SO MUCH FUN!!!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by cutNglue, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 6, 2011

    The last two weeks of planning this event today was a lot of work, but the results was worth it!! I was asked on FB if I could host a group of Deaf Japanese on an American base. It was an advocacy group. The event was in 3 parts:

    1. Presentation about military lifestyle, personal stories and deaf-related stories were also included. They had so many questions that my one hour presentation lasted over 1.5 hours! Wow!

    2. We took a bus tour around base and visited 7 historical landmarks. I had to bone up on a little bit of World War II history. During the driving part, I also pointed out base buildings such as the American school students attend, etc.

    3. For a cultural experience, we went to an American restaurant. There were no Japanese translated menus. Many customs were foreign. Just paying the bill (since we do ours at the table and we have tipping) was a bit interesting. That's a taste of what it is like when we live overseas and visit local places. The best question I got at the restaurant was "why do you have 2 forks?"

    I got all kinds of interesting questions from dating to history. It was definitely a blast!

    Then during dinner we gave the "interpreter" a break. I know very little JSL. They know very little ASL. Between code-switching, gesturing, etc. we managed to talk about sports and hobbies. Hahaha! That was fun! I hate sports but trying to keep up with this conversation really took lots of brain work. Some sports I had never even heard of!

    I paid for transportation, room rentals, etc. Instead of charging a workshop fee, I decided to ask for Kit Kats instead. Japan has over 100 flavors and I was really curious! So they brought me about 15 flavors. I can't wait! They have some interesting flavors!! Some I can't quite figure out what they are, but most I can. Plus I got a t-shirt they designed to raise money for the recent earthquake back in March. I really enjoyed those gifts so much more than any workshop fee.

    The group leader plans to ask them their impressions and what they learned and follow up and let me know. I can't wait!

    After 8 hours together, I was reluctant to say good-bye. I'm still floating on cloud 9.

    P.S. One interesting cultural tidbit was when one man told me he was shocked a bit when I offered candy during the workshop. For them that is impolite. For us, we love it. Doesn't always happen but when it does--admit it--you are a much happier camper! That was the point of today though--to offer a little bit of cultural exchange.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Sounds like a wonderful day!
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Sounds great! Do you have any insight why it's impolite to offer candy? Candy is 100% expected at all of our PDs (seriously). :)
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Nov 6, 2011

    What an awesome day! Hope you can do something similar to it again soon.
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Congrats cut on planning a great workshop and having the entire day go as planned :)

    Not to hi-jack, but does every language group have its own unique sign language?
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Yes they do InTeacher. I couldn't understand a word they were saying except when we all really slowed down and only used a sign or two at a time. I only know about 75 Japanese signs. That's stuff like greetings, a few basic questions, polite phrases, people signs (girl, boy, mother, father, etc.) and a few random signs.
     
  8. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Wow, that is throughly fascinating. Please know that I know nothing about sign language, but I would have assumed that certain signs (I do know the sign for night from Girl Scouts) would be universal since some signs are representative of the object itself. Again, the sign for dreams - if I remember correctly is three fingers from forehead kind of wiggling - seems like it would be the same for every language.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Night and dream are abstract concepts. There can't be a single sign that makes it look like the object that it isn't. If there was, hearing people would easily be able to understand sign language.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If I recall correctly - please correct me, cut - some sign languages are related: ASL developed from French sign language, whereas British sign language has different roots.

    Some signs look fairly similar across sign languages - the sign for 'mother' is likely to look something like rocking a baby in one's arms. On the other hand, consider the ASL sign for 'boy': it's unsurprisingly the sign for 'man' combined with a gesture for 'small'... but the sign for 'man' developed from the gesture of tipping a silk hat to a lady, and that's simply not very iconic.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Some are related. I can actually understand some BSL though but not a word of JSL unless I am taught the word. It would be the same for oral languages. I think I saw sleep being the same sign but she was referring to dead.

    The word for mother is not universal and the sign you are referring to is more for baby in ASL.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Which goes to show - just as is true of spoken words - signs are much more arbitrary than they are iconic.
     

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