A Reason to Learn New Things

This is the American sign language for Hello.

April 24 2020 Briona Dolan Transition Year

For me, the coronavirus situation has been bittersweet. After missing out on my birthday and not being able to see my dad, step-mom and three brothers I wasn’t enjoying it. But the time alone has been a reason for me to start doing extra things that I have been putting off, such as ringing relatives, baking and going for walks with my mom. One other thing I have wanted to do for a long time is to learn American sign language. When the lockdown started I decided to begin learning new things, and over the past three weeks I have spent my evenings practicing American sign language. I’ve been using an online teaching site to learn basics. Here is the website if you want to have a look 🙂                        https://takelessons.com/live/american-sign-language

After that, I moved on to learn more difficult signs and phrases. I am now able to sign a lot of common sentences and greetings as well as numbers, colours, letters and dates. I had put this off for so long because I assumed it would be very difficult and time-consuming, but I have come to find it’s very easy and quick. All it took was the virus locking me inside and me coming across the website.

The reason I have always had such a significant interest in learning sign language is that I believe it is something that can be critically helpful in emergency situations as well as just normal conversations. I also think that having sign language is a rare skill for people who are not deaf. For me, to communicate with others I would otherwise have no way of speaking to is a cool concept, and just something I have wanted to be able to do for a long time. The thing that made it so fascinating for me is a girl who I used to do competitive dancing with had been born deaf and was still amazing at dancing. I have since learnt that this can be common due to the vibrations of loud music. At the time one of our instructors learned sign language to be able to communicate with her and I got to see the excitement she felt being able to talk to someone who wasn’t her family or doctors.

Because of this, as bad as I know this all seems, I think this time alone should be time spent doing that one thing that you have always wanted to do or have been procrastinating about for too long. Having a new skill is such an amazing feeling, and having something to do that might benefit you and others is such a useful thing to achieve at this time!