Monday, April 9, 2012

"Signs" of the times...

Picture found here.

I was first introduced to American Sign Language (ASL) when I was in 5th Grade. My teacher, Miss Field (who later that year became Mrs. Seehusen) taught a class one quarter for those who were interested. I remember thinking then of the beautiful grace of her movements as she demonstrated the signs we would be learning. Over the course of that quarter we learned basic ASL culminating in performing a poem we could sign in addition to signing "Annie's Song" by John Denver. To this day I can remember many of the signs to that song and when I hear it now I am transported back to those 5th grade moments. Unfortunately, after that year my teacher moved and there was little opportunity to pursue learning more in my small hometown.

Several years later as I attended Utah State University I had the opportunity while exploring the possibility of going into Deaf Education to take a couple of classes in ASL. While I did not end up pursuing Deaf Education, I thoroughly enjoyed the courses I took and would have loved to take more. At the very least I wish I had kept up on practicing those skills I had gained in both signing myself and reading sign by others. But, even as rusty as my ASL skills are, nearly every year I have tried to teach a few simple signs to my class. Sadly, it seems like the time I have been able to spend doing that has been vastly reduced lately in light of the current educational climate.

Recently I have had the opportunity to observe ASL done in a couple of different situations both in person and via different media and it again tapped into my desire to become more fluent in this beautiful language. So, my goal over the next while is to get "back in the saddle" and start refreshing my old skills and learning new ones.

In light of that fact, I found a few ASL interpretations of songs that I thought I would share to inspire me to get to work and hopefully inspire you with the simple beauty of sign language.


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