Transcript – Sounds of Silence

00:00 – 4:45
Fade in: cafeteria noise

00:20 – 00:28
“…not just planning ahead but also taking account of what has already been said and what is
currently happening…”

00:28 – 00:38
Airplane…Baseball…Sidewalk…Hotdog…Cowboy…Ice Cream…

00:38 – 00:57
Mild hearing loss—sixteen to twenty-nine decibels; experiences difficulty hearing faint sounds or speech
from a distance; preferential seating is important; individual may benefit from speech reading
instruction—possibility of benefiting from an aid.

00:57 – 1:11
“…constantly on “red alert”, concentrating, neck tensed, eyes ever watchful, listening hard if
possible, straining for clues from facial expressions and gestures, context and so on…”

1:11 – 1:22
Airplane…Baseball…Sidewalk…Hotdog…Cowboy…Ice Cream…

1:22 – 1:42
Moderate hearing loss: thirty to forty-four decibels. Has the ability to understand conversational speech
at a distance of 3 to 5 feet. Can benefit from a hearing aid, auditory training, speech reading, and speech
therapy—attention also must be given to preferential seating.

1:42 – 2:53
hearing aid squeal

1:55 – 2:27
Airplane…Baseball…Sidewalk…Hotdog…Cowboy…Ice Cream…

1:22 – 1:42
Moderate hearing loss: thirty to forty-four decibels. Has the ability to understand conversational speech
at a distance of 3 to 5 feet. Can benefit from a hearing aid, auditory training, speech reading, and speech
therapy—attention also must be given to preferential seating.

1:42 – 2:53
hearing aid squeal

1:55 – 2:27
Airplane…Baseball…Sidewalk…Hotdog…Cowboy…Ice Cream…

2:27 – 2:52
Moderately severe hearing loss: forty-five to fifty-nine decibels. Conversation will not be heard unless it is
loud. Individual experiences difficulty participating in group discussions. This person will benefit from allof the above services; particular attention should be given to enhanced language instruction and possibly a class for the deaf and hard of hearing.

2:52 – 3:07
Around the dinner table are family and guests. The table’s rectangular; everyone sits beside and
across from one another. Normally I pick up the conversation closest to me because it’s the
easiest to understand.

3:07 – 3:26
Severe hearing loss: sixty to seventy-nine decibels. May identify environmental noises and loud sounds;
can hear a loud voice about one foot from the ear; may distinguish vowels but not consonants; need the
services of special education classes designed for the deaf.

3:26 – 3:45
To listen to the conversation at the other end of the table would mean turning my head,
reading everyone’s lips—or trying to—finding out what they’re talking about, while at the same
time trying to ignore the other conversation and the clank of dinnerware and trying to find a
place to jump in…participate.

3:45 – 3:57
“This “always calculate” state never ends and continues through life, a treadmill where one is
competing to understand and keep up, like a hamster caught in its play wheel.”

3:57 – 4:12
Profound hearing loss: Eighty or greater decibels. Does not rely on hearing for primary means of
communication; may hear some loud sounds—needs the services of special education classes for the
deaf.”

4:12 – 4:15
“Like a hamster caught in its play wheel.”

4:15 – 4:33
Suddenly, the conversation shifts and everyone’s involved, all putting in their two cents’ worth, what
they think, their opinions—too fast for me to follow…I can’t keep up. Everyone laughs…except for me.
“What happened?” I ask.
“It’s nothing important.”

4:33 – 4:36
“Like a hamster caught in its play wheel.”

4:36 – 4:52
I would insist, but the moment has passed. To get it now would make things awkward—I’d be
the only one laughing. Odd one out…again. Next time I just won’t ask; spare myself the
embarrassment, the impatient glares.

4:45
Fade out: cafeteria noise

4:50 – 5:00
Fade in: “…left its seeds while I was sleeping/and the vision that was planted…” fade out