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March 25, 2003

Silent magic

From: Ball State Daily News, IN - Mar 25, 2003

'deaf people can do anything but hear'

by Teresa Auch, Chief Reporter
March 26, 2003

When magician Matt Morgan took the stage, there was no applause.

Instead, everyone in the audience raised their hands in the air and wiggled their fingers.

This is how the deaf show their appreciation.

The magic show was part of the American Sign Language Club's DEAF Awareness Week. About 70 people watched the show, which took place Tuesday night at the Student Center Ballroom.

Morgan, who is deaf, began the show by pulling four doves from a scarf, and then turned them into three ducks.

Jeff Guilkey, who was in charge of the week, signed that he thought a perfect example to show that deaf people can do anything but hear was a magician.

Morgan didn't do just magic, he did comedy.

Whether it was joking about stealing hangers from the university, or making fun of a man for being wimpy, Morgan kept the audience laughing at his antics.

"We wish to honor the deaf and show respect," Guilkey said. "This week is to understand the deaf accomplishments."

Morgan's grandfather began teaching him magic tricks when he was six.

"I really love being a performer," Morgan signed. "I love seeing people laugh."

Morgan signed that although he is deaf, he hardly faces any problems.

"Sometimes there is no interpreter, and I really feel stuck," Morgan signed. "But most everything is usually good."

Morgan also had music playing in the background.

"I like having the music, but I wish I could hear it," he signed.

This is the third year for the awareness week.

Guilke signed there was a "big improvement" in attendance from previous years.

"More people are aware," Guilkey signed. "People start understanding deaf (people) can do other things but hear."

ASLC secretary Mandy Curran said the goal of the week is to bring awareness to deaf culture.

"Many people think that ASL is just visually signing all the grammar of English, but it's its own language," Curran said.

Deaf Awareness events will continue until Saturday. Bernard Bragg, the keynote speaker for the week, will be giving a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday. A deaf culture class geared toward college students will be offered at 7 p.m. Thursday. Both events will take place in the Student Center Ballroom. An interpreter will be available at the events.

© 2003 The Ball State Daily News