Sign Language Receptive Skills

Most of you know that I’m not a native ASL signer. I grew up using SEE2 and later learned CASE/PSE in high school. I did take a couple of ASL classes which weren’t that helpful since they just focused on vocabulary and not the syntax.

Anyways, I’ve always said that I understand ASL much better than I can sign ASL. In the past few weeks I’ve noticed that this applies to many other deaf people and not just me.

It seems like those who grew up signing English or more oral have much better ASL receptive skills than ASL expressive skills. Why do I find this interesting?

It’s completely the opposite with hearing people who learn ASL. Hearing people seem to have much better ASL expressive skills than receptive skills.

Why is this? I have a couple of theories, but they’re not well thought out yet. Thoughts? 😉

Traveling and Colorado

Something always happens whenever I take a trip. At this point I just expect that something will happen and it’ll all work out fine as long as I go with the flow, I don’t have to cancel any activities, and no one gets seriously hurt/sick.

There is an approximately 60-75% chance that something will happen whenever I travel. Thankfully they have been minor stuff.

A few examples.

–Hawaii with my aunt, uncle, and cousin: There were lagoons where we were staying at and it felt so separate from the rest of the ocean. I decided to swim out to the edge of the lagoon where I could get a better view of the coast. I then discovered there were rocks under the water and I got this brilliant idea to climb onto them. I stepped on a bunch of sea urchins in the process of climbing underwater rocks that I couldn’t see. Let’s just say I ended up with 30-50 sea urchin needles stuck in my feet for 2-3 months until they all finally dissolved.

–Ireland with Tara: We came within 1-2 minutes of being crushed by a falling rock.

–Paris with Tara: We missed our train to the airport (where we were going to spend the night at due to an early flight) and were escorted through Paris by 3 French policemen to a bus stop.

–North Carolina with Sarah: Her car went bonkers and the brake lights came on (something you never want to see while driving). We then got to spend a couple of hours getting to know Earl the tow guy who actually ended up damaging Sarah’s car more.

–Flight out of NYC: I got chased down the gate by an airport employer because apparently I wasn’t supposed to board the plane when I tried to.

–Drove to Minnesota to visit Scott: Got rear-ended on I-35N.

–Wisconsin with Jen: We ended up behind a semi-truck full of crates with chicken. They all decided to poop at exactly the same time. We had to pull off and find a car wash.

–The time I tried to get past security with a boarding ticket that had someone else’s name on it (note to self: check boarding pass immediately to make sure my name is on it or they may get very suspicious).

–First time visiting NYC: I was by myself when I visited NYC for the first time (graduate school interview). Being who I am, I failed to even consider bringing a map or to even look up anything. I have no sense of direction and am somewhat a wander. Let’s just say that after several detours in the Harlem, Manhattan, and Yonkers…it took me 3 hours to get from the airport to Sarah Lawrence College.

You get the idea.

So, Tara and I decided to take a road trip to Colorado. Luckily gas prices have been around $1.50 otherwise I would not have been able to go. I also recently discovered that some ski resorts in Colorado have reduced lift tickets for deaf people (aka “disabled” people). We went to Winter Park ($34) once, Steamboat Springs ($30) once, and Copper (FREE) three times. We basically paid $64 total for 5 days of snowboarding that would have cost us $450 if we weren’t labeled as “disabled” by society. Although, this is one time that I won’t complain too much about it (even though I wasn’t thrilled about walking around Winter Park with an actual “disabled” label on my coat). 😉

Of course, something always happens when we travel together. To summarize it up, we arrived at our hostel only to find that the person who had made our reservations had been fired the same day he made our reservations. Apparently he and his father were fired for embezzling and he hadn’t put our names down (turns out he had already been fired when he talked to Tara) for reservations. Lucky, the hostel manager was nice enough to let us crash in his single room and he slept on the couch in the TV room. The only downside was having to share a bed and having to hunt him down every time we returned to the hostel for the key to get into his room.

Colorado was good other than a short asthma attack at the very top of a mountain. I finally made it off the greens! I went down a few short blacks (and survived), but I still need to work on keeping my board straight on the blues rather than to the side. Hopefully by the end of the next snowboarding trip (whenever that will be) I will be a pro on blues and will be able to do blacks much better.

Some pictures!