Friday, January 16, 2009

Sign Language

As some of you may know, I have a deaf sister. Actually, a deaf twin sister (my mom had 2 sets of twins..). My sister became deaf when we were only 7 months old. I learned sign language before I could talk. I have not been around my sister much in the last 8-9 years, except for when I go home to visit. A few years ago I was a sign language interpreter for a fourth grader. Now, since my lack of using my sign language, I am very rust at it. I was lucky my student was young and didn't know much sign himself..

Sign language is a part of who I am, even if I don't get along too well with my sister. I don't want to forget that part of me..

I use to want to be a sign language interpreter, or teach at a deaf school. I got the chance to be an interpreter a few years ago, and I sucked at it. My sign language is very shotty at best. To be an interpreter we had to be qualified by the state and take all kinds of tests. The first test I had to take, I was being evaluated by 2 hearing people and 1 deaf person. I couldn't do it. I had to leave the room because I was shaking and crying so hard. The second test I manged to get through because no one was in the room with me. When I got my test results back, I lost all confidence in myself and my sign language. One of the comments on the test said, "This person does not have an understanding of sign language and looks to be a beginner." (give or take a few words, this is from memory..) At this point in my life I was 23. I had known sign language for 22 years or so. I couldn't believe I was marked as a beginner.

After that I lost all confidence in myself and my sign language. My point to all this is, I am starting to regain my confidence, well okay, I'm hoping to regain it..

I signed myself up for a beginners sign class that starts on the 26Th of this month.
So here's to hoping I can get my confidence back! Also this gets me out of the house, which I severely need to do. I'm starting to turn into one of those people that never leave the house, but that's a whole other story for another day..
I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Oh, and if you ask nicely, I just might post some pictures of my twin brothers..


Lori said...

Such cute pictures! thank you for sharing them♥

Lisa said...

That's a great idea. I bet it won't take you long to get back all you learned. Every once in a while at the facility where I work we need an interpreter. I think it's great people take the time to learn things like this. I should too.

DiPaola Momma said...

I've tried with all four of mine to teach them some sign since birth. I find it funny that when "we" as americans talk about our children learning a second language it's rarely ever sign! I don't have any deaf people in my direct circle but I remember how hard it was working in law enforcement and having a helpless deaf child who was in the middle of a bad situation and no one could communicate with him. The pictures are too sweet! A thousand words:-)

Becca Watson said...

One of my favorite things, is when I come across a deaf person and I start talking to them, their whole face lights up because I am an outsider who understands their languge. I worked several years in fast food and this would happen a lot. They would keep coming back because of me too. It made me feel good, that I could brighten their day.

Sandy said...

Love the pictures of you and your sis :)
You must of been identical twins???
Your poor mother with two sets of twins growing up...OUCH. Are you close in age?

When I was little my Uncle dated a deaf lady and I remember he had a book with alot of sign in it and I would try to remember...I knew my alphabet, hi, bye...simple things like that. But of course I have no close of anything today. I know you will be fine and just think you will be fluent in the language once again :)

Michelle said...

This is one of my favourite blogs posts from you. I love how open and personal it is. Good luck with your sign class, I hope it does boost your confidence levels!

Shauna said...

Hope you have a beautiful weekend! ♥ Hugs :)

sandra/tx said...

Becca, y'all are adorable. Identical twins? My sister has three young adopted children, and one of them is a little deaf boy. The whole family has learned sign language, though the extended family hasn't. Still, Mason seems to be able to communicate, so it works out. I'm proud of you for going back and learning again. :-)

KV Creative Designs said...

I was referred to your blog from Chicken Nugget Wisdom blog. I am very hard of hearing and without my hearing aid, I am deaf! I use ASL in my Art. I hope you will come visit my blog sometime. Right now, I am having a Blogiversary giveaway if you are interested! Love this post about you and your sister. Good Luck with your classes!

Happy New Year,