11 Reasons You Should Learn ASL

11 Reasons You Should Learn ASL

It's not just for deaf people!
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American Sign Language is primarily used by deaf people within the United States. It is, however, the fourth most used language in the United States. It is becoming increasingly popular as more hearing people learn about the world of the deaf and choose to involve themselves more with it. Learning ASL is a great way to start to learn more about deaf culture, and has other benefits for anyone that learns it as well!

1. Meet new friends and people!

According the CDC there are about 28 million people in the United States who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Not all deaf use ASL, but many do, so by learning it you could open yourself up to so many more friends!

2. Become bilingual.

Just like being bilingual in any two languages, becoming fluent in ASL also counts as being bilingual. The super cool thing about being bilingual in ASL and English is that you can communicate in both at the same when you get really good.

3. Have private conversations in public.

You’ve wanted to have a “secret” language with your friends for the longest time. This is your chance.

4. Communicate with babies and animals.

Many people teach their hearing children a little bit of ASL before they can even talk. It can help them to learn how to effectively express their needs better. Animals also have been known to be able to pick up on what an owner who uses ASL is trying to communicate.

5. Accommodate better for deaf people!

Deaf people live their whole lives needing to adjust to the hearing world. Learning something that can help you adapt to being better suited to interacting with random deaf individuals is beneficial to both involved parties. It is a useful skill for teachers, police, politicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, and just about anyone!

6. Create visual stories.

ASL is a visual language and it often uses variations of signs to create visual stories. The process of making these stories involves critical thinking that could be applied to story telling and creating messages in other languages!

7. Enhance cognitive functioning.

Being bilingual has been shown to increase cognitive functioning individuals.ASL also has various ways to say similar things, so just by using it frequently you may think differently about communication.


8. Practice spelling.

A lot of words, like names, in ASL are spelled out using fingerspelling. This is great practice for spelling and also is a good place to start when learning the language.

9. Learn more about deaf culture!

There is a whole culture of people who identify with deafness and they are often overlooked and looked down upon. Their culture is just as legitimate as any other and should be learned about and embraced. Although not all people in the deaf culture use ASL, many do and it is a good way to be introduced to the culture.

10. Understand what’s going on in those viral videos.

Videos about advancements of ASL and deaf culture in mainstream society come out frequently recently. It's always great to understand what's being said without a translation!

11. Be prepared for the future.

You never know what's going to happen. You or a family member could one day lose the ability to hear or you could very well have a child or friend who cannot hear. It would be best to be prepared for the situation by learning ASL now!

Cover Image Credit: http://i.imgur.com/pUTHLGo.gif

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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