• Crystal Lee

Project #1. Teaching ASL

This Christmas, I have a very exciting project to accomplish.

I am teaching sign language to young adults at my church today to perform a Christmas carol in ASL.

My church has a bit of a tradition for young kids and adults to perform something small every Christmas eve night. Either we sing carols, do a body worship, or perform a cliche nativity play. But this year, 8 of us are going to master Chris Tomlin’s Its Christmas in sign language.

I can’t wait to see how the end product will turn out to be. If it goes great, I might even post the video of us performing right here.

I was first introduced to ASL through a friend at the community college I attended.

I had a guy in my psychology class who was deaf.

He learned how to speak out loud yet inevitably his voice was not ‘normal’ and he preferred writing notes on his book to talk to me in class.

We were partners for a project, and in order to communicate with him I decided to learn basic ASL. While working for the project he asked me what I wanted to become one day.

And I said if everything works out, I wanted to become a dentist.

I still remember the way he signed the next sentence to me.

“I really hope you can be a dentist who can sign for deaf patients.”

I didn’t realize and never pondered upon the issues that deaf people would have in regards to going into a dental office before.

Even as an adult, I still get scared going to see a dentist.

Just the way how I feel so powerless with my mouth opened and not knowing what exactly goes on during the treatment always gets me nervous.

(what a great way to feel about going to a dentist when you're trying to become one. ha.)

I started to think of how deaf patients have to arrange everything to communicate with the staffs and most importantly the dentist.

While there are interpreters that can come in for the session, I just can’t imagine how much of a hassle it will be to rely on a system and many people to simply get your teeth checked.

After that day, I decided to learn ASL in deeper level.

I took classes and even joined ASL clubs to talk with people who were proficient enough to teach me outside of class.

There are way more learning to do in order to get to a level where I can communicate with deaf patients naturally, but I know I’ll get there one day.

I just can’t wait to spread the beauty of ASL with my church members this year and hopefully the audience will appreciate it as well.

So I guess ASL will be my first and last project that I will be sharing here for 2017.

But as always, more projects focused on helping the communities in need will be shared right here. Stay tuned!

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