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OT Signers

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  • mahiruha_27
    Signers Today I went out to eat at one of Chicago s gazillion Thai restaurants. As I was eating, I noticed that the table of four next to me was engaged in a
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 24, 2009
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      Signers

      Today I went out to eat at one of Chicago's gazillion Thai
      restaurants. As I was eating, I noticed that the table of four next
      to me was engaged in a lively conversation through sign language. It
      looked as if they were casting spells learned from some ancient
      Anglo-Saxon tome, or miming their way out of a series of existential
      tunnels that could be described in no other way.

      I never learned to sign. My hearing loss wasn't, and isn't, severe
      enough. That's been a source of embarrassment in my life. When
      "signers" see my hearing aid, they often immediately assume that I've
      been initiated, and I haven't been. I can only say "thank you", which
      looks like a dove taking flight from the center of the chest, grazing
      the chin on its way; and "see you later", which is pretty straightforward.

      Are there any people on this group who sign? Is it terribly difficult
      to learn? Have you found it useful in your life?

      Mahiruha
    • purnakama2000
      Hello Mahiruha, Although I know nothing of American Sign Language other than the alphabet which I learned in Girl Guides many years ago, I have recently had
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 25, 2009
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        Hello Mahiruha,

        Although I know nothing of American Sign Language other than the
        alphabet which I learned in Girl Guides many years ago, I have
        recently had experience teaching French with a new approach using
        hand signs and gestures to help the children learn more quickly.

        The hand signs are not ASL, but rather they were created by the
        woman who put together this new approach to teaching foreign
        languages.

        It has been incredibly successful. Children who before would just
        sit with a frightened look on their face when I spoke French are
        finally getting it. They are participating in class, they are
        understanding the language, and they are able to communicate much
        easier and they are excited about it.

        I especially notice it with our children who come to us from other
        countries and speak no English. The hand gestures seemed to have
        opened up some kind of mental portal for them and they are speaking
        more French than English.

        The kinisthetic hand movements seem to add another dimension that
        aids in the acquisition of language, then once they have mastered
        the new vocabulary, the gestures seem to fall away naturally as the
        language becomes embedded and they no longer need them.

        I know it's a little off of your topic, but I thought you might find
        it interesting.

        Hope to read more posts about this topic.

        Purnakama
      • pavitrata27
        Hi Mahiruha I have always wanted to be able to sign and admire people who do. I am astounded at the speed; on TV here we have some channels where someone is
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 25, 2009
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          Hi Mahiruha

          I have always wanted to be able to sign and admire people who do. I
          am astounded at the speed; on TV here we have some channels where
          someone is signing in the corner, I like to turn the volume down and
          see if I can work it out!

          I am sure you would enjoy being able to sign! You have a natural
          empathy with people, I think it would be very rewarding. If you
          Google 'Chicago ASL' (American Sign Language) you will see that
          Columbia College do what looks like a good introductory course.

          I have just looked at some interesting online Flash tutorials on
          signing, however I would imagine that if you are serious about it
          the best way would be to learn it from someone.

          Good luck.

          pip pip
          Pavitrata
        • purnakama2000
          Hi again Mahiruha, I just remembered something that I learned from a friend who used to teach signing to people who could not hear or speak. He said that they
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 25, 2009
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            Hi again Mahiruha,

            I just remembered something that I learned from a friend who used to
            teach signing to people who could not hear or speak.

            He said that they have very interesting conversational etiquette.

            If two people are in a signing conversation and you need to get by
            them, it's considered impolite to walk around them, and rather you
            should just walk in between them.

            Sort of the opposite of our conversational etiquette.

            I'm not sure if this fellow was pulling my leg, but it would be
            interesting to look into.

            Purnakama
          • mahiruha_27
            Thank you, Purnakama and Pavitrata, for responding to my post. It is always so gratifying to me when people reply to my messages. I am sure that that is a
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 26, 2009
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              Thank you, Purnakama and Pavitrata, for responding to my post. It is
              always so gratifying to me when people reply to my messages. I am
              sure that that is a universal sentiment.

              Purnakama,

              Thank you for your fascinating insights on new methods in teaching
              language. I almost wonder what an expert on Indian mudras (sacred
              hand gestures) could tell us about particular hand postures and the
              acquisition of knowledge.

              Pavitrata,

              Thanks for looking up sign language study programs in Chicago. Now, I
              have no excuse not to get out there and learn this beautiful, silent
              language.

              Thanks to you both!

              Mahiruha
            • pavitrata27
              Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to reach a level of skill where you can order a Chicago pizza with all the veggie trimmings. In sign language of
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 28, 2009
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                Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to reach a level of
                skill where you can order a Chicago pizza with all the veggie
                trimmings. In sign language of course. The curve ball here is to
                find a pizza place in Chicago where sign language is understood.
                What say you?

                pip pip
                Pavitrata
              • nicholasfile
                I don t know any thing about signing, but I would hazard a guess that showing a greenback or two and pointing hungrily at the menu until the message gets
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 29, 2009
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                  I don't know any thing about signing, but I would hazard a guess that
                  showing a greenback or two and pointing hungrily at the menu until the
                  message gets through, should do the job very nicely.
                  When the pizza maker looks the other way, toss on copious condiments
                  and sauce, bingo, mission accomplished.
                  Personally, I am waiting for celebrations to get "a real New York pizza."
                  I once went into Manhattan and bought a pair of running shoes and
                  decided to have a slice, so I asked for a vege slice with eggplant,
                  being from New Zealand he didn't get my accent when I asked for
                  Eggplant, pronounced plant as in Aunt. We dont got no "eggplaunt"
                  came the reply, it took few seconds of astonishment to realise that I
                  had to ask for Egg Plant, as in ant, Sheesh, oh well now I know
                  better. I am certain Rupantar, also being Italian would have got it.
                  Bon appitite, Nicholas--Auckland.
                • mahiruha_27
                  Pavitrata, Thank you for throwing down the gauntlet! It s nice when people set up realistic challenges for you, like Learn to fly by flapping your hands and
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 30, 2009
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                    Pavitrata,

                    Thank you for throwing down the gauntlet!

                    It's nice when people set up realistic challenges for you, like

                    "Learn to fly by flapping your hands and jumping in place"

                    "Control the weather with a tuning fork."

                    "Have an intelligent conversation during the Superbowl"

                    Truthfully, I'm not watching the Superbowl this year (gasps of
                    horror). Actually, I never have, I never plan to and the whole thing
                    seems pretty pointless to me. I mean, who cares about who the catcher
                    is, or how many widgets it takes to add up to a whozit or under what
                    conditions the winning team has to make a human pyramid before the
                    losing team can fold the necessary number of origami chipmunks? I
                    mean, gosh. I'd rather watch a quilting bee.

                    Seriously, if I ever meet a bee that can weave quilts with good taste
                    and artistry, then I'll know it's time to form my own Yahoo group!

                    Mahiruha
                  • pavitrata27
                    Hi Mahiruha The challenge was based on my faith in your abilities! You are quite capable of it, I believe. Most things bees do are done in good taste and with
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 31, 2009
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                      Hi Mahiruha

                      The challenge was based on my faith in your abilities! You are quite
                      capable of it, I believe.

                      Most things bees do are done in good taste and with artistry, so
                      that quilt would be amazing. Woven in hexagonal patterns, I assume.
                      As for the origami chipmunk, Google 'origami chipmunk' and you will
                      see someone has made one!!

                      PBS TV in America a couple of years ago used to do a fantastic
                      program called 'Signing Time' for children to learn signing in a fun
                      way. I don't know if its still on PBS but maybe the DVDs are
                      available.

                      Go to YouTube, type in 'Signing Time the alphabet' and you will find
                      the signing alphabet there in a very manageable way!

                      While you are on YouTube type in 'Signing Time silly pizza song' to
                      see how the whole thing is put together.

                      And there's your segue to my challenge!!!

                      pip pip
                      Pavitrata
                    • dmchaudhurani
                      Nice one. I have a deep affection for my New-Zealand family. Working with them in the Housing Team over many happy years the NZ accent caused a lot of
                      Message 10 of 12 , Feb 1, 2009
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                        Nice one. I have a deep affection for my New-Zealand family. Working
                        with them in the Housing Team over many happy years the NZ accent
                        caused a lot of hilarity. We stopped in the van outside the stores one
                        day because someone needed a pin. - yes you probably guessed. It
                        turned out that they did not want a pin. They needed a pen.

                        On another occasion we had finished cleaning and were singing and
                        'raising the consciousness of the house' while waiting for the van to
                        come. There were several Czech girls in the team and they sang very
                        sweetly. Someone commented on the singing and one NZ girl expressed
                        her view as to who sang best. The girl was mortified. 'Why do you
                        think I'm the beast?' she asked.

                        I wonder if anyone else can remember more of these New Zealand-isms?

                        On the deaf-signing question, a close friend is a qualified
                        signing-interpreter and works in a deaf school. She learned the
                        British Standard signing method but found that there are regional,
                        cultural and even family-versions. There can be ten or fifteen ways of
                        signing one thing. She's worked there for several years now and is
                        familiar with most of the variations but it was quite difficult at
                        first. Like any language it takes time and effort and then a lot more
                        practise to become expert but I guess it would be good for everyone to
                        learn some of the basic signs while at school just to be able to be
                        polite and show oneness our with deaf brothers and sisters around the
                        world.
                      • mahiruha_27
                        Very funny, Nicholas! When I traveled to Germany, seven years ago, I made a remarkable discovery: that, oddly enough, Germans who live in Germany for some
                        Message 11 of 12 , Feb 1, 2009
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                          Very funny, Nicholas!

                          When I traveled to Germany, seven years ago, I made a remarkable
                          discovery: that, oddly enough, Germans who live in Germany for some
                          inexplicable reason speak German, not English. I went there not
                          knowing how to say anything except "ich essen kein fleisch" (I'm sorry
                          if I'm misspelling anything here.) That means that I don't eat any
                          meat. When my waiter asked me if I wanted "gemuese" I didn't know
                          that gemuese meant vegetables!

                          During my trip, I went to a guitar/zylophone concert in Berlin. It
                          was fun. The guitarist was very skilled and talented, but he kept
                          getting drowned out by the maniacal zylophonist. Anyway, during the
                          intermission, I had a very nice conversation with an Ethiopian
                          gentleman who had immigrated to Germany many years previously. I
                          asked him at one point when was the last time he had had a
                          conversation with somebody in English.

                          "Oh," he said, after a pause,"about twenty years ago."

                          I mean, my English-speaking pride evaporated!

                          Anyway, come visit me in Chicago so that you can enjoy some sloppy
                          totally-to-die-for deep-dish pizza!


                          Mahiruha
                        • purnakama2000
                          Hi Durga Mata, I had to chime in on the New Zealand isms as I had a cute experience in Annam Brahma. I was on the clean up crew in Annam Brahma with some
                          Message 12 of 12 , Feb 2, 2009
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                            Hi Durga Mata,

                            I had to chime in on the New Zealand isms as I had a cute experience
                            in Annam Brahma.

                            I was on the clean up crew in Annam Brahma with some lovely New
                            Zealand girls, and I asked one of the girls what still needed to be
                            done.
                            She replied, "oh you can clean the benches."
                            So I got some sponges and hot water and soap in a bucket, and I went
                            into the dining room and immediately started scrubbing what I
                            understood to be benches; the wooden seats that are up against the
                            walls. In Canada we would call a wooden seat like that a bench.

                            My friend saw me and immediately started laughing. She asked me what
                            I was doing and I said I was cleaning the benches. Then she laughed
                            even louder and took me into the kitchen to show me the benches.
                            They are what we would call counters or countertops in Canada.

                            We all had a good laugh at our language miscommunications and agreed
                            that at least tomorrow the workers would have very clean seats to
                            sit on:)

                            Purnakama

                            PS Speaking of sign language, have you ever been in a house in
                            housing where almost nobody speaks the same language? It's a lot of
                            fun once you get past the initial frustration:)
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