For ASL Students – “MindField”, A Mind-Blowing Novel Book
Synopsis of “MindField”
What would happen if most of the people in America became deaf almost overnight? Chaos? Financial collapse? Anarchy?
None of the above?
“MindField” is a thrill ride with a message; a premise torn right out of today’s headlines. A terrorist cell ignites an aerosol dispersion of what is thought to be a deadly bacteria-spinal meningitis. It quickly spreads from a small town in Montana to nearly 30 states, eventually affecting more than 3-4 million people-an epidemic of nation-threatening proportions.
Homeland security, the CDC, the EPA, FBI and the NSA spring into action. The first city is quarantined. As the disease spreads and fears mount, martial law is established by the recently elected Libertarian President. The year is 2010.
However, the problem isn’t death – it’s deafness. The physical symptoms of the disease disappear after three weeks, the only remaining symptom is that all those who are stricken become permanently deaf – a common side effect of spinal meningitis.
First, telephones become useless. Air traffic control shuts down. Police and all emergency services stop. Few people understand sign language outside the deaf community, including most of those in government positions.
The United States is turned inside out, a country where more than a third of the inhabitants can’t hear. An underground government is formed deep beneath the NORAD facilities in Colorado. It is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions – or is it?
…and this is just the beginning.
“A Great Read!”
In “MindField,” people are forced to listen with their eyes, to learn to communicate in a way that is fluid, graceful and nearly symphonic – American Sign Language.
Finally, people are forced to pay attention to each other, to listen deeply, to listen with their eyes and hearts for once instead of trying to talk over or through one another, to slow down and not only smell the roses, but see them.
“MindField” is a fast paced, plot driven suspense novel with a pleasant surprising, and incredibly potent message about the way we might live our lives if we all had to listen with our eyes and hearts, and how the world might be a much better place for it.
“MindField” is a compelling, thought-provoking tale that takes us on a neck-snapping ride of intrigue; at the intersection where civil rights, national security, technology, and humanity collide. Ultimately though, it makes us look at the ways we try to understand the world around us and within us, leaving us wondering – what if?
Excerpts from student’s book reflections
of MindField at University of Minnesota.
Each quotation below is from different students
- “MindField has absolutely helped me to better understand the deaf culture and really made me happy for choosing to take ASL course.”
- “This book was written in a style that made it easy and enjoyable to read, I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to know more about the deaf culture or get an idea of what it would be like to become deaf.”
- “You don’t have to hear anything when someone you like or love smiles at you. That one simple visual says volumes and warms up your soul like words are hard to pressed to duplicate.” (page 244) that is my favorite line in the book. I now understand that ASL is a language that is completely full of emotions. One simple facial expression can speak a thousand words.”
- “Although MindField was difficult to begin, once I got started, it flew by. The writing style was notably more expressive than most other works of fiction, especially with regards to vocal tone.”
- “This book has definitely helped me understand the deaf community and American Sign language better.”
- “Overall the book MindField is a creative way to introduce speaking students to the deaf culture and community. I enjoyed reading this book and took away a lot of facts and thoughts that I think will help me appreciate ASL and the culture a lot more than I used to.”
- “I think the book was filled with great metaphors for what is really going on in the world and how a lot of things go over looked and unseen if you allow them to. It is clever and insightful with a fictional story line that keeps your interests.”
- “The book was inspiring to me. I think overall this book has many underlying messages about the society, government, the deaf and what it really means to be human with what ever senses we have. It was a very well written and empowering book.”
- “MindField is a novel that gives a reader useful information while keeping them entranced in a beautifully put together piece of fiction. There is so much that I have learned from this test that I have never really thought of before. I have been very humbled by my ignorance of the complexities of deaf culture”
- “MindField was a wonderful piece of very plausible fiction with a very powerful message. This book shows the deaf community in a light that I had previously never seen. I felt that the book was very well written and organized, the large number of chapters made it easy to keep up with the multitude of characters and events happening all around the world.”
- “Overall I am very grateful to have read this book, MindField, because I feel it gave me the best possible chance to be able to relate to the deaf culture. I feel like I understand it a little better now and understand a bit more how they perceive the world. I also really liked the plot. It had a hidden message that you didn’t even realize you picked up on until the very end of the book.”
- “The novel MindField, provided me with such an important message about communication. This story provided me with a better understanding of the needs and desires of deaf people and caused me to have such a strong desire to learn sign language.”
- “I was most impressed with how much I enjoyed this book. Honestly, when reading the information about the book, I didn’t think that I would be interested. However, after the first chapter I was hooked. I literally would not put the book down for hours on end. The book was very well researched as well as written.”
- “What impressed me most about the book is that not only was a captivating read with a great plot and believable characters, behind it was the stories and experiences of what people face every day of their lives. Making this realization gave the book much more depth and substance.”
- “I believe that this book has helped me to better understand the deaf culture as well as ASL. I had never really learned about either before taking this class and I think this book was a perfect supplemental reading.”
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