News


Pleasanton teen's documentary set to be screened in New York

Film focuses on Children of Deaf Adults

Incoming Amador Valley High School junior Jacob Baer's documentary has been selected to screen at the 2014 Varsity Brands All-American High School Film Festival from October 24-27 at the AMC Empire Theaters in New York City's Times Square.

According to the festival committee, thousands of films from over 45 states and 15 countries were submitted.

The video called "CODA Pride" is a documentary highlighting Children of Deaf Adults (CODA) and their experiences, relationships and their bilingual community. It is described as "powerful in its deconstruction of deaf stereotypes."

The film was written, directed and edited by Baer, and includes other Pleasanton Unified students such as Rachael Baer, Sarah Baer, Dante Brooke, Jackson Anderson-Kovacs, Danielle Moyers, Jarod Moyers, and Jessica Smario.

"I love seeing students use their creativity and passion," said Pleasanton schools superintendent Parvin Ahmadi. "Congratulations to all students who were involved. We are fortunate to have such wonderful students who will continue to make this a better world."

"CODA Pride" can be viewed online.

Comments

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Posted by diora
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Good luck Jacob, fabulous job!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

CONGRATULATIONS JACOB! VIVA JACOB! VIVA!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ottaway family
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm

What a great accomplishment, Jacob! You have a wonderful family. We are proud of you, here in Pleasanton. :)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Very heartwarming and informative. Thank you Jacob for this wonderful production....you should be proud.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by toni hume
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:06 am

Wonderful job Jacob! You have an incredible family; a wonderful source of motivation and support.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Almer Wood
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Wow I am a CODA and have lived in Pleasanton for many years. Im sorry I don't know anyonebut Michael. If you see this Michael,CODA hugs. I am very impressed with this and wish you good luck Jacob


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jean
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 14, 2014 at 11:23 am

I wanted to watch this film to show support and respect for our youth in Pleasanton, and unexpectedly found myself immensely impacted, informed and blessed. I feel as my Halloween-born daughter must have on her first Halloween outing. I had been careful not to give her any sugar her first year of life, but relented on Halloween as we trick-or-treated together...I let her have her first piece of chocolate. Oh my!...over thirty years later, her reaction still represents to me the epitome of joy: her eyes popped open wide, her arms and legs shot out from the stroller with as much force as spinach given to Popeye, then her whole body wriggled with uncontained delight, with a grin from ear to ear that only chocolate can bring! It was as if she just awakened into how good life could be!

This film, in the same way, brought a new, first-hand experience of unexpected delight to me. I have tears dotting my (English)words. I love the quote, "They may be deaf, but they are not silent." I was surprised that many CODAs prefer ASL to English, and especially when I heard that they could communicate better in ASL! I was impressed at the CODA's comment that if she is speaking English to her siblings and her parents walk in, she immediately switches to ASL...such respect! <3...which proves the closeness and intimacy of the deaf (and CODA) community. I found myself envious! I am dependent on my glasses to see--I clearly am more "disabled" than the deaf, as portrayed in this film (instead of my previous perception).

These comments in the film made sense to me as I rolled them around awhile. I love to touch and I am always using my hands, even when I speak. If someone grabs my hands, I instantly stop talking and my thoughts disappear! I love words, but find it hard to express myself clearly when I speak, and sometimes I say things I'm not aware of--confusing or misinforming the hearer--so writing is a better way for me to get my thoughts across (again, through my hands, so I can feel the words!). I learn by taking notes when I hear a lecture, otherwise the words dissipate and I can't remember what was said; I need to touch the words to retain them, to make them real.

I also love silence. The noise of the city, highway, TV, and even parties is stressful for me; I am not one who always has the radio or TV on. I find such relief when I retreat into silence. I consider silence holy.

There's another comparison that I sense may be true for me. I was born and raised in the Bay Area. My first big road trip was to Idaho, then on to Oregon, and it wasn't until after I was married. I had no idea that there was so much land with nothing on it--nothing!!! I was filled with trepidation before we left on whether we'd be able to follow the directions to our destination in Idaho: to turn at the tree, the blinking light and the bar....but we found out those were the only three things we saw in hours of driving! It took a few days to unwind from the city pace and relax into the ways of the country. I loved watching the clouds and walking barefoot (at home I always had to watch out for broken glass, but in the country, cow patties were my major concern). I remember, on the way home, it was in Sacramento when I felt the familiar life-long stress response returning--my body tensing in defense. Was it the bombardment of billboards and buildup of traffic? I hadn't ever noticed I was tense before--it was just a normal state for me. The surprise revelation hit me that I was really a country girl who had lived my life in the city, never knowing there was an alternative of peace so fulfilling to my heart, available to me in the country....

I want to learn ASL....I think it's my native language that I never learned.


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