Last October a small group of Adorers began a class in ASL I (American Sign Language) with Melissa Feil, one of the excellent teachers from Zinta Learning Lab here in Wichita. One of the most interesting and true facts we learned was that the body has muscle memory, and that the more we study the signs for the 26 letters of the alphabet the easier they become, in fact, the easier they “stay” in us without too much thought. Words are the same as we moved from letters to vocabulary and remembered the signs from some of the wonderful clues our teacher gave us.
In ASL II moving from the alphabet to words was a challenge, of course, with the even greater challenge being to move into sentences. We learned, however, that the signs, while very important, are only about 25 percent of making yourself understood as we learned to use our facial expressions and upper body movements more freely. Learning to look bored, excited, sick, angry, or sleepy was just as important as learning the letters or signs for those words.
For ASL III we decided we needed to be on our own because now the learning demands fidelity to practice, practice, practice in order to gain more clarity, dexterity, and HILARITY I might add!
While there are Lessons in ASL all the way up to ASL V, it will be a task one must improve in daily and can be done on one’s own now with these basic skills we have learned. Because I am the one who NEEDS this kind of help with my ongoing hearing challenges, I want publically to thank all those who so graciously joined me in this endeavor. Just as one can’t go around talking to oneself (without consequences!) so too, one cannot just sign to oneself. This precious little group has my deepest gratitude! And thank YOU, Fran and Diana, for encouraging this move and backing it financially. – Mary Kevin Rooney, ASC
A picture is worth a thousand words! Here is our graduation class!