Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 66 - ASL

Today I sent out a fundraiser e-mail in plight of my cheetah event, and dared to include my director on it. Let me tell you, it did take some mustering of nerve to do so, but I figure what do I have to lose? And more so, I reminded myself that every one's money is the same color and adds the same value. In serious fundraising mode now, I raised $201 in one day, only $799 more to go to meet my goal.

Since fundraising isn't new to my blog posts, here's what is. I finally found a place where I can take ASL classes. I have long put off learning ASL despite being around deaf people my entire life. I have a cousin who is deaf and had neighbors while I was growing up that were deaf as well. As a child, I must admit I felt awkward at times not being able to communicate with others and still find myself not quite knowing what to do in situations that arise where communication is difficult. One such recent situation involved a deaf woman and her dog who came to visit my pet training arena. While she enthusiastically tried to communicate with me, I felt horrible that I could not understand her or her dog's needs. Whether she ever comes to visit me again, her interaction with me changed my way of thinking. I want to be able to talk to her and anyone else who speaks ASL and not feel awkward or uncomfortable when faced with someone who sounds and speaks differently then I do.

I can't quite remember what grade I was in, but as part of a childhood school Christmas pageant, I learned how to sign the words to "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" and later shared my new found Christmas caroling technique with my neighbors. I know I didn't realize it then, but I can only imagine how they felt to have someone "sing" them Christmas carols one year, carols that they could understand and appreciate. That memory has always stuck with me. I enjoyed signing at the time, and have retained some of what I had learned all those years ago. In addition, there are times I find myself at the theater and am so engrossed in watching the interpreter bring to life the play for those who cannot hear it, that I don't even watch what it is I paid to go see.

It seems like ASL has always had some presence in my life, and I'm now choosing to push past the fears of not being able to understand, in efforts to learn how to understand. Spring classes start on March 29th, fingers and hands don't fail me now!


  1. that's awesome! where are you taking the classes?

  2. Provided I hear back from them about signing up, the Center on Deafness in Northbrook. If they don't come through, there are some other options in the city.