ASL on the playa

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ASL on the playa

Postby joycem137 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:09 am

I've recently started studying ASL, (American Sign Language). Until now, I've had basically no contact with Deaf people besides seeing them from time to time at a store or something. However, I got an opportunity to use my rudimentary ASL knowledge at Burning Man this year, and I thought I'd share about the experience.

I was helping the Flaming Lotus Girls clean up some MOOP from the trojan horse fireworks when a young girl came up to me and breathlessly started trying to communicate with me. She somehow communicated to me that she was Deaf, and I somehow communicated to her that I knew a little sign. I think she asked me if I knew sign and I signed, "Some fingerspelling." Given my rudimentary grasp of the language, I wasn't able to/didn't think about including the fact that I was an absolute rank beginner. Anyways, she started to finger spell, and I got completely lost with her quick and experienced spelling. "Slower?" I signed. She started to spell the word slower, but even still, I couldn't recognize what she was spelling to me. Finally, in frustration, she got off her bike and wrote it in the playa: "Illumination Village." Unfortunately, I had no idea what or where this place was and signed as much to her, "I don't know. Sorry." She hopped back on her bike and took off.

It was kinda neat to actually be able to use what little ASL I've been learning to communicate with someone, even if I wound up being completely useless to the person. It inspired me to put extra effort into studying reading fingerspelling in particular, and is helping to motivate me to study hard in the ASL class I started taking this fall. (My first college class after graduating nearly 10 years ago!)

If the girl in the story finds this forum, I just wanted to say, I hope you found your village and everything turned out alright! I'm really sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Out of curiosity, how is the Deaf community on the playa? I know there are a few ASL camps out there, but given my absolute beginner status, I didn't feel comfortable venturing into any of them. Perhaps next year, with two semesters of ASL classes under my belt, and the beginning of trying to interact with the local Deaf community? In any case, what camps are out there, and how do they feel about hearies stopping in and saying hi?

-Joyce
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby Nipple » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:35 am

I only really know one piece of ASL. "Thank you".

I sign it a lot when I'm biking around town and a driver lets me in, or etc. I guess I'm kind of hoping it catches on. Even if the driver doesn't KNOW ASL, it looks friendly.

"...Did that guy just blow us a kiss?"
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby lucky420 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:44 am

My son is in his second semester of college ASL and really loves it, he practices all the time. He was interested in finding any ASL camps out there too. So if anyone knows the name(s) of such a camp it would be awesome...
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:30 am

"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby lucky420 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:40 am

That was great, thanks figjam. Gonna pass this on to my son!
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby maryanimal » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:24 pm

Here are a few grreat sites to learn a few ASL words, phrases.

http://www.lifeprint.com/

http://www.handspeak.com/

I love this sight the best!
http://www.aslpro.com/

I took a year in sign language, but had to leave classes to take care of my mom. I'm starting to lose what I've learned and I use these sites to help me. Especially ASLpro!
Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious.
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby lucky420 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:00 pm

thanks MA i will check these out. I am thinking that I would like to learn it but with the cuts our little community college took I don't think it will be offered next semester :(
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby davink » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:04 pm

My dad was deaf, and my mom teaches ASL.. I've retained a bit since learning as a kid, and try to use it whenever I come across another person, deaf or not, who knows sign. Is Illumination Village a deaf camp?
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby joycem137 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:46 pm

davink wrote:My dad was deaf, and my mom teaches ASL.. I've retained a bit since learning as a kid, and try to use it whenever I come across another person, deaf or not, who knows sign. Is Illumination Village a deaf camp?


I have no idea. It was just what the person wrote down.

Weird thing, though. She signed her U like I've learned to sign V, (basically the peace sign). I'm not sure if that's a dialect difference or what, but I'm sure that's part of what confused me when she was fingerspelling the name of the place to me.
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby Rabbette » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:57 am

Greetings joycem137,

I found a post that said something about someone staying at "3:45 and Esplanade in Illumination Village" so looks like there may have been an unoffical camp, because I don't see it listed on the BM 2011 Map. I do not think it is a deaf camp. You can read more about Illumination Village at their website Illumination Village Website

As for her signing a V instead of a U... could be she is dyslexic (happens to me all the time when I'm fingerspelling, I know those letters aren't even close, but sometimes ur thinking WAY ahead and it makes your fingers spell in the wrong order) OR... she was spelling so fast that you didn't see the U at the correct time she was actually spelling it - which could totally be the case - you can practice fingerspelling here asl.ms and see how fast the Deaf fingerspell, make sure to click it on Deaf speed and you will see what I'm talking about.

As for ASL camps, I actually rode past one on the way to the Medics with my honey (he had heat exhaustion *without even being in the sun AND he had drank at least 1gal of electrolyte water and 1gal of just reg water the day before, his body just wasn't absorbing it for some reason*) none the less back to what I was talking bout. The camp had a sign up in red letters that said ASL and when I saw it I perked up and signed to the guy sitting there "nice to meet you" (even tho I was riding by and didn't really get a change to "meet" him) Its typically one of the first things said when first meeting a Deaf person. - - - He looked happily surprised and signed it back. I wrote down the address it was around 4:30 between B and C.

Now as for a hearing person stopping in to say "Hi" - - - can i just say they would LOVE IT!!!! My experience with Deaf people (and I'm hearing) has always been welcomed with open arms, even when I was just learning and didn't understand the grammatics of ASL and I basically signed English it didn't matter to them. The Deaf community knew I was trying and were always very understanding.

By far the best website for learning ASL on your own is lifeprint.com this website has lessons and if you just get through the first 3 lessons (make sure to read everything on the site in the lessons especially the History and Deaf Culture, this will give you a better understanding of how to communicate with a Deaf person) you will be able to have a pretty good foundation.

I remember reading something on the lifeprint site that stayed with me and will hopefully help you in your mission in learning. Studies showed it takes "seeing" a sign happen at least 50 times before you recognize it without having to "think" about it. So try not to get to frustrated if you feel like it takes you a good couple of seconds to comprehend a phrase.

Good luck and cheers, hopefully I'll be out there at TTITD next year and maybe we could meet up and practice signing a bit.
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby Timezone LaFontaine » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:54 pm

joycem137 wrote:Out of curiosity, how is the Deaf community on the playa? I know there are a few ASL camps out there, but given my absolute beginner status, I didn't feel comfortable venturing into any of them. Perhaps next year, with two semesters of ASL classes under my belt, and the beginning of trying to interact with the local Deaf community? In any case, what camps are out there, and how do they feel about hearies stopping in and saying hi?

-Joyce


Whoa there... a hearing person stopping in and saying hi to deaf people? The nerve! You're cruisin' for a (relatively quiet) bruisin' there, lady!
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby iamcomingundone » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:45 am

Grumbling because the interwebs deleted my post...

---Anyways, I'm completely deaf without my hearing aids. A dear burner friend told me how much the dust will destroy my aids. Soooo, I will be deaf while I am there and carrying around an old school chalk board for all you hearing people to share your feelings.
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby Rabbette » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:51 am

Hi welcome to eplaya iamcomingundone

Do you sign? And if so is it ASL? I'm a bit rusty but would be delighted to sign with you if you don't mind me being a bit slow.
Cheers and hope to see you in the dust,
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby incubus_pantomime » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:48 am

I'd like to find this camp as well! I studied ASL for three years in my undergrad, and I'm currently trying to find continuing education courses here in Houston. I would love to become certified as an interpreter. Unfortunately, I haven't had anyone to practice my conversation skills with in months, and it would be so much fun to engage in a real ASL conversation with someone (Deaf or hearing). If anyone finds the name of this camp, or would like to meet up on the playa in another place for some signing, let me know! :D
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby FantaPants » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:39 am

I'm kind-of proficient in Auslan if there are any Deaf Australians attending. send me a pm or something if you want to get in contact. Cheers FP
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby glitteranddust » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:01 am

I'm Deaf/hoh and I'm going this year. I always hope to meet other Deaf folks but I rarely do, usually only very briefly.

Hearing people often find me no fun to practice ASL with because I'm a speech therapists wet dream... it can be hard to get me to stop speaking English sometimes to them since I learned it before ASL and more often than not the I speech-read a lot better than the hearing folks I meet sign.
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Re: ASL on the playa

Postby gyre » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:23 am

Are you possibly the person I met at Tape Camp in 2005?
Near Shangri-la Village?
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