chaiya: (asl "c")
Going through the online ASL dictionary, we had the following gem.

me: "Sweetheart, there's a sign for 'ascend!'"
Steve: "Well, of course, how else would the Deaf play Kingdom of Loathing?"
chaiya: (asl "c")
Too Sexy for This Song
chaiya: (asl "c")
"Baby Got Back" in ASL. (Or at least the beginning thereof.)

Attn [livejournal.com profile] kleenestar, this is definitely one for the collection. ;)

And now, possibly to nap.
chaiya: (asl "c")
[livejournal.com profile] hakamadare and I went to ASL class today. As usual, Manny (the teacher) made great fun of me. On the one hand, I'm a good student. On the other hand, I'm so excited about the class sometimes that I am an annoying student. I can blurt out answers when someone else is taking a while to get it, and that impinges on their learning opportunities. I know this intellectually, but I still sometimes need the reminder. DO NOT DO THAT, Crystal!

'Cause I did that to Steve once or twice today. Oops.

It was so funny, though, because there were a few instances of Manny trying to teach us new signs, and we'd be guessing, and Steve and I would guess similar things. I guess we really have melded a bit, as a couple. There was this one sign, where you shake "y" signs (the way you do for the sign for yellow), and then make the "agent" symbol. Usually, the agent symbol means "doer of [whatever that previous action sign was]." I couldn't help it. Steve and I were both stumped, so I suggested "yellow-er!" and he suggested "yell-er!"

(Turns out that sign means "player." As in, baseball player, basketball player, piano player, etc.)

Then there was the sign for "driver" (which is [car] plus [agent sign]), and the sign was a little less distinct than it could have been. So I knew what it was supposed to be, but I also knew before he said it that Steve was going to call it "milker of a cow." Which amused the heck out of me. And now? We also know the sign for milking a cow. ;)

I love this class.
chaiya: (thoughtful)
We talked today about the history of oralism, particularly in Europe & America. I've also been reading When the Mind Hears by Harlan Lane, which is a sort of history of the Deaf. (I am a slow reader, but this is a very worthwhile book, thus far.)

Did folks know that, up until the 1960s or 1970s, manual language was legally prohibited to be used in schools to educate the deaf? This decree was made in the 1880s or therabouts, and it took nearly 100 years to reverse. The Deaf children who went to school were supposed to muddle along by lip reading. Because oral speech was the only acceptable, civilized, Human method of communication.

This blows my mind. In the Dark Ages, folks thought that those who couldn't speak were comparable to "dumb animals," because speech was supposedly what separates man from beast. But in my lifetime this was still a prevalent idea? Hell's bells!

I began taking this class because I thought it would be neat, because I wanted to know signs to teach to small children as I coo over them, etc. I also thought it would be fun to take with [livejournal.com profile] hakamadare, because now we have our own nonsequitur ASL jokes, and we can use it as a shorthand or as a private language when the need arises.

I want to continue taking the next levels of this class, however, because I want to support Deaf culture, because I want to be able to communicate with those who are Deaf and therefore would likely have more difficulty learning my language than I learning theirs. I want to go see Deaf poetry performances. I want to encourage folks to sign with me. I want to promote ASL as a nifty and useful language for those who have a hard time learning foreign tongues (which definitely describes me).

Mostly, I think I want to not be a Stupid American who can't conceive of any way but her own.

And I fear that having this desire actually does mean that I'm a Stupid American, after all.

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January 2015

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