Learning ASL

It has been somewhat of a dream/goal in my life to learn at least five languages before I leave this earth. So far I have been able to learn English and well I still speak my mother language, which is Spanish. French I have taken at school but I am ashamed to admit that due to the lack of practice I have been reduced to just being able to pronounce things and catch phrases. I do want to start practicing French again and really learning it. But this post is about something even more important to me.

Even though ASL (American Sign Language) might not be considered a language when you first look at it, it is recognized as such by colleges in the US and taught as a foreign language. Even though it is a matter of linguistics, I also consider ASL a language. I have not decided if I would count it as one of my five for my goal, but that is a thought.

How did I first become interested… during high school I had a lot of people I knew but only one real close friend, Luis aka Chino. I spent countless afternoons just hanging out at his house, attempting to play basketball (I am horrible). I had the opportunity to meet some of his neighbors, one of who had a sister that was hearing impaired. We talked a couple of times, and she was a very sweet girl. I actually got to talk to her using a TTY service on the phone. Those experiences have opened up my eyes to this other world.

Then came my interest in translation and interpretation, which I have done in a freelance basis for extra cash here and there. In researching things I found out that there is a huge need for ASL interpreters, as well as just being a good thing to know. It opens the door for you to communicate with a new group of people. So now I am once again itching to learn ASL. I have been looking around the area and found some leads but nothing concrete yet. I will however appreciate if anyone has any information on schools that might offer it in the area.

I have read that it takes anywhere from 2 to 3 years to become proficient, I am looking forward to the challenge because it might be one of the most rewarding things I do in my life.

Happy St Patty’s Day

Hehe, this couple of pictures cracked me up… an also posting some information that was interesting to me… have an excellent day and DRINK, DRINK, DRUNK.

IRISH PDA
IRISH PDA
IRISH CHESS
IRISH CHESS.

ON ST. PATRICK.
Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God.

The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick’s Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.

HISTORY OF SHAMROCK
In written English, the first reference to the Shamrock dates from 1571, and in written Irish, as seamrog, from 1707. As a badge to be worn on the lapel on the Saint’s feast day, it is referred to for the first time as late as 1681.

Senior book assignment

During my Senior year in Colombia, my literature teacher had us do a last assigment. The theme was our life as a student and it was supposed to be somewhat of an autobiography. He wanted us to go all out, and do pictures if we had then and get the book actually hard covered. The assigment was probably one of the most enjoyable in my life.

Then the following year I moved to the US and moving meant leaving plenty of things behind, one of them being this book. Well, the book was found by one of my younger cousins, and in a similar assignment, he used my book. He got a very good grade on his somewhat plagurizing of my work, but he did do something for me… saved some of the content.

The book ended up getting lost… and it has not been found. But my cousin managed to send me what he wrote for his book. I do have that in my posession and I think I am going to post it here. It will be chapter by chapter and somewhat different from the translation. But I will try to stay true to my orginal work. I do hope to some day find the hard covered book that I actually presented at school… it had some great pictures and memories. I still kick myself in the butt for no packing one of my most priced posetions. I guess back then I did not look at it that way, but just another assigment that I completed.

What a great find

I knew I was not crazy when moving from Illions to Michigan I defently heard a different accent. And even thought the states are only separated by the “Pond” they can be worlds apart phonetically.

The Michigan accent

Enjoy.

Reading again

I have not read consistently in a long time, but I seem to be in a roll now… hopefully I keep it going. The book I am reading now, Tuesdays with Morrie was recomended to my by a very special person. What is interesting about this book is that I can relate to it in a lot of levels. I have always loved my teachers, keeping in contact with some of them, wanting to keep in contact with most of them. I have actually had the pleasure to take one of my first English teachers here in the US out to dinner.

One of my favorite teacher in High School was my Spanish teacher… mind you this was not a language class, because back in Colombia Spanish is the official language. The class was Spanish and literature. Not only was he an excellent motivator, but he had great sense of humor and an infectious enthusiasm towards life. His name is Gonzalo, his nick name back then and probably still is Chalo. My favorite Aunt in the world is also a teacher and she happened to know Chalo really good, something I did not know until I was already in his class. Well Chalo really tought me the importance or reading, and really drove it home with very interesting books. He also made his assignements super interesting. One time we had an oral book report due, and he gave us a deadline of when he was going to start quizing us. Well, the catch to the whole thing is that he was not going to do it during class but rather our lunch period. He spent probably the better part of his lunch for 2 weeks chasing us around the school, if he caught us, we had to give the oral report on spot. The fun part is that if he saw us he could yell our name and we had to stop (he has no athlete), so ingeniously we started wearing sweaters in our heads or any other means to not be recognized.

Teachers have made such a difference in my life and on who I am. Most of them have become my friends rather than just teacher… if you ever get a chance, contact one of your old teachers back and see that they probably knew you better than you knew yourself back in those times… and that now they will probably be able to still teach a thing or two about life.

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