A whole week without talking

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Emily Kruse

Talkative junior Jackie Scherer was struck down with laryngitis, and had to rely on an expo marker and whiteboard to use as her primary means of communication.

Jackie Scherer, staff writer

My arms were flailing, my lips were moving in an attempt to speak, but the words just weren’t coming out. It was useless; my mom was convinced that I had laryngitis. Her advice to me seemed simple enough, but it would result in the end of my social life; for a whole week, she suggested that I not practice my favorite past-time: talking.

When I got to school, I couldn’t even last a minute before my urge to tell the world about my crippling condition overruled my mother’s instruction. As I attempted to describe my suffering in the simplest way possible, several people thought it would be funny to ask the blatant question, “What happened to your voice?” Well––deaf peers––if you just listen (carefully) to my story, you wouldn’t have to ask such a stupid question. Obviously my voice is strained because of a life-threatening social illness. After two days of silence and several nights filled with dreams about mutes and mimes, my salvation arrived.

It happened just before third hour on a Wednesday, right after some moron in my math class asked me for the third time why my voice sounded so weird and raspy. I happened to run into a friend of mine who was seriously concerned about my vocal condition. In an attempt to help me solve my silence problem, she let me borrow a whiteboard and marker conveniently tacked to the inside of her locker. Overjoyed, I sprinted to class with new hope. I could finally “speak” again.

My new best friend was conveniently named “White Jibberish” for its ability to convey my innermost thoughts as my voice could not. I was now able to answer questions in class despite my inconvenient condition. I was able to simultaneously sound smart by writing the correct answers on my board and pass notes at the same time. My board even served as the perfect cheat sheet, since no teacher dared to take a whiteboard from a temporarily mute student. Even though I got weird looks from pretty much the entire school, my whiteboard became a part of me.

White Jibberish was of great use to me for every conversation except for discussions with friends. My Expo marker just wasn’t quick enough to retort some of the sarcastic comments people made about my whiteboard. Laughing at jokes was next to impossible, and writing a large “HAHA” just didn’t convey my true feelings about the funny things my friends said. Finally, the ridicule became too much––for both me and White Jibberish––and the whiteboard was returned to its original owner.

My week of torment ended when miraculously, that Saturday morning, I found my beloved voice had finally returned to me. I screamed and shouted and sang to my heart’s content, only to realize Christmas break had begun. No one would know of my recovery except my mother, who found it appropriate to ignore me.