Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy New Year

Hello Everyone,
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year! May
2009 be your best year yet!
As always,

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Merry Christmas

face_photo_croppedHello Everyone

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and I hope everyone has a great new year! Just remember, “Anything is possible, if you believe.”  As always,  Susanna

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National HLAA Convention Nashville 2009

Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays!!!! It has been a hectic time.  I work in Retail Management for a large sporting goods chain and what can I say, Xmas season is our busiest time of the year!

On the other hand, I have some exciting news to share with you,  I was accepted to be a “presenter” at the National HLAA Convention to be held in Nashville JUne 18-21, 2009.    It was so exciting to hear the great news!  I will be presenting “Bouncing Back.”  It is a 3-part workshop: 1. My personal story of the cochlear implants. 2. Coping Stragedies with Cochlear Implants and 3.  Listening Exercises  to achieve optimal success with your cochlear implants.   

I had already presented this presention at the Texas HLA conference in October 2008 and it was a success, at least from all the positive feedback, I received from members of the audience. Yes, there are always areas for improvement , so at Nationals this presentation will be even better, due to constructive feedback, which I welcomed, so you can hopefully enjoy an educational, and inspiring presentation. 

I love helping others and educating others about Cochlear Implants and my tips.  It makes me feel like I accomplished my job, when others tell me that my suggestions, ideas and story was helpful in their lives! 

I had been a member of Toastmasters for a short while and I discovered I love speaking.  The speech in October was my first professional speaking engagement and I hope to eventually have many more speaking engagements! 

In the new year of 2009, one of my goals which I am sharing with you, is to develop a speaking company called “CenterRing Presentations.”  The focus of CRP is How to Overcome Adversity, in addition, to Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implant Awareness and of course, the many stragedies of how to handle your hearing loss and lead a positive, rewarding life in spite of it! 

In 2009, CRP will have a web site, books, audios, and dvd’s available.

Like they say in the movies, “Coming Attraction.” —-So, be on the lookout for it — Center Ring Presentations is going big in the new Year.

By the way, Susanna is accepting invitations to speak in the new year, so contact me at 281-818-0547 or email me at

On the other hand, I have never been to the National HLA Convention and I am so excited, it will be at the fabulous Gaylord Hotel! I have been told this is one of the most beautiful hotels in the country.  It is also HLAA 30 th anniversary.  In addition, Teri Wathen- Co President of HOuston HLA with me is also presenting! How awesome is that! Both Co presidents of the HOuston HLA Chapter will be presenting in Nashville. Come join us  in Nashville!  We would love to meet you and visit with you!

By the way, if you live in Houston and would love to know more about Houston Hla or would love to attend a meeting let me know.  We have some great things in store for 2009! Don’t miss out! Be a part of HOuston HLA!!!

Happy HOlidays! and as always, Have a Sunny day.


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Filed under Cochlear implants, Hearing loss, Hearing Loss Association, Public speaking

“Front of the Class”

“Front of the Class”  When I think of “Front of the Class” I actually think back to when I was child growing up and I was mainstreamed in public schools on Long Island, NY and Spring, Texas.  The only “special” arrangement I had in school was my mom made sure I sat in the first row in class at school. 

I remember, I used to hate that first day in class, because I always prayed and hoped that, I would naturally end up in the first row of class  by alphabetable order or if luck had its way, I got to choose my seat.  However, I remember I hated it when I had to tell the teacher why I had to sit in front, especially in front of all my peers, on the first day of school! The first day was exciting enough! w/o adding to the excitement!  You see, I was like every other kid and I didn’t want to be thought of as “handicapped” or “different.”   Well, I survived many “first days” and “front of the class.”

However, the “Front of the Class” I am actually going to write about, really hit home to me this past Sunday.  Why?  I watched the Hallmark movie “Front of the Class” about Brad Cohen and his Toureg’s Syndrome.

You are probably wondering, “Why did it hit home?”  It really touched me for many reasons.  Yes, I don’t have Toureg’s but I do have a physical disability- profound deafness. 

My life and Brad’s life were similiar in just about every way, except for the obvious type of disability we have.  I also learned how to prevail with a “can do” attitude and lots of perserverance.

There were some real good examples in the movie, that really reverbated with me. 

The first part that hit home was when Brad went   to the Support group with his mom and he was surrounded with others who had Toureg’s.  He and his mom stayed awhile, but Brad and his mom were thinking, “he and I are not like these others.”  Yes, in reality we are, but we choose to handle our challenges with a “winning attitude” which made the difference! I knew exactly were he was coming from, those others accepted Toureg’s and did little to fight it! Brad was thinking, “I am not like them” and he went on to show the world, that Toureg’s was not going to win.    As soon, as I saw this scene, immediately a child hood memory, came racing to my mind!   The memory of my mom, taking me to speech therapy, at this “special hospital” about an hour away from home.  I used to hate going to speech therapy!  In reality, it wasn’t the speech therapy that bothered me, it was seeing the other children at this hospital ( a hospital for children with physical and emotional disabilities.”  You see I was like Brad, I was not like those other kids and I was determined not to be different.  I would come home so unhappy and I was a happy go lucky, outgoing kid.  So, thank god, mom stopped taking me there, because in the end, it did more bad then good!

The Second part that hit home, was the part when Brad was going on those gazillion of job interviews……that has happened to me too in my job search and when I first started showing horses….I failed so miserably at first, but I hung in there, and tried again, and tried again, and tried again, etc….until finally obtaining a job and having success showing horses.

The third most important point that I related to was whether you should disclose your disability or not……I have not ever done that in a job interview.  I will be brutually honest, great jobs are very competitive even when you are “perfect.”  I just never felt comfortable relaying my hearing loss, part of the reason was, I considered myself  just like everyone and I never wanted my hearing loss to be the reason why I did or did not obtain a position.    However, I usually told my boss after I had been on the job for a while and I had a chance to get to know my boss and my work enviroment.  I had to be totally comfortable to do this.  Look, I realize my way, may not be the best way, but it worked for me…….  I realize with ADA and all that, things may chance, but then again, they may not change depending on the person’s knowledge and how attune they are to people who are physical “challenged.”

Another part that I totally agreed on! was that physically “challenged” people are great workers! Brad was First Year Teacher of the Year!  We know what it is like to be “different”  and we always proving to the world that we can do an outstanding job in spite of our disability.

Finally, the “Can do  and Positive Attitude” combined with tons of perserverance.  I totally related to that too!!!  I also had to use those same qualities in my life to help me live a fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding life.

Thank you Brad Cohen for sharing your story and telling the world.  Brad is also a speaker and I am too, I am sharing my story too! to help inspire people too!  We do not need to let our physical disabilities take over our lives, instead we learn to live with our disabilities and do awesome things in spite of our disabilities.

If you missed the movie, I highly suggest your buy it or rent it when it comes out on DVD.

“Anything in life is possible, if you believe!!!!!!!!!!”

As Always,  Have a Sunny Day!!!! Susanna

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Houston Walk for Hearing Nov. 4, 2008

Hello Everyone

Just another awesome Houston HLA event.  The Houston Walk for Hearing at Tom Bass Park on November 4, 2008.  Wow, what a day, we had fabulous weather, fabulous people, fabulous food and of course a fabulous cause.  Walk for Hearing, check it out at .  Our awesome chapter was able to raise over $20000. Way to go, Houston!  We were all so excited, we raised soooooooooooo much moolah, considering the Hurricane Ike cancelled our kickoff and we lost a little bit of momentum due to Ike.  However, that did not deter our awesome chapter.  We all rallied together and still made it happen!!!!!!!!

In addition, the National Walk goal was to reach $700k and my gosh! They did it! All in all, all the walk teams contibuted to a grand total of just over $750k…..Wow!!!!!!!! 

It was my first time to participate in the Walk and raise money as well.  I was excited too, because I reached my personal goal of raising $500.  With the help of my walk team “Champion Ears” and Individidual donations, we raised $525!!!!!  Furthermore, all members of my team had a great time at the walk and they all expressed the sentiment of “they will be back next year” with more donations and friends to walk on the team.  They were impressed with our organization and they want to share the info!  Wow! This advocacy stuff really works!!!

Furthermore, it was great to see many members of the Houston Hla organization participating in the walk, as well as the various vendors and organizations  that help contribute to the success of  the hard of the hearing in the hearing world.  Thanks a million Houston for all that you do!

See more walk photos at

See y’all next year! The date is November 7, 2009 at Tom Bass Park.  Let’s go for $30k plus!!!! I know we can do it! After all, we have awesome group in Houston!

Have a sunny day! Susanna

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Houston HLA Holiday Party

Houston HLA Christmas Party December 2008

A fun time was had by all.  We had an awesome turnout at this delightful party.   We thank Lois Johnson for graciously hosting this party at her daughter’s home in Northwest Houston. 

It was my first HLA Christmas party.  I was not sure what to expect.  It turned out to be an awesome party.  As you all know, I am relatively new to HLA and Houston HLA.  Thus, I am still meeting so many members.  I was able to chat with many members that I have not meet yet.  It was great to do it an informal and festive setting.  I am continually amazed at how much I am still learning about hearing loss and cochlear implants from others.  I love hearing everyone’s story.  They are all truly unique and different.  Just like ice cream, coming in 31 flavors, plus some!  This is how I feel when I hear all these incredible stories, no two stories are alike —–everyone has a different “cochlear implant”  and hearing loss story. 

There so was plenty of food! A little bit of everything!

Teri, Allen, and I also briefly spoke about the excitement for the coming year for Houston HLA!  We are all pumped about our new location! new time! new programs! and exciting workshops! 

By the way, check out more Houston HLA Holiday photos at

Share Houston HLA with everyone !!!!!! Invite them to our meetings! Share this blog with them.  As y’all can tell, I am posting and blogging all my HLA activities on this blog.   We must continue to get the word out!

As always! Have a sunny day! Susanna

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Exciting 4 day weekend coming up

Originally, I was to participate at the Gulf Coast Arabian Horse Club Christmas show.  Traditionally, I had competed in this show every year.  I always look forward to it.  Why? Well, usually it was the first show I participated in, in anticipation of the upcoming spring show season.  This is a great show! Lots of gorgeous horses, a chance to catch up with “horsey friends” Santa Claus, and of course the GCAHC Christmas dinner and silent auction.  All in all, it usually is a fun-filled and competitive show and the weather is always unpredictable, in Texas anything goes, so that usually adds an element of surprise! Ha!

Most of the clients at Optimum were too busy for December, so we just decided to show at the January HAAS show in Katy instead.  This is always a great show too! Karen makes beautiful garlands for the winner.  The added bonus for this show this January is we will be showing under 2 judges which means double pleasure! and double points!

Let me introduce you to “Supreme Chance” – he is my show partner.  He is a gorgeous, extremely tall Half – Arabian Hunter Horse.  He certainly gives me that “winning feeling.” 

Back, to the four day weekend, as you know I had originally dedicated this weekend to the GCAHC show.  Have no fear! Now I have lots of other exciting activities planned.  Instead, I will go to Optimum for a riding lesson with Chance and a visit with Megiddo at LRPH.  Then, I plan to drive to Austin for a “Cochlear Recipients” Reception from 6pm to 8pm.  Then, finally, drive home to Bryan, Tx a mere two hours away! Whew! What a full day.  Friday, head on to Tomball, to hang with Mom.  Xmas shopping? xmas baking? perhaps? Saturday, I will go and visit and hang out at the GCAHC show and of course, eat some great food at the banquet! Can’t miss that, right! Finally, Sunday, go to church at the coolest church in Houston – FOTW and finally, off to the Annual Houston Hearing Loss Association Christmas Party that afternoon.   

I am certainly ready for those days off because I work for Academy Sports and Outdoors in College Station as the Apparel Manager and things are certainly crazzzzzzzy there!!!!! Xmas is totally in the air and whatever ails the economy, it is not affecting us at Academy!!!! It is extremely busy and hectic which is good, because it makes the day go by fast!

Have a sunny day!

As always Susanna

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Filed under Cochlear implants, Horses