tendecibels

Wilhelm’s shirt says “SCREAM” which is supposed to be ironic because she can’t scream.

Shall I explain my blog name?

I can’t yell. I can’t scream. I can’t even talk loudly. No I am not being metaphorical. I am not trying to explain a traumatic childhood experience that left me muted. I physically cannot raise my voice.

Has this always been apparent to me?

No. I have lived most of my life thinking I was loud and commanding. I only found out a few years ago when I was having a bake sale with my friends. To get the attention of passer-byers we screamed “Bake Sale!” “Buy fresh baked goods to support March for Babies!” And my friends started laughing at me because I was screaming so quietly.

How much has this made an impact on my life?

Little to none because I only discovered this a few years ago. Actually, I had always been confused as to why other people could cut me off in group conversations, but I needed to step in the middle of the circle and start gesticulating wildly before I got everyone’s attention. Another hard-to-understand situation is when I try getting the attention of someone walking a few yards ahead of me. They never can hear me so I have to run up to the person, but most times I just call or text. It’s not worth going through the effort of getting the attention of someone just to say hi. Other difficulties include commanding attention of a group, speaking in large groups and performances that involve talking.  My friends like to tell others that I can’t scream and then I have to demonstrate for them a few times before they realize that I’m not faking it.

Am I sure I am not faking it?

Yes. I assure you that I am not faking it. I actually cannot scream loudly. You could ask me to scream indoors, for example, in the school hallway, and I would scream for you because I know that it would not cause a disturbance.

What’s that got to do with tendecibels?

Decibels are a measure of sound volume and I’m pretty sure ten decibels is around the volume of the rustling leaves. Since people have a hard time hearing me apparently, this is where I talk. I also was partially inspired by the computer lab at Brown U where they divide the areas by the volume level to which you are allowed to talk.

 

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