life rattle show no. 1350

Presented on saturday, August 21, 2015


hosted by laurie kallis



"Silent Lesson"
"The Upgrade"
"Pool Party"
"Unheard Eulogy"
by Karina Cotran



tonight's Show

On tonight's program we feature four stories from new Life Rattle writer Karina Cotran.

Karina Cotran was born in Toronto, in 1994, to parents who immigrated to Canada from Israel. Karina and her younger brother, A.J., grew up in Mississauga. Karina was born three months premature with a hearing impairment that has greatly affected her life and influenced her outlook. She’s in her fourth year of studying professional writing and English at university and loves to write and read. Karina Cotran currently works for her student newspaper and at a retail store.

Karina Cotran has written a series of stories that provides extraordinary insight into the world of the hearing impaired. She doesn’t explain what it is like to live in a world where you cannot count on sound being consistent, she takes us along with her and lets us experience it—relying on a cochlear implant to hear, more importantly relying on the batteries that power it; protecting that implant that gives the gift of sound, and coping with the sudden silence when things go wrong.

Karina shares her experiences with beautiful prose that captures precise, telling details, especially the details of sound that we so often overlook. Her way with words would capture your attention, even if the stories were not as compelling as they are.

In "Silent Lesson" our young narrator tries desperately to keep her cool when a policeman’s classroom presentation on strangers becomes a test of her ability to foll ow instructions that she cannot hear, and make her way to a storage cabinet to retreive backup batteries for her implant, without attracting the attention of her classmates, her teacher, or of the handsome young Officer Ryan.

In "The Upgrade" our narrator’s audiologist offers her the opportunity to have her cochlear upgraded with a program that allows the implant to tune certain noises in and out. Problem is, the cochlear chooses which noises to tune in and out, not the wearer.

"Pool Party" opens with a teenager considering which bathing suit will best show her tan, and the importance of an appealing body spray as she prepares to attend a friend’s pool party, where a certain young man will be in attendance. Despite looking and smelling fabulous, the incompatability of a cochlear implant and a swimming pool turns the party into a less than stellar experience.

In "Unheard Eulogy" our young narrator and her family bid farewell to Teta, her grandmother. From the chapel to the cemetery, we the follow the rituals, until a malfunctioning microphone cuts off our narrator from the Father’s words midway through her Teta’s eulogy.