In a message dated 1/2/2003 7:53:39 PM Central Standard Time, alshoop@_______
I was the one that sent you a note a little while ago asking for some
advice. As I got to looking at your "Permission" page, I saw the comment
that you had made as in:
“I came to the decision a while back that it is
better for a newbie to learn “imperfect” ASL, get hooked, fall in love with
the Deaf community, and eventually get straightened out—than to never learn
ASL at all and never become involved with the community.”
I love that
statement you made.
I am in no way an “educated teacher”. I was raised by deaf parents so
therefore I have used ASL all my life. My parents are both gone and I enjoy
helping others that want to learn sign language to learn it. I know that a
lot of signs have changed from the “old” signs, but I can tell, relate to,
share, and have lived the deaf culture. That is a lot more than these
“educated instructors” can even do, unless of course, they were from the
deaf culture to begin with.
I do apologize for this. I get very angry with these people that teach
American Sign Language and they know it all. They got educated and have that
paper that says they now are able to go out there and “teach” everyone about
sign language. I am sorry if you think I am rude, I am not anyway indicating
I have been asked to teach a group of people that have no knowledge of sign
language. I agree with your statement that you made. If you can get the
interest out there, get the background of the deaf culture, that is a huge
start for gathering interest for ones to really want to proceed with this. I
have been in contact with some that have gone through college and took all
classes that were available for sign language, but they didn’t know anything
about the “Deaf Culture”. Never been around a crowd of deaf people. Was
shocked at the noises these people made (the deaf people), didn’t realize
how these people mingled out in the real world as in going to the doctors,
dentist, shopping, banking, etc. No one can learn this!!!!! They have to
experience this. Deaf people are very sensitive for the most part. Lots of
people do not know that outside of the culture.
Anyway, this was not what I wanted to get into. When I saw the comment
you made, I just had to tell you how I felt about it.
You said it exactly where everyone needs to understand it. A person can
teach sign language to the best of their ability, and if there is truly an
interest, these people will go on and learn more.
Thank you for your time in this. I just needed to vent as I get so upset
with some of these instructors. They know it all. They have that paper that
says they got all sorts of degrees. Claim to have had many kinds of
experiences, so they are the expert. But in all reality, they never have
lived the deaf culture or knew anyone that did. As you can see from this, I
am very touchy on this.
American Sign Language was a gift handed to me by my parents when I was
born. That was my first language. I lived in a very quiet up bringing and I
sure am proud of it. I share this with as people that I can.