I woke up at 7 a.m. yesterday (ugh!) and drove to Baton Rouge for LSD’s homecoming. I have never been to LSD before or any of the other places I was going that day; this was all a new experience for me. There were several activities going on that day. The day started off with Louisiana Association of the Deaf’s workshop at the LSD student center. So I headed down there. It wasn’t too hard to find, LSD is directly behind the LSU campus (in fact we could see the LSU stadium from LSD’s stadium – that was interesting because there was a huge LSU game going on at the same time). I bet most LSU students have no clue that it’s over there. Anyways, the first thing I saw as I drove onto campus was huge letters in a small man-made hill: LSD. I’ll tell you right now, I do not like that acronym; when I complained, someone asked me “Why? Do you do LSD?” No, was my reply. “Then it’s not a big deal.” It didn’t seem like something dwelled on by the deaf community there, but it’s not good from a public relations stand point. The guy has a good point though; they aren’t going to get away from that acronym, not when every deaf school in the country follows the same acronym rules. So I’m trying to accept that it is here to stay whether I like it or not.
So second thing I noticed was the general layout of the campus. It was obviously built in the 70s, it had that kind of 70s feel to it where the building were a slight depressing muddy-brown and the buildings were simply made with bricks. For the most part, the buildings were one floor in height, there wasn’t anything special about them. Passage ways from building to building weaved there and here. The part that essentially made it shine was the glorious green meadow it was built upon. For the most part, I felt far removed from the city that surrounded it.
The first goal of my day was to find the LAD meeting. It wasn’t hard. I was able to pick out a sign with the words “Student Center” painted on it. The only difficulty was that it wasn’t strategically placed. It was sticking out of the ground between two buildings. I tried the building on the right first, to find that it was locked. I was able to get into the building on the left. The meeting room wasn’t immediately obvious, so I wondered around the building. One of the first things I saw was a collection of old objects. There was a old door without a purpose. When one looked through the window of the door, one could see a picture on the wall of the old LSD campus. This one was one of grandeur. People had taken the time to build this one. The buildings were white and thought was placed in the designing of the place. It reminded me somewhat of the Titanic with its wood craved stairwells and it’s painstaking details. It also reminded me of some of the nicer and older homes of New Orleans. That building has since been taken over by the Baton Rouge police department.
I also saw a group of old objects such as a wheelchair, a dental chair and a bed. I wasn’t sure of the dates of these items, but the wheelchair looked like the one that FDR used. One of the things I love about deaf schools is the history behind them. Most of them collect old hearing aids and other memorabilia. They also tend to be around for a long time. In LSD’s case, they have been around since 1852; they’re older than my university!
One of the interesting things I learned that day was that LSD almost closed. Attendance was dwindling down. Guess what changed that? Hurricane Katrina.
I wandered a bit further and found the meeting. They had already started, so I sat down in the back (Yay, I didn’t NEED to sit in the front – to lipread – and distract others by being late!) . They went over emergency preparedness (see my previous entry), the NAD conference – they’re very excited that this will be New Orleans, I am too! – and VRS stuff.
From there, I socialized in the same room for a bit and took off for lunch. When I came back the volleyball game was over and I spend it socializing a bit more in the room outside of the volleyball game. Then I went over to the football game, talked to more people. It was at the football game that I talked with a deaf blind friend of mine. He told me that his name for his cane was “Le Tigre” and let me look at and touch his Braille watch which I thought was the neatest thing.
The football game turned out to not be that great, so I got dinner and went to the Baton Rouge Association of the Deaf social. There was another social going on at the same time as BRAD at the First Deaf Baptist Church. I didn’t go to that one because it was for LSD Alumni Association.
The BRAD club almost closed too. Hurricane Katrina didn’t bring it back to life, Texas Hold ’em did. Yee Haw!
I got my hands on a copy of a newsletter for the St. Gerard Community for the Deaf, which is the deaf community of my Catholic church. I was so excited to get this. Imagine my surprised to get this newsletter in Baton Rouge, not New Orleans. OHH.. and get this, they have their very own Krewe of Dauphine! A krewe in New Orleans is very similar to a “crew”. But it is the krewes that make the floats for the Mardi Gras parades. They also have parties. The Krewe of Dauphine is actually having a party, but it doesn’t look like they will be doing a float.
I love the name. They took the name Dauphine because the deaf ministry is located on Dauphine Street. But Dauphine is actually the woman who is next in line for the throne of queen of France. Marie Antoinette was once the Dauphine of France before her father-in-law passed away. You can guess what I want to be for Halloween, and no she never said “Let them eat cake.” She was a woman of unfortunate circumstances.
They are also having a Deaf Thanksgiving and a Christmas party. I am so excited. I also got myself on the LAD mailing list so I will know about their meetings as well as the BRAD.
I’ll try to list deaf events that I know about in Louisiana on here. I’m excited about the knowledge I’ve acquired in just one day. Oh and the Jambalaya from the entry title is because I got some jambalaya from BRAD to bring home to my husband. He adored it. Said it was some excellent jambalaya. 🙂