TEDxTalk Quickwrites

Here’s a post answering some random questions about our process this semester to aid us in our TEDx Talk writing. 

I’m not very good at personal reflections. Here we go. (Keep in mind: These were all written in like 5 minutes so I know they’re not composed well and they’re probably too conversational to be grammatically correct. Sorry.) 

What have you accomplished this semester? How have you impacted others? What has changed because of your actions? Why did it matter? 

I accomplished hopefully getting a few people to be more aware of deaf culture and sign language. I know a few people have at least thought about deafness/ASL because of our project. Getting people thinking is something, I think. This matters because this is a prevelant issue and I hope people have been able to learn a bit with our snapchat, through my blog, and eventually with my TEDxTalk. 

How are you different because of your experiences this semester? What has changed? What have you learned about yourself?

 I guess I’m different in that my personal knowledge of ASL and deaf culture has grown to more that what it ever has been. I myself have improved, at least. I’ve also grown in having empathy for other people and learning about things that may not directly affect me daily. Learning how to put myself in another’s shoes to be able to help them or even help myself has been a big part of this semester. 

Aside from this deaf culture/ASL specific project, I’ve also changed and grown in the way my though process occurs. I’ve been trained to think outside the box more. As generic as that sounds, it’s true. I’ve learned how to think beyond the original thought or problem and express something more creatively. Within this new thought process comes the optimism towards failure. Looking at failure in a positive way, as a tool in which we can personally grow and learn and change something or fix our mistakes, is key to innovative thinking. 

I’ve also learned about myself in that I can get super motivated and passionate and into something when I care about it. I might slump or not work very hard sometimes, but I try. I at least have great drive within me. I want to do something. Sometimes I just don’t carry it out. Whether or not that’s due to not having the means to carry out a project or it’s just on me and I’m too lazy. Who knows.  

What are your biggest highlights of the semester? Your biggest failures?  What did you learn from each of them? 

My biggest highlight this year has been educating myself so greatly on deaf culture, ASL, and awareness. Through various TEDxTalks, Spring Awakening on Broadway, Switched at Birth, and even Nyle DiMarco on America’s Next Top Model, I’ve come closer to this language than I ever have been and it is thrilling. It’s so interesting and I am boundlessly intrigued by this culture and this language. 

My biggest failure has probably been getting what I have learned myself out into the public eye. (Which is like the whole point of this project and class?) I mean learning this stuff for myself is great but I don’t know how to properly, appropriately, and effectively show my new found knowledge and passion with everyone. Hopefully my TEDx Talk can help with this? 

What is the most important part of this semester that you would pass onto next years students? 

I’ve learned a few good lessons that will allow me to continue to innovate. 

First being that failure is not the end. Use failure as a tool to grow. 

Second, embrace the ability to think differently. Think differently than what is first planned or thought of. Expand. The worst sentence is “This is the way things have always done.” If something is not working or it is working but it’s getting old, it is not a bad thing to do it differently. That starts with letting yourself think differently and be more innovative and creative in thought. 

What do you want to TEDxTalk on?

I want to share what I’ve learned about deaf culture and show people that deafness is not a disability. Deaf = capable. Just the same as hearing = capable. 


Personal Reflection #1

I guess this is my first “official” personal “reflection” on this blog for this ASL project and the innovations class. 

Here it goes,

I went into this class having literally no idea what I wanted to do. My friend brought up the Sign Language/Deaf Awareness idea and I got really excited about it. The year started rolling with this. 

This whole project is based on my infatuation with this beautiful and intricate language. I want to spread awareness and get this knowledge out there, while learning the language myself. 

We’ve tossed up a few ideas with what we could do within our school and district this year and we’ve really gotten into only one of our ideas so far. Our ASL snapchat. For the most part, it’s started very successfully! We post public stories each day in which students, or anyone really, can view to learn a new sign or simple fact. Almost every student uses snapchat daily, and this is a quick and simple way to hopefully spark something in our students. We’ve also had various students and a few staff members star in our snaps.  

Here are a few examples of what we’ve done with RedRiverASL on snapchat!

We’ve tried a few different things with our snapchat. We’ve gotten feedback from a few students that they couldn’t see exactly what we were doing in each snap so we started doing each sign twice in the videos. We’ve also had people send videos or snaps of them doing the signs to us. 

It’s gone pretty well so far. That’s about it. Swag.