6 Months at National technical for the deaf (PART 6)

6 Months at National Technical For the Deaf (PART 6)

Wow! I can’t believe that it’s already been 10 years in 2021! I’m still OBSESSED with every moment of my college experience from Fall 2011 to Winter 2012. Yeah! I’m consciously overthinking how much I reflect too much on good and bad memories. But what you’re reading here is probably TOXIC, UNHEALTHY, or REPETITIVE. I was only 19 years old in my naivety of real-world problems on my own after completing my high school diploma.


FROM SEPTEMBER 2011 To March 2012

  1. Demetrius Curtis
  2. Zachary Brain Seguin (Turned Out To Be Pedophile!)
  3. Missouri Is One of The Worst Education Systems In America
  4. November 11, 2011 (Flash Drive Problems)
  5. David Cardona
  6. Emily Borgel (My VR Counselor From Hell!)


I recalled traveling back to my hometown in Missouri during the Christmas break. I stayed at my childhood house for three weeks before returning to Rochester, New York, in January 2012. Jocelyn Wilkes, my closest friend, and a deaf black woman, was one of the few to respectfully acknowledge and accept my identity at that time. 

A collage photo of Jocelyn Wilikes. At the top of photo, she greets with a I LOVE YOU handshape. At the bottom of photo, it was me smiling and holding her in my arm.

A collage photo of Jocelyn Wilikes. At the top of the photo, she greets with an I LOVE YOU handshape. At the bottom of the image, I was smiling and holding her in my arm.

She died as a result of Sickle cell anemia on March 25th, 2015. My best friend, Jocelyn, I missed her so much!

Jocelyn Wilkes: “What’s it like to be an undergraduate in New York? How you doing over there?! Tell me now!”

I falsely assured Jocelyn Wilkes that I was doing well in New York, but I knew I was lying to her face. I knew she wouldn’t be too pleased to hear about my poor academic performance due to the messy incident with the flash drive. I wanted to tell Jocelyn everything, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that now. It completely ruined my writing ambitions.

Jocelyn: “Did you meet a cool guy while at RIT/NTID?”

As her questions begin to become more invasive, prying and pressing on.

Shawn: “Not exactly, to tell you the truth. I met him and he insisted on maintaining his heterosexual identity. We were just friends in a recent timing of this year, and there wasn’t anything serious between us. It was simply a matter of getting to know each other.”

Jocelyn: “Tell me everything you know about him!”

She smiled jokingly at me and got carried away with crazy ideas after telling her that.

Jocelyn: “I think I’ll check him out myself on Facebook. My taste for men is for the good-looking guys.”

Shawn: “I have had a crush on Zachary Seguin since July 2010, but he has told me over and over again that he is straight! Zachary declined my request in some supposedly polite way. As a result, I met David Cardona at the computer lab. David, he’s still straight as he says. And right now, nothing is going on between us. Look, I haven’t gotten laid yet, and I’m still a virgin. I despise every time I meet somebody attractive that they constantly tell me that they’ve always been straight. Why is it that I am only attracted to straight men? How come?”

After a few days for a Christmas holiday week in December 2011… Jocelyn and I had a long chat in American Sign Language (ASL) at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse.

A collage photo of MoKaBe's Coffeehouse.

A collage photo of MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse.

Jocelyn: “You must be really liking him, don’t you?”

Shawn: “We are no more than friends, really. That’s the best we can do. We’ve only just met. Up until now, nothing has happened between us. Don’t start with me, honey. Don’t even try and find the wrong ideas.”

Jocelyn: Well, I can tell it by the look on your face. You got the hots for this guy! Look at you, you’re glowing! Blushing!”

Shawn: “No, absolutely not! I just want to find out more about him. That’s it!” 

I couldn’t resist the grins and chuckles. That’s like tickling my armpits!

Jocelyn: “Yes, of course! You’re gettin’ a bit more self-conscious! Look at your face! You’re still smiling, man! You’re very fond of him!”

Shawn: “God, don’t do that! Clearly, you’re roasting me with bad jokes! I have no control over my face! No, no, I can’t!”

Jocelyn: “Holy shit, I knew it! I knew you were into him! Yes, you do! I’ve had the intuitive feeling that you two will be boyfriends in no time! You’re not going to admit it to me, but I knew you liked him.”

I laughed aloud. We made each other look giddy, giggling at each other like hyped schoolgirls. I had the strangest feeling about Jocelyn being my sister, who was always there for me. The only problem is that I still have NO idea how to braid her hair while covertly giggling over handsome men. I didn’t do her hair as her sisters would, but now you see why I cynically laughed. When Jocelyn told me that my dimple smiles proved that I really liked David, I half-heartedly agreed with her. I hadn’t realized I was in love with David at that time of Christmas break. It’s something that I didn’t really consider until later in February 2012.

Later on, my feelings for David started increasingly getting real and came on to him so strongly. Following David’s arrival in January 2012, I realized his presence was in the back of my mind for the first time.

I came back to Rochester, NY, in January 2012. David has already been there on the college campus. I ran into him in the small shop just below the dormitory. I saw him again. He had a nice trimmed hairdo. He started living in the dormitory. But before that, he lived in an apartment outside the college campus.

Shawn: “Ohhh! I didn’t know you changed your hair. Check out that haircut!”

David: “Thank you, Shawn. Have you spent your Christmas holidays with your relatives and friends? Did you enjoy yourself? You got good food? Did you bring new toys?”

Shawn: “Fine, good. You?”

David: “Spent my time with friends and family. It was fantastic.”

To be completely honest, I don’t even remember what we’re talking about when we’re talking about our Christmas break.

It’s a shame I haven’t mentioned Jocelyn to him before. It was a bit surrealistic, and suddenly the adrenaline rushed simultaneously.

After a recent visit to my hometown, I was immediately struck by the vivid memory of Jocelyn Wilkes in the back of my mind: her facial expressions of uncontrollable laughs at me while standing behind David, where I repeatedly met him. I was sure she would’ve laughed at me incredibly hard enough if she’d been with me in New York. Jocelyn probably would’ve enjoyed poking fun at my heart as a puppeteer from a nonexistent backstage.


It’s almost impossible to ignore these nonexistent images of Jocelyn in my headspace as long as she laughs every minute.

I felt like I was hallucinating a project of her right behind David, but she wasn’t there, OF COURSE NOT! I knew she wasn’t there. BUT IT WAS VERY DISTRACTING, THOUGH!

I kept seeing her say it to me in my head; Jocelyn made me laugh so hard, and it was hard NOT to smile at David after our seventh meeting in January 2012. I can’t control my dimples because I smile too much. David saw that I was laughing like a fool and returned his smile to me. I received a wave of greetings from him as I waved at him quickly, and we were just on our separate ways to our dormitories in opposite directions. 

You certainly don’t say “See you later” IN American Sign Language that way, but it was so dorky and cute! 

It made me laugh inside, but at the same time, it was such an embarrassment!

Image Description: A LGBTQ flag is in the background. The first two words appeared in the front of the background: RIT/NTID. Two photos of David Cardona behind me. One picture of me is from the year 2010. I was slender and thin. Eyes siding away. Cartoon clipart of heart with an arrow. One picture with Charlie Barnet (Hollywood actor) in a fan-made title: Straight Outta Da Bronx.

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