Archive for August, 2009

Fall 2009 Class Schedule!

August 31, 2009

Here comes another school year!!! I’m excited and anxious to get the school year started. There will be plenty in store for me as i become a sophomore. The class schedule for the fall looks like this:

PSY 201 – Intro to Psychology

Ped 185- Wellness

GSR 150- Intro to Integrated Learning

GSR 103- American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

This semester will make me a full-time student for the fall semester. 3 of my classes fall on Mondays and Wednesdays, as for the other class, it falls on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That gives me more time on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get homework completed AND a free day on Friday!!!

If i haven’t mentioned it before, i’m majoring in PE Education so that is why i’m taking Wellness and Intro. to Psychology. One more ASL class and i will be finished with it. I have already completed ASL 101 and 102. I’m looking forward to classes and can’t wait to meet my teachers and classmates. This should be a very interesting and fun semester! With the completion of this semester… i will have 38 credits under my belt. Lets get it underway!!!


Preseason Game Vs McDaniel College!

August 31, 2009

Saturday, August 29th, we began what was to be expected as.. “A Very Successfuly and Winning Season”. After practicing offensive tackle for 2 weeks, i felt comfortable and ready to go. I was a little nervous but that went away after we got on the bus to drive to McDaniel College. The drive took an hour as we relaxed on the bus and watch NFL football on the tv’s. Oh yea… and yes we were on coach buses! It was very nice and comfortable. After arriving there and getting ready in the visitor’s locker room… i got down on one knee and prayed to God that my first scrimmage would go well and that i would be safe.

Following the prayer and running out and onto the field, the team stretched and got ready to go. A short meeting with the coach came shortly after that and was followed by a loud roar of Gallaudet football players as they got pumped up to play!

Starting the game… everyone was nervous but after the first few minutes, things started clicking! The defense was hitting people and the offense was moving the ball forward. We managed to score 20 points during the first half… which is AMAZING compared to how our offense was last year! The defense allowed 21 points in first half so it was a one point game. Following the first half, the coach announced that our backups would be getting some playing time so that the starters would know that they are finished for the day. After doing so… McDaniel College scored 21 more unanswered points to win the game. BUT…. McDaniel College left their starters in thoughout the whole game to try to prove a point!

They didn’t prove much of a point considering that it was a scrimmage and not a real game. Because they did try to beat us with their starters, they accidently got one of their star players hurt to the point where he might be out for a few weeks. It was an ankle injury to their WR number 7, who was very fast and quick. They wanted to beat Gallaudet so bad, that they were willing to play their starters the entire game even though it wasn’t a real game. After the game, coach Ed was very pleased with our effort and our play as we showed that if it were 1st group vs. 1st group… Gallaudet WINS!! The confidence of the team now is sky high right as we are approaching our first game of the year against U.S. Merchant Marine on September 5th here at Hotchkiss field! If you are a Gallaudetian… i hope to see you at the game as we will show a brand new tradition of Gallaudet Football!! GO BISON!!!

Football Camp!

August 31, 2009

Exactly one year and two weeks ago… i started my first football camp for Gallaudet University! Now came the time for my second year. Everything was the same about football camp… with the exception that our offense is completely different and that i was playing a new position. Starting football camp on the 13th meant that we all checked in and got all our gear that we would need for practice for the next two weeks. After having a meeting August 13th, we had camp!!

Camp consisted of getting together for every meal during the day, meetings with our coaches, and then practice. OH YEA…. and i can’t forget about the 10:30 bedtime curfew we had every night! (Which sucked by the way!) Other than having a curfew for being in our room… camp was great! I got moved to offensive tackle and was told by coaches that i could make a big impact for the Gallaudet offense for this upcoming 2009 season. I was a little upset at first because linebacker is my passion and love, but i was happy at the same time too because i knew i was helping out our struggling offense get better. After studying the playbook daily and practicing with the team… i got accustomed to the new offense and began to like the lineman position. I am now the starting offensive tackle and am really looking forward to a VERY positive and rewarding season this year!!! Not only that but i’m looking forward to all the wins we WILL have this year! Come to the games and get ready cause the Bison are coming and are not stopping for anything!

New Signer Mentor!

August 31, 2009

I wasn’t necessarily involved with helping the New Signers Program, but i did have the job of helping the new signing freshman football players that were coming in with no signing history. The one thing i learned was patience because i remember how long it took me to learn asl. That helped me communicate better with the guys. I felt like i was able to relate to them in a way. I have been in their shoes before and i know everything that is involved with feeling left out and completely overwhelmed when first starting in the deaf environment.

After two weeks of helping the guys learn asl, i felt like they were ready for school to start… that’s how confident i was. The guys seemed happy and ready to take on the challenge. It was difficult teaching them how to adjust to this change but it was easy in a way too because i have been in that situation before and i know what it takes to make it through. The guys are signing away now and are ready to go… of course they’re not PERFECT so they will struggle. But for now it will be a journey for them and an exciting experience for me as i watch them grow and learn the ways of the deaf community.

New Signer Program!

August 31, 2009

Having already been down that path of confusion and feeling overwhelmed, i finally felt like i was fitting in here at Gallaudet when i came here early for the new signers program. I felt like i didn’t need the program because i’ve already been signing for a year and have gotten used to it. Before my freshman year though, i didn’t attend the New Signers Program because i haven’t heard about it. That was one of the biggest things that affected me when i first got here to Gallaudet for the first time. I arrived for football camp and didn’t know sign language. Now was my chance to experience what the program was like and to see what i missed out on last year.

After entering the classroom for the first day… i felt a little nervous because i haven’t signed in just about 3 months. I had to get back in the flow of signing again. After my first few days of practicing and socializing, i picked up where i left off last semester and was signing away! The time i spent with the new signers of this year helped me realize just exactly what kind of change i went through this past year. Everyday sitting in class, i would look at someone else and tell myself “That was me exactly one year ago!” Now knowing sign language, i have a different perspective and feel different. Of course that feeling was “Pride”. I felt so proud of myself everyday just thinking about the big change i went through trying to adjust from the hearing world, to the deaf world. I am now looking forward to another whole year of school and football… ONLY this time…. i will now be able to communicate with others which will make my life sooooo much easier and better.

Summer 2009!

August 31, 2009

Summer was like any other summer I’ve ever had…. Only this one started with a plane flight from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Missouri. The last day at Gallaudet was full of packing and saying farewell goodbyes to friends that were leaving for home. It got tough saying bye and thinking about 3 months without friends and the independent life… but it was a good feeling knowing that I would be going back home to see my beloved family! Just the thought of having all 8 kids standing at the airport terminal waiting for me, got me excited and anxious. The sweet summer days were about to begin!

After 6 hours of flying and switching planes, I finally arrived in Springfield where I met my whole family! After spending about 10 minutes just hugging them and telling them how much I missed them, we headed out to the car to go home. Ever since I arrived home… summer has been amazing! The relaxing life began for me. I was able to relax and sleep in most days as well as go out on the town and enjoy the city. We live in Branson so there were many attractions and places to see. I went to White Water several times throughout summer as well as go to Silver Dollar City. I went to a lot of different shows that involved singing as well as plays. I worked for the family and ended up not getting a job. The family needed some help with work so I was willing to do what I can.

Despite the tons of work that I did to help my family over summer, I did do so many fun things also that made my summer one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve experienced so far. I’m already thinking about next summer and what’s to come. My next summer will start off with a graduation ceremony for my younger brother Jeremy as he will finally be graduating high school!!!

Hidey Ho!

August 30, 2009

Hello again, fellow readers! After a fun-filled summer, I’m back at good ol’ Gally, putting my nose to the grindstone, as my grandmother puts it.

With school starting tomorrow, I’ve been looking over my classes with anticipation, I’m taking five classes, or 19 credits, the maximum number of credits students are allowed to take at Gallaudet. I guess we’ll see how that works out.

Two of the classes I am taking are GSR integrated learning classes, which means that they are classes that sort of combine two subject areas by team teaching. The way this works is there are two professors, each teaches a certain subject, but combine their lesson plans, policies, activities, and so on. These are part of the new curriculum that Gallaudet introduced in the fall of 2007, instilling a major improvement in our education.

GSR integrated courses have their pros and cons. The cons being that it can be difficult for the professors to team teach. I had a professor last semester that would sit back during lectures and basically not say much at all unless prompted by the other prof. Two professors can also mean confusion with turning in assignments, class policies, and general lessons.

Pros include the fact that you’re learning from two professors! Which, in my opinion, sort of gives you a bigger experience than if you had taken a class with a single professor. Also, one professor’s talents make up for the other’s flaws, which makes it easier for you to do well in the class.

In addition to these GSR courses, I am also taking two English major courses and an education major course. I’ve been resolving to do fantastically well this fall in my schoolwork among other things.
What are some of your resolutions for the fall?

On another note, I’ve been seeing plenty of freshmen around campus and I’m reminded of my first year at Gally, which I spent completely homesick. I hope my freshmen readers understand that almost everyone felt or still feels the same way. The best way to deal with it is to keep busy or talk to someone, including me! I’d be happy to listen or answer any of your questions!

Here’s to a wonderful fall semester!

A Bison begins his Odyssey

August 28, 2009


This article is dedicated to Dr. Jane Norman, who inspired me to think positively!  Your advices are peppered throughout my article because they ring true.

        As I am writing this,  It is surreal to believe  that I, a Bison will begin my odyssey.  Why is it so surreal?  This was once a dream that was dreamt countless of times…  Every day I dreamt of going to Gallaudet University since I was seven. I knew, deep inside that, I truly belonged at Gallaudet University.  Why did I choose Gallaudet?  I chose Gallaudet because my heart told me that Gallaudet is the right place to be.

      The horizon is rapidly approaching; the sun is setting on my carefree youthful years where I made mistakes with the security of a safety net underneath me, waiting to catch me should I fall.  The time when I embark on an odyssey is rapidly advancing upon me.  Why did I choose to use the term Odyssey to describe my forthcoming experiences at Gallaudet University?  I am sure that most of you, when you come across the term Odyssey, Homer comes to the mind. Of course, the term Odyssey is synonymous with Homer. Why would I compare my forthcoming experiences to something of great magnitude?  Changes, Odysseys are usually journeys filled with metamorphic changes that define the trekkers that undergo the odyssey.  Let us use the widely known example of metamorphic changes, the caterpillar and the butterfly. College freshman are caterpillars, when they start college, they prepare to crystallize in a cocoon, which is the college, and when they finally graduate, they break out of the cocoons and emerge as beautiful butterflies!  Some trekkers embark on their odysseys either with confidence, and some people, like me, do have some concerns and worries as they embark on their odysseys, that is normal and of course, the concerns and worries that we bring with us as we embark on odysseys will be always resolved at some point down the path.

                Filled with questions and worries as I prepare to embark on an odyssey that will forever alter my life.  Should I major in Deaf Studies? What does Gallaudet have in store for me? As the storm of endless inquires rages on in my mind, I take out an “Umbrella” of confidence to shelter me from pelting questions.  Before I walk on the famed Kendall Green, I will turn to face the southwest where my former alma mater, Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, Virginia lies among the eloquent royal blue mountains and bid it farewell and smile.  Dr. Jane Norman equipped me with the “briefcase” of Life filled with the “positive ladder”. You might be pondering, “What is he talking about?” Dr. Jane Norman, Professor of Communication Studies here at Gallaudet University and a 1957 graduate of VSD, spoke at my commencement this past June.  In her speech, she ‘gave” me and my fellow classmates the items named above.  I will now explain the wonderful purpose of each of those “tools”.

            First item is the “briefcase” of Life, Briefcases, often used to carry a wide array of items such as writing instruments such as fountain pens, pencils, and important documents that enables us to succeed in everyday tasks. However, the “briefcase” of Life, is an abstract briefcase that carries a wide array of items uncommonly carried in real briefcases, such as; Experience gained, Lessons learned, and challenges that we overcame.  Inside the briefcase, is one tool, the “positive ladder”. The “positive ladder”, in my opinion, the most wonderful tool that humankind ever laid hands on, because ladders commonly used to help us humans reach heights that would be not possible because of the maximum heights of our jumps.   The “positive ladder” has a similar role to its’ concrete counterparts, but one things sets it apart from the others. Most ladders have a limit as to how high it may reach, but the ladder I am talking about is infinite, it has no limits to how high it may extend.  The ladders are made up of positives that occur around us and help us to climb to success. One thing “positive ladder” has in common with the concrete ladders used on daily basis in the real world, is that they help us reach the objects out of our reach. The “positive ladder” does almost the same but instead of reaching for everyday objects, they help us reach yet attained goals, dreams or successes.   The basic anatomy of the ladder is that the rungs are negatives and the sides are the line that crosses the negatives to make them positives.  A basic picture will help you get the gist of what I am talking about.  





Do you see the “ladder”? If you still do not, draw on a paper the positives but this time, make sure the ends touch each other. See it? Great! Bear in mind, in order for us to climb the “positive ladder”, we must think positively in order to move up both on the ladder and in life.  Remember if you just happen to think negatively, which happens to the best of us; think of two positive statements for each negative thought that floats through your head.  That is the only way you can use the “positive ladder”!

            My briefcase still has loads of space for me to put in experience and souvenirs from my odyssey at Gallaudet.  I certainly hope by this time in three years, my briefcase will be nearly full due to the overwhelming experiences and lessons learned both the good and the bad.  Fellow Bisons, especially those who are just embarking on their odysseys, I hope it will be an enriching experience for you.


      With the “briefcase” clutched in my hand, prepared to begin my odyssey, I turn to face Gallaudet University and greet it with an open mind and heart.  I sincerely hope that you; the readers will join me on this splendid odyssey.  Until next time, open your eyes and heart as it guides you through your odyssey.



August 28, 2009

My name is Michael Sprouse, I am a new blogger here at gblog! It is a great honor to be here with those awesome fellow GBLOGGERS! I will tell you more about myself, I am a proud product of Virginia School for the Deaf! I am a freshman that is considering majoring in ASL/Deaf Studies! The theme of my blogs will be the Freshman Experience! so Read on!

Honors Retreat 2009

August 25, 2009

The Gallaudet Blog has been a pretty quiet place over the summer, hasn’t it? Here’s something new!

I just got back from this year’s Honors Retreat…and I mean I just got back! My first priority was a shower, because Camp St. Charles doesn’t have air conditioning, but now I’m here to tell you about the retreat.

Everybody in Honors chats over the summer on a discussion board, talking about the summer reading and life at Gallaudet. The first time they meet in person, though, is on Sunday night at the Honors dinner. We had Chinese food this year, and parents joined their students to hear the Honors Director, Dr. Myers, and Honors Coordinator Geoff Whitebread speak. (Well, sign, but we had interpreters for the non-signing parents.) Afterward, the parents went to a discussion called “Letting Go” while the students came to the Honors Lounge to check it out and establish some ground rules for its use. (The HL is in SAC, in the same area as the TIP Center and OSWD.)

Monday morning – that’s yesterday, for those of you keeping track – we all gathered at the Benson Hall Circle at 7am and waited for the bus to show up. Somebody had to phone over to the transportation department to ask about it, but it finally came and we loaded the bags, people, snacks, and drinks and headed off to Charles County. We got to Camp St. Charles about 8:30am and everybody got situated in their cabins. We had some icebreaker activities to start with – the Human Knot was led by Allison Weiner, and everybody participated in the Name Game which helps us all remember who each other is! We had lots of academic sessions on Monday too. The professors for GSR 101 (English) came out to talk to students, and we talked about Academic Integrity. In the evening, author Josh Swiller came out to discuss The Unheard as he did last year, and he brought his brother Zev which was a nice treat. Just like last year, Josh’s talk provoked some interesting discussion; unlike last year, Josh signed on his own and I had to voice for his brother so he could follow what was going on! Monday wrapped up with Smores, but they weren’t around the campfire as we’d hoped. We had to have a camp employee start it, of course, for safety reasons, but the poor guy tried and tried for at least 30 minutes before giving up. He told us the wood and ground were just too wet, and we all trooped back to the mess hall where he built a fire in a “smoke tower” (basically a standalone fireplace) and we toasted the marshmallows over that. After smores, I know many of the freshman stayed up until sunrise chatting, but I went to bed! Being an upperclassman on the Honors Retreat is cool because you get to meet all the new freshmen, but it’s also WORK because you’re the one who has to do the grunt work while the faculty actually work with the kids. 🙂

Today everybody was up bright and early for a nice breakfast. Camp St. Charles provides all the meals when you go there, and they were on time this morning at 8am. We had to finish up some Academic Integrity stuff in the morning and then it was time for fun! Most of the group, about 20 people, went canoeing with the camp employee (he’s a lifeguard, he’s a tour guide, he’s a campfire starter…) and the rest stayed in and played word games like Scattergories. I personally plunked down in front of a fan and read my book…I think I might have dozed off for 20 minutes there even! The only other activity for the day was lunch…we had forgotten to ask the camp for vegetarian options, so some of us (myself included) went a little hungry for lunch, but we still had plenty of snacks left over so we weren’t starving. Then we just had to wait for the bus, and it was a long wait! We were all cleaned up and ready to go by 12:30 but the driver wasn’t coming until 2:00. Fortunately he showed up a little early and we loaded everything up and back we went.

I think the Honors Retreat went pretty well this year. I hope the students who attended agree with me!