One of the things that I have been privileged to do this year is continue an American Sign Language class.
Back in August, some of our neighbors started taking an ASL class from a local public school teacher. They offered to let me come with them.
I agreed. I couldn't believe that after years of reading ASL books and wanting to learn more, I was really going to learn ASL.
What followed was an excellent learning experience. In two months, I learned brought that I was able to communicate with some deaf people I met. Within four months I had had my first ASL performance where I signed a song.
My teacher is very passionate about ASL and teaches with excitement and patience. Even when I make mistakes or sign things wrong, she just laughs over it and shows me how to do it right. It makes the class fun and exciting.
One thing that she encouraged all of us to is to wear ear plugs off and on for a month. This was a tough project for me. In one sense it did cut down on a lot of distractions, but for the music loving girl inside me, I found the silence hard sometimes. And I missed hearing my families voices. But it gave me an appreciation for sound and for some of the struggles that deaf people have. It also helped me to realize that if I was deaf and someone was willing to communicate with me in sign instead of making me come into their world, it would mean the world to me.
This year, my vocabulary has improved and I'm able to have conversations with other deaf people. It's wonderful. It's opened up doors for me that I would never be able to think about before.
What do I hope to do with ASL? Apart from taking to deaf people and encouraging others, I'm not sure. It's one of those passions that God put on my heart, but I don't know all of what He wants me to do with it. For now I am content with what God has given me. And I'm sure that when God wants me to do more with ASL He will let me know.
For now, I'm enjoying the adventure of learning a new language and seeing what God has for me.