SL storytelling is an amazing art, and so much fun to watch. One of the most popular kinds of stories is the ABC story. This is where the signer tells a story about any subject at all, except they use words starting with specific hand shapes. The first word has to use the “a” hand shape, and the second “b”, until all letters of the alphabet are used. The letters have to be used in order, and no other hand shapes may be interspersed between them. If it’s a really good ABC story, you shouldn’t realize that you’re watching an ABC story at all. There are so many good examples on the web, it’s really fun to take an afternoon and peruse through the youtube videos.
A lot of students are assigned to make an ABC story to share in class. Most of them talk about how hard it is, and I can tell you that it’s so true. When I saw a great example of an ABC story done by an ASL 2 student, I decided to try my hand at it. After all, if she could do it so can I, right? It turns out that it’s not that easy. I keep getting stuck at “e”. I don’t know if it’s my skimpy ASL 2 vocabulary that’s making it harder or what, but I’m going to have to work hard to complete it. It’s been a day and a half, and I only have up to “F”. “G” has been another really hard hand shape for me. I’m going to stick to it, though, until I do something amazing. Or kind of passable. I just found my video camera, so I’ll post it here when I’m done along with the English transcript.
Since I’ve been out of class, I’ve been reading a lot of books on Deaf Culture. It’s been such a wonderful experience. If I thought I was in love with Deaf Culture before, now I’m hooked in so much deeper. The rich tradition of storytelling makes me want to open my arms to the world and express what’s inside me. It seems so much easier to do in ASL than in English. I can’t wait to pick up more language so I can participate more fully. ABC stories are just where I’m starting. It’s going to be fun.