Day 3, part 2: TV and Music

Day 3 seemed to have a lot that I wanted to detail about, so I split it into two parts, so that I had time to blog about it all. Part 1 was done previously, and now I’m finally getting around to Part 2.

At the very end of Day 3, when the house was quiet and kids were in bed, I decided to sit down and watch some television. I’ve always had the captions/subtitles on, and didn’t change that when watching it this time around. Now the show I was watching just happened to be a past episode of the show called The Office. I’ve seen quite a few episodes of this show, and I’ve always thought they were pretty funny.

But here’s the thing.

If you’ve ever watched The Office, you’d know that a very large portion of the humor for the show is projected from the tone of voice from each of it’s cast of characters. It also has a lot of office pranks, and even slapstick type humor, but I never realized how much I was missing from the show until I sat down on Day 3 and could hear all the tone reflections in the voices. It was hilarious! Steve Carell was the highlight, obviously, and I can’t even describe how much I laughed!

When watching this episode, I actually watched it online. In my processor, I have an output where I can plug in a cable directly from the processor to the speakers on my computer. It’s pretty much the same as headphones, only I’m just plugging it in to my processor instead of placing earphones over my ears. Pretty cool stuff. But because I did that, I found the quality of the sound was much clearer than if I’d been talking to someone across the room, or obviously watching a television from across the room. It was clear enough that I was able to pick up about 80-90% of what some of the characters on the show were saying. The problem was that those characters were the low-voiced characters, whereas I had a much harder time understanding the higher pitched and fast-talkers of the show.

In addition, I found that if I just listened, and looked away so I didn’t fall into lipreading, I had to concentrate to understand what they said, and it didn’t always “click” (if that makes sense). It’s like finally understanding what the words are, but I just don’t process what they said because I’m concentrating on the next word.

If I lipread/listen at the same time, I process a whole lot more. So for now, I’m considering the lipreading thing as being an ok thing for me. Eventually I know I’m going to have to force myself to listen without lipreading, but I’ll have to wait until my brain can accommodate the listening without so much concentration.

It was still really weird with the subtitles. I could understand so many of the characters that when one of the high pitched people, or one of the fast-talkers made a comment, I’d have to search through the subtitles to find that particular comment. I was understanding so much from the other people that I wasn’t even reading all the subtitles. Work in progress for sure.

And now music. Lovely music.

The first song I listened to, or tried to listen to, was a song titled “Came to My Rescue” by Hillsong United. It’s an amazing song, but it unfortunately sounded a lot like static feedback. Or exactly like static feedback. I tried picking up several of the band’s other songs, but I finally figured out that part of the problem was that their songs were performed in front of a live crowd and also contained not just one, but a whole group of vocalists.

I left their YouTube site in favor of Maroon 5. Haha, no, that didn’t work out. Those dudes have accents.

Next was Celine Dion. Note that I’m not going for new songs, but songs I’ve heard a million times over so that I can try and filter the melody that I know is there. I barely got any of the melody out of Hillsong United songs, but I was able to pick up the melody in Celine Dion’s “All Coming Back to Me Now.” It was still very static sounding. Even though I hear all her high pitches, it’s still hard for me to feel comfortable with them because I’ve just been so long without them. It was too weird-sounding.

So I changed artists again and again. Finally I ended up with Josh Groban, simply because his voice is very low and his songs are usually very simple and clean. No electric guitars, extensive high pitches, or anything fancy. And success! It wasn’t gorgeous sounding, but it was much closer to music than any of my previous attempts. I picked up every bit of the melody, most of the words, and it was nice. Again, not a beautiful blend of instruments and lyrics, but it was progress in that it was enjoyable. Ha!

The music, just like television, will just take time to get accustomed to. All of the instruments tend to sound the same and if there are too many, it begins to give off the static sound. In time, as I listen more and more, I’ll be able to pick out the different instruments and vocalists. It all boils down to patience. It will come. I just have to wait on it, and practice as much as possible.

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