Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First Sign Language class

Wow. I was impressed by a lot of things in tonights class. The instructor (also named Steve) is completely deaf, which is cool. He can read lips very well and if you hadn't heard him talk, then you may not know he's deaf. Although he does have problems lip reading large words. Anyway he is very impressive. In this class there are only two of us that did not take the class this summer. I had the benefit of Erin coming home and showing me a lot of the early stuff, plus I've been a good observer anytime I've ever been to church and someone was signing. I may not remember everything, but I've seen a lot and paid attention to a lot so I feel I'll be able to recall some signs more easily. The other person doesn't seem to have known anything about signing before, so she is struggling. I hope all goes well with her. I think learning sign will be a lot of fun.

I was impressed with how much of the first day I picked up. Lori was there to interprit, and I probably learned more things from watching her sign slower than I learned from watching Steve.

I was impressed with Jonas. He was pretty good during the class, but more impressive was that he would try to sign while we were signing. He did get his normal case of shyness when Steve would come over to him to try and help him correct his signs. Steve also insisted on giving Jonas a sign name. Jonas is a J doing the jump sign. Since he likes to jump and he broke his leg jumping.

Sign names are not the same as our spoken name. There are no signs for the tremendous amount of variation of names that exist, and you wouldn't want to finger spell the name all the time, so a sign name is the first letter of your name doing the sign for an identifying trait. My Sign name is the computer sign with S instead of the normal C. Erin is the sign for Bear (because of her like for Winnie the Pooh) with you hands in the letter E.