Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Facts About ASL

Little known fact {well, unless you know me...} I am in my third semester of American sign language. Yes, that’s right I sign. While in sign I have learned a very important fact and by 'learn' I mean this fact have been shoved down my throat {or would it be hands?} since my first day of class.

Sign language is better that English

After learning this fact I have come to the conclusion that deaf people think a lot about themselves and their language. They get away with such strong ideas because no one has any idea what they’re saying.

Here's a fact I came up with...Lora struggles with paying attention during sign language. In fact I have gotten in the horrid habit of texting during class. Awful. But in my defense if I didn’t text I would most certainly fall asleep.

Picture you this: it’s three in the afternoon, you’re in a classroom that is completely silent, you’re warm - but not too warm - in fact you are the perfect temperature…maybe even a little too perfect.

A comatose existence lingers on the horizon waiting to envelop you. You fight if off for as long as humanly possible and then you give in. You give in to the sleepiness tempting you with its promises of soothing relief from your o so busy schedule. And heaven help you, you dose off.

Then in the middle of a perfect daydream you have a deaf person yell at you...

This is possibly the most terrifying thing that can happen to you and once it does you will do most anything to avoid it…so I text.

That’s not to say the teacher approves, in fact the last girl who was caught texting had the following conversation with the teacher.

Teacher: "Are you texting? I will kill you."


The convo was a bit one sided don’t you think?

For some odd reason deaf threats via hand gestures is a lot more petrifying than the spoken word. Insert the value of my ability to be above average sneaky while texting. AAS {wow some things shouldn’t be made into acronyms}

But I do listen, for instance the day the teacher signed about getting thrown in jail for being mistaken as a prostitute, ya you can bet I caught ever word.

Though I have to admit sometimes texting blows up in my face.

For instance: the day we talked about camels. I saw the sign for camels I looked down to read a text from Danica, and when I looked back up I caught the teachers gaze and in a moment of sheer panic I nodded. I was then asked about camels and I said “yes I know the sign for camels” and I demonstrated the sign.

She then asked me about the various ways one can get on a camel. I told her I did not posses that knowledge having never actually been around camels. After that she went on a rampage of signs where she called me a liar and said several others things I’m sure I should probably know by now. Unbeknownst to me, my nod meant that I agreed to being an expert camel rider. This leads me to fact number 3 of this post: be careful when you move your head in signs, it is far better to sit still and let the teacher think you are an imbecile.

I also have to say the tests have been interesting. I don’t want to get into too many details since this is already a long post, but I leave you with one thing. One should be careful how you sign riding a horse. Apparently, failure to do it correctly will result in you being laughed out of a test.

P.S I feel I should clarify that although this post makes it seem like I don’t like my teacher the reality is I think she is fantastic. Anyone who employs death threats to maintain class order has made an admirer out of me.