Among the endless list of things I am and do, you’d find being a student, one of them. My life, having taken a rather untraditional route since highschool, hasn’t always been most conducive to completing my education. I have been taking classes on and off for quite some time. I am VERY careful to make sure I’m taking only the required classes to my major program and that they will all transfer accordingly to my future school. All I have taken is general education courses; maths, sciences, history, humanities, economics, nothing that I’ve WANTED to take.
Prior to my boyfriend passing I had a full time job, two part-time jobs, and had just signed myself up for two summer school courses. After two years of such a heavy schedule I had convinced myself I was used to it, capable of taking on more, and ready to go back to school! With the news of his death I quickly decided it wasn’t in my GPA’s favor to struggle through college courses while trying to juggle everyday life, as hectic as it already was, while grieving the loss of my other half and the future I had planned out with him. So I dropped my classes to allow myself a short time to grieve.
I have since completed some courses and am now enrolled and attending classes for the spring term. However, this time, I have given myself a break in a different way! I’ve signed up for an elective course that I have always had some interest in; American Sign Language!!!
According to Eva Gizowska’s Things to do now that you’re…single again,
“Evening Classes can sound nerdy. But you really shouldn’t knock them until you’ve tried pottery, silk-screen painting, Italian for beginners, creative writing, or black-and-white photography. You might be surprised to discover you have a real talent that’s never been tapped into before. It’s also a great way to make some new friends.”
Well I had creative writing and photography in highschool, dabbled on a potter’s wheel in a ceramic class from highschool as well, couldn’t tell you what silk-screen painting is about, and after five years of Spanish and barely being able to speak a lick, decided against those options. American Sign Language however, is something I’ve always had an interest in. And after teaching my son, whose speech delay kept him nonverbal for two years and often left us both frustrated, I fell in love with the language. I honestly think it’s beautiful and simply amazing that people can talk and be understood through gestures. I mean how many times do we fail at charades when trying to guess a three-worded movie title and yet, people completely converse that way.
My son and I learned by watching Baby Signing Time videos by Rachel de Azevedo Coleman. Despite my best efforts to keep conversation flowing, as he became verbal, we stopped signing. So having decided to slow down, take a look at my life, what I am doing, and how I can improve it while still enjoying it, I signed myself up for an evening course!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I am having! In two classes I have mastered the alphabet and nearly hundred other signs. By the end of the semester the teacher expects anyone who studies the material to be , as I will, fluent!! I am studying and practicing and totally taking it in! The only difficulty I face is being receptive; as I have no one to practice and show the signs back to me. Anyone interested in learning, let me know!
I’m so happy to finally be doing something for myself, something I enjoy, and something that can improve my life. Sign Language is a formally recognized language, there is tons of work for those who are fluent and use it regularly. It’s also incredibly lucrative.
All that aside, it makes me happy! I am very excited come Wednesday evening when I get to take a time out from the everyday stressors in my life, to enjoy the beauty of the language.
That’s how you seize the moment!