Learning sign language

I’m taking a class in American Sign Language, and I absolutely love it. The hour and a half of complete silence, where we speak with our hands and enjoy the stories told by our deaf teacher are just the best hours of the week.

Sign comes pretty naturally to me. I think it’s because I took dancing lessons for so long. I already associate meaning with movement, so associating language to movement was a small leap to take. I now spend a lot of time practicing, fingerspelling words as I read, doing .gif flashcards on my Memrise app, and watching these lovely “TheDailySign” videos where this girl signs along to songs:

Uptown Funk: https://www.youtube.com/watch? Y

Thinking Out Loud: https://www.youtube.com/watch

I just really like it. It’s the first language where I don’t have to hate my accent while using it, and the first one that I feel good about using. Did you know more people use ASL than Italian in the world?

But anyhow, it is amazing what people can do, isn’t it? Communicate with hands…we are so adaptable. Sometimes our schedules and our problems seem like too much…but we adapt. We can do anything, that’s what being a human means. We can learn to speak with our fingers, we can build flying machines, we can use a pocket computer to have food delivered to our doorstep. We know these things exist, and don’t think of them as being remarkable, but they are. They are innovation leading to adaptation. The reason why they don’t seem remarkable anymore is because we’ve—say it with me—adapted.

This is why things we love get boring. And why we sometimes feel an urge to sabotage ourselves. Why we sometimes want to run away to greener pastures, and why if we do we eventually get tired of the greenness.

Sometimes, adapting isn’t the best thing. New is exciting. Once we’ve mastered something, we look for the next challenge.

Perhaps this is why learning ASL is exciting to me. I’m constantly in awe of how deaf people adapt, and I’m constantly learning more vocabulary so it’s never boring.

Maybe that’s the key? Find something you’re comfortable with but that keeps surprising you. A helpful tip for relationships, as well.

In the meantime, I’ll keep signing. I have a midterm soon, gotta study up!

Time Zones, and a Big! announcement

Hello, friends. It just recently came to my attention that my WordPress clock was off for some reason, so things have been posting willy-nilly at random hours. I’m sorry if an email about my blog woke you up at like, three in the morning. I fixed my clock and now things should be posting at better hours…according to Eastern United States times, anyway.

It’s always a bit mind-boggling when I think about how people are living at different hours–even in different dates!–across the world right now. Having to accommodate for time zone changes is something I’ll have to get used to…in my semester abroad.

Surprise!

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This fall, I’ll be studying at Kasteel Well, shown above, a literal castle that my school owns in the town of Well in the Netherlands. I’ll get to visit several countries while there, all while taking a Travel Writing course.

What does this mean for Introvert Playground? Not much change. I’ll still be posting about the introvert life, but now it will include how to travel as an introvert. I’ll also be posting bits about the trip separately.

I’m very excited! It’s really the first thing I have to look forward to in a long time. It’s a well-earned break, that will help me expand my horizons and learn more about the world that I have only discovered a small portion of.

Also, fellow introverts, where should I go? The weekends are free for us to travel to any country we want in Europe. Any suggestions? Any little, hole-in-the-wall places, lesser-known cities, hidden museums, exciting locales, fun outdoor hikes I may not find myself?

I hope you’re excited as I am! I depart in September, so it won’t be for awhile, but I’m still glad I get to bring you on this journey with me, and document it day-by-day for the future. Much better than a hap-hazard Facebook photo album, no?

In the meantime, share your favorite places, and travel tips for introverts. I’m working on an introvert travel guide to post here.

 

I’m back!

It’s been four months—I know, but I have a good excuse. Good excuses, I should say. I was hired mid October for a co-op position at the Boston Globe! And I’ve been  writing for them since late December, with a lot of running around in between. So now I work from 9-5, with night classes from 6-8. Long days, I know. But I’m doing it:)

I have a private cubicle. Amazing, for the introvert life. I have lunch with the two other co-ops in my division, so I do socialize and I’m making friends, all while keeping quiet and to myself for most of the day. My boss works from home so really, I have a lot of time to myself, which helps my process.

I really like working for the Globe. I’ve been published already—nothing big, just little feature articles on what’s going on. I write in the regionals section, so I cover the towns north of Boston. Little suburbs, mainly, so I write about charities, schools, stuff like that.

What else? Well, I’m trying to maneuver a study abroad semester for the fall. My boyfriend, by the way, is studying abroad in Mexico right now, so I’m dealing with that. Expect posts on both in the future…I joined an Emerson College blog on books and publishing, and am taking an American Sign Language class as an elective, which is honestly both really fun and very informative.

I’m also thinking of starting a YouTube channel, for little vlogs and ukulele songs. We’ll see if that comes to fruition. I’m writing songs now, comedic ones, serious ones…I have an idea of having a show called “Songs that sound ridiculous on ukulele,” in which I’d sing like, death metal and emo songs on  my bouncy, silly, tiny-guitar.

I’m glad to rejoin the introvert playground!

Pros and Cons of Being Undeclared

When I started at Emerson College, everyone knew their major. We actually introduced ourselves as Name, Where I’m From, and My Major. At Emerson, there are only a few major “groups,” such as Writing, Literature, and Publishing (WLP) and Video Media Arts. Each of these groups cover dozens of concentrations, like animation, poetry, stuff like that.

No one at Emerson is undeclared. I’m surrounded by people who have never wanted anything but what their major is. The actors were born actors, the writers were born writers. And this is good, in part.

We all know what we want. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 7, or even younger. It’s just that I’ve never really got a chance to fall in love with anything else.

I spent and continue to spend a lot of my life reading and writing. I never put as much energy into anything else. I can’t help but wonder…if I had electives, open blocks like undeclared people do, would I fall in love with meteorology, or fashion design, or something else I’d never thought about trying?

Of course, the pros are hard to ignore. I have years of practice behind my work, I don’t have to worry about what to do with my life (as much) and I can feel like I’m not wasting time in college. I just hope I don’t regret it.

They say you change careers a lot in life. How can that be, with non-undeclareds? I’ve wanted one thing for so long…and I’m going to change my mind? I can’t imagine.

That’s how it goes. I wish I could skip ahead. I feel ready. I know what I want…but I still have to learn it. Supposedly.