Mr. Holland's Opus

In my quest to soak up all things deaf, to gain a greater understanding of deaf culture, etc. I decided to re-watch Mr. Holland's Opus. This was the first time I'd seen the movie from "this side." It was sad, it was tough to watch, it was different this time around - I could relate. The famous scene that everyone talks about - where they're at the parade and the fire truck goes by - everyone covers their ears and cringes... but Cole, the baby, who sleeps right through - is the mother's "aha" moment. It's then that she knows he's deaf. They find out that he has a 90% hearing loss, and the audi tells them they shouldn't "gesture" with him, because he'll never learn to speak (HA!). When he's 4 or 5, and still can't sign OR speak, they send him to a deaf school, where he learns ASL and thrives. There's much more to the movie than that...

I thought it was tough for me, as a German and Spanish teacher, to have a deaf son (remember though, that he will learn Spanish some day!!!!). Imagine having music be your life, and not being able to share that with your son. The movie is set in the 60s, when there wasn't the option or even thought of a cochlear implant. Wow, how the face of deaf education has changed so much since then, to include so many more options! How grateful I am to be raising a child in this day and age!

I think I'm really glad that we left the hospital knowing that Lucas wasn't hearing quite right (even if we didn't know the severity of his hearing loss). I really can't imagine finding out now, at a parade, figuring it out on my own, and then wondering why I didn't know sooner.

Great film.