Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nashville Weekend & Nashville Deaf and HOH Library

Me & Jennifer (or is it Jennifer and I?)
I had a quick whirlwind trip to Nashville for the TCDHH meeting and had a great time visiting with Jennifer and relatives. It takes me three hours to drive to Nashville and it was hard with the rain, fog, & truck drivers. Jennifer and I met at the Doubletree Hotel at the same time and wasted no time catching up on each other's news & doings. After we got settled in the room, we walked several blocks to the Melting Pot for dinner and had a nice, long & relaxing meal. If you've never been to the Melting Pot or done fondue, it is a treat! It was a little dark in there for conversation but Jennifer and I did just fine. I had trouble seeing the waiter through the steam that was rising from the fondue pot in the middle of our table so Jennifer did most of the talking to him - imagine that! Walking back to the hotel was a little unnerving for me because it was getting dark and several homeless people tried to stop us or talk to us. Walking in the dark and strangers do not mix for me and we quickened our step and hurried back to the hotel. Nashville is a great town to visit during the daytime but is not really all that safe at night unless you are walking with someone or a group. Next time we'll eat at the hotel!

Jennifer and I stayed up late talking until almost midnight. Jennifer likes to go to sleep watching TV so we turned it on and quickly realized that it didn't work! We could hear the sound coming from it but the screen was blank. We tried everything to get it to work but only had the universal remote and the buttons on the TV were worthless. If we weren't in our pajamas, we would have gone down to the lobby and said something but it was too late and we were tired so we turned it off. I did mention it to the front desk the next morning and they apologized, offering us a free breakfast. We really didn't have time because we had to walk several blocks to the meeting. I love staying at the Doubletree Hotel and if they had had more time, I'm sure they would have fixed our TV situation for us. Anyway, we made it just in time with our Starbucks drinks in hand! (We could have driven but had already paid for valet parking at the hotel and would have had to pay for parking at the library. A little exercise never hurt anyone!)

This was the 30th anniversary of the Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing so it was a special meeting held at the Nashville Public Library. The Council meeting went well and we heard reports from members and the various agencies around the state of Tennessee. There is a lot going on behind the scenes for the deaf and hard of hearing. The Council consists of 11 members which are representative of different groups and organizations around the state. I love hearing about what is going on and am looking for opportunities to help or support these different groups. The meetings are interpreted and transcribed, which is great because no one misses out on what is being said. One of my tasks is to review and change the Bylaws for the Council. They haven't been changed since 2001 and needed some revisions. We could not vote on my recommendations because we didn't have a quorum so that will be set aside for the next meeting. Jennifer was fascinated with the whole meeting and it certainly was not boring! We had a photo session afterward and Jennifer ended up using her camera because she had the only good camera available!
Tennessee Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
30th Anniversary Picture
This was also the 30th Anniversary of the Nashville Library Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services. After the meeting was over, Sandy Cohen (she is the short lady in black with the white shirt in the above picture), gave us a tour. This is the largest library for the deaf & hard of hearing in the United States. There is not another one like it. Sandy has spent 30 years collecting and organizing this section of the library and it is WONDERFUL! She has equipment, books, magazines, and every publication and gadget available for anyone in the state of Tennessee who is deaf, hearing, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. There is an extensive collection of videotapes, CDs, and DVDs for children and adults. She even has assistive devices that anyone can borrow for up to three weeks. Even video phones are available for those that need to conduct an interview or phone conversation but cannot afford to get one. Any resident of Tennessee can have access to this library if they register online or at the library. And the library will gladly mail any book or CD to you at no cost, along with return postage! There is also a Directory of Services that has a comprehensive listing of organizations and services across the whole state available to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind in the state of Tennessee. Below is a picture of Jennifer modeling the various TTY's, adaptive equipment, and assistive listening devices available. She is also demonstrating a collection of "See-N-Say" CDs that Sandy gave to her! If you live in the state of TN, I would encourage you to check out the library in person or on the website and register for this valuable service. If you are from out of state and visiting Nashville, this library is a must-see activity, especially if you have children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Nashville Public Library is just beautiful and I plan to come to Nashville early next time take advantage of the facilities there. They even have a courtyard and cafe where you can relax, read, or work on the computer. The Children's section is huge and has a stage for puppet shows and story time. Check out their website for all their services and programs.
Entrance to the Deaf/HOH ServicesJennifer "modeling" assistive devices in library
Jennifer & "See -N-Say CDs
Last but not least, I had some time to visit with my aunt, Nelda. We saw the movie, "Made of Honor" at the theatre (no, it wasn't captioned but I got most of the storyline) and went out to eat at PF Chang's. I also got to see my cousin, Jenny, and her new baby, Kaci. (and the rest of her family, too!) I remember when Jenny was born and Kaci looks just like her! Isn't she precious???!!!
Jenny & Kaci
Laurie & Kaci
I'm off on another adventure with my husband. . . and will post about that soon because I have some things to say about airlines and hotels!


Loudest Mom said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip (w/ Jenn)! And, at this point in my life I can only *dream* of traveling w/ my husband.....childless - LOL. It sounds so relaxing :) Someday we'll be there. For now, it's all about quick weekend soccer trips, and I wouldn't trade those memories for the world.

Shari said...

What fun. I think I would have freaked walking in the dark in a strange town myself. Stratch that. I KNOW I would freak. :)

I still don't understand why restuarants have to be dimmed. Don't people want ot see each other and their food?

Thanks for sharing the pics and your Nashville trip with Jennifer. :)