Your point of view as a deaf person growing up with a CI seems to be positive and I am happy for you, really. I feel that you may not have experienced the ultimate ASL environment but you seemed not to be interested at this point and that is your choice, of course. I just want to clarify some misconceptions you just wrote in your blog.
1. "I told my mother about it and asked her why some people sign. She just simply told me that it was a language for deaf people who don’t have cochlear implants and/or can’t communicate via speech, hearing, and lip-reading."
Nah, that is not even true! Your mother obviously has not met enough Deaf people who master in speech, listening and lipreading and still use signs. My sister and I are one of them..we grew up in public schools with no interpreters/notetakers and we could get by but it was not the best way to go because we got to miss out group conversations and lectures but who cared? We were lucky enough that we were able to survive because of ASL usage at home where we had already developed a strong language foundation that enabled us to learn a second language more effectively. Yes, there are plenty of them who are like us who can communicate via speech, hearing and lipreading but incorporate signs because of the benefits of bilingual approach. In addition, we are fortunate that we are able to express ourselves in ASL, a visual language, since it is not the same in English. We just had a choice to communicate in both languages. I am proud of you learning French and I suppose it is a neat thing to learn as well but please don't go around saying that you have better things to do than learning ASL.
2. "my mom wrote an article about the deaf community spreading misconceptions about CIs..."
I cannot say if they are since I need to read what was said but I can tell you that there are real stories here at DeafRead, elsewhere and from what I have seen in my profession that have been shared by individuals who don't find it as positive as you do. We cannot ignore and brush away their stories and declare that those are misconceptions.
3. Re: Sound and Fury "That’s when I began to really think that the deaf community was full of selfish people. My mother never told me when I was growing up that the deaf community were bad people. It was this film that formed my opinions about the deaf community."
I am glad to know that your mom never said that about Deaf people and I really hope she doesn't look down on Deaf people using ASL. But allow me to focus on topic #3 about your thoughts on Sound and Fury. As we know, it was a documentary film on one Deaf family. It should not reflect as a whole about the Deaf community though. It is hard on every parent to make such decision to cut open their Deaf child and that has nothing to do with being selfish because the surgery is considered invasive and it is not 100 percent guaranteed. Parents who don't consider CIs for their Deaf children are not selfish! They have a right to choose just like your mother chose to implant you. Should I shout it out that your mother was selfish doing that? Heck, no! For whatsoever reasons parents chose to have or not to have CIs are not for us to judge them. However, I can talk about why I decided not to do it for my Deaf children and I would appreciate you or anyone else to refrain from judging about my decision. For my view, it is more of why go through the invasive procedure if I can raise them to be fluent in both languages and have them perform at or above grade level thanks to the success of bilingual approach. There are advanced digital hearing aids that they can choose to enjoy sounds but one of my children decided that he no longer wants to wear them. He doesn't like hearing sounds although he had years of auditory and speech therapy. Who am I to force him to be the kid that he does not want to be? For children, either hearing or deaf, who grow up in an ASL and English environment, tend to be successful in academics and there are research documents to prove that. To call them selfish by not implanting is not acceptable! Do you think it is acceptable to call the parents selfish by not using ASL in their homes by the way?
4. "... to have time for ASL club, and plus, as I said, I just didn’t find the reason or the need to learn it. I communicated with these deaf people often through their interpreters. They were very nice and lovely people, but from what I saw, they they were very isolated from the rest of the school. They were in self-contained classrooms all day."
Since I have no way of knowing if these Deaf people actually use ASL but allow me to point out that it is typical that in mainstreaming environment that PSE, SimCom (signing and voicing at the same time), Signed English, etc. are commonly used. There is no way to experience a true bona fide language unless they have been immersed in an environment with true ASL users. It is typical for a mainstreaming setting that not all students come from a Deaf family and that they have not interacted with actual ASL users in the community on a daily basis. Let alone not having a teacher who is Deaf and being exposed to plenty of Deaf role models. If that is the case then they are isolated from the Deaf world as well. But allow me to ask, what is your definition of isolation? Just because they are placed in self-contained classrooms that they are automatically labeled isolated? Just because they don't have CIs that they are isolated? Just because they use interpreters that they are isolated? I find it interesting that you didn't even bother to include them in your circle and I wonder why? Did you ever invite them to your social gatherings outside the school? When I was in a public school, there were no Deaf students until I was in 8th grade. This Deaf girl entered two grades apart from me but I welcomed her and made her feel like a family with other hearing friends during lunch. Ever since she made so many friends that the ice had broken for her to feel comfortable to interact. It has nothing to do with being deaf but it has to do with being warm to make one feel welcome. I can't help but wonder if you ever do that with these Deaf students making them feeling welcome and building bridges?
5. "... I googled “Deaf History” and I then began studying about deaf history as I was curious about it. I was really amazed by what the deaf people had to go through in the past hundreds of years. I just simply thought, “I’m fortunate that I’m living today, not yesterday, as I have the technology that allows me to live in an easier life”
So you got the information from googling Deaf History? (**chuckling**) Perhaps it may be sufficient to look into technology part but Deaf History is much more than that. I just hope you will consider taking a class taught by a Deaf professor someday! It will help you open your eyes, big time!
6. "This past summer, as I was traveling throughout Europe, I received an e-mail from my mother telling me that she found a deaf blog and had been debating with them. I took a look at that blog and became so irritated when people told my mother that she should wait until I grow up and that I will resent my parents for choosing to give me a cochlear implant. "
Your mother, Melissa, debated at my blog, yes, and boy you were not the only one who was irritated. Although my focus on the blog topic was not about when and who should get CIs but about the positive aspects about ASL and Deaf culture. It started out how this mother, Amy, dissed ASL and Deaf culture and that irritated me. Naturally, I had to blog about her dangerous point of view by belittling ASL and that CI children don't need it which is not always true. Somehow, the discussion lead from one topic to another. But what did we learn from this, may I ask? All I want is for the non-ASL CI community and the ASL community to respect each other but I felt that the ASL community didn't get the respect from them and you may have felt so vice versa. Is this like a Middle Eastern war zone that there will never be a solution? I hope not.
Anyway, it is your life and frankly, I don't care whatever you do since you are adult enough to make your own decisions. Like I said, I am happy for you that you are finding success for yourself but please acknowledge that not all CI people feel the same way as you do. I just hope that you are able to stop and think that what works for you doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for them. I am all for whole approach and will just go along with the flow that the child desires it.
All I care about is the respect since it bothers me when you have this standoffish attitude about ASL like you have better things to do than learning ASL. Learning ASL is not only about learning a language but about Deaf people, heritage and culture. Ok, to put at it this way, it is like saying that I have better things to do than learning about CI people. But no, since they are part of the Deaf community and I try to make the effort to learn about them and make them feel inclusive. One more thing, you just cannot simply turn your back on Deaf culture just because there are misconceptions made by them about CIs that lead to your appreciation that "parents never sought to introduce you to the Deaf culture". Humans are entitled to make mistakes and I do commend you for establishing your blog to clarify the misconceptions BUT I don't support your accusations making them the "bad guy". Yes, trying to be a bit more sensitive, you and I. We just need to continue to build bridges to make the betterment for the posterity, the Deaf children. Just think about it.