Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More non-verbal communication

As I have been taking ASL for my language requirement for Integrated studies, i have been extremely fascinated with this whole new world of communication to me. I've been lucky enough to have had 4 different teachers so far, each giving a whole new view on Deaf culture and a whole slew of nuances and social practices and interesting actions and even rules of conduct. Even the humour is fantastic.
One instance was one of the Deaf teachers walking by a couple of friends and I in the hall. As she passed she made the sign for "Hi" to each of us one by one. Smiling jovially, she made the sign for "H" which is formed like you are making a gun shape with your index finger and middle finger extended, palm facing yourself, and angled horizontally. This is followed swiftly by the Letter "I." This flows from the "H" raising your hand to a vertical position and all fingers but your pinky, folded down into your palm which is still facing you. "H+I= HI."

Well the last of us sitting in the hall recieved the "H" but then was shocked when instead of the raised pinky, she recieved the extended Middle finger and a devilish smile. There was a moment of disbelief that a teacher had flipped her off but then we were all laughing. Now, every time we see that teacher, we give her the "HI-middle finger salute."
This is just one of the many fascinating exchanges i have had while exposing myself to a new language.


Jorgen said...

A whole new dimension of language that carries with it an entirely new dimension of humor that could not work in any other context. This makes life that much more amazing.

Scott Abbott said...

Nice story. I'm guessing that Erin, who has taken the 30-day vow, couldn't engage in this humor.