written by Heather Barczynski
As most of you probably know, especially you college students who move dorm rooms and apartments regularly, interior decorating is hard. Perhaps the most difficult part is procuring furniture. However, three years of college, three dorm rooms, and an apartment did not prepare me for the Deaf Living Room Adventure.
Part one of my story begins with a trek to the prop room (shout out to the NTID Theatre Department for letting us borrow their furniture!). If you were unaware, as I certainly was, there is a storage room above NTID’s Panara Theatre. It is accessed through a locked door (so do not try to sneak in after reading this) behind the stage. Tabitha, our fearless Director, led me up a spiral metal staircase; it was so narrow that if I was claustrophobic or had eaten one more cookie at lunch, I would not have been able to climb it. We then carefully made our way across the cluttered room to the rugs in the corner. Tabitha hauled out the rug we wanted, I grabbed a lamp, and we made our way down the stairs. Luckily neither of us tripped and Panara Theatre is extremely close to Dyer, so carrying the décor to our living room was fairly easy.
The same cannot be said for part two of our adventure. In addition to the prop room, the Theatre Department has a shipping container where the bulky furniture is stored. While the storage container is technically on campus, it is removed from the main buildings, so Tabitha drove. If college was a horror movie, this boneyard was probably where I would have died. The road became gravel and mud, and aside from the shipping containers and storage units, we were the only ones there. We unlocked the shipping crate and, after struggling some with the door, climbed in. Tabitha used her cellphone as a flashlight, and we removed the table and chair, pushing a small sofa and sink fixture out of our way.
The real fun began when we tried to put the furniture in the Tabitha’s car; even with the back seats down, there was no way to fit both the table and the chair in the trunk. The only way to stop our never-ending game of Tetris was to transport the chair upside-down on the passenger’s seat—my seat. My only choice if I did not want to walk back (which I did not; I am a lazy college student) was to sit on top of the folded-down rear seats, hunched over so my head would not hit the ceiling. Since I did not have access to a seatbelt, I hugged the passenger seat headrest and prayed we would not get pulled over by Public Safety. If this adventure did not prove I love my job, I do not know what will.
Clearly everything worked out, as we now have the Deaf Living Room on display. Come see it in Ann Silver: Deaf Way, Her Way- A Retrospective from now until April 22.