Archive for the Learning Category

Something New update

Posted in Community, Learning, Social on June 13, 2011 by cklaslan

Just completed my 2nd lesson in ASL for the Day 9th challenge to learn something new.

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betterME Day 9 : Something New

Posted in Learning, Social on June 8, 2011 by cklaslan

Yesterday’s challenge was to do something I enjoyed but haven’t done in a long time.  I ended up GeoCaching.  Today’s challenge was to learn something new.

My choice?  Ever since I was a kid in Vacation Bible School I’ve always wanted to learn sign language.  I have a cousin that’s an interpreter and I’ve always been fascinated by it when I see it.  Lots of people learn French, Italian, and Spanish but there is a shortage of people that know how to sign.  Throughout my career, school, and life I’ve encountered hearing impaired people and felt at a loss that I couldn’t understand them or assist them more.  Most of them could read my lips but I seldom was able to understand them.

So today I enrolled in an American Sign Language (ASL) course 🙂  Right now I am doing a 4-month online course because in-class courses don’t start until the Fall.  I’ve already downloaded the material and started the first lesson.  Tomorrow there is a book I want to get to help out as well.  Hopefully this will be enough to get me started and keep me going until August when I register for an in-house class  Stay tuned to find out.

Once I decided to do ASL as my “something new” I thought it would be an easy thing to find.  After all, Atlanta is a large metropolitan area.  Sadly I found this wasn’t true.  I googled and search and went to web sites for Community Centers (in Atlanta and cities around), libraries, YMCAs, as well as the colleges and universities around the city.   I finally found that the continuing education dept at Clayton State offers it.  So I will do that at the next available class.  I just found it odd it was so hard to find.

In continuation of some other challenges I left a few random notes of encouragement throughout the day and I continued the weekly challenge to smile and say “hi” to those I pass.  This is still quite an interesting challenge as I continue to find that most people don’t want to smile.  Now I’ve noticed that if you make eye contact with someone as you approach them they will actually look away or down as you pass, as if to avoid contact and communication.

And I also made some progress on a previous challenge to Social Skydive for 3-5 mins.  I was in Starbucks (of course) and I saw a man come in with maps and a guide to Atlanta.  He sat down across from me to read the map.  I spoke up and asked him if he needed any help.  The accent was quite evident in his reply that he was British.  His name was Philippe and he was indeed from London and here on business.  He asked if I had any suggestions for a good place for lunch.  I asked him what he wanted and he said “a good American burger”.  I pointed across the street to Vortex 🙂  I told him they had the best burgers in town, practically nothing healthy, and great sweet potatoes and tater tots.  In his thick British accent he asked “what’s a tater tot?”. LOL  Guess they don’t have those in the UK?  All I could come up with was that it was shredded potatoes that were compacted back together.  Ever tried to describe tater tots? LOL  He appreciated the suggestion, thanked me, and headed across to Vortex 🙂

RNG says the challenge for tomorrow is :

* support local communities by being a patron at local businesses instead of chains

There we go.  All in all it was a pretty good day.  I pushed the limit on Social Skydiving but still have a lot to do.  I’ve started to learn Sign Language and as of last week I started training for my first half marathon.  Awesome.

Step it up folks!  Let me hear from you 🙂