Children have a voice! Max’s interviews! Guests: Agnieszka Szeliga, Jolanta Andrzejewska

We invite you to a series of interviews in Polish Sign Language conducted by 12-year-old Maks Garman! His first guests are Jolanta Andrzejewska and Agnieszka Szeliga.

Maks interview with International Sign translation:

Hi! My name is Maks. My sign name is… I’ll ask you a few questions.

Childhood, dreams and goals

[Maks]: What are your goals, dreams in the future?

[Agnieszka]: My dream has come true, I’m working now as a sign language teacher.

[Maks]: Cool! And you, when you were young, what kind of relationships did you have with hearing people?

[Jolanta]: I remember my childhood faintly. I got hearing aids at the age of 5. When I was growing up, my contact with hearing people was terrible.

[Maks]: What was your favorite play as a child?

[Agnieszka]: I played with a teddy bear Teddy Bear was this size. We always slept through the night together.

[Maks]: I did the same! How did you feel when you received your hearing aids. Did they serve you well? Are you better off with the aids? Do you need them?

[Jolanta]: Well, yes! I need them every day. I need them to communicate with hearing people. I’ve hearing children, but I feel better in the deaf community.

[Maks]: Holidays are coming up, time off. What will you be doing? Family gathering, gifts? What are you planning?

[Agnieszka]: I’ll be with my family, they are deaf. We’ll talk. There will be lots of food and drink. And, of course, gifts.

[Maks]: Do you like traveling? To explore interesting places, learning new things, visiting something interesting?

[Jolanta]: You’re asking about travel, right? Yes.

[Maks]: Yes,

[Jolanta]: I love travels. I’m very curious about other cultures, other flavors, also different human behaviors. I’m curious about everything!

[Maks]: Have you had friends since your school days?

[Agnieszka]: Yes, my friend is sitting here.

[Maks]: That’s cool!

A school for the hearing or the deaf?

[Maks]: When you were in school, how looks like your contact with hearing teachers? Did they know sign language?

[Jolanta]: In a school for hearing or deaf children?

[Maks]: What type of school did you go to?

[Jolanta]: At the beginning it was school for hearing people. I had a problem in communication, because the children teased me. They treated me like I was illiterate. They didn’t want to play with me. I felt completely different. Later, in the first year of junior high school, I felt an internal problem, I didn’t understand, the teachers disregarded me. My parents told me that there is a special school for the deaf. I moved there, to Warsaw. At first, I went to school on Zakroczymska Street. I observed the hard of hearing – their behavior and I understood that this is my world. With my hearing loss, I fit in this world. Then I moved to a high school at Łucka Street in Warsaw. There was only sign language! And there I felt that I belonged to the deaf community.

[Maks]: Cool! Do you have any hobbies?

[Agnieszka]: Yes, it is reading books. My favorite is Harry Potter, But also others similar to it.

[Maks]: Aha! When you were a child, did you play sports? If so, what kind?

[Jolanta]: No.

[Maks]: My favorite sport is swimming. I dream about winning an Olympic medal. I have been swimming since I was 7 years old, then I started to practice swimming. My parents encouraged me, I didn’t want to. Today I feel that thanks to my parents I am developing, I want to swim, I want to participate in competitions, get good results. And the goal is to win an Olympic medal.

[Agnieszka]: Keeping my fingers crossed.

[Jolanta]: Super! And what discipline is it?

[Maks]: Swimming. My favorite style is backstroke.

[Jolanta]: Wow!

[Maks]: What profession have you dreamed of?

[Agnieszka]: I used to work in an office, I was responsible for clearing payments to employees.

[Maks]: What grades did you have in school? e.g. in Polish, in math. Good ones?

[Jolanta]: That’s right! In mathematics not! I have hated math since I was a child, I cried because of math. Until I finished my education. But I loved Polish. I know the Polish well, I want to learn polish sign language, But the grammar is different. I’m a little angry about this. And you?

[Maks]: I like math, also Polish and history. I like history because the teacher is deaf And he tells the story so interestingly, that I feel like I’m watching a movie. In Polish I like grammar, analysis of grammar. Similarly with mathematics, I like to work on solutions. I don’t like such 6×5 type tasks, only fractions, something more interesting, more difficult!

[Jolanta]: Wow! You are talented!

[Maks]: Thank you. See you there. Bye!

See also the interview with Maks that followed the Polish Deaf Swimming Championships:

The Intergenerational Deaf Forum was held as part of the “Intergenerational Center for the Deaf” project. The task is financed by the Minister of Education and Science.

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