Tag Archives: asl

My Last Undergraduate Classes

Yesterday was the last day of classes for the semester.  It was also my last day of undergraduate classes ever.  On Tuesday, when I walked out of my last Sociolinguistics of ASL class, I followed my usual route through the tunnels from the Meliora Building to the library.  I walked up the stairs from the tunnels, and this bizarre feeling washed over me.  It was the realization that it was the last time I would be walking through that tunnel to my next class.

My next class was low-key.  But when I saw Guillaume, I just knew it wouldn’t be the last I saw of him.  And it wasn’t; yesterday I had a meeting with Ted Supalla and Guillaume was in his office…watching the last video I’d sent to him, “One Fine Day”.  Some of you may have heard of the story about a fox who stole a woman’s milk, so she cut off his tail until he gave her milk back.  That was our final assignment for the ASL Literature class with him.  I will probably see him around, because I’ve learned that he is one teacher that you just can’t escape.

Normally, on the last day of classes, I would have some big exam in a biology or physics class…but yesterday we just had a review in Ted’s class.  And that was it.  Nothing.  It was just over, and I walked out.  I have no finals for which I will need to return to campus.  My time spent in those classrooms is truly over.

I feel sad, but excited about the future.  I’m leaving behind this great place, where I have met so many amazing people, and I hope that new adventures will bring me as much happiness as my time at the University of Rochester has brought me.  Despite all of the school’s flaws (and every school has flaws), I wouldn’t be who I am today without the UR.

Rush Rhees and The Eastman Quad.


Lazy Sunday

It was a pretty quiet day here.  The weather was kind of bad (no surprise, it’s Rochester) so we didn’t leave the apartment.  We hardly got out of bed.  We woke up a little before noon and worked on homework for most of the day.  I’ve written 17 pages for my independent study paper, and I’m not quite finished yet.  I’m pretty pleased with the content so far, but I need to do some rearranging.  Daniel has been kind enough to give me some feedback.  I hope to post it here when it is all finished.

I also worked on a research project that I am presenting in my Sociolinguistics of the Deaf Community class on Tuesday.  I use the term “research project” loosely, since she essentially gave use one week to complete the assignment and everyone in the class is terribly confused about what we are actually supposed to present.  I think ours will end up covering historical variation and how American Sign Language has changed since the early 1900s.  My teacher actually sent us to RIT to watch videos, but (just like UR) you need an RIT ID card to watch them.  So that ended up being a pretty useless trip to RIT.  Also, that campus is huge!  It was not the fun adventure I was hoping for, but instead a fruitless search for ASL videos.

The First Rochester Tulips of 2011

Daniel and I have walked around the neighborhood numerous times in the past couple of weeks.  I can safely declare that these are the first tulips in the Park Avenue neighborhood in 2011.  Yay!  Never mind that it snowed this afternoon….

Meliora Moments, Pt. II

I’ve decided to make this week all about my reflections on my time at the University of Rochester.  The academic year will be ending soon, I’ve decided to take some time to look back and figure out my best and my worst moments from my undergraduate experience.  Here are some of my best:

10.  Being a D’Lion (the first time).

Admittedly, my first application to the D’Lion organization had some…ulterior motives.  I needed housing and I would have done almost anything to avoid the infamous housing lottery.  Housing was extremely limited, especially since Riverview was not ready to be lived in until the following year.  I had applied with a girl who lived across the hall from me, Katelynn.  She was a nice enough girl, and in fact we had been best friends for some time during freshman year.  But, by the time it actually came time to do D’Lion-y things, I thrust myself into it and she kind of held back.  The residents could see this, and that’s why I continue to be close to most of them  today and she just isn’t.  I forged some close bonds that first year I was a D’Lion.  Living on that hall was just a blast and my freshmen were amazing.  I want to thank them for making it such a profound experience for me.

I made this!

9.  Being a D’Lion (the second time).

The second time I applied to be a D’Lion, I got a new partner.  Betsy and I became very close at the end of my sophomore year.  For the first half of her freshman year, she seemed a bit aloof.  After she expressed interest in becoming a D’Lion, I told her that I wanted to apply again as well.  We decided to apply together.  Since I had already built a rapport with the organization and she was an excellent candidate, we were shoe-ins.  We decided during the summer that we were going to give our hall a Jim Henson theme, using various characters that he created.  Things were going really well until the students showed up and were censured for carrying around an open bottle of vodka around the campus.  This really aggravated Betsy, and I don’t know if she ever forgave them.  But, overall it was a positive experience and without it I would have never met Daniel.

8.  Dandelion Day.

Specifically, the two celebrated during my freshman and sophomore years.  During my freshman year, it was the first time I got really drunk.  I don’t remember much, except going to the Corner Store to buy more Coke for Rum & Cokes.  Bad idea.  Then we decided to order Chinese food.  Worse idea.  I ended up passing out at around 4pm, waking up around 6pm, feeling hungover and sick.  I decided a shower would be an excellent idea.  I ended up ralphing all over the shower stall.  But I cleaned it up!!  All was right with the world, that Dandelion Day.  My second Dandelion Day was spent just as drunk, but less sick (yay!).  I ended up drinking with my hallmates, which is something you are never supposed to do as a D’Lion.  Despite breaking all the rules as a D’Lion, the freshman always liked me and the organization never found out.  No harm done, but friendships were solidified.  It was a fantastic day, and I got really close with my freshmen.  But, it’s one where I’m a bit fuzzy on the details.

7.  My First Midnight Ramblers Show.

I remember during my freshman year, my D’Lion, Elodie, tried to get my to go to the Fall show put on by the best a cappella group on campus, The Midnight Ramblers.  It sounded silly to me, I just wasn’t into it.  But then, in the spring, she gingerly approached me asking for help to find a ticket in their scavenger hunt.  The theme of the show was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and they had hidden tickets around campus, and left clues everywhere to promote their show.  So, after finding one of these tickets in the 4th floor kitchen of Lovejoy, we claimed our VIP seats in the front row of the auditorium, and enjoyed the show.  The performance was made so much better by the fact that I had helped work to earn the ticket, and it was free.  Also, it was sort of like being transported back to middle school.  People at the UR go crazy for the Ramblers like people go crazy for N*SYNC.  Because their scavenger hunt was so successful, they continued to do it for their shows the following year, and Elodie and I would always go searching for tickets.  We found one again the following Fall.  (I think it was a Harry Potter themed show, but I’m not positive.)  It was awesome.

6.  My 21st Birthday Party.

What a night.  My friends Jenab, Lisa, Dan, Jeff, Matt and Katie threw my a party at their suite in Phase, since I could not hold a party in my very small single dorm room in Susan B. Anthony.  There was a lot of debauchery that night, although it’s another one where I’m fuzzy on the details.  I do know that I had an amazing time.

5.  Planning and Executing My First Hall Program.

It was a true test of leadership skills and my enthusiasm.  Katelynn actually got mad at me because I didn’t consult her, but we had a deadline, and it was an event that I really wanted to attend.  They were showing The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D at the Henrietta Regal Cinemas.  So I made up little flyers, got some RSVPs and ordered the tickets.  I ended up spending a bunch of my own money, but it was worth it.  The buses happened to be running completely off-schedule, which is typical and worked out for us.  We got there on time, and a bus just happened to show up as we came out of the movie, even though it wasn’t due for another hour.  The hall program was a complete success, and I got to bond with my freshmen (who are all now seniors!).

4.  Having Options.

Like most people, I enjoy being given the opportunity to change my mind if I feel like.  I also like not being forced to do things I don’t like, another trait I have in common with most of the human race.  The University of Rochester’s curriculum allowed me to do what I wanted, which was biology.  I had no general education classes to deal with, which was great.  I think everybody gets tired of that sort of thing during high school.  UR allowed me to take the classes that I wanted during my freshman year, and explore what they had to offer.  I decided on biology.  Then I had to choose two clusters of 3 classes outside of the natural sciences.  For Social Science, I chose psychology, which was full of interesting material, poor lecturers, and easy A’s.  For Humanities, I choose American Sign Language…and we all know where that got me.

3.  Being Accepted into the Take 5 Program.

I remember when I was applying that I wanted to be accepted so badly.  I even gave myself a little panic attack at one point (edit: a major freak-out. -Daniel), because I thought I would never get the materials in on time, and if I did, I would never actually be accepted.  But I was, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to learn American Sign Language this year.  I’ve learned a lot, and I’m certainly more comfortable with my signing ability than I was just one year ago.  Not only that, but it is a scholarship program, so I don’t have to pay any tuition this year.

2.  The Subway Trip with UR’s Urban Explorers.

This was an amazing opportunity during my junior year.  Some of my friends and I decided to join the Urban Explorers.  Their first trip of the year was down in Rochester’s old subway system.  A series of old, abandoned tunnels doesn’t really sound that interesting, until you see all of the graffiti down there.  It ranged from the bizarre to true art, and everything in between.  It was very dusty, and I was constantly terrified that a hobo was going to jump out and scare the crap out of me, but it was a great experience.

This was taken in a well-lit area.

1.  Meeting Daniel.

I don’t think I have to elaborate too much on this.  It was the classic tale of boy meets girl, boy lives across the hall from girl, girl is boy’s d’lion and therefore should not date boy, but girl dates boy anyway because he is sweet, funny, and cooks well.  This was just another example of how I overstepped my boundaries as a D’Lion.  But I will never forget those times Daniel would come into my room, sit on my big blue exercise ball, and serenade me with his ukulele.


He really did serenade me on this ball.

Honorable Mentions:

I was given a great opportunity when I was hired (twice) to be a workshop leader, first for the Molecular, Developmental and Cell Biology Lab and then for Cell Biology.  I really enjoy being a part of the learning process, and it feels really good when you can help other people to understand something you’re passionate about.

I didn’t mention my freshman year too much up there, but there is one thing that I will never forget.  I spent hours on the boys’ hall playing Smash Brothers 64.  I was pretty sad when they moved on to Command and Conquer and Smash Brothers: Brawl, neither of which I played.  Living on that hall also allowed me to bond with my close friend Brian.  Although he lived on the quad, I found him visiting a girl that lived across the hall from me.  At first I had a little crush on him.  This lasted for all of one week, and then we became close friends.

I also spent hours in Hillside.  I lived in Sue B. for 3 years, and every year, I always had the pleasure of watching people discover Aussies at Hillside.  So, every night between 10pm and 1am we would make a trip to the café (which, if you live on the first floor, is a very short trip) and get drinks and snacks, and sit and chat about our day or whatever.

There was only one Meliora Weekend in which I actively participated.  During my sophomore year Anderson Cooper gave the Keynote Address and Stephen Colbert was the Meliora Weekend comedian.  Needless to say, it was a great time.

I hate to do this, but…

It’s pretty late and I have work e-a-r-l-y tomorrow morning.  So I will give you a preview of what’s coming soon to Christine’s blog:

  • DIY Graduation Announcements
  • My new favorite song
  • ASL Stories (with videos!)
  • This has really inspired me to do an Hour by Hour post.  (Maybe this weekend, while my sister is here.)
  • A guest post by a person to be named at a later date

Until then…

I'm getting really excited for my sister to visit this weekend!

My Independent Study about the American Deaf Community

It was a quiet day in the apartment.  Daniel and I took a very leisurely stroll this morning around the neighborhood, since it was sunny and it felt warm.  We were discussing the focus of my independent study.  I’m sure I will detail it more later, but for right now I want to focus on the establishment of the Deaf Community in America (which came with the establishment of the first school for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817).  Then I want to focus on the change in attitude that took place in the years after the Civil War, resulting in a pedagogical switch to oralism in almost all of the Deaf schools around the country.  This resulted from the change in thinking from a theology-based school to a more Darwinist, science-based school of thought.  It also largely resulted from the influence of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, and a conference that took place in Milan, Italy in 1880.  People began to believe that teaching Deaf children to speak was best for them, so that they could fit in with hearing society.  To most people, the idea of teaching a Deaf child to speak English when most of them went to school with no language background whatsoever is a ridiculous one today.

I also want to discuss how the Deaf Community is related to other minority communities and how it is different.  Currently, one of the biggest threats to the Deaf Community seems to be children entering mainstream schools, where they have an interpreter and may be the only Deaf child in their school.  After Brown v. Board of Education, people realized that segregating children based on their “differences” was the wrong thing to do, especially because facilities were not equal in any way.  But, for the Deaf Community, separate schools mean that children are free to be taught in ASL, and are surrounded by other people that use a common language.  They are able to learn the culture of the Deaf Community.  So, for most of the hearing population, after the Civil Rights movement, ideas about what it means to be different again changed and people assumed the best thing for Deaf children was to take them out of their residential schools and to put them in mainstream schools, like any hearing child.

I haven’t started to write my paper yet, but I will probably begin this week.  I’m very excited about it; I’ve been doing research all semester and I will finally have something physical to show for it.  I may even post the final paper on here.  We will see.


One of the driveways on Canterbury has LOVE spelled out in the bricks.  It’s all you need, right?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Although by the time this is actually posted, it will technically be Friday, EST, and no longer St. Patrick’s Day.  I am going to confess now that I forgot to wear green.  I overslept this morning, so I was in a hurry when I left.  Not only that, but I had a presentation in my first class.  This presentation was a 15-minute presentation in ASL, so I was pretty nervous.  It is the longest presentation I have given so far in a “foreign” language.  Crazy!

For dinner, Daniel made the requisite corned beef and cabbage, despite the fact that we had it for our last dinner at his house, on Friday.  Growing up, we never made it in my house for St. Patrick’s day, even though we are very obviously from Irish descent (my father is a ginger).

We had some guests for dinner, Mark and Kate.  Kate works at the comic store, Mark is her boyfriend.  I was surprised they agreed to come to dinner tonight, since it is Magic Night at the comic store, and they both play.  It was a pleasure to have them, and we got to play Apples to Apples, which is a rare treat since it requires a large group of people.

It was a great way to end my week, and a nice way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

I really need to start taking more photos. I've almost exhausted my pictures from Durham.

ABC Name Stories and Spring Break.

This week in one of my ASL classes, we had to sign name stories.  So instead of using the ASL alphabet in sequential order (ABC Stories, which I have described before), we used the letters from our first and last names.  Because my name has three E’s and two R’s, this was no easy task, and even my teacher struggled to solve my dilemma.  I ended up cheating a little bit for one of the R’s, but he didn’t seem to mind since it made the story itself flow a bit better.  Perhaps I will share that story in the future, but tonight is not the right time.  I was hoping to have the ABC Story that I recorded last week posted on here tonight, but the internet is just being too slow, and I can’t seem to upload videos at the moment.

In other news, spring break has officially commenced.  So I am actually updating from my hometown tonight, and tomorrow I will be updating from Durham!  Until then…


This is my sister, Kelly

Kelly is my younger sister, and attends Hartwick College in Oneonta.  It is a very small school, but she seems to fit in well there.  I don’t know why she is making the face there, but I like it.  I always look forward to visiting with her when I am home.

I apologize for this post, since it is kind of schizophrenic and mostly pointless.  I had bigger and better plans, but they just didn’t work out tonight.  I will have more exciting things to discuss tomorrow.  But now, I must sleep, since I will be up around 6am tomorrow to depart Unadilla.