Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Deaf Vietnamese Dance Troupe

That was so awesome!! Great way to end mid-terms blues! I just got back from seeing a Deaf Vietnamese Dance Team. This is their first trip to the US. At any given time there were up to four languages going on: spoken English, American Sign Language, spoken Vietnamese, and signed Vietnamese. I think I saw just about every form of translating there is. There was ASL to English, Vietnamese to English to ASL, ASL to English, Vietnamese Signs to ASL to English, copy signing, whisper translating…I could go on for a while.

One of the dance routines they did was to use their bodies and dance moves to spell their name. It was pretty tricky to guess what the letters were, but some of the Deaf kids got pretty skilled at it as each performer did their name. The six-troupe dancers brought up volunteers from the audience and showed them some learning techniques such as following: One person would be the leader, and another person closed his eyes and put his hand on the leader’s shoulder, then tried to copy all of his movements.

Some words seem to be the same in Vietnamese Sign Language and ASL, but most is different. I could understand, however, why Deaf people throughout the world are typically able to learn to understand each other very quickly.

I learned how to count up to ten in Vietnamese Sign Language. I’ll try to describe it using ASL terms, to the best of my understanding. Of course, I was seeing the numbers on the other side of a dimly-lit auditorium, so no guarantees on minute details. ;-)

1 and 2 are the same as ours.
3 is the ASL six, English three
4 and 5 are the same
6 is ASL “Y”
7 is an upside-down ASL “L”
8 is ASL three
9 is ASL “X”
10 is similar to ASL twenty, but with only the very tips of the thumb and finger touching, similar to the ASL sign for DOT (as in .com)

*Note: there are several different kinds of Vietnamese sign systems and I have no idea what the one I saw is called, so I am referring to it as Vietnamese Sign Language.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm in the Newspaper!

I'm in the newspaper!

The article about me and Peculiar People is out in my local paper today! It's just a few paragraphs of a column, but still way cool. I showed the article off to all my classmates and teachers at school today. I'd hand them the paper and it was fun to watch their faces as they glanced at it with a puzzled look and then lit up when they saw my name. My ASL teacher especially got excited.

If you’d like to read the article, go to www.thecolumbian.com and in the right-hand column click on the “Bits and Pieces” Feb. 14th article under Arts and Living, “Lost star helps jewler find profits”. Then scroll down the page (to right under the advertisement picture) to find the sentence: A collective effort. The article starts there. For some reason it won’t let me link directly to the article.

I had a good day at class today. I had a sign language presentation to do that was a bit difficult and had lots of finger spelling, but I actually did my finger spelling fairly smoothly and got a compliment from a class mate saying how much I had improved on my signing skills.

This afternoon I'm going to start my weekly volunteering at a school. I'm excited, but also nervous about my language skills.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Published and Paid!

I got a special book in the mail today. It was devotional compilation by Lorna Owens, Everyday Grace, Everyday Miracles. I think I was more excited about the check inside it than about my name inside it! LOL! I've been published in anthologies before, but this is the first time I've been paid for my writing.

Mom and Dad say I should frame the check, haha! I think I'll deposit it first, though. ;-)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Watch Out World, Here We Come!!

Whoo hoo!!! I’m so pumped!

OK, OK, I’ll start at the beginning. Our local newspaper’s “Life” section periodically will mention a theme and ask readers to respond. A few weeks ago I responded to one with a story about Peculiar People’s novel, Struggle Creek. It wasn’t mentioned in the article, so I figured that was that.

While I was at school today, I got a phone call from an editor of the paper! It wasn’t even the same editor I had submitted the story to originally, which proves what I’ve been saying all along--Peculiar People is unique enough that just the concept will originate interest. We chatted for about twenty minutes and I think I actually talked coherently at least half the time. ;-) My cell phone (I was still at school) dropped him TWICE, though. How embarrassing is that? He was very nice about it, though, said he's used to it (oh the joys of the 21st century).

So PeP’s first bit of publicity will be in a few days, in a newspaper column. Hopefully the first of many. Watch out world, here comes Peculiar People!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ending with Style

Well, you can’t say I don’t know how to end a bad week with style. Let’s see, last post and last Thursday left me with the flu. Now, eight, count ‘em, eight days later finds me still sick. I missed two days of school, including a test. Today I finally felt well enough to go back in, or got frustrated with missing school, or something along those lines…

To jump to the end of the day, and the finale, I locked my keys in the car. Now you have to understand, my school is an hour from home when traffic is good and by this point it was the start of rush hour. So it’s not like a family member can just pop right over with another set of keys. Be that as it may, Dad was generously going to drive the way anyway. (Besides, he locks his keys in the truck often enough that he doesn’t have much room to tease. ;-) ) However, imagine my delight when I discovered that campus security can break into cars, er, unlock cars. Fifteen minute wait, two second jimmy, and viola! unlocked car.

To fill in the rest of the day, I went on a field trip today. Three of us from my interpreting class went to a soil analysis class to scope it out to see what issues an interpreter would need to figure out if there were a Deaf consumer. It was rather fun.

Then after the field trip the three of us got to talking about religion. We had a rather interesting mix--a Wiccan Priestess, a Seventh-Day Adventist, and me, a Evangelical Christian. I love that we were able to have a fun conversation without anyone getting mad or defensive.

Of course, the day was wrapped up with our Thursday night family movie. It was a lame old, old musical, but it was fun laughing at it together, hehe.