Northeastern ASL Immersion – Day One


I underestimated the comic relief and frustration value of attending ASL immersion at Northeastern. Go figure.

Delightfully,  one of my fav people from ASL meetup is there with me.  Of course, we were like flypaper with each other from there on out.

Initially we were in West Village. In the midst of a thunderstorm cum mini-hurricane we headed out to 400 Messinger Hall.  Elaine had no umbrella. I had a raincoat we used as a tarp. Me being smaller,  a sleeve hung down over my face so I ended up functionally Deaf and Blind. Elaine was high stepping though the huge ponds puddles We were laughing hysterically by the time we got to the other building, hugging each other with one arm to keep the tarp raincoat over us.

When we arrived a teacher told us the elevator was small and suggested we take the stairs. Did I mention it was to the 4th floor? Then came the video-taping (a check in to see where we started from) and a directive to leave since it was a small place. We consulted our schedule, returned to the first building and waited for people to show up for the next event – about an hour away. An hour later we’re under the tarp raincoat, slogging back to Messinger to find out where everyone else was. Found out we were supposed to go to a different building.

Next came activities I had in ASL I –  a race to see how many signs you can think of using the “f” handform, the “x” handform, etc. I learned a couple of words. Back to the original building for lunch.

Surprise! An attack of New England food! Never heard of it? New England is the only area of the nation  I know of where they have elves assigned to extract all flavor from the food before serving it to unsuspecting people from other parts of the country. Today I had tasteless green salad with tasteless oil and vinegar dressing, a tasteless tomato, and tasteless chicken. I was going to throw it in the garbage but my friend took it home for her bird. Poor bird…  Now, I figure these were made by the best of the best of the institutional cooks trained in tasteless hospital food. Not eating their food again. That’s why God made protein bars, right?

Last part of immersion for the day – how to express emotions with your face. Surprise, anger, fear, sadness, etc. Actors guild 101.  And the Pièce de résistance …using decks of cards to learn 1-10, Ace, King, Queen and Jack along with Diamond, Spade, Heart, and Club. Be still my beating heart.   ASL I  taught me to add, subtract, multiply and divide in numeric sign language.

Tomorrow we are going to the nursing home for the Deaf and Deaf Blind in Danvers. I’m assuming this field trip is meant to expose us to native ASL speakers.  I’m hoping the immersion is both worth the money and the week off to be there.

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