As I am writing this, I am shaking with nervousness. I’m on my way to my first ASL event ever. If you didn’t know this about me already, I will tell you now: I love ASL. ASL stands for American Sign Language. I’ve been interested and have sort of known it for years, but this year is my first year officially learning it.
Today I’m going to a Silent Lunch. There’s going to be deaf and hearing people there. No one’s allowed to speak. Only sign.
I have been cramming so many last-minute signs into my head. Thank god I’m going with a friend or I would explode from nervousness. I’m only nervous because I’m afraid I’ll be super lost because of my weak ASL vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited. That doesn’t change my nervousness, though. So here I go, about to leave and go to this lunch. Let’s pray that the nervousness doesn’t overcome me.
I’m back! It went so much better than I expected! I was so nervous, which was pointless. Everyone was so nice, and my friend is a beginner to which helped. I am quite talkative, which made it hard to stay quiet sometimes. I noticed that I had to change a lot of my sentences. By this, I mean I had to change how I worded it, or if I was going to say it at all. I used an ASL app to help out a little for when I had some hard to remember signs I had to refresh.
Since it is a foreign language, sometimes I just had to smile and nod in response to some people.
The entire “no talking” thing wasn’t too enforced. Like if I had forgotten a sign or it was too hard to sign, I could whisper it or say it to my friend. I whispered something to her twice, I’m pretty sure.
The place we went had great food. I spent the entire day wanting more of their pizza.
So in all, it was really great. I had a lot of fun and it was a really cool learning experience.
This post was way shorter than I was expecting, so I’ll add in some back story on how I got into ASL.
So a few years ago, in 2014, I started watching the ABC Family [now Freeform 😡 ] TV show, Switched at Birth. The title is pretty self-explanatory, but one of the biggest main characters is deaf. There’s a lot of deaf characters, and all of the episodes have so much ASL in them. By the end of the first episode I was hooked. I was hooked not only on the show, but ASL. I thought it was so cool, that you can speak an entire other language, only with your hands, body language, and facial expressions. I thought it was so awesome.
I started going on YouTube to learn the alphabet and how to count to 100. Then I hunted for some good ASL websites and apps to help me learn. I found so many cool websites and YouTube channels with so much information. I also found an awesome side of YouTube. It has ASL covers! Covers of songs I knew and listened to. I still watch ASL covers all the time, today. My first ASL journey was the 2014 school talent show. I was so nervous. This was around the time that the Disney movie Frozen was popular. I was doing a life ASL cover to Let It Go. As I look back on it, I noticed that I didn’t have very good facial expressions or emotion, but it was my first time performing ASL and I was very nervous. The most comforting part about this was the fact that if I messed up, no one would notice.
I fall in and out of interest in things but I always come back to the things I love. I usually go through obsessions in phases. Sometimes it’s gymnastics (I was most obsessed in 2012 around the time of the Olympics), sometimes it’s writing (what am I kidding? It’s always writing), sometimes it’s playing the piano, sometimes it’s hair, sometimes it’s makeup (like right now), sometimes it’s clothes. It all depends on how I’m feeling. I get way more into ASL when I watch Switched at Birth or ASL covers. I even was considering starting to do ASL covers on the app Musical.ly.
ASL is something I really want to get serious about. This year is the first year I’ve been taking a class. I have 2 apps, an ASL dictionary book, and multiple websites and YouTube channels. If you’re starting ASL or would like to start (which you should! It’s totally worth it), I would suggest looking up some ASL covers and maybe even trying them out yourself! They’re very helpful when remembering signs and learning grammar and things like that.
I hope you all enjoyed my post this week and I hope you return next Monday!