I’m having to review my basic sign language. I used to be quite fluent in college. I graduated from CSUN and it’s a National Center for Deafness on the West Coast and for some reason there are a lot of deaf lesbians. Back in the 80’s there were something called Consciousness Raising Groups and most were for women at CSUN there was one for lesbians and I was the only hearing person in the group besides the straight interpreter and the woman who led the group whom I’m sure learned an awful lot too. Anyway I had to up my game. I took several semesters of ASL but that is nothing like having to use it in a fast conversation full of signs that weren’t taught in class.
I also had a girl in my Girl Scout troop that no one else would take because she was deaf and very uncooperative. She had a really bad home situation and they finally took her away from her mom and put her in a school for the deaf. I don’t know if I did any good for her but Lady, I tried. She’d get mad and refuse to sign and close her eyes but I found out if I slammed the door it hurt her ears and she’d open her eyes and I could sign at her. The other girls didn’t like her because she’d refuse to bathe and her mother wouldn’t make her. She said it was too hard. The kid was a small 7th grader. If we were camping I’d shove her in the shower and hand her the shampoo while she yelled but she wasn’t getting out until she used it. Not sure if it was mean but she used to do it and not rebel so much after that when I pointed at the shower and her ditty bag and I did get her to smile occasionally if we all had to shower.
Plus ASL is just plain fun and it’s really punny like the signs for Pastuerized milk or for someone who is crabby. I like this website when I need to look something up because she’s easy to follow: https://www.handspeak.com/word/search/
I keep signing at my boss because it helps me and it reminds her I can’t hear very much at all.
Put head phones on and both hands over the ears tight add a high pitched ringing noise and that is about what I’m hearing at the moment. I’m reading a lot of lips and telling people they have to face me to speak to me and not walk away. One of my friends keeps talking to me from her cubicle and I have to keep telling her I know she’s talking but haven’t a clue what she’s saying.
Oh the joys of an increasingly silent world. Adaptability.