Knowing ASL changes the way you deal with noise. I've noticed this in our family Before we knew ASL, if we were in a crowded, noisy room, we would yell to communicate. Now, that just seems like a horrible way to communicate! Why would we want more noise in the room?
I recently went to eat lunch with Lillian at school for her birthday. Since our middle school is so far away, and middle schoolers are usually too cool to eat with their parents, I hadn't been to lunch at that school before. I should have remembered that the noise in the lunchroom spurred my oldest son to do a science fair project investigating the health of noise levels at various school environments. (Answer: the lunchroom wasn't great, but school dances were actually at unhealthy levels after 1 hr. Interestingly, none of the administrators who saw this project suggested changing anything. But I digress...) I was shocked at how loud the room was. For some reason, they think that 180 kids trying to talk in the same room isn't enough, and they play music, too. I 100% don't get it. I literally could not hear the person right next to me. So of course, I'm trying to say hi to Lillian's friends and get to know them. And try as I might, I couldn't bring myself to yell to be heard. All I could do was pull out my hands and try to communicate with them. I'm sure all these girls just think we're the weirdest family ever. But once you know sign language, you lose your taste for shouting.
There's a FB page named #whyIsign that shares people's videos of why they sign. Usually, reasons are something like, "Because I'm deaf" or "I have a deaf cousin" or "I meat a cute girl that was deaf". I think about my reasons why I sign:
- Because I hate too much noise
- Because my kids need to learn another language
- Because I really love being able to talk when my mouth is full