Classic case of severe side-track. I started out with Katey's ABC blog, then hunted for a pic to go with it, then found the alphabet shown here, which reminded me of someone, which reminded me of a time long ago.
On Friday, I had a somewhat strange day, but in that day, I found myself on Facebook. Facebook recommended I add someone who had someone else on their list who had... you know how it goes. In all that, I found someone surprising. Not sure why it surprised me, but it did. I found my old SADSL (South African Deaf Sign Language) teacher.
We lived near Fulton School for the deaf and it wasn't a huge stretch to end up with a friend who had a deaf child. It was a struggle for this friend, as she was a very pro-active mom. There weren't many resources for deaf kids and sign language wasn't fashionable then. Few people used sign language. The trend at the deaf schools back then was for kids to learn to 'speak' English and sign language wasn't recognised as a language in its own right. A few of us got together to learn. The idea was to enable the little girl to have a life outside of school. We learned through books at first, doing signed English, literally signing every word, prepositions included. Then we 'progressed' to ASL (American sign language). Some time later, we enrolled to study South African sign language. It was finally recognised and encouraged. It wasn't an easy course, but we had a lot of fun. It helps to do it with friends.
I qualified in the end... to make conversation and to interpret at Level 1, which was for conventions and such. I couldn't interpret at schools or for legal matters, but I was fine with that and totally not up for another couple of years of study.
This photo was taken after our graduation.
This one is a photo montage my friend did of our group signing at a convention in Durban. I'm the one in yellow and red.