As I mentioned in Sue's special brown phone, I have taken like 5 semesters of ASL, equivalent to two and a half years of a foreign language.

As I also mentioned previously, some of the classes I took were through the Cleveland Center for Speech and Hearing, and were taught mostly by deaf ladies. One of the ladies who worked for the CCSH would substitute for our class in a pinch when our regular teacher was unavailable; and her name is Sue.

As I have mentioned Sue is profoundly deaf, and has been for many years. Well one day after our lesson, Sue told us a story about being stuck in the elevator at the CCSH. It's actually a quite funny story, and the moral is if you are in a hurry, take the steps.

Sue was running late for a meeting, and so she decided to take the elevator to the second floor meeting room to try and save time. She got in the elevator as usual, but about half way between floors one and two the elevator car stopped. "Oh no, this isn't good" she said to herself. So Sue looked around for the emergency button, and pressed it. To her knowledge nothing happened. In actuality the secretary on the first floor heard it, and thought it was the phone, and proceeded to try answering the phone. Sue, not knowing if anyone had heard her pressed it again, and again, and again. The secretary finally figured out what that awful ringing noise was and called maintenance. While all this was going on Sue was still stuck in the elevator, and still ringing the button because she had no idea that it was working, and feared that it was broken. She also checked her pager (which sends and receives text messages), but it wouldn’t work because the elevator is a prime example of a Faraday Cage. Oops.

About an hour later they finally got the elevator to the second floor, and there they informed Sue that the bell does indeed work, and that she has been annoying the secretary for the last hour. Upon leaving the elevator Sue also received 9 messages on her pager, most of them telling her that they knew she was stuck in there, and to stop ringing the bell. She also learned that the people who were working on getting the elevator unstuck didn’t know that she was deaf originally and had been yelling at her for the past half hour to stop ringing the bell, and that everything was ok; that they were going to get her out. Once they found out she was deaf, they tried pounding on the walls of the elevator so that she could feel it, and know that they were working on getting her out. Needless to say, this didn’t work either. So, after all the noise and commotion, they finally got her out, unharmed. Sue said she was happy to get out, and had to go to the bathroom.

Sue also proposed getting a light for the inside of the elevator to indicate that help was on the way for deaf people who later get stuck in that elevator (since it is an old elevator, and in a building which the deaf and hard of hearing occupy). I don’t know if Sue ever got her light, but I do know that she vowed to take the steps when she is in a hurry. =)

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