ON HAND: Survivor

This article originally appeared in The Tactile Mind Weekly in Trudy’s ON HAND column.

I’m impressed.

Christy Smith on SURVIVOR has actually lasted a month in the Amazon.

The reason I’m impressed isn’t because she’s living under pretty difficult living conditions. These are simply inconveniences.

The thing is: how many of us can actually live in the non-signing community for so long? I don’t care if she speaks well; I don’t care if she’s from a hearing family; nor do I care if she applied to be on SURVIVOR and knew what she’d be getting into. It’s still hard to be in an all-hearing environment 24/7.

I’m still trying to figure out how she can understand what is being said during immunity challenges or tribal councils. I’ve been told she hears pretty well, but still. Although we are only shown an hour out of 24, her feelings about being left out has made me nod in understanding.

I was one of the people who said, “Oh no, she doesn’t sign!” during the first two weeks of the show, and complained about that to anyone who would listen. Today, I still complain that she could have used her ASL to the tribe’s advantage, but I also think she’s done good.

She’s also not as clueless as she appeared to be in the first half of the show. I let out a sigh of relief when she said that she wasn’t naive about some of the tribal members’ underhanded ways to win her vote.

However far Christy gets on the show, I’ll continue to be impressed by her ability to deal with such ignorant hearing people. I just hope she lasts longer than the let’s-get-naked physical education teacher, Heidi, who bemoaned Christy’s abilities in the very first episode (what did Heidi teach her students with these comments?!).

Stay tuned.

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