Friday, May 23, 2014

My New Tricks

You've heard the saying about old dogs.

Well, I'm learning some new tricks.  This morning, I started my one-on-one ASL (American Sign Language) classes this morning.  I think I've mentioned that my beloved Aunt Sis had taught me signed English when I was younger, which is more of a signed version of English than a language in its own right, like ASL, though there are huge overlaps and users of one understand the other.  I had several sign language dictionaries and a few nursery rhyme books to practice with and then Aunt Sis and I would sign together.  One year, she even took me to a conference where I met and got the autograph of Miss Deaf Texas (I asked her all by myself, letter by letter.)  When I was a counselor at a camp for special needs kids, I used some signs with different campers, just as decades later, I would sign with Sis and Bud. 

I have taken ASL once before, a decade ago, with an interpreter in NYC; loved that class, too, but logistics with work and living in CT were too much.  So now I'm trying again, with the first lesson this morning.  And it went swimmingly.  We went through ABCs, numbers (I'm awful at numbers), general politeness words, and some questions.  I remembered some, not others, and did yet others in my signed English, needing minor changes.  Still, she was full of praise and I was pleased as punch that I remember so much.  It's the only language I'm good at!  I'm convinced that's because it's the one I learned before I was 7 or 8.

My second new trick:  I'm taking an archery course, namely to become an archery facilitator for the Girl Scouts.  Archery was my favorite unit in high school P.E. and we have been trying our hand at Archery Tag, which has foam tips.  I'm hoping I can earn my archery certification so I can teach our troop, now old enough to take archery.

Between the two, it's like my own personal adult summer camp!

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