Simple Silence, Part I of III

Simple Silence, Part I of III

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

I want to plant a seed; simple silence. Silence is powerful. I have Deaf friends (their term) who would not change their deafness. They embrace their world.

A special memory was created when I introduced two people who have been deaf since childhood. I met each through my CART, communication access real-time translation, work. They did not know each other and wanted to meet.

I met my friends for Sunday morning lunch (I called it ‘breaking bread together’) at a golf country club. I was a club visitor. Separately, each spent much time on the golf courses with their families. This was a comfortable environment for them.

While ordering food at the counter (which was then delivered), one friend stood with his hands tucked in his khaki pants pockets, shoulders back and down. He was reading our lips.

My other friend, the young lady, had her hands on the counter, and was reading the menu and watching our lips. She and I were signing (ASL, American Sign Language). He does not sign; he is oral deaf.

My male friend said, voice a tad louder than might have been for the Sunday country club, “Have you ever heard sound?”

I stepped back to watch this communication.

The dude taking our order gasped; golfers stepped away.

She voiced, “I don’t think so. I don’t know.”

My friends looked to me, paused, and smiled ‘ear to ear’.

My male friend who refuses to learn sign said, “I have no sound. Nothing! Never heard sound. Did you?”

She, who signs, said, “Maybe. I might have. I do not remember.”

Within the restaurant and outdoor patio, mature “bruncher” (my term) adults were seated at little round tables wearing tennis and golfing outfits.

Individuals now were ‘frozen’ (similar to within a photograph) – their food and fork suspended midair. Everyone clearly heard this conversation about sound.

Everyone, many with raised eyebrows, waited. No one – and I mean ‘no one’ – moved. I softly giggled and returned my attention to my friends.

My friends wrapped up the conversation, “I wonder what sound is like. Silence is good. It’s all I know.”

The counter-dude had not spoken to my friends while they ordered their lunch. (Yes, I worked to change that.

My friends handled the situation. How? Per their request, I ordered.)

I glanced behind me one more time. (Court reporter reaction, perhaps?)

People were now eating; yet there was no conversation in the room or patio. There was complete silence. People worked to avoid eye contact with us. I remember the moment well. And I ordered a glass of wine (before noon on Sunday), which I slowly sipped watching the moments unfold in real-time.

Part II of III will be posted 12/19/09 on and

Monette Benoit may be reached at:

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Coach, Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the
Court Reporting
& Captioning Industry

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

Books, CDs, private tutoring, mentoring services and articles may be referenced

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist. She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals.

Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.:

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