It was so very exciting. I finally got to make a (successful) connection with someone in the Deaf community. I was brave enough to set up a meeting with the head of the Deaf Ministry in a church that’s near my home. She was extremely nice and wonderfully patient with me and my signing skills (or lack thereof). I found out many helpful things from her and she is willing to help me hone my skills.
She teaches an ASL class at the church and invited me to the class as a supplement to the ASL II course I’m already taking. Like myself, she is also of Puerto Rican descent and has a few Spanish-speaking students in her class as well. She suggested that I also start taking Spanish classes because the Deaf community is in desperate need of Spanish-speaking ASL interpreters. She also said, being that I am Hispanic, it would be great for me to improve my Spanish and help my children learn as well.
I’ve done so much research today on what school to go to next for the Sign Language Interpreter Program and have been working on changing my major to an AA in Foreign Languages for Spanish at my current college. Today has been an outstanding day! Oh! Also, as an added bonus, I had an interview this morning at a nearby hospital for a phlebotomy position which has extremely flexible hours and therefore shouldn’t interfere with school (I think I nailed that interview!)
I’ll do my best to keep everyone posted on my future ASL adventures! 🙂
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but life got in the way and I had decided that it probably only makes sense to write when I have the urge because if I force it then only crap is produced.
Anyway, why the sad face? Well, when I started my ASL I class my professor informed us that once a month people from the Deaf community commune at a particular mall for a few hours and students often gather around to observe. My professor knows some of these people and said that they are accustomed to having students around.
I decided to try it yesterday. I went with my children and sat down at the food court where I saw the group signing to each other. I was soooo nervous. I felt so out-of-place and rude for just sitting there and not participating. They were signing so fast and I couldn’t catch up with all of their conversations. I sent a text to my professor and said that I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t sure whether to approach them or just keep sitting and virtually continuing to eavesdrop on them. She assured me that they were used to it and that it was ok to watch.
After about an hour of watching and getting nauseated from being so nervous, a gentleman approached me and asked if I was learning. We started our conversation which I thought would be great but unfortunately, as I expected, it was still very difficult for me to communicate with him. I was just so nervous that I couldn’t understand what he was saying at times and then felt embarrassed when he would have to slow down for me. I don’t want anyone to have to accommodate me. I feel like it’s not fair for him to have to modify his “speech” for me.
I know it probably sounds like stupid insecurities but I just felt uncomfortable. Though as inadequate as I felt, I will use this experience to fuel my desires to practice more often and really master this language because I truly desire to serve this community and make friends as well. On the bright side, the gentleman provided me with some information on where I may be able to find more events like this and get more involved.
Started off kinda sappy and ended up motivated. I WILL be an interpreter.
P.S. Sorry for the long wait. I will be back more often, I promise. 🙂
Everyday I try to learn something new in the Deaf community. Today I’ve gone into a mini Deaf rampage. I went to iDeafNews and watched one of their videos. I still don’t completely understand but it is something I look forward to doing more often as I continue my journey in learning ASL.
When the correspondent was signing I was falling more and more in love with the language. It just seemed so beautiful, so artistic; almost like watching a beautiful play or something. I’m probably making it more magical than it was but that’s just how I felt about it. Everything I’ve learned so far about Deaf Culture has really intrigued me. It’s like I’ve been enchanted by this culture and want to learn more and more each day about them.
I’ve been fervently seeking a Deaf group in my community in which I could possibly get involved with and practice my ASL. I haven’t had any luck yet but I will continue to seek and enjoy myself in the process.
Hey! Let me know if anybody out there in the blogging world could maybe possibly relate 🙂
Ok so I have to share my geeky moment because it made me sooooo excited! I was at the library with my BFF and her two daughters looking for some DVDs and usually whenever I’m with them I practice my signing because they are all genuinely interested in learning with me. So as I was signing I noticed this man watching me and I just figured that he was wondering what the heck I was doing or saying, however, he looked at me and asked me, in ASL, if I was Deaf.
At that moment I felt like screaming out, “No, but please talk to me/sign with me!” because I was so elated but then that wouldn’t have been a good idea for 2 reasons: 1 He’s Deaf and wouldn’t have heard me and 2 I was in the library and probably would’ve gotten kicked out. So I kept my composure and was able to have a conversation with him. I’m glad that the ridiculous grin, that I must have had on my face, didn’t scare him away but was very excited about telling him about me learning ASL and my wanting to become an interpreter for the Deaf.
It was a very nice experience; yet another one that I called into existence because I did want to be able to communicate directly with a Deaf person and it happened! This is the first conversation I’ve had with an actual Deaf person after starting my ASL class and I can’t wait to be fully certified but do look forward to the learning experience of it all.