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Biotechnology, Russian minor
Chicago IL

ASL and Platypus

Sarah Alef on Wednesday, 27 June 2007. Posted in Coursework, Residence Life

I'm taking an American Sign Language class this summer because I'm an RA in a mainstream building next fall.  Now, I know a little bit of ASL already.  That is, if you can count extremely random and inappropriate signs as part of my vocabulary (shoes, God, tree, various swearing words, platypus and turtle). I think everyone picks up at least a few basics from the large deaf and hard of hearing population at RIT.  

(On the first day of orientation, they teach all the freshmen the sign for platypus.  It will be one of the few signs you will remember, and no, you will never EVER have a use for it.)

However, what I DID NOT anticipate about ASL was the subtle difference that one's hand position, shape, etc can mean.  And the fact that my fingers seem to have a mind of their own.  I have already confused the sign for 'job' or 'work' with something highly inappropriate several times.  Let's hope the list of subtlties between appropriate and inappropriate signs is short, and that I know the difference by the time I get back to school. could be exponentially more awkward than it already is.