Although Americans tourists are banned from entering the country, I went under the journalism category.
It's only an hour flight, Cuban visa can be bought during check-in at the airline counter before departure, just don't forget your passport. I exchanged dollars into their convertible  (CUC) pesos upon arrival. I stayed at an hostel next to the baseball stadium. I focused on videotaping their culture alone rather than being somewhat biased traveling group with their hectic schedule. One day took a Soviet era Lada taxi to outskirts of Havana to visit a Deaf school. They asked me what we Deaf Americans do with our obsolete TTY as we are using VP nowadays, hopefully some organizations will donate those equipment. I felt like was blasted into the past, surrounded by all those vintage automobiles.


"To Deaf, With Love"

     I noticed a high turnover rate among hearing teachers of the Deaf, burnt out and chased out of classrooms by rowdy, undisciplined, and unteachable Deaf hooligans Deaf lacked the motivation, and there is no incentives to excel in the    classrooms, parents don't give a damn either. Keep the status quo in place, as long as you get state funding to divert to purchasing musical instruments for its marching band, the pride of surviving in the rust belt. IEPs are recycled and rubber stamped, just punch in and out and call it a day. Nothing ever changes around here, until a new Deaf teacher was hired, the administration doesn't expect any improvements as these Deaf are just a bunch of juvenile delinquents. The Deaf teacher immediate takes control the moment he sets in that classroom, taking no nonsense from nobody, carrying a yardstick in his hand to grab their attention, setting down a set of rules they are expected to abided by or face the consequences of their actions, telling them to wipe clean the dusts off their books and turn the pages and start learning, and the rest is history. Parents are surprised to see the turnaround in their Deaf children, seeing the improvements in their report cards, and wanted to be involved in their lives, finally making an effort to learn ASL. The Deaf teacher just keep raising the bar, setting higher standards, passing state standard tests with flying colors, getting the attention of local community colleges that willing to award them scholarships even though most will transfer to Gallaudet, and local employees willing to train a new labor pool of Deaf workers. The Deaf teachers has earn the respect of our Deaf students. Deaf teachers are our role models and mentors and accessible to us all, making us feel free to ask any questions, motivating us to learn new things and experiences life along the way. Someday we'll look back and thank our Deaf teachers for our successes in the cruel world we live in.
I recommend that if you got a chance, to watch Sidney Poitner classic British movie, "To Sir, with Love."

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