Well it has been a little while since I had updated you all on my independent learning project. I have been continuing on through the lessons on learning ASL. Learning sign language has been a bit of a challenge.
As I progress through the lessons, the instructor and students have begun to sign faster. It is sometimes hard to keep up with what is being signed. I find myself having to rewind the videos multiple times in order to understand properly. A lot of the time I can get the gist of what is being said by key signs. As I have said before, I am learning through a series of videos and it is sometimes hard to see exactly what is being signed, especially with how much faster they are signing. I think the more practice and lessons I go through I will begin to read signs faster and distinguish the movements. The practice phrases and stories seem to help out a lot in learning articles.
Although we are only required to spend a couple hours on our independent project, I find it creeping into my everyday life. I laugh at myself sometimes when I accidentally sign something. The most common one is when I say thank you. I find myself bringing my hand to my chin and pulling down as I also say the words “thank you” to someone. They sometimes look at me like I’m weird like why did I just do that? It isn’t that big a deal; I just laugh and brush it off. I like catching myself because it feels more real to me, it shows that I have learned, remembered, and am able to use my knowledge of this new language. It makes me feel accomplished.
I am also teaching others. Actually, not a lot of signs and really to only one other person, but still. When we encounter a simple object, person, or phrase, I sign and they mimic me. It is actually kind of fun and is also great practice for myself.
This person asked me if any of the people in the series I was watching, Switched at Birth, were actually deaf. I was curious as well so I decided it was time for a Google search. I learned that four of the main characters were actually deaf. Two of the actors portray a mother-son relationship, which I think is genius. This got me curious, who else is deaf and famous? To Google! I found a list of 10 famous people who are deaf. Gertrude Ederle, an Olympic swimmer, actually lost her hearing after she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Apparently, she had already suffered from poor hearing at a young age. Thomas Edison was deaf as well. Actually, due to having scarlet fever as a child and a blow to the head, his hearing was greatly impaired, but he describes himself as deaf. These two people were the only people I have actually heard of but there are more people on this list you may recognize. Two of the actors from Switched at Birth were featured on this list, as well.