Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where am I really from?

Jay Krieger wonders from where should he tell his friends asking him where he is from.


Oscar the Observer said...


Good one! How about telling them,
"I mostly identify myself with ...(insert wherever). Do that answer your question? No? Well, I was born in...(insert place) but I did not live there for most of my life but do that answer your question? No? Well, my man! I guess I graduated from...(insert school) but I graduated from there but do I consider myself (insert school) guy? Do this answer? No?
Then you can start to cry!

Just kidding! Haha. Anyway, that is an interesting way to play upon a simple question :).

Anonymous said...

LOL... someone was watching you, ha!

IamMine said...

Ha ha ha...

This tells me you do NOT like us... you never told us from the beginning!

:P :D

Well...just send them your vlog on the light years!


But interesting...hadn't really occurred to me till now.

I usually just tell them where I'm from - where I *live* now.

Yeah....if the conversation is *interesting* (at least from my end - no idea if the person would find it interesting *grins*), I'd expand on that.

But that person would wish s/he had never asked.... too many places to list. :D ;)

Don't ask...

Jessica said...

Ha, guess I am more generous with my answers. I enjoy learning about people's experiences from living in different areas. So that is why I don't mind discussing different places where I have lived in and comparing the different area's personality, climate, etc.

I have lived in 7 different states. Three during my childhood and 4 after high school graduation. One for college, two for my volunteer service and back to one of those two places for a few years and now here.

It just depends on what kind of question is asked.

For instance, if I go to a event where there are people from different states like say, a NAD convention, then I will just say where I am living now. Sometimes it will lead to a discussion of places where we have lived before, sometimes not. Just depends on what direction the conversation goes in.

Here where I live now, since there were many Deaf moving in from different states, I will say where I lived before moving here.

Sometimes the question sounds like the kind of question where they want to know where you grew up then different kind of answer.

I guess this is one reason why you can't call me grassroots at all. Not long enough in one area to really know the local community and its history and all.

Anonymous said...

I would say that I am from where I currently live in. Then you can explain your former roots of towns you used to be from.

ASLumabas said...


Good point of how to say. If anyone say where I come from blah blah blah, all I can say that I am adventurer since I move around lot (I come from military parent). Or should I say I come from USA so that would save anyone's neck from ask too much information. Haha!

todos la vie said...

Interesting topic for a girl down on her luck? :-) When I say Los Angeles, I know it isn't enough. But I am guilty of just saying that, but without fail, most ask mainstreamed or Riverside? Well, you know how the story goes...no?

Hmm..maybe I'll do a vlog about how my story goes...

Fookem said...

Maybe you should say, I come from my mommy's tummy. Problem solved? lol


FRED said...

What a mind boggling concept!

Honestly, I am a Henz 57!

My parents are not military type personells, hearing, but we have lived in quite a number of different cities, but I attended two deaf schools, first part in the north, then the second part in the south.

Often I determined to choose those two cities of where I'm from. Less likely anyone would thought where I was born, Nampa, Idaho. Who would thought a punny little baby from that small unknown, town be born from? Eh?

So for me, identify from these two deaf schools, whereas, I grew up and nutured from, with the most exposure, education and ASL wise.

I think it's an identity corrobation in this aspect, HUH?

You, like Carl Scheroder stretch our minds here and then!! I enjoyed them ... Keep that up.

Keep on riding your babe (HD)

Anonymous said...

Wow Jay, you really do make us really THINK!!!! awesome vlog..

Umm, well depends on the conversation, I would think like "where did you grew up" or if talking about schooling, I will tell them about my schooling... if they run away then that's their problem lol.

I believe also it's depends on their questions or if they don't tell you much then I'll be brief. If they are really interesting to talk with then I will do the same - be fair

The liking the person part that's pretty funny Jay lol.. (to impress that person huh?? ) lol

Keep it up Jay... smile

S. (Ontario,Canada)

mochame said...

Every time Deaf people asked me where i come from? I always give them hint first, I tell them Elvis Presley's home state! Most people does not know the ASL Sign of Memphis.

Dianrez said...

When Deaf people ask that question of another, it is really a way to determine how much they own of the Deaf culture. These days it is an unfair question, but still common.

I'd say the school for the Deaf where I graduated. There is much more to me than that, but as a beginning it works.

For those who were mainstreamed or went to oral schools, the answer could be where they lived the longest--like grew up in Chicago, or lived the past twenty years in Memphis. That establishes the deaf community where you are known. The beginning would be there; the fact that one went to mainstream school could come out later.

Teri said...


You look so cute in this video clip!

Awwwwwww!!! Just tell your peers this... "Dam (Frickin) it, I am a NYorker but ...."

I do understand how you feel! That's one of my issues all of my life trying to tell deafies whether I come from a hearing or deaf family! Haha!

That is one of several video clips I plan to address.

Keep v/blogging!

Karen Mayes said...

Grin... I am with iammine... that you did not really like us for a while until today ;-).

Because I moved to Indiana from NYS last year, I say that I recently moved from Rochester NY. When I am away from Indiana, I say I am from Indiana. But I don't say where I was born, what schools I attended, etc., until some kind of trust has been established,warm enough for me to share a bit more. I really don't talk much about myself, so oftentimes I am a quiet, unassuming person in the deaf circles.

Anonymous said...

I'm from my mother's womb! (chuckling)

- Renée

Anonymous said...


Most people try to joke by saying from the stork or mother's womb.

My personal opinion is that where you were born. It is my interpretation...Where am I really from means where was I born?

Jay...you were from New York because you were born in NY. If where do you live now, then you could say INDIANA.

JUst my thought of two cents.

Anonymous said...

ha a good question
usually i think it depends on your circle of friends and what answers do they usually give?
i dont mean for you to be a copycat but you can be guided this way..

i see no harm in giving all the answers you just gave..
you have a tall tale to tell...smile

perhaps its best to enjoy meeting the new friends, and not worry too much about what answers to give..
be yourself

me? im from mars !

Anonymous said...


Have you been in Texas?

John Lestina --- said...

Response to Jay: CLICK HERE

Anonymous said...

Yeah that's true. I tend to ask deaf person "where you from originally?"
that's simple. I always tell them I original from Boston period. But great vlog! Thanks

CMS from Boston

Anonymous said...

Force of habit, deaf people tend to ask where you are from. Once they got an answer from you, they will give you third degree questions such as if you know this person, bla bla. It helps to lead some kind of conversations, didnt it? When I am introduced to another person from different state, the place where I used to live, I would ask about certain things and its deaf gathering out there, etc.

DCABlogs said...

Sometimes I tease people when they ask me where I am from I said from my mother's womb! Actually I often say where I am from is where I live now. If want more details then I will tell more details.

Brian Lievens said...

I usually answer when people ask where I am from with Wisconsin because that is where I live currently but I tend to add "But I was born in Chicago" and express how much I love Chicago and etc. That's where my Deaf family was from. So I try to keep my identity with Chicago.

~Vikee said...

You know what drives me crazy? I live in the southern part of Illinois, but without fail, people assume I live in Chicago.

ARGH! Chicago is 5-1/2 HOURS away from my home. Even when I CLEARLY say I'm from SOUTHERN ILLINOIS....do they see it? ARGH!

I'm a native Angeleno, transplaned to Southern Illinois. (I never ever say the town name because its a small town and I prefer to keep my privacy)

LaRonda said...

I agree with Dianrez. This is a Deaf Cultural phenomenon.

A culturally Deaf person usually asks "where are you from" right at the beginning of introductions. It allows them to determine how much knowledge, acceptance, involvement and ownership of Deaf culture the other person has. It gives the questioner an understanding about their potential connection.

More importantly, how the other person answers places them somewhere on a rung of the Deaf culture hierarchy ladder.

Those who identify that they are from a particular deaf residential school where they graduated, tend to be moved up high on the Deaf culture ladder.

Those who say they are from a particular mainstream school or oral school tend to put on a few (or more) lower rungs on the ladder (depending on the level of acceptance and perspective of the questioner).

Those who do not identify the place they are from in connection with the school they attended will be held in a sort of limbo until they identify the town they grew up in or the place they live now.

Once they identify an area, then the questions turn to who they know there. If they know other deaf people that the questioner knows in common, they are moved up on the ladder rung. If they don't know anyone, their is still a suspicion in a sense as the questioner continues to try to figure out where to put the person on the Deaf culture social ladder.

Here are other examples of the kinds of questions that are part of the Deaf cultural exchange and social hierarchy:

When I answer that I became deaf at age 17, I may be moved down on the ladder, but when I tell them I attended Gallaudet, have a degree in Deaf Studies from CSUN and a degree in Counseling (Deaf) I get moved up.

If I were to say I wore hearing aids or have a CI, I might be moved down. If I say I use neither one, I may get moved up.

It's not something visible. It's all in the mind of the questioner.

My ASL will also be evaluated as will the use of my mouth when I sign. If they see me use lots of mouth movement when I sign, down i go. ;) If they determine that I am not a native signer, I may continue to slip down on the ladder.

But if I am able to flow with the conversation easily and my ASL skills seem solid in spite of my late use of ASL or some mouth movements, I still may hold a good spot on that darn social ladder! ;)

Then they may ask if my husband is deaf or hearing. If I say he is hearing, I may be moved down, but when I tell them he knows and uses ASL with me at home, I get bumped up again. Whee! :) Same goes for my son when they ask if he is deaf or hearing. If he is deaf, I get a big boost up! If he is hearing, I might slide a rung. But when I tell them he signs, I get moved up again on that interesting ladder.

Questions may flow to where I work. When I let the Deaf questioner know I worked for 10 years in a deaf residential school, I may get another big boost. But if I say I worked with all hearing people, I may slide down another rung.

You get the idea.

Even though this process seems very judgmental, my comments are not meant to be critical toward this question and answer process. I understand it.

Actually a lot of hearing people and other cultures have their own intricate meeting rituals as they determine their comfort level and how their connections will continue or discontinue afterward. One example is moving to a new neighborhood. The neighbors usually come out, some sooner than others, to welcome their new neighbors and determine what kind of connection they will have with them from then on.

How I answer those questions will depend on who is asking me (Deaf/HH/Hearing, etc.) and how important it is for me on my end to achieve a sense of connection with the person who is asking.

In the end, though, we're all from the same divine place. :)

Thanks for letting me play along.

~ LaRonda

Michele said...


You wanna know where I came from?? Ha! I came from Colorado. Very common for deafies to ask me if I went to CSDB (Colo School for the Deaf/Blind), I never went there. Or they would ask me about skiing there. Or if Denver is very close to the mountains. Or whatever....

Hearing people don't usually ask this question until much later.

Karen Mayes said...

LaRonda, that is a way to look at. Yes, I get the sense of being sized up as a deaf person when I am being asked, to see where I fit in the deaf community. So the questions are pretty loaded... to determine where we are on the "deaf" ladder. Good POV.

Toby Welch said...

Far out! Obviously, you like us all! Why? You told us where you are from. Ha!

Anonymous said...

you the unique, very intelligent, gentleman, very interesting person that I never seen from the others n especially you the good looking tho.. god bless...

di from illinois

Anonymous said...

when i ask where you are from assuming a current residence and if we carry on conversation longer and you might want to tell me your biography like you said only if you like that person .... meaning that the conversation has to last a bit longer in order to know each other better !!!

David L Mills said...

I did not know that in blog alot friend and Want know Who I am and where from? there question talk Where from Me ? really I have no idea, better ask more question get to know Who are you then Will let you know Where I from ? this first time rookier this blog and googles .I do enjoy watch and listen your obvese and dicussion and i learned alot from you and friends by feed me Wow I am really very freak out to me blow my mind like boom but i had been headache my heads for few days I can not believe come to it now there so fast grow vlog and blog and news and eduaction and business what I interest it that What i look for who knowlegit everything and Story anything but I am very be careful what I doing and friend I had alot know it like look up there a future and watch it.it cause my eyes see it. that I am glad Deaf cultures going to grow so fast and they can understand with vlog and blog and language different. I born public and later become sick almost die and I became deaf or lose hear . that it i better wait story later I want share with all deaf people Thank you very much for work hard Who made this . I amzed enough WoW

David L Mills

San Diegian said...

Jay, You should be proud that you were from New York because of your grassroot. I am very proud to tell that I am native California! I still do now. LOL. Sorry to say I DUNNO how to leave California!

Anonymous said...


You look so cute in this video clip! Wink! Keep up with your nice smile.

I do understand how you feel! That's one of my issues all of my life trying to tell deafies whether I come from a hearing or deaf family! Haha!

What's more I admit I was born from Germany. :)but my life is in Canada.

sab said...

Hmm - wonder how much you like me, based on the amount of info you've shared with me.

Blinders, anyone?