The Unique Hand

In middle school, I worked side by side with a deaf boy, Thomas, as his peer helper. I was in charge of helping him with two assignments a day, taking him to our activity class, and making sure he felt included with the other students. Working with him made me realize how hard it can be for deaf children to communicate and succeed in life. Years later at work, I came in contact with Kenny, a deaf gentleman who impressed me a lot. While working daily with Kenny, I learned he wasn’t born deaf; he was just hard-of-hearing and later in life his hearing got worse, so he was then considered deaf.

After talking closely with Kenny, I found that the hardest thing is that when he is part of a larger group of people, especially when not many people sign, he cannot follow conversations. As Kenny and I discussed his struggles, I came to notice a larger need for American Sign Language. Because some of the deaf community exclusively read lips to respond or exclusively sign, I feel signing should be offered as a second language at all colleges.

American Sign Language (ASL) should be offered as a second language at all colleges because, like other foreign languages such as Spanish, French, or German, there is a high possibility a person needing to talk to someone whose first language is ASL. In “Sign Language: A Way to Talk, but Is It Foreign” (NY Times) discussed how ASL should not be considered a foreign language, due to it not being foreign and only used in the United Sates. It has no literature in the sense of a written language (NY Times). This is not completely, true though. Compared to “Is American Sign Language a ‘foreign’ language?” discusses how deaf students at Northern Illinois University “weave their fingers in complex patterns.” (Lourgos)

It is a very controversial topic on why it doesn’t agree with being a foreign language. Places around the world have variations of ASL, some ranging to only 20 characters. As the New York Times explains how each country has a form of sign language but none of them are really the same. “British, French and German sign languages have different grammars, syntax and signs, different not only from each other but also from spoken English, French and German” (NY Times).  I highly believe in ASL should be given the same status as foreign language in American Colleges. Yet, many countries have many forms of sign languages but are different. Many other foreign languages are taught but in many different varieties and so anywhere you go no matter what language you use; it could be difficult to talk to others due to the way you were taught.

I completely agree with Jade Chapman who said, “Our society would benefit from ASL being considered a foreign language.” She goes on to say, “It would enable the deaf community to be included into everyday life. It would create a bond between the deaf and hearing. It would help them not feel so isolated, and the hearing community would feel a fulfillment from the knowledge they gained” (TheGuardian). With my personal experiences with Kenny and Thomas, I learned that they do feel alone, and difficult feeling they are part of society.

Annotated Bibliography

    “Sign Language: A Way to Talk, but Is It Foreign?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Jan. 1992. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

Opponents are discussing whether or no A.S.L should be considered as a foreign language. Many think since A.S.L shouldn’t be considered because it’s an American form, not a foreign form. Yet people do agree that A.S.L does have its own syntax and grammar, but since it doesn’t have a written form they frown upon it. Many colleges and even some high school have accepted A.S.L in as a foreign language.


Lourgos, Angie. “Is American Sign Language a ‘foreign’ Language?” Tribune digital- Chicago tribune. 18 Apr. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

Several universities have face the issue of how to treat ASL. Colleges such as Northern Illinois University, University of Michigan—Flint, and Boston University have faced this issue in different ways, recognizing the need to deal with the communication needs of the deaf.

Chapman, Jade. “We Must Teach Sign Language in Schools.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

Jade Chapman explains how difficult it is for his sister to just do simple task, such as shopping, visiting the doctor or simply even answering the door at home. Being in the deaf community creates a huge barrier with other around people if they can’t sign. Sign language was made an official language in 2003, yet its barely taught in schools. Teaching ASL would benefit our society and create a bond between the deaf and hearing communities. It’s hard for the deaf community not to be able to socialize, and they may feel unfairly isolated.


In Paul Muldoon’s poem Hedgehog, he started out with the movements of a snail and, ending out the poem with God and his crown of thorns.

In class, we discussed many different meanings of all the different points of focus in this poem. Muldoon compares the snail to a hovercraft and how it moves with a “hover” like moves. How hedgehogs are inside themselves and how they shouldn’t stay in. The hedgehog is told by “us” that we want to listen and answer his questions. Saying the hedgehog keeps to himself always hiding and so distrusting. We discussed how the snail possibly symbolized God.



Muldoon, Paul. “Hedgehog.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

Working Towards Perfection

Anne Lamott published an article, Shitty First DraftsLamott talks about how writing doesn’t always come to you right away. It takes time, to make it “perfect”, and that never happens in the first draft. No matter if you write for a living or just for fun it’s never going to be “perfect” in the first draft.

Lamott uses the title to help readers understand how bad first drafts really are. She explains that the first draft needs to be your “down draft”, where you just write whatever you have jumbled in your mind. “There may be something in the very last line on the sixth page, that you just love.” Once you get at least something out you love then you can hopefully build a whole paper from that one phrase. With drafts, you have three revisions with the last one being the best.

I find everything, Lamott says to be true and very reliable. As a “just for fun writer” I find it very hard to pull together a first draft. There can be so much to say but you’re not sure how to say it. As I’ve got older my writing has got better with each writing. Yes some drafts are “shitty” but some can be good. No matter how much you write, I feel it never gets as simple as sitting down and your pen touching the paper and you hand jetting off to write. Nothing comes that easy to anyone.



Works Cited

Lamott, Anne. “Shitty First Drafts.” College of Arts & Science Writing, Rhetoric & Digital Studies. U of Kentucky, n.d. PDF. 9 April 2016



Living in the Wrong Social Class

Garrison Keillor wasn’t your ideal college going, student. He was raised by a carpenter and a postal worker, which wasn’t the right social class to be in to earn your way to college. Growing up with people constantly pushing you to make it to college can get you a long way. Keillor wanted nothing more than to be published in The New Yorker and had since junior high. Paying $71 for a quarter tuition and $10 for books, while only getting $1.48 an hour working trying to pay for college, nobody offering to help pay for Keillor’s education. Like Keillor majority of students in society have to find ways to pay for college, not due to social class like Keillor, but the economy. It’s amazing how society can be just as ruthless now as it was then. All students want or even parents for that matter is to make a better life for themselves and society thinks the only way that should be possible it to pays hundreds to go to college and learn more in detail about things you already know. Keillor was a featured writer here at Lenoir-Rhyne University this semester with our Visiting Writers Series.

A Fresh Start With a Friend

A Fresh Start with a Friend

            In a New York Times blog post titled “College Education Should Include Rooming with a Stranger” discusses how picking a random person as your roommate instead of using pairing apps can help you be a better person. Even if colleges use apps, surveys or random picks, things can always change or go on to be more ineffective. People can fake a lot of things and answer falsely, which when it comes to meeting the person then you find you were matched with someone completely different. I disagree with this editorial due to my personal experience with my roommate here at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

It can be a nerve wracking experience for anybody in the world to be thrown into a small room with a stranger and be told you have to share it with them. For most college students enter into a new town and away from their parents for the first time in their life so adjusting is a big deal in the first place, but adding living with a stranger to that mess doesn’t help matters. A lot of students take their parents with them on move in day and design their room while getting to know their chosen roommate and their family. Hoping to hit it off, cause who wants to have to switch roommate’s half-way through the semester.

My roommate experience here at LR has been pretty great. I was very lucky for the LR class of 2019 to have a Facebook group made so we could meet our peers. One of the students started an idea to post a huge post about you, your habits, interest, and major. People could comment to ask questions and get to know them more. So I started reading some of the post and found a very interesting girl and we started messaging. We both came to realize that we had not only our major in common but everything else as well. We started texting and meeting halfway between where we both lived and hanging out. We ended up becoming best friends, and writing each other down as our preferred roommate choice. Yes, we have our days where we want to kill each other but what best friends don’t do that.

I disagree with Bruce Sacerdote “…‘ This suggests that interactions across race or socioeconomic status are greatly enhanced by mixing of rooming groups,” (qtd. In Altman) because you don’t have to be put with a stranger to interact with them, that causes more stress and pressure. Most people can’t interact under pressure because it makes them feel awkward. Articles say that your roommate can change your habits or you as an overall person and that can make your college experience bad. It could affect weather or not your drink, study, your physical appearance, and honestly anything you say or do. With my experience though I disagree with all of this, due to the fact that my roommate and I keep each other in check. We know each other’s and habits and know that we don’t need to act different just because were around each other. I know that college can be a crazy experience but it’s only a bad one if you make it that way.



Works Cited

“A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger.” OpTalk A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger Comments. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.


Snow Day

In the poem, Snow Day written by Billy Collins can be taken many different ways. In the beginning, Collins just points out the landscape and nothing else, towards the middle he talks about what he’s going to do outside. When he’s ending the poem he makes it seem more alive, all the kids come out to play. “…all darting and climbing and sliding, all but the few girls whispering by the fence.” (34-35) “Today we woke up to a revolution of snow, its white flag waving over everything, the landscape vanished…” (1-3)  If you imagine how white a surrendering flag is then you can vividly see how bright the snow is covering the whole land.