Sunday, March 31, 2013
This journal is for Friday the 22nd. Today was the last day of my brutal experiment and I cannot lie, I was pumped. I was pumped in the way that you get when you found out Jersey Shore got canceled. Like really really really excited. I remember laying in bed on that Friday thinking, 'yes, todays the last day, I can do it'. I thought one last day would be pretty easy and in a way it was. I went to my two Friday classes like always. I sat through Ethics class popping evil balloons, with dart throwing monkeys so I could save the world in Bloons Defense Tower. Ironic that I was playing a game on my phone in Ethics class. It was pretty easy not to talk while I was distracted. Yeah I had questions and thoughts I wanted to express, but I dismissed them and continued with my game. In spanish where she didn't allow phones I spent the day playing hangman and connect four on paper, with my friend Rob. I had plenty of thoughts and ideas I would have liked to say and express during my classes, but knew I couldn't, and didn't feel like being a burden so I stayed quiet. As long as I could express my thoughts the next week I knew things would be all right. It wasn't my fault that I couldn't talk and it was something I choose to do. Something I thought that in all honesty would be easy. And in all honesty, by the end of the experiment staying quiet was easy. But it was only because the silence had beaten me. It was easy because I didn't even try to express my thoughts on the last day. I had given up talking. I had given up being a burden. In silence I was only a burden to myself and my mental state. In expression I was a burden to all. It was a simple choice, to simply keep to myself. If this wasn't an experiment and I was truly a mute...I wouldn't make it. I wouldn't be strong enough to even try to be honest. Zombie apocalypse? I could totally handle it. Being quiet? Totally hosed.
This post is for 3/28/13 which was Thursday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I only have one, two hour class to stay silent in. That one simple class is Physics which is normally perfect because our professor has three days of lecture then one day of lab. The three days of lecture make it simple for the most part to stay silent in, but today we had a lab. For our lab we were to create some atom structures using toothpicks and marshmallows(of which I ate 3 hehe). The lab was somewhat simple and my three group members didn't need my help so I sat and watched. After finishing the first experiment we were asked to write a thesis on our opinions of global warming. My group was in heavy debate because the two girls (who believed global warming to be a myth) were arguing with the other guy (who believes global warming to be very real). It was pretty normal for them to disagree and yell at each other..and pretty comical. Soon they turned towards me and asked what my opinion was. Of course I would've agreed with my fellow man, but I couldn't speak. I held my finger up as if to gesture one moment then dug through my bag. They asked what I was doing with a huff. So I pulled out my notebook and wrote 'I can't talk for a few days for my WRT class'. They looked and asked why, but quickly grew impatient with how long it was taking me to write my thoughts so they said never mind. They wrote my name at the top of the sheet when we were done, but they weren't really my thoughts. It was frustrating to be honest. Normally I don't mind people doing work for me, I really don't. But I absolutely hated the idea of words on paper saying that I thought 'this' when really I thought 'that'. If they had just given me time to write as opposed to treating me like a burden I could've expressed my real opinion, but noooooo. They had no time to wait and it made me more than frustrated, that I was the burden in our group.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Today is Wednesday the 27th. Today is another day of silence. Today will probably be the day I go crazy. Up until today I really have not had any extreme difficulties with keeping quiet in class. The days prior I was able to just occupy my time that I normally spent talking, with things like my cell phone, facebook, or just doodling. Today is also the first day that I've been forced to be quiet while I have been stressed out and I really think that is why it's so much harder today. There are so many thoughts going through my head that normally I can vent out to someone, but today is a day when I cannot. I could, sure, write them out and show them to someone, but it wouldn't have the same effect and wouldn't show my frustration. Not being able to talk about the things that are stuck in my head is driving me near crazy. I can hear it echo'ing even now. Ex-girlfriend, homework due tonight at midnight, homework due tomorrow, pledge week, my best friend has cancer, and lots of how am I going to do this all. In every single one of my classes today at one point or another I desperately wanted to speak, whether it was legitimate or whether I had the simple urge to say something obnoxious. Instead of venting out my thoughts I have been having to write them down almost like a 'To Do' list to get the thoughts out of my head. The effect of stress with not talking isn't really something I thought about dealing with when I initially took this project up. I am fairly certain if I was stuck not being able to express my thoughts forever, I would have to check myself into an insane asylum.
I'm doing this journal for Tuesday the 26th. I choose this to be the day that I would go for a full day without talking at all because I wasn't working and only had one class. In class I fell asleep with ease which allowed me to not have to deal with not being able to talk. After class though I was on my way home and decided I wanted a drink so I tried stopping at a drive through. After pulling up to the drive through order speaker I realized I wasn't allowed to talk. This made me feel pretty stupid and so I had to drive away without saying anything. Because I couldn't get a drink I decided to go to kroger across the street. After walking in I couldn't find the gatorade isle so I attempted to ask a worker where the isle was. I quickly realized when he started signing to me that he was deaf. He pointed to his ear and shook his head to show that he couldn't hear me. I wasn't sure what to say or even try to communicate because I couldn't sign back, but I also could not say what I wanted too. Since I couldn't sign I made a drinking hand gesture and so he started signing back to me again. It was really frustrating and I really wanted to apologize and walk away. But I wanted to apologize not for wasting his time, but that this is an issue that he deals with on a daily basis. I couldn't though. I couldn't express my thoughts and got frustrated and left. Driving back home I forgot the drink and went straight home. I couldn't stop thinking about how I couldn't even communicate the simple thought of sorry.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Friday March 22nd was my first day doing my experiment. I am updating my blog today solely because I realized I never wrote down the initial password and email that I used to create the first account, so I was forced to create a new one. Day one of my experiment was...a surprise. In many ways I thought that this task would be an easy one. Especially considering on a daily basis I know people who never talk in their classes, how hard could it be for me? In classes I found it less the difficult to contain my thoughts, but when on campus (not in class), I had a more than rough time. Normally between classes I socialize with friends, but it was too hard to keep up with them without my words being spoken. In place of spoken words I tried to use a notebook and sharpie to express my thoughts, but by the time I had finished writing my sentence the topic had moved on. It made me feel a bit sad that I couldn't participate, but even more than sad it had made me feel alone. Even though I stood with friends, my voice was not heard, but the conversation would still go on. I decided to dismiss the thoughts from my head and move on. I went to my Spanish class after my short break and simply avoided the questions as I would any other day. After class I usually go to the "Teke Corner", where my fraternal brothers generally meet up to socialize, but I knew communicating would again be a problem or at the very least a hassle for those who I tried to talk too, so I went home for the day. Whence at home I could speak again, but it did make me wonder about mute people. Do they feel the loneliness I felt today, on a daily basis? How could anyone deal with that?
Hello my name is Andrew Bismack. I'm a 18 year old male who lives with his wonderful family and dog in Rochester Hills. I work four days a week and attend school at Oakland University. My hobbies include tennis, snowboarding, larping, video games, and being a stereotypical closet nerd. I'm doing this experiment because I am honestly curious what being a mute person would be like. Perhaps through understanding their daily struggles I can help be a voice for their issues. My experiment is going to be that I will not speak and instead use a notebook for my thoughts, just as a mute person would. I will enact this experiment anytime I am on Oakland Universities campus for that specific week. I will also choose one day (probably one where I don't work so I don't get fired) where for the entire day I will be a mute person. In truth I think at school it won't be that difficult because I could simply not talk, but I think during the one full day I might go crazy without being able to talk.