Want to make new friends in times of COVID

Louplum

New Member
Hello all! I am a hearing person in New Mexico, U.S. I have started taking ASL classes. I want to make D/deaf and HOH friends and get to know the communities all over the world and people's stories.

I am interested in becoming an interpreter or working at a school for the Deaf, but I especially want to make new friends! However because of COVID it's even harder to meet anybody.

I am new to Internet/social media interaction so I don't know much Internet or Deaf community etiquette yet, but I can learn fast!

Thanks :)
 

kobecon

New Member
Hello! I'm a Deaf dude from Colorado, so howdy, southern neighbor! Yeah, COVID and isolation has been really hard on me lately!

Well, a couple of questions for you... Why do you want to be an interpreter? Or working in Deaf schools? Also, what made you take ASL classes? Just curious!
 

Louplum

New Member
Hi Kobecon!

I've always been interested in languages, and I had initially planned to become a Mandarin / English translator back in college, but I couldn't stay in Beijing longer than the year I was there so I lost my level of fluency (I got to a point where I was pretty conversational...so cool). The people I spoke with were impressed that I tried to speak in their language when I was there, and helped me if I didn't know a word or was unclear. I was surprised they weren't impatient with me, and moved by it.

I've always wanted to be understood by the people around me. I think everyone does, to some point, but something I really noticed coming back to the U.S. is how our culture can be so unhelpful or even hostile to people who don't speak English. I didn't ever want to be like that...it has always been important to me that I do what I can to meet people at least halfway. You never know what amazing things someone else might come up with, unless you're looking and listening for it! :)

A few years ago I was hanging out with my family, including my cousin who has substantial autism. He was using a few signs with his sister during a time when he was upset, but didn't want to speak. When I learned from my aunt that he was using sign language, it made me want to learn too, since he and I have never really been able to communicate closely before when speaking. I started thinking about how hard it must be to have to communicate when not only the language, but even the modalities are different. Language had fascinated me yet again.

In 2019 I went to an ASL Immersion week at NM School for the Deaf. There I started learning more about Deaf culture and history, and it just kinda went from there! I liked the school so much I thought it'd be cool to end up working there someday.

Personally I think we should all be learning ASL and Spanish from preschool on in this country. I wish I'd had that kind of background so I could communicate with more people and be a point of access without needing to go abroad...it would have made going abroad easier for me too. It would make others more understanding overall, I think, about doing things differently than they normally would. We could use that right now to become more unified, too.

Thanks for replying to me! Sorry about the above novella. XD
 

x1heavy

Active Member
Spanish does not always transfer over very well into American Sign Language or Signed English (Galludet Model) or even spoken english very well at times. I have a small number of spanish, french, german and russian words for use in various areas of North America where the local culture requires it besides spoken english. (You generally don't find deaf in trucking, I probably met about 10 total in my lifetime either as a trucker or with a trucker via family etc)

I usually advocate a way of meeting deaf in what I call the Deaf Church. We have one in North Little Rock at first Assembly in Arkansas and I have not been there in 15+ years give or take for a variety of reasons, there is quite a outreach for a Deaf Community who otherwise might not be able to see a life outside of their 4 walls at home under supervision in some cases. Maybe one day I will visit again however it will have to wait a while, there are too many life requirements and medical things going on right now. (Never mind that Covid.. which makes it twice as hard for no purpose)

The Deaf Church is a community onto itself and has people from both the Deaf School locally and also from the hearing world who can communicate in Sign Language. (Some extremely well.. its a form of a song that is beautiful to watch some of them communicate properly) That would be my first suggesting for any area. We had what we call trucker church (Mobile Chapel system, based in Harrisburg PA in the 76 there since gone International with some of the original people having passed on by now) And within those local towns there are sometimes deaf communities you can be with in church there wherever it might be in the USA.

One other thought. I don't get into religion much (Really? ...) when I refer to the deaf church or a community that is deaf its a living community that happens to worship God in whatever religion denomination they are part of, if any. I am of one particular religion but follow the bible when two or more people are gathered as strangers under God to worship Him then this religion or that religion is less of a problem within reason or even a issue.

To me when I first moved here and got married right about 25 years ago the deaf church was one of the things that was good. I would not be update or current on the situation there now because again, I have been away too long and we have had some deaths over the years unfortunately. And some new families raised as well. So it all balances out in life.

Good luck!
 

Louplum

New Member
Spanish does not always transfer over very well into American Sign Language or Signed English (Galludet Model) or even spoken english very well at times. I have a small number of spanish, french, german and russian words for use in various areas of North America where the local culture requires it besides spoken english. (You generally don't find deaf in trucking, I probably met about 10 total in my lifetime either as a trucker or with a trucker via family etc)

I usually advocate a way of meeting deaf in what I call the Deaf Church. We have one in North Little Rock at first Assembly in Arkansas and I have not been there in 15+ years give or take for a variety of reasons, there is quite a outreach for a Deaf Community who otherwise might not be able to see a life outside of their 4 walls at home under supervision in some cases. Maybe one day I will visit again however it will have to wait a while, there are too many life requirements and medical things going on right now. (Never mind that Covid.. which makes it twice as hard for no purpose)

The Deaf Church is a community onto itself and has people from both the Deaf School locally and also from the hearing world who can communicate in Sign Language. (Some extremely well.. its a form of a song that is beautiful to watch some of them communicate properly) That would be my first suggesting for any area. We had what we call trucker church (Mobile Chapel system, based in Harrisburg PA in the 76 there since gone International with some of the original people having passed on by now) And within those local towns there are sometimes deaf communities you can be with in church there wherever it might be in the USA.

One other thought. I don't get into religion much (Really? ...) when I refer to the deaf church or a community that is deaf its a living community that happens to worship God in whatever religion denomination they are part of, if any. I am of one particular religion but follow the bible when two or more people are gathered as strangers under God to worship Him then this religion or that religion is less of a problem within reason or even a issue.

To me when I first moved here and got married right about 25 years ago the deaf church was one of the things that was good. I would not be update or current on the situation there now because again, I have been away too long and we have had some deaths over the years unfortunately. And some new families raised as well. So it all balances out in life.

Good luck!
Thanks for the reply x1heavy!

I met a classmate who was really advanced in my Intro class last semester, and she got that way by learning from D/deaf children in her church while helping with its youth ministry. Your idea is really a good one. I am pretty much an atheist, but I can definitely see churches as a great source and community hub. I don't want to enter the community on any pretense (so as not to upset anyone) but I will look into any churches here with Deaf congregants, and see if they could use some volunteer help in any way.

I flippin' love big vehicles like trucks, trains, planes, container ships etc., haha. And trucker movies from the 70s are awesome! :D That is soooo cool you are a trucker! Rock ON! My dad is retired but he used to have a diesel mechanic shop where he fixed semis. Man, the sound and feel of a Peterbilt or an old Mack idling...the smell of diesel and grease and transmission fluid...ahhh, childhood memories. <3

Be safe out there, and thanks for getting all our stuff to and fro!
 
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