Sunday, October 8

Yes, I am still here

I have been swallowed up by classes-- to attend as a student and to teach. For several nights in a row, I didn't have a good night of sleeping. I usually go to bed at 12am to 1am then wake up at 8am. Not enough sleep for me...remember-- I am not a fully-fledged adult that has adjusted to coffee and early sunrise just yet.

Right now, I only have three classes (as student)-- two art classes and a surfing class. I have to pass all of them to maintain my graduation this December. I have submitted in my paperwork so the reality of me obtaining a BA degree is settling in... As a teacher, I teach two classes. Not bad, as long I don't assign them a lot of essays ! They are really eager so it does help me a lot to appreciate to teach them ASL.

I have a lot of discussions about "pure ASL" recently. What is exactly it and where is it being used? I have been attacked by interpreters (and hearing signers) about my PSE slips... but I realized that they are the only people I use PSE with. Is it a psychological block I have wedged between myself and the hearing people? If they are attacking me, then how could I be comfortable to use ASL around them? It is a vicious cycle-- as I continue to distance myself from the hearing people as they attempt to learn ASL. (Fortunatly, I haven't applied any of those defense mechanisms in my teaching classes. I put on a different mentality for those students because I am looking to give them a POSITIVE outlook on ASL and the Deaf community). I don't think anybody should attack anybody based on how they sign (the fluency, the accuracy, or whatever). I found it irony that the hearies are usually attacking me for using PSE yet those hearing people were the very ones who drilled PSE into my young virginal linguistic encephalon. Hmm... I suppose I cannot make them happy all times.

For me, "pure ASL" is a language that has NO manual handshapes in any of signs. I am not a Deaf Studies/ASL studies major so my definition could be wrong, but that is how I see it based on my history of people (mainly hearies) criticizing me...
I wonder if it is SO wrong to use few PSE signs throughout your conversation just to clarify what you are saying... it is like Tex-Mex-- a group of Spanish-speaking Tejanos that occassionaly use some English words in their dialogue. What is your definition of PURE ASL?

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