Let me tell you about my story

By Deibyn  |   From : Guatemala  |   School : Horace Mann School for the Deaf

Hello, my name is Deibyn. I’m from Guatemala. I’m a sophomore at The Horace Mann School for the Deaf. 


In my ILA project, we were asked to choose an animal that matched us. I chose a mole because they are always looking for ways to keep safe and protect themselves.


Let me tell you about my story, to show you why I chose that animal:


In Guatemala, when I was 3 and 4 years old, I remember having a good life with my family. We would always be together, celebrating and having parties. We’d often go out, whether it was shopping or out to eat at a restaurant. My parents were very generous with us, providing us with gifts, like clothing and other things. They were alway very nice to us, never upset or angry. We were a very tight knit family, and that made me very happy.


I remember around that period going to school for the first time with my sister. My parents dropped us off and I sat down in class. All of the students looked at me and were talking. I didn’t understand what they were saying. My sister told all of the students that I was Deaf, and couldn’t hear what they were saying. They went back to what they were doing, then the teacher started speaking to the class. I was watching her present but didn’t understand what she was saying. I tried to read her lips but that was difficult. She noticed I looked confused so she stopped class and asked me what was wrong. My sister explained to her that I was Deaf and couldn’t hear.


The teacher now understood and she paused the class. She requested another staff to come and support me in the classroom. That staff member worked with me to help me understand what the teacher was saying. That person didn’t know how to sign, so they would draw pictures to help me understand the lesson. For example, she’d draw houses and animals if that’s what was being discussed in class. It went on like this for the rest of the day, and it was okay. I was understanding a little more of what was going on.


Later that night, when I was sleeping in bed, I was woken suddenly. It was my parents. They told me to get up quickly. It was an earthquake. I could feel the shaking. They took me and my sister under the doorway to be safe. The earthquake continued to rumble and shake my house. When it was over, my house was still standing, but I was afraid. I didn’t want to die. I loved my family and didn’t want to lose them.


Soon after, we opened the door to look outside. There was so much damage. Everything looked ripped up, and there were trees down everywhere. It was a really scary moment for us.


Another major moment in my life was when my father passed away. He had a heart attack. I remember crying and going to his services, his funeral, and him being laid to rest. That brought me to tears.


I had sad days after that, then I remember my mom telling me that Guatemala wasn’t a good fit anymore. It wasn’t a safe place for us, especially with the continuing threat of earthquakes. She said we need to go to a better place: America. So we eventually made the move and flew here. With some time, we all got used to it here. My mom searched and found a Deaf school: The Horace Mann School for the Deaf. She found another school in Boston for my sister. It was mostly hearing students because my sister is hearing. 


I remember that first day I came into HMS. I was blown away. Everyone was signing! People were coming up to me and signing, trying to chat with me. I didn’t understand any of what they were saying. After that, I worked with a teacher who taught me ASL, then I started to pick it up, After a lot of lessons and tons of practice, I eventually did it: I was a fluent signer! Now, I can communicate with others, and it’s the best feeling being Deaf. It’s inspiring being with other Deaf people. We’re always chatting and having fun with each other. It makes me so proud!


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