so new. It felt odd to have someone else in the room with me sitting halfway behind me interpreting in American Sign Language (ASL). At first, it felt almost like my client was 'throwing her voice', as I was looking directly at her, but all verbal communication was coming from behind my right ear. I was also distracted at times with my awareness that someone was flailing their arms and gesturing behind me. I further was concerned if anything was being lost in translation or how her emotions may or may not be distorted, coming 3rd party.
And lastly, how comfortable my client would be talking about the intimate aspects of her life, with a 3rd party in the room.
My last concern turned out to be for naught, after discovering this interpreter and my client have a long history together. Good!
Anyway, I have since become used to this, and the interpreter and I are on fairly familiar terms with each other.
This has been a huge learning experience for me, to learn more about dynamics with in the Deaf Community in this area, which is very small, so everyone knows each other.
The other thing I learned, and this has created financial loss for the agency I work for, is that according to The American Disabilities Act (ADA) The agency, organization, or company providing a service of any sort for a deaf person is fully and totally financially responsible for providing for interpreter services. It's a Federal Law.
So, basically, What this client's insurance pays for, for my service, is automatically used to pay for this interpreter. There is absolutely no money made.
What makes this even worse, if my client Late Cancels (short of a 24 hr. notice), we are still charged for the interpreter. We actually have to 'pay out' when she does not show. Grrrrr.

Because I have been working with this client and an interpreter, apparently, my name is starting to circulate within this deaf community. I've recently had someone contact me via email, requesting my services, as they have 'heard' I work with deaf people.
One person.
I've worked with one person.
That does not constitute (in my eyes anyway) being proficient with this clientele.

Anyway, my director had been having talks with the director of this other service and had just put out an email to me and the rest of my colleagues letting us know they were 'looking' for a therapist who would be interested in being fully trained in ASL.

I read the email, opened my office door and stepped out into the hallway to see my director walking towards me with a smile on her face and a questioning look in her eye.
It appears she would like me to do this, as I am already accustomed to the dynamics involved, and my name is already being put out there.
This way, we won't have to contract out for an interpreter. Financially, it's a very smart move.
My director did say though....If I decide I'd like to do this, I can never leave! (She said that with a half-pleading look on her face.) ACK!!!

An Italian therapist + full training in ASL = an Italian Sign Language therapist with increased marketability


I'm thinking about this. *says that with her hands firmly on keyboard.*


21 Reflections:

FosterDad 9:20 PM, January 10, 2008  

hmmmm...a signing therapist...oops...a signing Italian about having something lost in the translation! You will definitely have to really concentrate on your signing or you may just say something that you shouldnt! hehe

Kim 8:38 AM, January 11, 2008  

I talk with my hands, too, although I don't know sign. You'd think I'd know sign, wouldn't you? Believe it or not, none of us know it. If our son had been born, say 15 years earlier, then we'd most likely know it, but he was born at a perfect time so we never had to learn it, which is actually good....I suck at languages! I love technology. :-)

The Uneasy Supplicant 9:15 AM, January 11, 2008  

Being French, I can thoroughly understand where you are coming from!
An Italian Sign Language therapist. Hey, sounds good to me :-)

The Thrifty Blogger 5:44 PM, January 11, 2008  

Lol, halfway through reading that, I was going to suggest you learn it, but you beat me to it!

Deaf people are very interesting to me. A few things I have learned, be careful when walking up behind them, you can scare the crap out of them, always make your presence known; and a lot of them are pretty scared of dogs, and why wouldn't they be? They can't hear them, only see them moving towards them or coming up behind them fast. Yikes! But some have trained dogs too, that they use. The dogs must be allowed everywhere too.

Some neat things I find are the flashing lights they use for a telephone, or for a doorbell, and a shaking bed alarm clock.

Rolando 11:16 AM, January 12, 2008  

Hey ZZ, sounds like a match made in Heaven to me. I just hope you don't accidentally make some other gesture while you are signing with your client, lol.

You better learn how to sign 'I'm Italian, what can I say' :)

The Thrifty Blogger 5:32 PM, January 12, 2008  

Some signs are SO easy to convey, eh? ;)

Brunetta 2:10 AM, January 13, 2008  

What do you call an Italian with his hands in his pockets?


What do you call an Italian with one arm shorter then the other?

An Italian with a speech impediment

Take it from me- she can carry on a conversation without saying a word. It's All in the Hands.
Sometimes I can't even hear what she is saying because I am focused on watching her gesticulating wildly!
A word of caution....leave a good deal of maneuvering space between her and you.
Love ya, Sis!

Billiam 4:24 PM, January 14, 2008  

Here's the link to that Claire Martin CD. Thought you might like it thinking back to the Saratoga Jazz Fest post. Hope you're well.

Greeneyezz 7:28 PM, January 15, 2008  

Bill - Wow! Very Good Memory!
I downloaded it and listened to it last night. She's got a decent voice. She's also pretty mellow, which will fit in at work quite well. I leave Carlos Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughn at home where I can crank it up! (I'm *always* listening to music in my office when I'm not in session.)

It's funny, I had a great memory that made me smile when I downloaded Guns N Roses 'Appetite for Destruction'.
When my old college roommate got married, she didn't use the Traditional "Daddy's Little Sweetheart" song for the Father/Daughter Dance, but went with her favorite - "Sweet Child O' Mine". Her father was great with it, such a trooper about it and actually danced quite well to that song!
It was the first thing I thought of when I saw that download.

Mmmmmmm... *Scratches head thoughtfully* I wonder what song Kensington will decide upon, if she goes that route, in say, 25-30 years!! :)


delmer 6:47 PM, January 16, 2008  

This explains why the none of the Italians were screaming on Expedition Everest today ... we'd been told to keep our hands and arms in the car at all times.

Screaming would obviously involve a lot of arm waving.

Kim 8:47 PM, January 16, 2008  

Delmer! You're at Disney?!!? OHHHH! I wish I were with you! How long will you be there? Are you staying on property? If so, go to Port Orleans - just take Disney transportation, to see the show by Bob Jackson. He's incredibly funny! I just checked his website, and it seems he'll be there tonight, tomorrow, the 19th, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 30th and 31st. Here's his website:

His show is really'll love it! Tell him I sent you! ;-)

Kim 8:48 PM, January 16, 2008  

PS: His shows are from 8:30 - midnight. Be prepared to be part of the show!

Kim 11:08 AM, January 17, 2008  

Hmmm...I left the same post on Delmer's blog, but he must have assumed it was spam because he didn't post it. Oh well. Hope you're having a good time at Disney.

Greeneyezz 12:19 PM, January 17, 2008  


Hey Kim, Actually, Delmer is no longer in Disney World. He and his children are now, for the last part of his vacation, are on a Cruise. So, my guess is that he didn't get the chance to check out that act you had mentioned.
Also, regarding your post on his site, if you had included a link to it, I think he has a default setting (for comments with links) to moderate it first before posting. He probably hasn't accessed his email yet.

And Delmer???

Say hello to Kim,
AKA: DisneyKid!
I hope you are enjoying yourself and may your navel be 'lint-free' for all those slurping jello shots! ;)~~


Kim 12:42 PM, January 17, 2008  

But, but, but....he made post yesterday saying he was at Disney on property and 2 people have responded to it today which means he checked his email! He hates me and he doesn't even know me! LOL! Oh well. I'm guess he didn't know who I was so he just deleted it. :-) And yeah...DisneyKid...that has to tell ya something. ;-)

Greeneyezz 12:50 PM, January 17, 2008  


I responded to you in my playroom.


Kim 5:01 PM, January 17, 2008  

Sigh. And now 4, yes FOUR people have posted comments on his blog....TODAY! Hmph. See if I try to be helpful again! ;-)

Kim 8:03 AM, January 18, 2008  

A link? Ummmm....I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about. I made a comment, hit post and got a message saying it had to be moderated or something. What do you mean, link? A link to what? Oh you mean a link to Bob's site? Are you saying messages won't go through if you link to another site? Hmmm. Perhaps that could be it.

We had some neighbors who moved about a year or so ago, and they were the Jello shot people! If you went to their house you were offered a jello shot. If there was a party, they brought jello shots. On Halloween they loaded a wagon up with jello shots and handed them out to all the adults wandering around with small children. They quickly became known as the jello shot people!

delmer 8:08 PM, January 20, 2008  

Kim ... (Greeneyezz, please excuse me for using your blog as an e-mail client), something is wrong with my blog and I haven't been able to check it (just got off the Disney boat today). But, it sounds like you had a web address in your comment and it was automatically sent to moderation.

* * *

As for the Jell-O shots, well, acting as park and cruise director for three boys cuts into a lot of the potential slurping-from-the-navel time.

Billiam 1:33 AM, January 21, 2008  

Perhaps I will Post some Stevie or Carlos soon. Hope you're doing well :) My new contributor is planning on posting the complete Satriani Discography. "Surfing with the alien" is my personal favorite.Take care, ZZ!!!!

Greeneyezz 4:53 PM, January 21, 2008  

Bill -

Perhaps I will Post some Stevie or Carlos soon.

Now you're talking! ;)
My cell phone rings to Oye Como Va.

BTW - I tagged you for a meme. (I don't know if you ever post anything else on your site aside from music.) (Actually, I know that's not true....I've already seen a few Chick Pics.) ;)~~

Anyway, It's short and easy to do. *hmmmmm scratches head and wonders if Bill will do this* ;)


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