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At Gallaudet, deafness isn't an issue. You don't even think about it. Students can pay attention to accounting or psychology or journalism. But when a deaf person goes to another college, no matter how supportive it is, that person doesn't get the same access.
There are people who are born deaf and grow up deaf who don't speak at all, and some of them have told me that they resent a little bit that I do speak. But, you know, I have to be myself. I have to do what I'm comfortable doing.
I grew up outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a little town, and went to a regular high school. I was a... very average student in that high school. Then I joined the Navy, and while I was in the Navy, I was in a motorcycle accident and woke up deaf in a hospital.
I'm a psychologist. I was a psychology faculty member, and then I became an administrator of the department, then the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. At the time of the presidential search, I was the dean.
I'm committed to sign in everything I communicate, but I also speak. I still believe that I reach more people when I do that. I bridge two different cultures and two different worlds, and I think that bridge still needs work.
Torture is such a slippery slope; as soon as you allow a society or any legal system to do that, almost instantly you get a situation where people are being tortured for very trivial reasons.
I deliberately keep myself apart from a lot of stuff; I don't Tweet, I don't do Facebook, I don't blog, and that's largely because I spend my working life staring at a screen and hitting a keyboard, I am trying to cut down on that, not increase it.
I think a lot of people are frightened of technology and frightened of change, and the way to deal with something you're frightened of is to make fun of it. That's why science fiction fans are dismissed as geeks and nerds.
I love writing and can't imagine not being able to do it. I want an easy life and if it had been difficult I wouldn't be doing it. I do admire writers who do it even though it costs them.
I remember being shocked when I discovered some of my school pals didn't have books in their homes. I thought it was like not having oxygen, or hot water.
I've always loved Scotland, and I'm not a huge fan of big cities, to be honest. I like them to dip into for a bit, but I'm not sure I would want to live in one again.
Science fiction has its own history, its own legacy of what's been done, what's been superseded, what's so much part of the furniture it's practically part of the fabric now, what's become no more than a joke... and so on. It's just plain foolish, as well as comically arrogant, to ignore all this, to fail to do the most basic research.
I don't really do themes. I might accidentally, but themes are an emergent phenomena of the writing of the book, of just trying to get a story out there.
As long as a film stays unmade, the book is entirely yours, it belongs to the writer. As soon as you make it into a film, suddenly more people see it than have ever read the book.
In theory, I work an eight hour day and a five day week which means I can socialise with my pals who mostly have normal jobs like teaching and computer programming.
Even in my side of the world, I've been in publishing for what, 25 or 26 years, and it's gone from being a gentlemen's club to being a few big players, and it's very corporatised.