I may be partially deaf

October 30, 2019 — by Sandhya Sundaram

“Does that make sense, Sandhya? I just want you to ...” someone tells me.

“What?”

“I’m saying that you should probably...”

“HUH?”

“You know what, just make sure you ... I’m counting on you, Sandhya.”

“Sure, you got it!” 

In actuality, I have no idea what just came out of their mouth. People frequently assume that I am a forgetful person. However, most of the time, I probably just didn’t hear you. Rather than making the situation more awkward by repeating “What!?” five times, I usually accept defeat on the third “Huh?” 

Yes, I might be mildly hard of hearing, but it doesn’t help that people mumble so much these days. Sure, we talk to each other a lot more via text and Snapchat, but we shouldn’t be forgetting how to enunciate. If I tell you to be louder, I don’t mean to be rude, I just really am struggling. So help me out and SPEAK UP.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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