American Sign Language

On February 23, 2014, I recalled sitting on the train — waiting to pull out of the station. Three young girls (probably high school) bustled in and sat in the 4 seater ahead of me. They began conversing animatedly. Laughing. Giggling. And I watched. Fascinated.  What caught my attention was — they didn’t make a sound. One of the girls was deaf. And the three were mouthing words to each other and using sign language.  They were fast.  And fluent. 

I am reminded of that post given the recent press conferences and political offerings – which often include a person who is “signing” for viewers who are hearing impaired. 

American Sign Language (“ASL”) originated in the early 19th century at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT.   Today, it is used by nearly a million people.  I have two friends who are conversant in ASL:  one of my partners and my former priest (both Eagle Scouts by the way).  

Watching these three young women “talking” was a wake up for me.  Since then, when I have lunch at my desk (which is often), I will sometimes log onto an ASL site just to stretch my small brain.  Do yourself a favor.  Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raa0vBXA8OQ   And learn a bit of ASL.  There are many YouTube opportunities to learn ASL.   It is neat and valuable to creak open this door.  

I have a special reason to look into ASL.  You see my father was clinically deaf from World War II.  And he never learned ASL.  And neither did I. . . . .  

TED

On December 29th I spoke of TED Talks.  I continue to be enlightened, motivated, inspired and nourished by TED Talks – while lunching at my desk.  Some of you may have read the post and thought “interesting.”  And clicked “delete.”  Lemme try once more.  Below are a few of my favorite TED Talks.  Simple.  Straightforward.  And easy listening.  All 10 minutes or so.  C’mon.  Click.   The first one follows up my post of February 23, 2014:

The music of sign language http://www.ted.com/talks/christine_sun_kim_the_enchanting_music_of_sign_language 

Talking to strangers http://www.ted.com/talks/kio_stark_why_you_should_talk_to_strangers  

David Brooks – what’s better.  Your resume virtues?  Or eulogy virtues?http://www.ted.com/talks/david_brooks_should_you_live_for_your_resume_or_your_eulogy  

Before I die – http://www.ted.com/talks/candy_chang_before_i_die_i_want_to

Reclaiming religion  http://www.ted.com/talks/sharon_brous_it_s_time_to_reclaim_and_reinvent_religion

Having better political discussions http://www.ted.com/talks/robb_willer_how_to_have_better_political_conversations

Having lunch at your desk?  Bored?  Need a swift kick in the caboose?  Log on to http://www.ted.com – close your eyes and click.  You won’t be disappointed. 

American Sign Language

I was sitting on the train a few weeks ago — waiting to pull out of the station. Three young girls (probably high school) came in and sat in the 4 seater ahead of me. They began conversing animatedly. Laughing. Giggling. And I watched. Fascinated.  What caught my attention was — they didn’t make a sound. One of the girls was deaf. And the three were mouthing words to each other and using sign language. “Signing.”  They were fast.  And fluent. 

American Sign Language (“ASL”) originated in the early 19th century at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT.   Today, it is used by nearly a million people.  I have two friends who are conversant in ASL:  my partner Dave D. and my former priest, Fr. Bob M. (both Eagle Scouts by the way).  Watching these three young women “talking” was something of a wake up for me.  Since then, when I have lunch at my desk (which is often), I will sometimes log onto an ASL site just to stretch my small brain.  The site is http://lifeprint.com.  I can say “I am a grandfather” and a few other things in ASL.  It is pretty cool to creak open this door.  I even looked into the cost of a class at a Loop college a few blocks away. 

If you want to stretch your brain, this would be a great way to do it.  I guess I have a special reason to look into ASL.  You see my father was clinically deaf from World War II.  And he never learned ASL.  And neither did I. . . . .