Alphabetically Speaking

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Some of you may remember back in June I posted a blog where I took a survey of topics, A through Z, for a proposed autumn “class”—Alphabetically Speaking. I received responses from Canada, South Africa, Belgium, Scotland, New Zealand, France, and all over the United States. Some of you responded with your ideas right in the post, others responded via email.

This is the clarion call for that class—no registration required. Starting day-after-tomorrow, and over the next 26 posts, I’ll provide information in alphabetical order about topics that were suggested. As in all of the “classes” I’ve presented through Speaking from the Heart, I’ll be the first to say that I don’t have all the answers. Group participation is what makes them fun and informative. So please don’t be shy—dive right in with questions, perspectives, and answers.

In thinking about how I could showcase this launching blog —“Alphabetically Speaking”—with photographs, my mind went back to the 2-years of American Sign Language (ASL) classes that Len and I took at The Center on Deafness in Deerfield, IL. Len did the photography for the A-Z lettering in this post, while my right hand served as the model.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

47 thoughts on “Alphabetically Speaking

  1. And what a lovely model it is, too! I am very much looking forward to my A to Z lessons. All of the topics suggested piqued my curiosity, and I know you will have researched each one in depth.

    • Barbara – I’m glad you popped in today. I think this is going to be a fun “class.” I don’t for one minute pretend to have all the answers; I’m counting on lots of contributions from the “students.”

  2. Laurie,

    Good Morning! I think I have been waiting all season for these classes to begin!! Each one I am sure will be interesting, informative, as well as growth oriented!

    Great modeling work you have done there, very creative, and touching. Len you have done a great job!!

    I am Love, Jeff

    • did you notice that as the pictures get towards the end that her fingers are starting to get a little bit blue from the lack of blood flow? what time does this class start anyway? I hope it doesn’t interfere with my gym class

    • Hello Jeff – So glad you stopped in. Len and I had fun doing the photographs — it was all I could do to keep from putting a sock with a face on my hand. Remember Shari Lewis and Lamb Chops?

  3. Hey there, Laurie! Like the others I am eager to see what lessons we will be working on. I know with you at the lectern there will be no classroom napping.

    • Our two grandsons learned a sort of short-hand version of signing long before they were able to talk. It amazed me how they were able to learn this so easily at such a young age.And how eloquent they were. It took me a good while longer to catch up!

      • Laurie, no they’re not twins ( 3 and 6 yrs old). Our daughter-in-law taught them a simple sign language starting when they were about 5 or 6 months old. If I remember right it was a system called Baby Talk or Baby Speak for hearing babies. Liam (youngest) was a great one for trying to sign to/with their dog…. everyone is still smiling at some of those moments.

      • Colleen – That’s just so darned cool! We had two deaf clients (a couple) who relocated to a warmer climate. They, too, signed to their dog (a min-pin named “Walter”). They brought him to HolEssence before they left so we could see. It was amazing!

  4. This is interesting from the start!
    It reminded me of my own learning of sign language in 5th grade. My favorite author when I was a kid was and still is Helen Keller……I have also spent some time with my friend at the Horizons for the Blind right near Holessence, there is a lot of braille on the walls and pictures there, along with some sign language being used there as well.

    I look forward to the ABC’s, and I am thinking of the learning from Miss Lauries Sesame Street…..

    • do you think we will have to sing songs? I don’t like singing in front of an audience . . . even that silly A-B-C song always gave me stage fright. Hand puppets would be nice, though.

    • Kim – You’re absolutely right, Horizons for the Blind is a stone’s throw away from HolEssence. We see several of their “students” with seeing-eye dogs.

    • Jean – I’m so glad that you’ll be attending. It’s great to get a wide brushstroke of perspectives. I’m counting on you tossing your hat into the ring!

    • Terrill – Thank you for the compliment on the photos. We had lots of fun doing them. I’m looking foward to having you in “class.” Our last class — the 26th letter in the alphabet — is due to end on December 24th, Christmas Eve.

  5. Hi Laurie,

    So good of you that you know sign language ! I wonder if this is international or just for the English spoken countries.

    • Elke – Unfortunately, sign language isn’t universal. Almost every single language has its own sign language. We learned ASL — American Sign Language. And within that there are actually dialects and different “slang” words, depending on what part of the country you’re in.

  6. Looking forward to A-Z classes, thank you for your human operating curriculum – it is always a fresh perspective.

  7. Oh yea! I can’t wait to be in Miss Laurie’s class with all of you! I wanna sit with Sandi and Barbara – but maybe we’d cause too much ruckus with all of our fidgeties 🙂

    I remember (in Mrs. Ingram’s 5th grade class – loved that old lady!) a group of my friends and I teaching ourselves to sign the alphabet so we could ‘talk’ back and forth during class!

    • Cindy Lou – Nope, I can see that I’m gonna have to have Beth (Celebrationgoddess) sit between you and Sandi and Barbara. On second thought, that would be like having a fox mind the chicken house! Oh dear…

    • Beth – Not nearly as often as we should. We used to have two deaf clients, so we used it much more frequently. However, they moved to a warmer climate. I could quickly “spell” my way through a brief conversation, but using full-word signs would be slow going…

  8. Certainly I’ll be over here Laurie! I wasn’t around for the original series, but in a sense this will make my voyage here one of thrilling discovery. 26 posts? Wow!

    • Sam – I’m so glad you’ll be here for “class.” Remember to leave your gum outside the classroom (all except for Barbara. She said she needs it for “medicinal” purposes. I don’t buy that for a moment, but I’m letting her chew gum because she was so darned creative in her approach).

  9. I too am looking forward to this session. Should be an interesting and stimulating discussion. Thanks for bringing it into being Laurie, and everyone else for contributing also.

  10. Just in time Laurie! I am about to start summer holidays from my other studies next week. This has been a very Intense year of learning for me on so many levels.

    • Gil – Being on the other side of the globe (South Africa), you are, indeed, starting your summer holidays while up in my neck of the woods we’re just easing into winter. I’m so glad you joined the class today. Make sure you attend the “B” class because… well, I can’t tell you just now. I think perhaps you’ll find it especially interesting 🙂

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