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Making Connections




Making Connections as you know, are important in the D/deaf World. Share about your recent encounters that you had at a social event that supports the lessons you are learning about Deaf Culture. We look forward to reading about your amazing experiences and all that you are learning about D/deaf people and Deaf Culture.

19 Comments to Making Connections:

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Krista Tudisco on Monday, March 27, 2017 8:37 PM
My most recent encounters with the Deaf community have been through school events (I am still waiting for that random encounter). This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet (again) a gentleman named Michael Bane. He participated in the ASL Club Book Fair at Barnes & Noble. There was a group of us there when he arrived and introductions were made. I did tell him I was an ASL 2 student and that I took his Idioms 1 workshop last semester. The next morning at the DEAFinitions Conference, I walked up to the registration table and who did I see? Michael Bane! I reminded him we had met the day before and he did remember. During the few hours I was at the conference, being around all the signing conversations, and seeing the excitement in the faces of everyone, brought all that I have been learning into focus. I could feel the connection so many of the people around me had. I almost felt as though I was intruding. I don’t yet have the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and engage in conversations with deaf people I do not know. I still hold on to the safety net of my teachers. But, I do look forward to the day when that random encounter happens and I am able to introduce myself and answer any questions and ask them in return.
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Amanda Hilario on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:53 AM
The last couple of events that I have gone to I’ve made connections with deaf individuals. The last event I’ve been to was at Barnes and Noble and met some wonderful people who were deaf and who were hearing. Going alone to these events gets me nervous at first but once I get to know everyone I feel a little more relaxed. As we were signing to one another I was a little timid at first but then I got more comfortable as we kept signing to each other. We exchanged our names and what college we are coming from. Her name was Carrie and she was going to HCC. Carrie told me how she is graduating this semester and is going to UMass in the fall. There were some things that I didn’t know how to sign and didn’t know exactly what she was signing but her friend (Haley) was there who was hearing and let me know what she was signing. This experience made me feel more confident and that I shouldn’t be nervous to sign. Carrie and Haley saw that I made a couple mistakes and taught me a better way to sign them. I’m a little upset that I didn’t get their last names but I hope I’ll run into them again!
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Kirsten Mattson on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 1:52 PM
I grew up in a small town where everyone knew each other. Sometimes if I was visiting a nearby town I would say my last name and they would know my cousin, aunt ect. It’s like that in the Deaf community as well. It’s all about making those connections. I have practiced introducing myself and explain who my where I took ASL classes and the different teachers I had. Practicing this was a little challenging, not only was it in a different language but it’s not a cultural norm for me. When I first started to go to events I was very nervous and shy that I was going to stick out like a sore thumb. Deaf people at the event would ask me, my name first and last, who my ASL teacher was and what school I attended. At first I thought they were asking me all these questions to see how well I signed and to “test” me if you will. It wasn’t until a little later and I attended more events that I realized this was just their normal. Unfortunately, I have only been to one Deaf event that wasn’t school related. I marched in to help protest against the closing of Austine school for the deaf in Vermont. It was a powerful experience but I didn’t make a lot of connections due to the severity of the protest. It just wasn’t the time or place. Most of the connections I made where due to who my teacher was. I was able to make a good deal of connections and friends. Unfortunately, most of them had to move away to find other jobs due to the school closing. This is my first semester at HCC so I am new to the local community but I look forward to continue making connections in the Deaf community.
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Unnza Butt on Thursday, March 30, 2017 7:35 PM
The only recent encounters that I have had with a deaf person or in a deaf community is in school. First the ASL 2 class I have every other day and the other is right after that class ends and I see my ASL 1 teacher, Nicholas Lallane (if that's the correct spelling). I try to conversate with him as much as possible and ask him about his family and well being. IT really brings me excitement, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment whenever I successfully conversate with him in ASL. It is the first time that I think about another language outside of class and inside a class. I have never been so interested and so excited to put my knowledge to work. I wish that there were a few more people I can regularly sign with to get smooth in my transitions and start flowing. I know a few friends who are taking sign language at a different college and when they come back, I will have someone to keep practicing it with. Though i am not fluent yet, I am willing to try to engage in conversations with anyone when the time comes because even if i dont know all of it, It's always a learning curve for me, and something very exciting. I look forward to becoming fluent and putting everything i am learning into valuable use to help, support, learn, and enjoy ASL and the deaf community.
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Francisco Garcia on Thursday, March 30, 2017 7:47 PM
Making connections is definitely important in the Deaf world. You need to be able to communicate with other people. Although it is hard getting out of your comfort zone when it comes down to it. A random encounter I had was having a player on my basketball team. He is Deaf but enjoys playing basketball. I introduced myself to him and he did it back. He had asked me questions on how I knew sign language and things like that because he knew I was of hearing. He attends the same school my older brother attended when he was younger. He attends Willie Ross School for the Deaf in Longmeadow, MA. Ever since that time he was on my team we communicate more often. I know people don’t know ASL and have a hard time communicating with him but it takes time. When I first learned ASL for my older brother I wasn’t perfect and he understood. If people were to have the same patience when communicating with the Deaf the world would be a better place. I haven’t attended a social event in order to put my ASL skills to work.
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Ivelianisse Morales on Thursday, March 30, 2017 8:13 PM
I recently went to Deafinitions and met up with a Deaf friend I made at the first deaf community event I went to which was the hot chocolate social. Kelly recently graduated from Gallagher and was actually presenting at the event workshops. We had given each other our social media information so we have been keeping in contact. The workshop I went to was Family discussion, and Nicholas and his daughter were presenting, I met Nicholas at a pizza social in HCC. Sure they had people translating what was being signed but I could pick up on some signs and others I kind of made sense of what they meant. I felt part of the community because I already met some members before and they introduced me to others and it was great. I have so many connections that I actually feel part of the community. It helps that Kelly sends me information about upcoming events that I can go to and meet more people.
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Ivelianisse Morales on Thursday, March 30, 2017 8:14 PM
Gallaudet*


Kacie O'Connell on Thursday, March 30, 2017 11:05 PM
The community events I have attended proves what is stated in the book passage. I agree that it is important to introduce yourself when meeting new people. It is helpful to indicate wether you are deaf or hearing, and the conversation proceeds as any other would. Just by going to a few events I have learned that the Deaf community is a very social one. There were many mentions of previous and future events aimed towards meeting new people and forming bonds.
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Meghan Auclair on Saturday, April 01, 2017 2:42 PM
Although I have been to multiple Deaf events both this semester and in the past I haven't really met any deaf people personally through sign. It would usually be through some sort of structured setting where we went along a line and said our names or something similar. Something I hadn't realized before reading "Making Connections" was the importance of first AND last names. Although it does make a lot of sense because oftentimes I will leave events where I don't know a lot of people and realize that I don't actually know anyone's last names which doesn't seem like a problem until after I'm gone. Something I though was very interesting about this reading as well was the significance of stating whether you are deaf or hearing. It was something I learned to do very early on in ASL classes, but I didn't know why it was an important thing to establish. It is understandable now though, because depending on which you are you come from a different background and have different reasons for learning ASL.
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Jordyn Michaelson on Sunday, April 02, 2017 11:17 AM
I seem to only have encounters with Deaf individuals at social and school settings, making the structure of the conversation very formal. In my most recent events I have attended, there is usually a point where the instructor will ask everyone to go around and introduce themselves, stating what school they attend, what level ASL they are in, etc. This has almost come natural to me, but I still have not had an encounter that wasn't forced or expected. I am wondering if an encounter like this would exist out in the hearing world. I am always hoping to meet a deaf individual out in the hearing world and put my new skills to use. However, I have to wonder if they would be as willing and patient with me outside of an academic setting. Thus far, every Deaf individual I've met at these events or conversed with at school has been very patient with my limited skills. This, I believe, has a lot to do with the fact that a lot of them are teachers and advocates for the Deaf Community and love to extend their knowledge to others who want to be a part of it. Since this is the setting I am used to, I'd have to be very careful bumping into a deaf person outside of this setting not to assume that they are as eager to sign with me as I am with them.
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Cassidy Richter on Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:04 PM
I have been to a couple of Deaf events this semester. The latest one I went to was a book Reading/Signing book fair at Barnes & Noble. I have met a couple of deaf people there most conversations did not go past, "Hi. My name is Cassidy. Nice to meet you." but a couple had asked me if I was deaf or hearing and where I was learning ASL. I do think that the "Making Connections" page in the book are really good conversation starters and will help you to feel more comfortable with being able to sign with someone who can not hear. I am still waiting till I am able to have a one on one conversation with a deaf person and be able to speak in nothing but sign and really put what I have learned to the test.
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Brenda Rosario on Monday, April 03, 2017 8:14 AM
My first connection with the Deaf community was at Holyoke Community College (HCC). I meet a lot of new people,specially new students that are interested in being part of the Deaf community. The teacher Nicholas Lallane, as we fingerspell back and forth. We got as far as introducing our names, he is Deaf and teach American Sign Language at HCC for many years and also, into fifth level of ASL. Moving forward, he then started with the group games that it was very helpful, as we all fingerspell our names to know each other and created an atmosphere of learning. I'm writing about my first event within this community because the "Making Connection" was re-schedule to another day. I was hoping to meet new people there and have more details to talk about. As well as practicing my finger spelling. Well there will more opportunities to meet great people in the up coming events.
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Luz Dejesus on Monday, April 03, 2017 8:25 PM
At most of the events I've attended, I've encountered many students from different colleges or the same as mine, whom are hearing, and the person holding the event is usually deaf, so unfortunately I haven't experienced the opportunity to sign as much as I've wanted. I have been able to introduce myself, state what ASL level I'm in, and what school I attend and who is my professor, but nothing really more than that. This past Sunday I went to the "Dine for a Cause" event because I wanted to make connections with the deaf community and put the things I've learned so far into action, but unfortunately the event was cancelled so I wasn't able to apply my learning. I know how important it is for people to make connections whether they are hearing or deaf. I know that by the end of the semester I will be able to put The American Sign Language to use and hopefully keep learning more to be able to speak fluently.
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Kayla Brodeur on Monday, April 03, 2017 8:43 PM
Ive had a couple recent encounters with individuals of the Deaf community. I had gone to the DEAFinitins conference and had had an encounter with a woman. We both exchanged first and last names. She did ask if I were deaf or hearing and we talked about how I liked learning ASL. She was very friendly and noticed that I was having a hard time understanding her signing (her speed) so she slowed it down and was very accommodating. I enjoyed making a connection with someone who took the time to sign with me, even though she had no idea who I was.
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Lexie on Friday, June 16, 2017 11:48 PM
I totally agree with you. Im learning ASL as well and I really love it.i actually went to a deaf event about two days ago and I earned much while I was there. It was great


Marina Blanusa on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 3:55 PM
Since the beginning of this semester, I have attended many Deaf events. One connection that stuck in my mind was the first event I attended. When I arrived at "Valentine Hot Chocolate" event the first person that approached me was Ruth Moore. She asked me what my name was and was very patient with my slow fingerspelling. She also asked me what college I am learning ASL at, and who my teacher was. Although this event was shortly after the beginning of the semester, and my ASL was very limited, this connection left an important imprint on me. Past weekend when I attended DEAFinisions Conference I saw her again but unfortunately, she was with a group of people and I did nor get a chance to say "Hi" to her.
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Michelle Gordon on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 5:48 PM
On March 25th, I had the opportunity to attended the "Deafinitions" conference at Hampshire College. While there I wasn't aware I needed to register for the sessions prior to attending. When I got the the registration table, the representative spoke in Sign Language, asking if I had pre-registered. I didn't quite understand at first so I pulled out my pen and paper to try and communicate. The representative then whispered to me I can hear you.She asked me if I was registered I told her no, so she pointed me into the direction of getting registered. Once I was done, I reintroduced myself to her in sign language, spelling my first and last name. She asked if I was taking sign language and I replied yes I am talking sign language at STCC. She asked who my professor was and I proudly said Theresa King. She then asked if Professor King is hearing. I replied no, Professor King is deaf. Then I asked where is the class (session) taking place and she was more than happy to point me in the right direction. Although we both were hearing, we chose to sign.I felt an amazing connection.Like I sort of belonged. I am happy to know as much as I do. I would like to get stronger in my signing. I look forward to the rest of my journey.
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Carlos Valdes on Thursday, April 06, 2017 11:17 PM
I've only had a conversation with one person who signed, I've met multiple people but there is one I kept in contact with. She's very sweet and funny, she signs very fast though. I have to remind her that I'm still learning. I'm still growing with the language but I often seen signs that I haven't learned yet which is expected. Everyone I have encountered have been very patient with me and I appreciate that. They understand that I it's a process. One actually expressed their appreciation towards for me for actually taking time out to learn the language. It's not easily memorizing all the signs. I can't wait to continue to grow and learn more. I really do intend to become fluent in the language.
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bestessay on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:52 AM
Connections really can be very useful when the time come. A person having social links sure is at an advantage as compared to the one who likes isolation. As when the time will test them then the social links will stand up beside the person as compared to the other one.
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