August 12, 2011 § 3 Comments
Turns out I was not meant to speak French.
After trying my hand at the love language in high school (classroom name: Sophie, thank you very much) and never really getting past “milk” and “mustard” (lait and moutarde in case you needed some vocab at your next French dinner party), I figured I’d try something different to fulfill my foreign language requirement in college- American Sign Language (ASL).
Now, going into it, I knew two things: 1.) I already liked to talk with my hands, so that was a plus and 2.) I was an idiot to think that meant anything- this is a new language we’re talking about.
Truth be told, I can’t say enough about my time at SCCC learning ASL. It was an incredible blessing and learning about Deaf culture was completely fascinating. The instructors were phenomenal and prominent figures in the Deaf community, even joining the class for a beer after our final exams nearly each quarter. And as it turned out, I did pretty well due to the ol’ money-maker (as in I was expressive), which acts as intonation/tone/inflection in sign language.
It’s all in the eyebrows.
What am I getting at, you wonder? Well, I am currently addicted to a show called “Switched at Birth” on ABC Family (I know, I know- I may have just lost you there, but bear with me). The storyline is just like it sounds, with two teenage girls finding out that they were switched at birth and how they adjust once they find this out 16 years later. However, one of them is deaf. This presents another unexpected set of challenges to everyone and captivating television for me. Entire scenes are spoken in ASL, with the only sound being that of a fountain in the background. I am transfixed, engrossed, mesmerized, trying to keep up. I love it. I am flooded with the impulse to take more classes and one day be able to comfortably converse (it’s on my Bucket List).
Who knew ABC Family would be responsible for anything other than following the lives of unrealistic American teenagers and the occasional guilty-pleasure family movie? But they are. I’d say they’ve broken a mold and featured a culture rarely seen on a popular TV show. I re-learn signs with every episode and will even admit to watching a few episodes twice (thank you, Hulu). Check it out, friends, if you’re up for some teenage-ness along with watching a beautiful language….with a little bit of “Hi, I’m ________ and I watch ABC Family” thrown in.
No judgement here. 🙂 Happy Weekend!