An auditor for the No Child Left Standing law, was rewarded for his years of hard work, with tickets to see the legendary BSO doing Beethoven‘s Ninth. After a stellar performance of the Maestro’s magnum opus – considered by musicologists the world over, to be the greatest musical work ever written – our auditor was asked his opinion. “Well,” he replied, “I’m glad you asked, because I’ve made some notes.”
1) I noticed the chorus doesn’t do anything but stand there for a full 3 movements. I hope we’re not paying them for that time. They should only be paid for the time they’re actually singing.
2) What’s with this 1st violin, 2nd violin, etc., etc.? One violin should be able to play all the parts. No wonder Beethoven died broke.
4) All the audience members should take a computer generated survey test. They’d have to fill in all those little dots. Then we’d know for sure if Beethoven was really a great composer or not.
He rambled on, but I think you get the point.
But what about my point? I’m sure you’re asking yourself that, by now.
Many of the members of the ASL Meetup group are High school students. They are taking Sign in school, and enjoy the class so much, that they give up their Wednesday evenings to show up in our group and practice their Signing. Most of these kids are Hearies. Sign offered as a language credit in High school – like any other language – serves a far greater purpose than merely teaching Deaf kids how to get along in mainstream schools.
It teaches kids, hearing and Deaf alike, how to learn. It offers a cerebral stimulus that’s far more beneficial than simply regurgitating math problems for a standardized test. When kids – or adults, for that matter – study for a standardized test, they tend to do something called “brain dumping.” In essence, you spend a few days memorizing answers, which you immediately forget upon completion of the test. A good example of this is Microsoft’s MCSE tests – all of which, I’ve taken. Now, I do know a lot about computers, but very little of it was learned in MCSE classes.
I’ve written before, about the numerous educational values of learning a second language, and those values are all intensified because ASL is a visual language, as opposed to an aural one.
In short, by eliminating ASL programs, to save a few bucks, we are not only doing Deaf kids a disservice, we’re doing all kids one. Learning is a process that involves much more than rote memorization and chundering answers on multiple choice computer forms. I see the looks in the eyes of these young people in our group. They have found something to love, and that’s the first and most essential step in a lifelong career of learning.
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
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