When I Am Dead

The Writings of George M. Teegarden

Edited by Raymond Luczak

Series: Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Ebook : 9781563683879, 160 pages, September 2009
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Table of contents

The Slimmest of Evidence: An Open Letter to George M. Teegarden
Part One: Stories
In Pennsylvania
Horned Toads
A Kind Dog
Playing with Powder
A Bad Cat
A Little Spartan
A Strange Accident
Dangerous Coasting
History Lessons
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
A Ring of Ill-Omen
Benjamin Franklin
Memorial Address for Rev. John G. Brown, D. D.
Aaron Burr's Daughter
Life Lessons
The Fox
The Boy and His Stomach
The Lark and the Young Ones
The Grateful Dog
Boys and Monkeys
The Miller and His Donkey
Two Kittens
Rudely Awakened
Borrowed Plumes
The Gentleman and the Banana Peel
Animal Stories
Molly and the Canary
Fight with an Owl
The Bird and the Snake
"Hiram's Cow"
The Tiger's Bath
A Huntress
The Stork and the Dog
The Lion and the Spaniel
Saved by Sheep
Elenore and Nero
The Monkey and the Sugar
The Toad, the Snake, and the Tramp
Lady Jane of Lorn
Vanlander and Amilias
The Lady of the Lawn
People Stories
The Ugly Aunt
The Maid of the Inn
Three Little Ones and the Giants
Yellow Hair and Blue Eyes
Dining-Room Talk
Father Pumpkin
The Youth and the Northwind
A Cuban Amazon
Four Brothers
Uncle Sam
Personal Notes
Missive to Alice (1912)
My Connection with and My Activities at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
A Pleasant Summer Trip (1916)
Part Two: Poems
On the Lakes
En Reverie
The Blue Jay
The Boy of Ten
Gallaudet College (Fiftieth Anniversary)
As They Pass By
Kitty-Cat, Puss
Anna Niblock Rankin
Busy Bees
The Workman
Flowers of Spring
Our Alice (1906)
Rhymes for a Party
To the City Toiler
The Clovers
Song Silence
The "NAD"
On Leaving "The Birches"
Sir Robin's Inspections
The Memory Window
When I am Dead

The sixth of the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies presents the “short shorts,” stories, and poetry by Teegarden, a deaf teacher in late 19th and early 20th century Pennsylvania.



The Sixth Volume in the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies Series
George M. Teegarden (1852-1936) taught at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf for 48 years, established the printing department, and also served as the first editor of the school’s magazine. Despite these significant contributions, his greatest gift to deaf people was his skill as a writer and poet who was deaf, as readers will discover in When I Am Dead: The Writings of George M. Teegarden.
Editor Raymond Luczak selected Teegarden’s prose in When I Am Dead from several books, including Raindrop, and Stories, Old and New. Noting that these stories were never written for hearing readers, Luczak marvels at Teegarden’s ability to write English prose that the ASL-familiar reader would find incredibly easy to transliterate. By employing a rich blend of original stories and revisions of fables and myths, Teegarden taught his students the importance of improving their reading and writing skills to outfit them “for the battle of life.” He produced a body of work that Luczak characterizes as “a breath of fresh air: quick, painless, and usually told with a sense of wonder.”
Luczak’s choice of poems came from Teegarden’s self-published volume Vagrant Verses, a summation of his affection for Gallaudet College, the Deaf community, and all deaf people. The eponymous poem “When I Am Dead” articulates concisely the beliefs that directed Teegarden’s life of service:

“When I am dead, I hope to be
Remembered—this is true—
Not for my wit or vanities
But what I did for you.”


Raymond Luczak, a writer and filmmaker, lives in Minneapolis, MN.