Why I Want Sign Language, Being Taught By My Best Friend Essay

Why I Want Sign Language, Being Taught By My Best Friend Essay

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Our scene takes place in a loud cafeteria full of fifth graders. There is a group of kids at a table in the corner, two of the girls were talking animatedly about some topic or another. One girl had waist length brown hair, the other had much shorter curly blonde hair. Suddenly the cafeteria workers called for five minutes of silence in an attempt to settle the easily excitable youth but the girls continued talking with their hands. The brown haired girls signs were quick and fluid while the blonde’s were slower and clumsier, having just started learning. The girls were scolded for “not following directions,” though their parents argued that they were not talking. That was my introduction to sign language, being taught by my best friend to get around the rules. Since then sign language has been an influential part of my life.
The first Saturday of that same January was my first practice with Holy Hands for Christ sign choir. HHC was a sign class for the first two months and a ministry for the next four. I remember my first day vividly, I remember pulling up to the brown brick church with my mom who told me to have fun and left. I walked through the large glass double doors and was greeted with brown carpet with a red runner leading me to the front of the church where the director stood talking with a slightly overweight woman. I looked around for a familiar face before I was called over by an excited voice. My best friend had her long brown hair braided and called for me to meet her friend, Aubry. Aubry was the first deaf person I could ever remember meeting, she was nine, a year younger than me and put up with my sloppy letters as I told her my name, then Annah drug me over to meet the director. Kerri Downey, then Kerri Butc...


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...y. I always thought sign was something everyone should at least know the basics of, but as I get older and I see the deaf all around me I know it’s more than that. We learn German and French as second languages, but why does no one teach sign language? Are we really more likely to go to France than meet someone who is hearing impaired? So many are surprised to have someone understand them, and that just isn’t right.
Sign language has been an important factor in my life thus far. I use it on a nearly daily basis, partly to keep my skills up partly out of boredom, and try to keep in touch with my deaf friends. Holy Hands for Christ ended a couple years ago, Kerri having health problems and work, but Annah and I have been talking about starting a new sign group. We both agree that sign changed our lives for the better, and we would like to pass that on to a new group.

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