Today I was making a presentation to a group of about 20 professors in a classroom that is equipped with a lot of the “latest and greatest” educational technology. Now bear in mind that I am in a who-knows-how-long period of “adjustment” as my brain learns to adapt to the hearing aids.
The sound I hear now has a very electronic quality to it. Also, of course, everything is louder than normal.
So here I was, making this presentation, and one of the professors raises her hand and tells me she’s having a hard time hearing me. She asks me to use the microphone system that this room is equipped with. What this means is, she is asking me to wear a tiny microphone around my neck, which will amplify my voice in the room. (Later it occurred to me to wonder if I was talking more quietly than I ordinarily would in a classroom setting, since my own voice seemed much louder to me due to the hearing aids.)
So, now, there I was, hearing everything through an electronic filter, and my own voice was coming to me electronically amplified by the room’s technology. I truly felt that I had lost a bit of my humanity. Meanwhile, something was wrong with the left hearing aid, and periodically it would make a chirping noise. About once every second.
While all of this was going on, some of the material I was presenting to the group was being received less-than-enthusiastically. I had to explain and defend my interpretation of some data.
All in all this was a fairly unpleasant learning experience. I hope things get better fairly soon.