Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Change of Plans

Session A is coming to an end. This Friday will be my last day of ASL 5. I had thought that I would spend session B in ASL 6. Unfortunately that class isn't being taught next session. This became a really big problem. It seems like for the most part classes being taught session B are either far above my level or far below.
Kim (the director of the summer program) and I looked through all the classes being taught in session B. Kim felt the classes that would suit me best, that were being offered are beginning classifiers, intermediate finger spelling, and an interpreting class that focus on the interpreting of anatomy and physiology.
Before I made my decision I talked about Kim's plan with my teacher Ricky. He felt my classifier class would very easy for me, probably too easy. My finger spelling class would be good but not challenging. Then there comes my interpreting class. This class is actually suppose to be taught to people already working as interpreters in a middle school or high school setting. However because Gallaudet isn't offering the class they promised me, it is their responsibility to provide me with classes otherwise they will have to refund my money.
So with the permission of the professor I have also been put into an interpreting class which I'm sure will prove to be a big challenge for me, seeing as I have never taken an interpreting class in my life and the only experience I have with interpreting is volunteer work for church.
My teacher said that there will be a lot of partner work and class presentations. My only concern is that I'll be the one that people dread working with. The slow person that holds the class back. I definitely will work hard to see that, that doesn't happen, even so I know the people in my class will be at a higher level then me. All I can do is do my best.
So I've decided to stay for session B. Because Gallaudet was in the wrong I could have gotten my money back and came home but I feel like I planned this out for so long that I really need and want to see it out.
Hopefully I will enjoy my classes and they will be challenging but not to challenging. I'm sure everything will be fine. Life has a way of working its self out even when things don't go as planned. You just have to take things how the come and find joy in every situation.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Let them eat CUPCAKES!

The weekend started with a lovely trip for Cup Cakes and Gelato. Seriously as if we all really needed more.
I wonder what people did before they had digital cameras to entertain them? In this group any spare moment turns into a photo shoot. Jonathan, "You're really pretty!"
Red Velvet has amazing cupcakes!
I'm not at liberty to say how, but Ryan was able to get himself a box of vegan cupcakes. So he decided to give them to random people on the street. It was really fun! We made a lot of new friends that way. It was funny to watch peoples reactions. They were a bit stand offish at first but once we assured them that they weren't laced with anything they were more then willing to accept.

After Cupcakes and Gelato we headed to a nice little Coffee shop that has ASL Poetry. I really enjoyed myself there were some really amazing signers. . . and some really awful ones. Over all it was a really enjoyable experience.

By far my favorite performer was this girl named Rosemary! She was phenomenal, honestly the best interpreter that I have ever seen. She preformed a Micheal Jackson song in the purest ASL I have ever seen. I was simply beautiful.
So four pictures of her on my blog, kind of creepy I know. Oh well I don't care, this girl in my new Idol. Basically she has given me a new goal for the kind of interpreter I want to be. Just watching her taught me a lot about ASL and how to take beautiful words and change them into beautiful pictures instead of just translating the words. I know people have been saying that to me through out all of my ASL classes, and I have been learning. I have ASL grammar but I feel like watching her really taught me how to take something from being ASL grammar to pure ASL. One day I'm going to be as awesome as her. Until then I'm just going to stalk her YouTube videos haha.

Saturday we headed out into DC again. . . . and we got cupcakes . . . again. Well I didn't, but others did. Jonathan got him self a green tea cupcake, those stereotypes about Brits weren't kidding. Jonathan gets tea in any for he can wither it be the drink, the ice cream, or even the cupcake.

After walking around the DC area we all decided to head home. A group of people went dancing again but I decided to stay home. I needed some down time. We do exciting things almost everyday, so instead of going out on the town Lisa and I stayed home and watched hours of Degrassi on her laptop.
Funny story about Lisa: We were chatting on Friday about boys and I mentioned that I tend to be interested in older guys. Lisa turns to me and says, "I'm not trying to be rude or anything but its that pretty stereotypical for Mormons?" I was a bit puzzled so I asked her to clarify then she says to me, "Well isn't it usually one older Mormon guys that marries a bunch of young girls." I bust into laughter! "Lisa! Do you think I'm a polygamist!?" "Well isn't that what a Mormon is?" It hadn't dawned on me that she might think I was a polygamist, I didn't even think to explain that fact haha. So I took some time to explain the difference between FLDS and LDS people. She was really happy to know that I didn't have to marry some old guy with five other wives.

So when Sunday came around and it was time for Church Lisa decided to come with me so she could be better informed on what a Mormon really is. We went to the Deaf Branch. It was interesting, very small. Smaller then my branch in Ogden. I was surprised to see a few people from Gallaudet that I had meet, I just didn't know they were Mormon. The most interesting person I meet was a 3 year old deaf boy. He is deaf and so is his father. I was so impressed with how well this little boy could communicate. His vocabulary was HUGE. I was watching his conversation with is father and it was really advanced. I have never meed a child that young who could sign that well. He was adorable, he was looking around the room and he saw me and says, in ASL obviously "Who are you, I've never seen you before."I told him my name was "S-A-D-I-E" in response in figure spelt my name back to me and asked for my name sign. He was adorable and basically made my day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dancing in DC

Nothing says PARTY like a Thursday night. Well nothing says party like free admission for college students on Thursday nights. So last night we gathered up a group and headed down the red line for some dancing. We stopped at a park to pick up Ryan and Terry who were already in the area.

Ryan felt the need to unbutton his shirt and do a photo shoot. . . .
Which lead into him wanting a scandalous picture with his self proclaimed "Mormon girlfriend." I'm always up for a silly picture, I was just standing there pretending to by Tyra Banks when out of no where Ryan decides to lip rape me ha ha. Seriously one moment I'm posing for the camera and the next thing I know I've got a gay man in my face. . . Of coarse we had to hold our kiss in public so that several friends could take pictures with there cameras. . . . awesome. I think this picture really captures the fear in my eyes ha ha.

We arrived at the club and tried to enter, that's when Sophie and I realized we had forgotten our ids. We had our college ids but not the ids the prove we are over 18. So we grabbed a cab and headed back to Clerc to grab them.
That minor mishap didn't put us back too far. We got to the club about 30 minutes later and were ready to party. I learned something interesting about clubs out here. In Utah all 18 or up clubs are dry. Out in the east that isn't always the case so if your under 21 you get cute markings on your hands. Not that I mind, I wouldn't be drinking any ways I just thought it was cool.
The dancing was fun. Clubbing out here is basically the same the only differences I noticed was more people, better music, better lighting, and cool white stuff the falls from the ceiling randomly as seen in this picture.

It was a lot of fun. We were able to stay in our own little group and just dance around each other. I was nervous when we were first planning on going. I was concerned that there would be a lot of dirty dancing and people wouldn't leave me alone and I would end up in the corner crying ha ha. Really though our group just stayed on our own, we all danced clean and people let us be.

It was fun to go with a group of people who can sign. We were still able to communicate even with the load music, and I found out that there are other ASL nerds in this world who like to turn signs into dance moves.

It defiantly was a lot, what was not fun was getting up for class after 4 hours of sleep and trying to sit through hours of lectures. I better go take a nap now because its officially the weekend which I'm sure means there is a lot more socializing to be had.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trip to China Town.

Last night after class we took a trip down to China Town!

We started out with dinner at New Big Wongs. We decided it was the best bet because there were no white people in the whole restaurant. We figured that would be the best radar for what was authentic.
This photo is of Jonathan contemplating his meal choice. Next to all the names of the meals there would be a description of what was inside, the meal that Jonathan is pointing at just said ". . . . . . . . . . ."I wonder what that is suppose to mean?
Next on the agenda was Karaoke. Sadly Sophie and are not old enough to get in anywhere that offering karaoke on a Wednesday night so we all settled with Ice cream and cupcakes. . . I went to that gym earlier so I earned it.

"This isn't helping the whole, I'm a heterosexual thing is it?" Poor Jonathan he's not gay he's just European, he can't help it.
Harrison is a man of many faces. This is his rugged face.
I am finally comfortable enough with this group to be as annoying about pictures as I want to be. So they got the full wrath of, stand there, smile, pose for me, one more picture and so on and so forth. I think that's why terry saw it fit to capture a picture of me taking pictures, but the jokes on you terry! I got one of you as well!
After lots of sugar we proceeded to make several public scenes. Ryan with the help of Nora preformed several songs for the entertainment of many people on the streets as well as on the metro. For the most part I was just an audience member, which with this group always proves to be very entertaining.

Classes At Gallaudet

So I do in fact do more then just hang out with friends here at Gallaudet.

Classes here at Gallaudet are going well. On the first day of class I arrived to ASL 4. That's when I learned that they do there school systems differently here. In Utah ASL 1 is the blue book, ASL 2 is the pink book and ASL 3 is the yellow book. Here at Gallaudet ASL 1 and 2 are in the blue book, ASL 3 and 4 are in the pink book and ASL 5 and 6 are in the yellow book. So I moved up to ASL 5 its the highest sign level they are giving during season A. So Its basically a review of ASL 3 for me. Which is good. I still have plenty to learn and its really good practice. I feel like my receptive has gotten much better since being here at Gallaudet. There are so many different styles here and so many different accents. We have people from all over the country as well and Canada and we even have some people from England who already know BSL and now want to learn ASL.

This video is my first project, really I've only been here a few days so I'm not sure if there will be any noticeable improvement. Hopefully there will be. The link has an English summery of the story for those of my friends and family who do not sign.

Like I said, I'm enjoying class. My teacher is Ricky Rose. He's really great. Very funny and fun to watch. He's a great teacher for ASL 3 because it's all about story telling and he is full of stories. Funny fact about Ricky, he lived in Utah for 12 years, and went to school at USU, he actually knows a lot the members that I know in the Ogden Deaf Branch.

My class is also equally great. For the most part we are all on the same level which makes learning much easier. Also another great thing is that we all come from different places and different teachers. We expose each other to a lot of different styles, signs ect. We also get along really well. It's taken us a few days to get use to each other but now that we have I think we are all going to be great friends.

I'm really enjoying class here at Gallaudet, but I am happy to report that It doesn't feel like I learn any less at that DATC, at least not as far as the actual sign classes go. That makes me feel very confident as far as my choice of school.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello

Its been a while since I've blogged I'm sorry about that. I can't get the Internet through my laptop and its all been a big mess. So I'm going to do my best to catch up. Just a disclaimer to anyone who reads this. I have limited time with a computer so I will be typing as fast as I can. I suck with grammar. I'm going to do my best. If a I mess up feel free to comment and let me know. Moving on . . .
Lets start at the very beginning. I hear its a very nice place to start. Yes that may or may not have been a sound of music reference.

Saying Goodbye:
Sunday was mine and Kayleigh's last day with our friends in Falls Church. Ruth, one of the girls who lives there made us breakfast which was beyond sweet!
Seriously I am still amazed at how well everything worked out. I'm so thankful that Jennifer let us come stay with her, and I'm even more grateful to how amazing not only Jennifer but all the girls were to us! Seriously I couldn't have asked for anything better.
In this picture Alisha (Alisha and her boyfriend were beyond great to us, they made us dinner, chatted with us and drove us to instatue), Abby(Abby was so sweet, she offered us food and took us running.)
Now we have Alisha, Ruth(Ruth was the first roommate was meet, she made us dinner, talked with us, helped get us the airport.) I feel bad that there isn't a picture of Jennifer after all she is the one who let us stay there in the first place but she works so much and we hardly saw her so I never got the chance.
Alisha and Ruth drove Kayleigh to the airport and then me to GALLAUDET! It wasn't too hard to find my dorm. There it is, the beautiful Clerc Hall.
This is my bed room. Well my side of the bed room. Pretty much what you see is what you get. I have a little bed with an awful mattress. My dressers are under my bed, and at the foot of my bed there is a desk. This is my home for the next month.

Saying Hello:

Like I said in my previous blog, when I arrived to my dorm there was one girl already there unpacking, come to find out she was my roommate, Lisa! I love Lisa, she's load, crass, funny, blunt. She tells stories that usually could end with the response "TMI" haha. That's what I love about her. This picture is brilliant because shes a Jew, standing in front of the ten commandments!
It wasn't long before people here found out about my love for Jews. Mostly because anytime someone told me they were Jewish my eyes would light up, I'd get all excited and usually proclaim in a very excited voice, "I LOVE JEWS!" The picture below is me with some of my Jewish friends I've made. We're in front of the ten commandments, written in Hebrew. EPIC! Apparently I've been living in the wrong place my whole life, there are Jews everywhere here at Gallaudet!
This picture shows my main group of friends thus far. I love how different we all are from each other. It make for some interesting dynamics.
On the far right you see Sophie. As you might see from the T-shirt she's really into . . . I forget the word for it, but its that "Bob Marley" kind of stuff. That life style of chilling, parting (lots of partying from the sounds of it.) I really love Sophie's heart. I think that was the first thing I noticed about her was her very accepting heart.

Next to Sophie is Jonathan, the Brit! He's an atheist from Liverpool. Jonathan is awesome, the best way word to describe Jonathan is brother. He's kind of like the older brother of the group. He teases a lot, both verbal and and physical, I can't tell you how many time he's messed up my hair or flicked my nose in the past three days. Jonathan is so funny, and awesome to have around.

Next to me is Lisa, I already mentioned her, one additional thing about Lisa is her love for making dirty jokes. She puts all my friends in Utah to shame. I can honestly say that most of what she says goes completely over my head. I use to think I was a crass person. . . Lisa has proven to me that there is a level of crass that I had never even imagined.

Next to Lisa is Harrison. Harrison is a character. Notice that outfit he was wearing. He wears that same outfit everyday just with a different colored shirt underneath . . . he's a funny guy. I don't know much about him. He's defiantly colorful though, he's personality just adds more color to the already diverse, and colorful group of friends.
This picture is of Ryan. Yellow shorts Ryan. A little bit about Ryan. He's our token gay man. We have a lot of tokens in this group and he is our token gay. He's very funny and very critical, I like working on my signing projects with him because I know I will get the most in depth response ever. This picture was taken on a very eventful day. Ryan, Rob, Terry and I went to Target. We found out that escalators there weren't only for humans but for carts as well. Ryan was really excited to try it out!
On the left side of this picture we have Terry. Terry is the mom of the group, but she is definitely the cool mom. Honestly she chills with us and you feel like she is just one of the kids. Well not 100% there are times where her maturity shows, but we could probably use that. I love terry, she tells it how it is. No bull crap with this women, but she tells you in a very classy way. I just love how she makes people toe the line. There was even a moment yesterday where someone was listening to a song that she felt was dirty so she just told them to turn it off. I was impressed. I guess she probably isn't concerned with pressure even still it was cool.

This picture is epic even if it doesn't appear so. Let me explain. In this picture we are driving down Florida ave which is in the GHETTO and we were listening to Glee and Backstreet boys, while out fellow friends on the road were jamming to hard core rap. I honestly was concerned for my safety at this point. Three white people rolling around the ghetto, in a convertible listening to boy bands. It was like we were asking to get bet up haha.
I'm happy to report that I did in fact make friends. It was my biggest concern. I don't do well with being alone. Its really interesting out here. I'm not sure this group would have formed under any other circumstance but this. We are all SO different, but that's what makes it fun.

Monday, June 21, 2010

So . . . You're a mormon. . .

So Internet here at Gallaudet sucks! I can't get my lap top to connect to the Internet therefor I don't have a way to put pictures up. Its only my second day here so hopefully I can find a way to fix this.
I did was to update what has been going on the past few days.
I arrived her Sunday around noon. When I arrived there was one other girl here named Lisa. She was here with her parents. Come to find out she was my roommate. We talked as we set up our rooms. Lisa is 19, hearing, from New York, she's loud and so funny, AND . . . SHE'S JEWISH!!! I was pretty excited. Anyone who knows me knows I love Jewish people just about as much as I love deaf people. So I was pretty darn excited.
We became fast friends. No need for that awkward crap.
Later that night we were talking around when we ran into a boy with bright yellow shorts and his friend. They later introduced themselves as Ryan from Canada and Sophie from Boston. They are both really awesome people and as luck would have it they are both Jews as well! I felt stupid because I got excited every time. . . JEWS! It basically made my day, actually more like made my life. So we are chatting about where everyone is from. Sophie didn't understand what I said the first time she she asked me again, by this point Ryan and Lisa were chatting about somethings else so they didn't see our conversation. So Sophie asks me "Where are you from?" I respond with Utah and she says, "oh so are you Mormon?" I was a little caught off guard. It's not like I'm keeping my religion a secret or anything. I just honestly didn't think anyone would know what I was haha. Lisa had asked me earlier, and when I responded with "I'm a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints . . . " well she just looked at me kind of puzzled and said. . . "So your Christan." to which I responded with a simple "Yes!" Anyways back to Sophie. I must have taken a while to response because after asking if I was Mormon she said. "Sorry that's probably just a stereotype I shouldn't assume." I chuckled and said "well its a stereotype for a reason. I am." That was that. She just said cool laughed and we moved on. I was so relived. I really was so concerned that someone was going to hate me for it. I was a bit nervous still though. Later that night we are all taking. By this point we've added two more boys to the group. Jonathan from Liverpool England and Harrison . . . I can't remember where he is from. So we are all taking about families and someone brings up brothers and sisters, and how many we have. Everyone in that room came from a family of two children except for one person. . . me . . . to that Sophie responded well you are Mormon. That's when it happened, the reaction I assumed I would get from the start. "YOU'RE MORMON!" I could feel myself going into defense mode already. Oh boy. . . they started in with the question. I was actually surprised because I didn't even get that chance to answer them it seemed like most of the people in the room already knew what I "couldn't" do. They the list of "cant's" was building up. I'm guessing Ryan could see in my face that I was uneasy because he said. I'm not trying to be rude, To that I responded. "Oh I know and you're right there are a lot of things I don't do. But that's the think I DON'T do them, its not that I can't because I can, I can do anything I want. My religion is my choice and I am very happy with it. To say I can't do something makes it sound forced. There are a lot of things I don't or wont do, but I can do anything."
The conversation changed shortly after that. That answer seemed to satisfy them. We all went to bed shortly after because it was fairly late.
When I got home I started getting nervous. What if my new friends didn't like me . . . oh it sounds stupid as I type it out but I was a big deal in my mind. I prayed for comfort and then opened my scriptures to a random place. And like in usual does the scriptures that I read didn't feel so random. They brought great peace to me.
The next morning I meet up with my new group of friends, and everything was fine. I'm not sure what I was scared about. They don't care, they honestly don't. It's just a joke to them haha. I'm the "Mormon" they make jokes about it every now and then and that's it. "Sadie want a drink oh wait you don't." Or, "You're pretty cool for a Mormon." No one is pressuring me into anything, no one is trying to spike my drink . . . I think they feel the same way I do. We all just respect what people believe and don't believe. None of us try to pressure the other one to change. The offer is always there if the other party is willing but not one if forcing anyone. So yeah . . . I'm a Mormon. . . and apparently its not as big of a deal as I thought :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Phase Two: Complete!

Our day started at the National Museum of Art. There were so many amazing things to see. I was pretty impressed with myself when I recognized a Pablo Picasso piece. It took a lot of self control for me to not pose ridiculously with all the statues. However I did stay true to myself and snuck in a few silly poses every now and then.
Kayleigh was on cloud nine in the art museums. Art for Kayleigh is like ASL for me. The picture to the right is Kayleigh with one of her favorite paintings. A beautiful piece called Woman Holding A Balance.
This next piece of art cause quiet the conversation between Kayleigh and I. The painting is entitled A Game Of Hot Cockles. We spent some time trying to figure out what in the world Hot Cockles meant. We then noticed a young man in the painting with his head seemingly under a girls shirt. . . Later with the help of the Internet I was able to learn that Hot Cockles is a game where you kneel down, people punch you and you try to figure out who hit you where. . . call me crazy but that really doesn't sound like fun, and it still doesn't explain what in the world that young man is doing down there. Oh well. . .

After the art gallery we went to the Holocaust museum. You can't take pictures there. Not that I would have wanted to. I'm not sure what words to use to describe the museum. It was heart wrenching. The images were simply unimaginable. I still can't believe that humans were capable of doing such horrible things to each other. I actually wasn't able to finish the museum. There was probably still about 10 minutes left but i just couldn't do it. It was such an over load of awful emotions. It was strange I started this morning seeing the beauty that human hands could create, then I spent the afternoon seeing the terror and destruction that human hands could bring.
Next we went to Arlington Cemetery.

We were able to see the changing of the guard. It was beautiful. Beautiful in a different way then the art we had seen this morning. There was something really profound about the amount of respect and honor these men showed.

While walking through out Arlington Kayleigh and I saw many names on the headstones. Kayleigh and I actually ran across both of our last names. We also found the names of a few other people . . . it was kind of like the tombstones were mocking us.

After walking around Arlington Kayleigh and I were both exhausted. It was about time for some food.

We decided to eat at Harry's, a nice restaurant just off E street. We defiantly were in need of food. We were starting to hit that crazy/pissy phase again.
We decided since its Kayleighs last night here that we should celebrate with some frozen yogurt. It was wonderful. Once again. . . I'm writing about food. How uninteresting is that.
With it being Kayleighs last night and all we figured we'd better hit up the last of the MUST SEES. The white house. The search for the white house wasn't as easy as you would think it would be. We ran across a scary spider and a rocking party . . . but no white house.

Finally the white house was in sight.
It's strange that tonight is my last night with Kayleigh here. I guess that means that this phase of the vacation is over. I can't believe how fast a week has gone by. I hope time slows down. I'm really enjoying my break from reality. Even though I really miss my family, friends and young women, I'm still am really enjoying my time out here and I don't want it to be be over any time soon.