Seriously, my favorite day of the week!
Archive for September, 2011
These past few weeks I keep asking myself “Why, why, why didn’t I take American Sign Language sooner?!” If I can recommend anything at UVM, it is the sign language program. It is a common interest among many students in my Communication Sciences major, but people take ASL for a billion different reasons. Most of us went through high school taking Spanish, French, maybe Latin or German, and while I am definitely not saying that those languages are not phenomenal, American Sign Language is a completely different experience. Isn’t that what college is all about? New experiences!! ASL fulfills foreign language requirements, which is awesome!! And since many of the academic colleges and majors at UVM require 2 semesters of a foreign language, why not try your hand at ASL? (terrible joke, I know. I just couldn’t resist.) Right now I’m in ASL 1 and my plan is to continue on to ASL 2 next semester. Sadly, after graduation, who knows what my future will bring as far as continuing to learn ASL. That’s why you have to jump right into things as soon as you can and not wait until your senior year! Anyways, only 4 weeks into the course and I’m already loving it. Unlike Spanish in high school, I can’t make flash cards to remember vocabulary or practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. I can only practice 1. interpreting and 2. signing. We learn many new signs every class period and then use them in activities and games to commit them to memory, since we can’t really take notes or write them down. Also, the ASL professors are Deaf, which makes the learning experiences so much more interesting! Some days it can be challenging, especially if you have a question, but I definitely think it emerges us in the culture that much more and forces us to use the ASL we know and step out of our comfort zone for a little while.
As a requirement of the class, I attended several events during Deaf Awareness Week, which was last week. On Tuesday, I went to game night. We played Telephone, a modified version of Rock, Paper, Scissors that was actually Hunter, Tiger, Photographer, The Elephant Game and a game involving facial expressions, a crucial feature of ASL. On Saturday, I attended “The Fly Guy,” which was a One Man Show. It was phenomenal. My friend, who is a total language buff, with no experience in ASL, came with me and was absolutely amazed. The Fly Guy shared stories from his childhood about his father and their hunting and fishing adventures. He also told stories about his schooling and various other stories from his life, all bursting with humor. Most of the show was acted out with mime and gestures, so even those who don’t know ASL could understand and follow along, similar to watching a silent movie. Whenever he used ASL, a voice interpreter was used. It was an incredible experience. I really hope he performs again before I graduate!!
^^Check it out! =)
Senior year?! It seems like just yesterday I was taking campus tours, receiving more college brochures than my mailbox could hold, and filling out what seemed like an endless amount of applications. And now here I am, three years of my undergraduate career behind me and what I know will be the quickest year yet, senior year, already three weeks under way!
These first three weeks have been a whirlwind of events. The semester began with a false start, when our first day was cancelled due to the torrential downpours Burlington received as a result of Hurricane Irene. Our campus and our city was lucky in comparison to many parts of Vermont and the East, in that we didn’t have much for damage. With the exception of a few downed trees and power outages, we came out of the storm relatively unharmed. The UVM community has stepped forward in many ways to provide clean up efforts, food and monetary donations, blood drives, and other support systems to help those affected by the storm. It’s a great feeling to be a part of a university that does not hesitate to help in any way that it can to provide for its students, their families and our communities. Once the rain stopped and classes began, I feel as though I’ve been in perpetual motion. I’m taking 18 credits this semester and although it’s challenging, they’re all courses that really interest me. Two of them require that I do observations in the Eleanor Luse Center, which is our on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic. I observe clients working with graduate students and their supervising clinicians, who are licensed Speech and Language Pathologists or Audiologists (some of them are my professors!). So far I have done 3 speech observations and I have my first audiological observation tomorrow. It’s really exciting to see material I’ve been learning in the classroom for the past few years being applied in the career I wish to pursue, Speech and Language Pathology.
Aside from my classes, I’ve been active in my clubs and organizations as well. This year, as a returning tour guide, I’ve played a big role in helping to train new tour guides, which so far has been a lot of fun! I was also appointed Tour Tier Captain, so I facilitate training sessions and work towards making our tour tier as efficient as it can be. Speech and Hearing Club had our first meeting last week and we had a great turn out! Apples for Autism, our yearly tradition of going apple picking, caramelizing the apples and then selling them to raise money for Autism is on the agenda! I love apple-picking so I’m really looking forward to that. Mortar Board, the senior honor society that I am now a member of, has been in full swing. It has only been three weeks and I’m already looking forward to working with this amazing group of students for the rest of the year. Everyone is so dedicated and reliable. We have come up with some creative ways to fundraise and get our name across campus so I’m really excited to participate in those events.
Well it’s Sunday night, which means it’s time to switch out of weekend mode and make preparations for another busy week. Those preparations might have to wait a few more minutes because this sunset is just too beautiful to miss…