Friday, June 12, 2009

ASL FESTIVAL


Our school is simply buzzing with excitement and activity in preparation for next week's school wide ASL Festival.  

The upcoming festival is a celebration of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf culture, literacy, the Deaf experience and also provides an opportunity to build and strengthen our community. It has been such a joy this past week to pass each classroom and see students & teachers engaging in the myriad ways to highlight American Sign Language. 

The festival kicks off on Monday with the ASL-Beca Film Festival.  It is a 90 minute film festival that will showcase films made by our students and also those of celebrated Deaf performers.  Each class has submitted one short film chosen from a variety of styles such as documentary, comedy, drama, thriller, interview or public service announcement. 

Tuesday ushers in De'Via which means Deaf View/Image Art. De'Via is created when the artist intends to express their Deaf experience through visual art.  De'Via may also be created by deafened or hearing artists, if the intention is to create work that is born of their Deaf experience.  Works may include paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, printmaking, essays or poetry.  Student work will be displayed throughout the school.

On Wednesday there is a panel discussion about growing up in a Deaf household. Many of our students are hearing children of Deaf adults (CODAs) and Deaf mother's and father's will be discussing issues and taking questions from our students about this experience. 

We get into some friendly competition on Thursday with the ASL Bee.  A 'bee' is an old word to describe a gathering of friends and neighbors to hold a competition.  Our 'bee' will take place in the auditorium and will follow a Jeopardy-like format.  Teams of students will be asked to answer a variety of questions that vary in degree of difficulty.  This will culminate in two teams advancing to the 2nd round to compete in the ASL SLAM!  I am really looking forward to this!

Finally, on Friday there will be an ASL performing awards assembly and a guest ASL performer.  Throughout the week each class has signed up for an 'open house' in which to share their ASL stories (we have created ASL number stories - Lauren has been busy editing them all week and they are AMAZING!).  Each class has prepared something a bit different for the enjoyment of others.  

This is a huge endeavor and I must give thanks to Lauren, Dax and Jason for spearheading it.  I can't wait!!

9 comments:

Mona said...

wow! that is going to be a lot of activity to look forward to!

Enjoy!

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Wow that sounds awesome. Not only does it sound fun, it also sounds like a much-needed event. So important. I can understand why your school is buzzing with excitement!!

Sebastien said...

Gary!!!! How are you? It's been a while, I have a lot of catching up to do as well... it's been a long absence from blogging for me but I'm getting back into it :)

Barbara said...

Can you tell us about your class's film? Will it be possible for you to show us snippets of it at some point?

This sounds like an amazing week and a great way to celebrate ASL!

Gary said...

Barbara - It is an ASL number story. This means the story is told using signs that incorporate the signs for numbers. In our case we are telling a story about rain using the numbers 1-10.

I is the drops of rain.
2 is the wind
3 is a person walking down the street and oops another 3 (a car) swirves and almost hits him
4 is a shocked look and the hair on the person's head standing straight up (I love that bit)
5 is 'Whew"
6 is pulling the coat tighter
7 the hat
8 buttoning the coat
9 looking up at the sky
10 opening up an umbrella

The whole thing just flies by and I would love to share it on here but privacy issues forbid it. I should figure out another way for friends to see it.

Sebastien - Great to see you blogging again! I was concerned that you were not doing well. Glad to see you are fine and dandy.

Arielle - This coming week is going to be CRAZY. Our school show is on Tuesday so that adds to the mayhem. I love it. If you can get to NYC you are welcome to attend the events (you too Barbara).

Mona - I love having something exciting to look forward to!

lettuce said...

have a great festival, it sounds fab.

Barbara said...

I'm sure the 1-10 sequence is beautiful in ASL. Your class must be so proud of their contribution!

Steve said...

Great idea, Gary! It looks exciting!

WAT said...

I feel left out now, 'cause it'd be cool to know ASL. I've met quite a few deaf dudes out here in LA and they are usually so hot! LOL! One time I actually went to lunch with one of them and had to keep writing out stuff on a tablet. Then we went back to my place and...

Nevermind.

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