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I’ve been doing this blog for over a year now, and I think it’s high time there was some signing going on.  My teacher asked us to sign an embarrassing moment that had happened to us, and it had to involve either food or liquid.  I’m pretty proud of the video, and I thought I’d share it.  There’s one place where I get a little flummoxed, but otherwise I think it’s great.  The transcript is below for everyone who’s “ASL Challenged”.   Thanks for watching!!

~

long time ago, I worked at a Dinner Theater.  You know, people go in and sit down and eat and when they’re finished they watch a show?  Yeah.  I was a bus girl.  I filled people’s water glasses, I gave people bread baskets, and I took away everyone’s dirty plates.  I was busy all the time, always running around.  I didn’t have time to take a dirty plate, walk all the way to the kitchen with it, and then do it all again.  Instead, I had a tray.  I would place it at the end of the table and put all the dirty dishes there.  When everyone was finished, I would carefully pick up the tray and walk to the kitchen with it.

One night I was running around like usual, and I heard the music start, I heard the show start.  I hadn’t picked up my tray yet!  I ran into the dining room and picked it up as quickly as I could, but I wasn’t very careful.  As I stood up, the tray slid backwards and crashed to the floor.  Plates went flying everywhere and food went flying everywhere.  Everyone’s head snapped in my direction as people picked up their feet to avoid being hit by the flying food.  I was standing there all red faced when the lights went out.  I had to sit there in the darkness, picking up all the plates, and cleaning up all the food.

My boss was a funny guy.  At the end of the night he came up to me and said, “Oh, poor you.  You had a bad night.  Here’s a soda.”

I thought, “Really?  I made this horrible mistake and you’re giving me soda?  Wow.”

Thank you, Thank you!!

ately, I’ve found myself dreaming in Sign.  I’ll be sitting there in a dream and someone will walk up to me and start signing, and I’ll start signing back to them.  One night I dreamed that my dad was signing to me, but he was using some dialect I couldn’t understand and I kept having to ask him to sign it again.  The oddest people in my dreams have only known sign:  Librarians, check-out people at the supermarket, my Music teacher (that’s ironic, right?), random strangers passing by on the street.   The best part is, I’m usually fluent in ASL without effort in my dreams.  Yay!  If only it were that way in real life…

I poked around a little on line and saw that it’s pretty common for people learning a language, or who have previously learned a language, to dream in it.  I wonder why we do that?  Some people claim that it’s because we’re studying a language seriously, but I don’t think that can be true in all cases.  I’ve frequently had sign dreams during the summertime when I’m not taking classes at all.  I’m hoping it really means that ASL is seeping into my consciousness a little more.

No matter why it’s happening, I’m kind of excited that it is.  Sign is just as fun when you’re sleeping as when you’re awake.  Trust me, I know.

ranville Redmond was born on March 9th, 1871.  At the age of two, he contracted Scarlett Fever and became deaf.  His parents wanted him to have every opportunity possible, so they moved the family out to California so he could attend the California School for the Deaf, in Berkley.   As soon as Granville entered an art class, it was certain what his profession would be.  He was extremely gifted in just about all aspects of art, and studied pantomime, sculpture, drawing and painting.  Granville was so talented at painting that his teacher, Theophilus d’Estrella, encouraged him to apply to the California School of Design in San Francisco.  He was accepted almost immediately

Granville’s years at the California School of Design were marked by success.  He won the famous W. E. Brown Medal of Excellence and was hailed as one of the top students in the school.  Perhaps most importantly he met Gottardo Piazzoni, another student at the school.  The two became fast friends and remained so for the rest of their lives, Gottardo learning to sign so the two could communicate better.

After three years at the California School of Design, the California School for the Deaf decided that Granville was so talented they wanted to sponsor him to attend an art school in Paris.  Granville enrolled at the Academie Julien in Paris with several other students who were sponsored by the California School for the Deaf, including his roommate, Douglas Tilden.  Granville’s time at the Paris school was also successful for him, and culminated in his painting, Matin d’hivre, being accepted into the world famous Paris Salon in 1895.

When he returned from Paris, Granville decided to settle in Los Angeles.  There he fell in love with the beaches, and started painting many of the ocean scenes he’s best known for.  He also fell in love with a deaf woman named Carrie Ann Jean.  The two were married in 1899 and had three children.  To make ends meet, Granville often worked as an illustrator for various periodicals, and painted scenes for the Santa Fe Railroad.  The family moved several times during this period, living in San Mateo, Tiburon, and Parkfield.  This gave Granville more and more material for his paintings and by 1905 he was known as the leading California landscape painter.  His impressionistic California landscapes were often compared to artists such as Monet and Pizarro.

Although his painting career was going well, Granville was fascinated by the movies.  All movies being made were silent at this time, so Granville’s deafness was not an obstacle,  and he suspected that with his background in pantomime he could make a great movie star.   Granville moved back to Los Angeles in 1917 to pursue an acting career.  Shortly after his move, he met Charlie Chaplin.   Chaplin was fascinated by Granville’s abilities and the two eventually became friends.  Chaplin asked Granville to teach him to sign, and in return Granville was given a bit part in the movie A Dog’s Life. Granville did such a great job that he often appeared in Chaplin’s films after that.  Even better, Chaplin arranged for Granville to set up a painting studio on the movie studio lot.  In his spare time, Granville also liked to travel to Laguna Beach to paint outdoors.

Granville died in Hollywood on May 24, 1935.  He will always be known for his paintings featuring the rolling hills of California dotted by wildflowers, the moody colors of sunsets and moonlit waters, and beautiful brown vignettes of trees.  His work is featured in museums across America and is still widely popular.  Just before he died, Granville stated: “The highest tribute paid to an artist is the reflection of man’s noblest work – to inspire.”  Granville’s life was wealth of artistic experiences.  His vision will always live on in the inspiration he has been giving future artists for generations.

fter going to the Mata Expo for a couple of years, I felt like I knew exactly what to expect from the Deaf Nation Expo.  And it was pretty much as I pictured it:  booths and vendors and people everywhere on a much bigger scale than Mata.  The event took place at the Pomona Fairplex in one of their giant concrete buildings.  As soon as I crossed the bridge from the parking lot, I knew right where the expo was happening.  A giant mob of people were standing and signing outside the building, and a huge line on one side indicated all the people who hadn’t signed up for free tickets beforehand.  There was one difference for me from the other expos I had been to.  I was bringing my husband, Brian, who doesn’t know any ASL and has only spent time with highly oral Deaf people.

I usually feel like having Brian along makes everything a better experience, but so far I’ve avoided taking him to Deaf things.  I always worry that the language barrier will be too much for him, and that he’ll have a terrible time.  Lately, I’ve been trying to convince him to learn ASL with me. So I’ve envited him to the last few Deaf things and he’s come willingly.  I know he feels awkward about it, but he seems to have a good time in a surreal, culture shock kind of way.  Bringing Brian to Deaf Nation turned out to be one of the best things ever.  I’m naturally shy and won’t ask people things, even if I’d like to know.  Brian always wants to know, and isn’t shy about marching up to people he’s never met.  Because I was his “voice” that day, I ended up asking people all sorts of things that I never would have thought of on my own.  I got a lot of really neat information, too.  Did you know that the first TTY machines actually communicated using Morse Code?  I didn’t either.  I guess the first model that Robert Weichtbreit and James Marsdon put together was a machine that would either take in the Morse Code and translate it to English or take the English and translate in into Morse Code, depending on which way the information was flowing.  Cool, huh?  And I never would have known if it hadn’t been for Brian.  Even though he didn’t know ASL, he ended up enriching my ASL experience.  He’s so great like that.  🙂

This is the first time I’ve been out in the Deaf community that I’ve acutally seen people I know in droves.  At past events, I might run into one of my classmates at a large event, but for the vast majority of the time I’m alone with no support.  This time, I saw a ton of people I know.  Other students from my classes, people I know from Deaf West, old teachers, everyone was milling about in that giant building.  For the first time, I felt like I could maybe be considered a part of the community.  It was great.

I think most importantly, though, it left me wanting more.  I haven’t been able to attend all the weekend Deaf Events in Southern California because I’ve been working at Deaf West, but once the show is over I definitely need to start doing those things again.  I miss being out in the community and chatting in ASL with people I just met.  I’m starting actual interpreting classes (not the pre-interpreting stuff I’ve been doing) in 6 months.  I need more practice fast!  That means I’ll be doing everything I can to get into the community and chat more.  See you around.

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