Tonight David of DeafInPrison.com came to his very first ASL meetup. (Deaf clapping!) He’s a pretty darn good finger speller and we learned that his mother signed and that’s how she kept secrets from him when was a boy. Elaine said that her parents spoke Italian to keep secrets from her. Isn’t that how parents are? 🙂
Anyway, part of the night I was his voice terp (which is pretty cool for a HoH chick with a hearing aid in a noisy place) and part of the night he did a very good job understanding Heidi, a Deaf woman who attends Meetup. I know he was exposed to a lot of words in ASL, which was a good thing. And I’m sure some he will forget by next Wednesday, but some he will remember. It is how we all learn – a little at a time.
David told me that hearing people often talk with one hand full (of coffee, food, whatever) and when he is signing he’s found out that he needs to put things down to communicate. And he’s right, at first you need both hands. One handed signing comes later.
He also learned more about old and new signs as well as dialects in sign. We talked about how in English I’d say, “Are you finished eating?” whereas in sign I’d say, “Finished eat you?” and he immediately compared it to a language he knew. And he shared with me that ASL, as a non-spoken language, makes you smarter. Hey, didn’t all us signers already know that? 😉
We had a nice group tonight. Maybe 15 people. Some were baby (new) signers and some were old timers. I think we all had a great time. Maybe we will see some of you locals at the North Shore Mall in Peabody on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. (waves)