#AdventurousApril: Silence Is Golden

18 Apr

On Friday, I attended a Deaf event that would serve as a subject for Vlog #2 in my American Sign Language class. Even though I went for the purpose of earning a grade for the class, I actually really enjoyed it! Oddly enough, I was slightly nervous and anxious beforehand because I’ve never been in a situation where I was surrounded exclusively by Deaf people. Aside from a classmate that came to the event with me, I assumed I would be surrounded with only Deaf community members and would have to rely completely on my signing skills. Even though I am currently taking my third semester in ASL, I feared that I would freeze and forget everything as soon as a Deaf person tried to talk to me, but that wasn’t the case at all.

The event was, “An Evening With Troy Kotsur” who directed the film No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie. I feel bad for assuming that the film wasn’t going to be very entertaining since it was thrown together in less than a week using a very low budget. However, I was wrong yet again.

But before I dive deeper into the subject, I would like to discuss my experience when we first walked into the building. I was expected to be greeted by silence, but there was actually a solid mix of both hearing and Deaf people. And some of the hearing people were switching between speaking with their voices and speaking with their hands, depending on the person they were talking to. I was also relieved to see more of my classmates, who I could communicate to with ease. But we did try to simultaneously sign while were talking for the sake of getting some good practice in.

Once we moved from the lobby to the auditorium, the director and an actor from the film were welcomed on stage for an interview. Though they were signing to each other the entire time, there was a person on a microphone translating for those who didn’t speak sign language fluently. Listening to the Troy Kotsur was so interesting! He talked about the challenges he faced communicating with others while making the film, as well as common challenges that many Deaf people face.

Overall, I ended up really enjoying the event and the film. It made me realize how helpless and nervous I felt about not being able to communicate easily with people around me and that that must be how many Deaf people feel when surrounded by hearing people. And for that reason, I hope a larger amount of the population will opt to learn sign language at some point in their lives.

Cheers,

Casey

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