bunt sign

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

How would you like to show up in class and suddenly discover that you've learned your numbers wrong? If you're in kindergarten, maybe it doesn't matter. If you're an adult taking a night class at the junior college, you might feel a little like you did when you had that dream in sixth grade where you went to school in your underwear.

You had that dream, too, right?

Anyway, I went to my sign language class tonight, fully dressed. When Suzanne and I were comparing notes before class, she noticed (before I did) that some of my answers were wrong. Or at least different from hers. Apparently in watching the video over and over and over again, I was seeing the numbers 6 through 9 backwards every single time.

So I learned 6 as 9 and 7 as 8 and 8 as 7 and 9 as 6. I was counting randomly, the way Dakota sometimes does: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 8, 7, 6. Then 10, of course. Everybody knows 10 comes after 6.

The funny thing is, I knew as soon as I saw the diagrams in the workbook that I had it wrong. And I knew exactly which questions in the homework I'd done incorrectly, and what the right answers should have been. So I fixed them all. I changed all the nines to sixes and eights to sevens and vice versa.

It's just that I'll have to unlearn the wrong signs and spend extra time on the right ones. I hope to have this situation remedied by next week's class.

And you can forget about any notion that I was cheating, because we corrected our own papers and didn't hand them in. The grade for the class is based solely on two midterms and a final. So this was just an exercise that I probably got more out of by doing it wrong than I would have by watching that tape one more time.

Not that I'm not going to watch the tape again, over and over and over. I want to see why I saw the signs backwards, and I want to see if I can see them the right way this time. We have no new assignment for next week except to practice, practice, practice. I know the sign for "practice" really well now.

17 January 2004


It was total immersion tonight, without an interpreter. No voices were used in the classroom (except by the few people who didn't quite get it or couldn't quite manage it). But we did have the advantage of having the teacher write the words on the blackboard (a real blackboard! only green, of course) as he taught us the signs. He went through a lot of words and concepts in three hours, some of which I might even remember. But it was a blast.

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If I'd been home tonight, I would have watched the president's speech. I usually like to hear what he has to say, even if I think he's full of— I mean, even if we don't see eye-to-eye on things like whether the suns sets in the west or whether his rich friends deserve another tax break. It's nights like this I really miss Bill Clinton, though. If he were giving a speech, I'd miss class to watch it.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Loose Ends
"Sharon Stone seemed to be having a really good time, didn't she? I think I would have enjoyed accepting an award from her last night."

Two years ago: Deactivated
"I'm used to living with my own flaws and frailties. I can't see why anyone else would want to have to deal with them."

Three years ago: Power Mad
"I've already written to both California senators asking them not to confirm Ashcroft."

Four years ago: Sunny Day
"I don't think I take baseball too seriously at all. Just think how society has deteriorated since football has become dominant."

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In llama land there's a one-man band
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