Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

Hearing and Deaf Perspectives

A lovely bench sits sheltered in trees within a beautiful Southern California meditation garden.

There are signs posted to "Please Respect the Quiet", the peacefulness and this special place where many come to relax and meditate. On a recent visit, I sat on this bench to enjoy some peace and quiet after a busy week.

Ahhhh... with eyes closed, I first noticed the feeling of the breeze wafting through the trees around me. I could hear the water bubbling in a nearby Koi pond. As I tried to quiet my mind, I wondered what it would be like to have complete silence in this space. No noise of any kind. And then I started noticing and creating a mental list of the sounds surrounding me. So much for turning off my thoughts! Beyond these gardens, lies a road, sidewalks and a quaint beach town. In the span of less than five minutes, this is what I heard... in this order.

A car trunk slammed 
A zipper - - probably a camera case 
Cameras clicking in the gardens 
A teenager talking on a cell phone on the sidewalk outside the gardens 
A plane flew overhead - - military - - loud 
A car engine starting 
Somebody sneezed 
Somebody whispered "bless you" 
The beeping sound of a large truck backing up 
A security guard helping an older woman with her walker 
A baby cried 
Squeaky car brakes 
Birds in the trees overhead 
Wind blowing through the leaves 
Footsteps walking through gravel

For 'hearing' people, these are sounds that play in the background of our daily lives. And these sounds are heard in a place which is designed to be quiet. Venture out into the city and add in other voices and horns blowing and endless ambient sounds.

For many of us, I think the closest we get to silence is when we slip underwater. Of course, this doesn't count if one is in a community pool on the weekend. The sound changes, but it's definitely not silent.

While our tendency is often to ponder how curious the Deaf must be regarding sound, I wonder how many hearing people are curious about the experience of complete silence. Does the brain finally relax when not constantly noticing, categorizing, evaluating and processing sounds? Or is it the opposite? For the Deaf, is it possible that the brain remains on 'high alert' using the other senses... compensating for the lack of sound? I can't help but wonder.

Via new hearing aids, a young man named Austin Chapman recently heard music for the first time. He was emotional and amazed, but confesses that 'silence' is still his favorite sound.

Kamis, 09 Februari 2012

How to Use Your Mediation Training For a Successful Career

Times are changing and new careers open up to those who are willing to learn new skills. If you are basically an honest, cool-headed, fair, good communicator, team player and interest in resolving conflicts through negotiation, then you can enroll in a Mediation Course and become a professional mediator.

What exactly is a mediator? A mediator is somebody who resolves issues of various concerns from child custody to neighbor-to-neighbor conflict to labor issues to anything that will need a third party to come up with solutions that are acceptable to parties involved. Basically, anybody can become a mediator with proper training and practice.

If you want to become one, inquire with local mediation board about the requirements they have. It will help if you enroll in a conflict resolution course so you will have an idea how the process of mediation goes. You can also decide what type of conflicts you want to mediate. If you already have training in psychology, sociology or any social sciences field, you can use that in mediation. You are dealing with people's behavior anyway and you can apply what you have learned as you go on with your practice.

You don't need to leave a current job just to get the required education. There are online courses that would suffice requirements by various companies. After finishing a short course, it is important that you practice. This will further develop the skills that you already have. Through experience you can learn a lot more and may want to study complementary courses to enhance your mediation practice.

Mediation training and education are important if you are planning to work with government, schools, universities, insurance providers or legal service providers. Some of these companies or entities require experience. There is no reason to fret if you are new in the field though because there are ways to gain experience after finishing a course. 
One of the best ways to gain credentials as a mediator is to volunteer. Check community services or local courts if there are mediation sessions that are open to observers. You can offer to assist experienced mediators in whatever needs they have, even clerical or secretarial, just to get exposure and see them in action.

Becoming a mediator can open new doors to other careers like in law enforcement, counseling or therapy. There are many online courses that you can take to enhance your career options. If you want to stay as a mediator for a few more years, you can choose to get certified, if your state requires this, to have better earning and promotion opportunities.