I went to a local meet & greet for deaf folks last Friday. Most of the people seemed to be hearing (interpreters in progress I suppose), but there was one guy there who was a real story teller (told a couple of hilarious stories, including one between a dad and his little son, who beat the pants off him at video games). I didn’t get all of it, but the gist of that and other stories, and he was really quite good. He was at the other end of the table from where I sat, though.
Next to me were a couple of hearing people: one very nice fella who has been signing for about five years and is working on getting certified as an interpreter, a rather quiet girl who’s ASL was a bit more basic than mine (for all I know she knows more signs, but I know about languages and I will jump in and yap away even not knowing too much, because that is the only way to learn; a lot of people especially on their first new language, don’t want to say anything “wrong” and thus don’t really get anywhere until they get past that roadblock), and another older woman who knew more, but was mostly watching everyone else talk.
There was one other deaf guy there, who was mostly fond of talking about himself, his background, and the various different programs he works on. Y’all probably know the type. However, he and the other guy talked a fair amount, and clearly enough for me (especially as I think he was talking [aloud] while signing, though I left my HA in my purse this time) to not only follow a good deal of it, but pick up a number of signs: experience, events, interested, “pop up” or “show up”, knives, lemons, sweet, sour (we did get into a culinary preferences discussion 🙂 ) salad, chocolate, etc.
Further down the table was a woman with a dog. I think they told me she has Usher’s, but she struck me mostly as blind or becoming blind than deaf; she made a verbal announcement at one point about a fundraiser next month and I didn’t see any typical deaf pronunciations. I also saw her watching some people sign, but then also tactile signing with the storyteller — perhaps practicing that for when she needs it. A woman was there with a young girl about 8, but I only saw the girl chat verbally with her mother, and the mother seemed to only watch the storyteller. There was an older couple across the table from the story teller, who seemed to be HOH if anything, and not entirely fluent in ASL. A few young teenagers at the very end who said/signed little but signed away as they were leaving. A couple of older men dropped by after I came in, and they mostly spoke, while signing a bit, I had NO idea of waht they were saying (very pronounced speech) and I was told they were HOH. Maybe late deafened, I don’t know.
Still in all a fun evening. I would like to meet more people who are actually deaf, but I realize I’m not exactly in any kind of deaf mecca here. I want to try attending the larger meet & greet that goes on in a local mall on the first fridays, but my schedule is crazy enough I never know when I will have fridays free…
But I was very pleased, I followed a good deal of what was going on, picked up a bunch of signs, got to say some things myself and got some compliments on having only 3 months of ASL under my belt.
The really fun thing is I’m picking up more and more of the vlogs, too 😀