I will admit, I went into this with fairly low expectations. Generally when I am asked to teach a sign language class at church it is frustrating because everyone's expectations are different than mine. Or someone will have already taken a class somewhere and they like to tell me I'm doing a particular sign incorrectly - which leads to my lecture on the varying dialects of ASL (I won't bore you here) and the burning desire to sarcastically ask that person to go ahead and teach us the real way to sign the words I have used my entire life and they have known for 2 semesters.
But not tonight. Oh no, not tonight.
Things began casually with a review of what they had learned last week - various foods and the like. And then I told them I didn't have anything planned for my first class as teacher - but did anyone want to learn anything specific?
Did they ever.
It started innocently with signs for feelings - happy, sad, tired, bored... and the importance of using facial expressions to convey the extent of each emotion. I think the word "sick" is what started us going.
"How would you say sick - as in, sick to your stomach?" "And what if you feel like you are going to throw up?" "How about diarrhea?"
You can see where this is going. And going, and going... We even covered some medical terms. (One of the ladies is a nurse, so I felt justified...)
I swear, it was like we were at Scout Camp.
And so, this is how I came to enjoy one of the most enriching church enrichment classes our neighborhood has ever known. We had ladies of all ages and different walks of life having a grand old time laughing and learning together. I have never laughed so hard in my life while teaching ASL.
Ladies, thank you for destroying the stereotype. I am looking forward to next week.