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Deaf in DC
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summary
In his first memoir, Madan Vasishta described being a deaf boy in his homeland India, where “deaf” meant someone who is not human. After rising from herding cattle to being a respected photographer in Delhi, his first memoir concluded with his acceptance at Gallaudet College far away in America. Vasishta’s new memoir begins with his arrival in Washington, DC in 1967 with $40.00 in his pocket and very little knowledge of the new worlds he was entering. Vasishta faced myriad challenges from the outset—he knew no American Sign Language and could not speech read, yet he found himself thrust into classes at Gallaudet two weeks into the semester. Cultural differences mystified him, such as how all American car accidents were someone else’s fault even when one’s car hits a stationary object. He was amazed that his fellow students did not deride him for his mistakes, unlike in India where he would have been scorned for his weakness. After five years, he returned home to India for a visit and was stunned to learn that he no longer fit in, that “even if you do not have an American Dream, the American Dream will have you.” Deaf in DC follows Vasishta through half a century living in America. He witnessed the transformation from facing bias as a deaf, foreign man of color who could not get a job despite having a Ph.D., to receiving five offers as a school superintendent in the wake of the Civil Rights movement and Deaf President Now. His new memoir reflects a genuine worldview informed by the sage perceptions of a person who has lived widely in many worlds.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Front Matter
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. vi-ix
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  1. 1. The Story So Far . . .
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. 2. Arrival in America
  2. pp. 5-11
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  1. 3. The Cafeteria
  2. pp. 12-13
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  1. 4. Prep or Freshman?
  2. pp. 14-17
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  1. 5. American “Football”
  2. pp. 18-20
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  1. 6. First Day of Classes
  2. pp. 21-23
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  1. 7. Teachers and Students
  2. pp. 24-27
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  1. 8. Reading Palms
  2. pp. 28-33
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  1. 9. Learning American English
  2. pp. 34-37
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  1. 10. Learning Sign Language
  2. pp. 38-40
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  1. 11. Being Alone in a Crowd
  2. pp. 41-43
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  1. 12. Cultural Abyss
  2. pp. 44-48
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  1. 13. Back to Photography
  2. pp. 49-52
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  1. 14. The Missing Bag
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. 15. Progress in Classes
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. 16. The First Thanksgiving
  2. pp. 57-63
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  1. 17. Strange American Traditions
  2. pp. 64-66
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  1. 18. The First Christmas in America
  2. pp. 67-73
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  1. 19. Managing Finances
  2. pp. 74-75
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  1. 20. The Foreign Students Group
  2. pp. 76-80
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  1. 21. Fort Gallaudet
  2. pp. 81-84
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  1. 22. Education Outside the Classroom
  2. pp. 85-87
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  1. 23. Seeing America
  2. pp. 88-91
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  1. 24. Travels in America
  2. pp. 92-95
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  1. 25. A Week with Hippies
  2. pp. 96-102
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  1. 26. Other Adventures
  2. pp. 103-110
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  1. 27. My First Car
  2. pp. 111-113
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  1. 28. Starting Graduate School
  2. pp. 114-117
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  1. 29. Visiting India
  2. pp. 118-125
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  1. 30. Plans to Return to India
  2. pp. 126-128
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  1. 31. Challenges in Teaching
  2. pp. 129-131
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  1. 32. Nirmala’s Arrival
  2. pp. 132-135
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  1. 33. Setting Up Home
  2. pp. 136-138
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  1. 34. Acculturating Nirmala
  2. pp. 139-141
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  1. 35. Settling Down in America
  2. pp. 142-147
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  1. 36. The Four Dictionaries
  2. pp. 148-156
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  1. 37. Moving On
  2. pp. 157-160
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  1. 38. The Career Ladder
  2. pp. 161-163
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  1. 39. Advice—Good and Bad
  2. pp. 164-165
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  1. 40. Weeds Theory
  2. pp. 166-168
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  1. 41. Deaf President Now!
  2. pp. 169-170
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  1. 42. The National Conference on Education of the Deaf in a Time Warp
  2. pp. 171-174
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  1. 43. Moving Up the Ladder
  2. pp. 175-182
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  1. 44. Terms of Impairment
  2. pp. 183-185
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  1. 45. Up in Smoke!
  2. pp. 186-188
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  1. 46. The Communication Revolution
  2. pp. 189-191
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  1. 47. There Is More . . .
  2. pp. 192-194
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  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. 195-198
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