Monday, March 4, 2013

Switched at Birth

Off-the-cuff thoughts on the Uprising episode, presented all in ASL (in no particular order):

1) Wow, Deaf President Now was 25 years ago?
1a) Wow... not one of the characters in the show (correction, not one of those students) would have been alive then.

I remember learning about DPN1 in my first ASL class as a reasonably recent event.
Ummm... my first ASL class was in 1996. Since then Gallaudet has had two other presidents.

1The Deaf students (and in short order, faculty, alumni and supporters) took a stand because the mostly-hearing board of Gallaudet chose of the three qualified candidates (two Deaf, one hearing-and-completely-non-signing), the hearing one. They wanted a Deaf president and a majority Deaf board. They also wanted the Board chair out. A quote (that she has persistently denied) supposedly was that "Deaf people cannot function in a hearing world." The Deaf wanted one of their own in leadership. After a week of boycotting classes, barring the gates, marching, and peaceful protest, I. King Jordan, one of the two Deaf candidates and a Gallaudet dean, was appointed the first Deaf president in the whole 100+ years of Gallaudet's history. The protest is remembered as one of the first times the general public was able to see that "Deaf people can do anything, except hear."

2) How many of the actors knew ASL before the show? How many know it now?

3) Is there anything Marlee Matlin can't do? Dancing with the Stars, negotiating with hostile high schoolers and a school board... I know she's the only Deaf actress with an Oscar, but sometimes I feel like she gets pulled out as "the" Deaf actress. I wonder if the Deaf are super-proud of her or tired of her being the only one?
3a) I miss Linda Bove. Do you remember her, from Sesame Street? I wonder how many kids she inspired to learn at least a little ASL? I wonder how many people she showed that you just treat her as a normal neighbor?

4) I really hate the camera angles where the signer's back is to the camera. Those over-the-shoulder shots where you need to see the reaction of the other person. Can't see the hands!

5) It's hard to watch hands when captions come onscreen! I usually have captions on but I'm not usually trying to read sign.
5a) Have you ever thought how hard it must be for a deaf kid to watch TV? To have to learn to read in order to watch a show? What a blessing we live now in an era of Skype and YouTube and other video conferencing software, that deaf kids don't have to learn to spell in order to "Say hi to Grandma, sweetie!"

6) Sucked in. Too bad there's only one episode left this season.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Linda on Sesame Street. I definitely learned from her :) I also practiced a little ASL every summer that my family went to camp because they had a deaf camp at the same time and sent us a little guide to the alphabet and a few words before camp.