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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Feb 21, 2000  7:48 pm
Subject:  IMPORTANT Message from South Africa!


>This seems to me very typical of Deaf social meetings here in the U.S.,
>when people are meeting for the first time. I think it's a way of
>establishing first the "validity" of the people, vis a vis the Deaf
>community. Especially on video, I would imagine that's even more difficult
>to do, hence the many questions. The students probably wanted to be sure
>what they were watching wasn't from people who didn't know their head from
>a hole in the ground, so to speak. (-:
>Therese Shellabarger -
>http://www.concentric.net/~tlshell/ Shalom chaverot!

-----------------------------------

SignWriting List
February 21, 2000

Yes...you are indeed correct, Therese...that is why our videos are
taught in ASL by two Deaf native ASL signers...because it is clear
that it is important that Deaf people present the SW lessons, since
they do such an excellent job in their own native language! Plus it
is nice for Deaf students to learn from Deaf teachers. And the South
African teacher, Ingrid, is herself Deaf, so what could be more
perfect?! ;-))

And I think all people love human interest stories but especially
Deaf people, it seems. I suspect it may have to do with the fact that
the Deaf Community is a fairly small community, and so meeting new
people is a new experience...

I experienced some of the same with hearing people who lived out in
the country in rural areas of Denmark...they had never met an
American who spoke Danish before, only because they lived out in the
country..so I was considered to be a topic of interest because I was
the "foreigner"...I was in the hospital in Denmark once out in a
rural section near the city of Ribe, in Jutland....every doctor,
nurse, visiting family members, and any ill person who could
walk...came down to my hospital room to meet me..."this strange
American who could speak Danish!" It was hard to get any rest, but on
the other hand I must say I enjoyed all the visits very very much,
and I learned a lot about the Danish and PlattDeutsch dialects of
that region of Denmark, which is not too far from the German border.

But to get back to the Deaf Community, I am sure many hearing people
on the SignWriting List have had the same experiences that I
have...when I come to a Deaf party or gathering, it seems the first
question is: "Deaf or hearing?", and then when I answer that I am
hearing, then the next question is: Are you an interpreter? Why do
you come here? How did you learn to sign? Parents deaf?...those kinds
of questions, so that is not too dissimilar to the experiences in the
South African classroom, which Ingrid so beautifully described to
us.....

And even Stefan's Deaf students in Germany asked about me, my age,
why did I dance?...those kinds of questions...

I guess we are forming a "SignWriting Community" online, and getting
to know each other ;-)


Val ;-)

------------------------------------

Valerie Sutton


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