I know it has been a uber long time since I have been here to write anything. In fact I had started writing something last semester about my experience in Jumpstart but never finished it. My schedule last semester was rather hectic and I had ALOT on my plate going back and forth between DC and my home in FLA for doctor’s appts for my surgery, audiology appts and SSI appts. I promise I will share my experiences from Jumpstart though for those future students considering it.
Anyways to catch you up I have been busy being involved in the Honors Program which beyond my own expectations I am exceeding quite well at for being a first year, new signing student. I am preparing to go to Costa Rica this summer which I am sure will be a wonderful experience as well, interacting with Deaf people from another country. In one of my classes this semester as well as last semester we have been learning LESCO (Costa Rican Sign Language) as well as written Spanish. I officially declared my major in Psychology last year (I know it’s a change from the Education major that I had originally set out for). However, this semester I am applying for the BA/MAT Deaf Education program to pick up as a second major. I am very excited about that because I believe this will further assist me in my ultimate goal as a school psychologist.
My time at Gallaudet University has been an eye-opening experience. I have gotten to know some wonderful people and some wonderful, thought-provoking professors. I love the fact that as students we are given the opportunity to travel all over this world and experience not only other Deaf cultures but just other cultures and the people in them period. This past Winter Break students were given the opportunity to travel to India to learn sign language and experience the cultural from a former Gallaudet graduate. This summer students will be traveling to several places in Latin America (Costa Rica, ) as well as Africa. Some students will even travel to Italy and France to learn sign language. I don’t think I’ve ever been given the opportunity to do this at any other university I have been to.
I have also gotten my first tastes of Deaf culture and DST (Deaf Standard Time). It’s been an overwhelming experience for lack of better words and I certainly don’t mean it in a negative aspect. I’ve never felt so welcomed at any place in my life. My old experiences have been that of giant cliques that are hard to get in if you aren’t a cliché/stereotype. Here at Gally I have felt most welcomed by every group. My friends are that of athletes, cheerleaders, popular, not-so popular, nerds, geeks, etc (and I mean these terms with much respect and endearment). I find that I have certainly come out of my shell more. I am able to interact with my classmates and walk up to people I don’t know and chat with them. Anyone who knows me knows this has never been my character and anyone who knows me now knows that I still have some of those traits. My fear of delivering presentations I don’t think will ever go away. My first day on campus I won’t forget what one of the staff here at the school said to me (I don’t know his name or I would certainly mention it but I will never forget his face)…he signed to me, “Welcome! You belong here!” What other university would do that? certainly not one I have ever gone to or set foot on. One of my most favorite traditions is one that was started by our former President Dr. Robert Davila which is coffee chats in which you could meet with him and discuss your concerns, your praises, whatever with him. That’s another thing you will never see at another university. Typically to speak with the President you would have to go through several channels of secretaries and/or deans and even then there is no guarantee you would ever get to meet him. In all honesty I couldn’t even tell you the name of any of the Presidents at my previous schools. Well that sums of my time here so far (minus jumpstart). I look forward to many more eye-opening experiences.