Detail View: RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive: Analysis

Filename: 
ds_0101_hlibok_cap_01.mp4
Identifier: 
ds_0101_hlibok_cap_01.mp4
Title: 
Analysis
Creator: 
Hlibok, Bruce
Subject: 
Deaf Education New York (State) New York
Subject: 
Storytelling
Subject: 
Deaf, Theater for the
Subject: 
Deaf, Writings of the, American
Subject: 
American Sign Language literature
Summary: 
After answering questions related to his previous night's performance of The Deaf Mute Howls, Hlibok shares his experiences working with oral Deaf teenagers in NYC. Hlibok worked in a mainstream program encouraging the students to tell their stories. These writings were later developed into a play Deaf Watch: Silence! For most of this session, Hlibok shares the writing and stories created by the students he worked with. Simon Carmel describes ASL and number stories in Deaf Folktales, starting at 49:37‚Äč.
Publisher: 
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Digital Publisher: 
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - RIT Archive Collections
Contributor: 
ASL Literature Conference (1991 National Technical Institute for the Deaf)
Date of Original: 
1991
Date of Digitization: 
2018
Broad Type: 
moving image
Digital File Format: 
mp4
Physical Format: 
VHS
Dimensions of Original: 
93 minutes
Language: 
American Sign Language
Language: 
English
Original Item Location: 
RITDSA.0101
Library Collection: 
Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections
Library Collection: 
Karen Christie ASL Literature Collection
Digital Project: 
2018-2019 CLIR Grant-ASL Poetry and Literature
Catalog Record: 
https://albert.rit.edu/record=b3955793
Catalog Record: 
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/889
Place: 
New York - Rochester
RIT Spaces and Places: 
Henrietta Campus
Rights: 
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
Rights: 
CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Transcript: 
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT GATHERING, AN IMPORTANT CONFERENCE, THE FIRST AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE LITERATURE CONFERENCE. AND SO MANY OF US DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASL LIT AND DEAF LIT. OBVIOUSLY, ASL LIT INVOLVES AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE, BUT DEAF LIT DOES NOT. THAT'S DEPENDENT ON READING ENGLISH. SO I HAD A PLAN, AN AGENDA FOR THIS EVENING, BUT I'M NOT SURE IF I WANT TO DO THIS. I WANT TO SEE WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS WERE OF THE PERFORMANCE LAST NIGHT. I LOVE TO GET REJECTION FROM PEOPLE BECAUSE IF I HEAR THAT REJECTION, I KNOW I'M ONTO SOMETHING. SO I MAKE AN IMPACT ON OTHER PEOPLE. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WANT TO TALK ABOUT LAST NIGHT'S PERFORMANCE, BUT I HAVE ANOTHER PROJECT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT. SO I'M GOING TO LEAVE IT UP TO THE MAJORITY FOR A VOTE. YOU ALL IN THE AUDIENCE ARE THE MAJORITY. I'M GOING TO LEAVE THIS UP TO YOU. WE CAN EITHER DISCUSS LAST NIGHT'S PERFORMANCE BRIEFLY AND THEN I CAN GET ON TO TALK ABOUT MY NEW PROJECT. DO PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT BOTH OR JUST ONE OR THE OTHER? BOTH. OK, I'M SEEING PEOPLE WANT BOTH. FOR LAST NIGHT'S PERFORMANCE, I'M GOING TO OPEN UP TO QUESTIONS FIRST. MAYBE 2 OR 3 QUESTIONS, AND THEN WHEN WE'RE DONE WITH THAT, I WILL FOCUS ON THE NEW PROJECT. IS THAT ACCEPTABLE? EVERYBODY'S SITTING THERE. YOU'RE JUST LIKE MY SIGN LANGUAGE STUDENTS, ABSOLUTELY SITTING THERE WITH NO MOVEMENT. YES, NOD YOUR HEAD "YES" IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. OH, SOMEBODY WANTS 4 OR 5 QUESTIONS. OK. 6 OR 7 QUESTIONS? NO. I THINK I'M GOING TO LIMIT IT TO 3--3 QUESTIONS. SO WHAT WERE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT LAST NIGHT'S PERFORMANCE? YOU WANT A 4th QUESTION? WELL, MAYBE THE 4th QUESTION, I CAN LEAD INTO MY NEW PROJECT. THAT'S WHAT THE 4th QUESTION WILL BE. SO WHAT DID YOU THINK? - WHY DID YOU DO THIS PLAY? - WELL, I RECOGNIZED THAT DEAF PEOPLE TYPICALLY SOCIALIZE WITH EACH OTHER. I'M FROM NEW YORK, AND THERE ARE DIFFERENT GROUPS OF DEAF PEOPLE WITHIN THE CITY, BUT I'M FINDING THAT ALL OF US DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT DEAF CULTURE HISTORICALLY. WE HAVE NO HEROES. NONE. PEOPLE GO, "OH, YEAH, THERE'S THAT PERSON OR THAT PERSON." OH, VEDITZ? YES, HE DID THAT SIGN LANGUAGE FILM, WHICH WAS BEAUTIFUL BUT IT WAS SHORT, BUT WHO WAS VEDITZ? WHAT WAS HIS FAMILY LIKE? WHAT WAS HIS UPBRINGING LIKE? I WANT TO KNOW MORE. SO, I'LL DEFINITELY BE DOING SOME MORE INVESTIGATION INTO HIS LIFE LATER. I FOUND THIS FASCINATING BOOK WRITTEN BY ALBERT BALLIN. WHEN I WAS READING IT, I FELT THIS SIMILAR EXPERIENCE. I WENT AHEAD WITH THE BOOK. IT'S CALLED "THE DEAF MUTE HOWLS." BALLIN WROTE IN THIS BOOK THAT DEAF PEOPLE WERE FURIOUS. AND THEY STILL ARE. DEAF PEOPLE TYPICALLY ARE STILL FURIOUS, AND I CAN'T ANSWER THAT QUESTION. THOSE WHO ARE FURIOUS HAVE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION. ONLY THEY KNOW WHY THEY ARE SO ANGRY. IS IT COMING FROM SHAME? IS IT COMING FROM PAST MISTAKES? PEOPLE LEFT LAST NIGHT, IN THE PERFORMANCE. THEY LEFT. I UNDERSTOOD WHY THE HEARING PEOPLE LEFT BECAUSE WE HAD NO VOICE INTERPRETER, BUT DEAF PEOPLE LEFT AS WELL. AND I THINK SOMETHING INSIDE OF THEM, PERHAPS SHAME OR GUILT, MADE THEM LEFT. AND WHAT'S INTERESTING IS, NO DEAF PERSON WHO LEFT CAME UP TO TELL ME WHY THEY LEFT. SO THAT SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES. THERE'S A QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. - I FOUND IT VERY INTERESTING IN YOUR DISCUSSION OR PERFORMANCE ABOUT A.G. BELL. THERE ARE BOTH GOOD AND BAD ASPECTS RELATED TO THE MAN, BUT IT'S CONFUSING. WHAT'S THE GENERAL CONSENSUS RELATED TO A.G. BELL AMONG DEAF PEOPLE? OH, HEARING PEOPLE I KNOW, BUT WHAT ABOUT DEAF PEOPLE? WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE READING ABOUT THE GOOD AND BAD REVIEWS OF A.G. BELL WHILE YOU WERE DOING THIS PLAY, AS A PERSON? - WELL, AS A MAN, I KNOW THERE ARE DEAF PEOPLE THAT WERE WILLING TO ACCEPT HIM. WELL, IT'S LIKE... WHO CAN SAY? SOME PEOPLE CAN SAY A PERSON IS TOO GOOD, THEREFORE WE HAVE TO DESTROY THEM? AND WITH A BAD MAN, WE ENCOURAGE HIM? YOU KNOW, A.G. BELL ENCOURAGED LAWS TO BE PASSED WHERE DEAF PEOPLE COULDN'T MARRY OTHER DEAF PEOPLE. THAT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE MOST DEAF CHILDREN ARE BORN FROM HEARING PARENTS. BUT HIS THOUGHT PROCESS WAS A LITTLE BIT OFF, A LITTLE BIT SKEWED. SO IN THAT AREA, I LOOK AT HIM AS A "BAD" MAN. I DON'T SAY HE'S EVIL, BUT HIS... I DON'T KNOW. HE HAD AN ODD THOUGHT PATTERN ABOUT HIM. - I HAVE BOTH A COMMENT AND A QUESTION. I'M REALLY FASCINATED OF THE SIGNING I SAW. I KNOW, 30, 40 YEARS AGO, WE USED TO SIGN "DEAF AND DUMB" OR "DEAF-MUTE." WE STARTED FROM THE EAR, AND WENT DOWN TO THE MOUTH, AND THAT BECAME THE SIGN FOR "DEAF." AND THE SIGN FOR "HEARING" USED TO BE FROM THE EAR, AND NOW IT'S FROM THE MOUTH, INDICATING SPEAKING. SO IT'S CHANGED OVER TIME. SO WE SEE "DEAF" GOING FROM THE EAR TO THE MOUTH. BUT YOU WENT FROM THE EAR AND THEN A HAND SHAPE OVER THE MOUTH. WAS THERE A REASON THAT YOU USED THAT PARTICULAR SIGN? - FOR CLARITY, FOR "DEAF AND DUMB." I REALLY WANTED TO PUT EMPHASIS ON THE "DUMB," THE WORD "DUMB." IF YOU PUT IT ON YOUR FOREHEAD, IT MEANS "STUPID." BUT IF YOU PUT IT ON YOUR MOUTH, IT MEANS YOU CAN'T TALK. SO I WAS PLAYING WITH THE SIGNS. SO INSTEAD OF "STUPID," IT'S "DUMB ON THE MOUTH." AND I THINK I'M ALLOWED TO PLAY WITH THE SIGNS A LITTLE BIT. I THINK THAT'S ALLOWED. - IN YOUR PLAY, THERE'S THE DEAF MAN WHO CHALLENGES A.G. BELL. I WAS JUST WONDERING IF THAT'S BASED ON FACT. - YES, IT DID HAPPEN. HE WAS CHALLENGED. A.G. BELL'S WIFE MABEL WAS DEAF, BEAUTIFUL, AND NOT TOO SMART. SHE WAS YOUR TYPICAL HOUSEWIFE, JUST A HOUSEWIFE. WHAT HAPPENED TO HER BEYOND THAT, I HAVE NO IDEA, BUT SHE DID ACTUALLY HELP HER HUSBAND BELL IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TELEPHONE. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THAT. SHE HELPED DEALING WITH HOW SOUND IS CONVERTED TO VIBRATIONS, AND HE WAS ABLE TO USE THE VIBRATIONS TO TEACH DEAF PEOPLE TO TALK. JUST AN INTERESTING FACT. I THINK WE HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION. - I WAS THINKING ABOUT ALL THE VARIOUS SIGNS FOR "DEAF" AND "DEAF-MUTE" AND HOW YOU USED IT FOR EMPHASIS, BUT THAT CHARACTER WAS NOT ASHAMED OF BEING DEAF. - OH, NO. THAT CHARACTER WAS NOT ASHAMED AT ALL. - BUT I DO NOTICE TODAY THAT DEAF PEOPLE RESENT THE SIGN OR WORDS "DEAF-MUTE," "DEAF-MUTE." I DON'T MIND IT BECAUSE MANY OF US CAN'T SPEAK. IT'S REALLY NOTHING. THAT'S ALL I WANTED TO SAY. - WELL, PEOPLE WHO ARE INSIDE A GROUP HAVE A RIGHT TO SELF-IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. THEY CAN USE A WORD-- LIKE, IF A HEARING PERSON WERE TO CALL ME "DEAF-MUTE," I WOULD SAY, "NO. I CAN CALL MYSELF THAT, BUT YOU CANNOT." IT'S LIKE A WHITE PERSON CALLING A BLACK PERSON A NIGGER. BLACK PEOPLE CAN CALL THEMSELVES THAT. THEY CAN. WITHIN THE GROUP, YOU'RE ALLOWED. YOU CAN PLAY WITH THE WORDS. YOU CAN INSULT EACH OTHER. AND IT WOULD BE THE SAME THING IF A STRAIGHT PERSON WERE TO CALL ANOTHER PERSON A FAG. A PERSON WITHIN THE LGBT COMMUNITY CAN USE THAT WORD, BUT SOMEBODY OUTSIDE CANNOT. SO IT'S ONLY WITHIN A GROUP CAN YOU USE THOSE WORDS TO PLAY OR TO OPPRESS EACH OTHER, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU'RE USING THE WORD OR USING THE LANGUAGE, BUT IT'S ONLY WITHIN THE GROUP. ANYBODY WITHIN A GROUP HAS TO DECIDE WHAT THEIR LANGUAGE IS GONNA BE, NOT SOMEBODY FROM THE OUTSIDE. IT HAS TO BE DONE INTERNALLY. - LAST NIGHT'S PLAY-- I GUESS I WANTED MORE CONVERSATION ABOUT-- WAIT. I MISSED YOUR SPELLING. OH, THE AUTHOR, BALLIN. WHY DID THE DEAF CHARACTER TRY TO CONVINCE A.G. BELL TO SIGN? BUT YOU DIDN'T SAY WHY HE REFUSED TO SIGN. I GUESS I WANTED MORE ELABORATION ON WHY BELL DIDN'T SIGN. - ACTUALLY, THE ORIGINAL PLAY IS 3 1/2 HOURS LONG. LAST NIGHT, I CUT IT DOWN TO 2 HOURS, AND SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS TOO LONG? I HAD ONE PERSON COME UP TO ME AND SAY, "WOW, THAT SHOW WAS ONLY AN HOUR LONG!" AND I TOLD THEM, "NO. IT WAS ACTUALLY 2 HOURS." AND THEY WERE ASTONISHED THAT THEY WATCHED IT THAT ENTIRE TIME. I APPLAUD THEM. I ALSO APPLAUD THE PEOPLE WHO SAT THROUGH THE 3 1/2-HOUR VERSION. ONCE THEY WERE FINISHED, I ASKED THEM IF THEY WERE OK, AND THEY WERE DUMBFOUNDED. SO THE 3 1/2-HOUR PLAY-- I HAD MORE DETAILS IN THAT, BUT FOR THE SAKE OF TIME, I HAD TO EDIT. I HAD TO EDIT IT DOWN AND CUT OUT SOME PIECES, SO I APOLOGIZE ABOUT THAT. IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT IT, YOU CAN READ BALLIN'S BOOK. IT'S OUT-OF-PRINT, I THINK, BUT GALLAUDET LIBRARY HAS IT AND NTID LIBRARY HAS IT. I KNOW THAT BECAUSE I WAS UP ON THE THIRD FLOOR, AND I WALKED BY AND I SAW THIS BOOK ABOUT FAMOUS DEAF PEOPLE, AND I PULLED IT OUT. IT WAS BALLIN'S BOOK WITH HIS PICTURE AND A SYNOPSIS. AND I USED THAT SYNOPSIS IN MY PROGRAM LAST NIGHT, IF YOU READ IT. IT'S THE SAME SYNOPSIS. I THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY NICE. ANOTHER QUESTION. I HOPE THAT HELPS. - THAT 3 1/2-HOUR VERSION, WILL YOU PRODUCE THAT AGAIN? - I HAVE A VERSION ON VIDEOTAPE WITH VOICE INTERPRETATION. I HAVE IT ON VIDEOTAPE... BUT I'M NOT GOING TO SHOW IT, NOT YET. I'M SAVING THIS. ONCE I HAVE A COLLECTION, THEN I'LL ADD IT TO THAT. THAT'S ONE THING ABOUT DEAF LIT, ASL LIT. WE THINK, "OH, ONE STORY IS ENOUGH." BUT I BELIEVE WE HAVE TO MAKE COLLECTIONS, A BODY OF WORK TO PRESENT, A COMPLETE SET OF WORK. YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO JUST DO ONE AND DONE. I WANT TO COMPLETE A COLLECTION, EXPAND ON IT, SO I'M HOLDING THE VIDEOTAPE UNTIL I HAVE A COLLECTION. AND THEN ONCE I HAVE THAT, THE VIDEOTAPE WILL BE PART OF THAT. I DON'T HAVE THE 3 1/2-HOUR VERSION ON VIDEOTAPE. IT'S A 2-HOUR VERSION. AGAIN, IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS, YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOK. ONE MORE QUESTION. - IS THAT PLAY IN THE BOOK OF THE DEAF CHARACTERS IN LITERATURE? IS THAT STILL IN PRINT, OR IS THIS A DIFFERENT STORY? - NO. THE BOOK IS CALLED "ANGELS AND OUTCASTS." IT'S A COLLECTION OF STORIES OF DEAF LITERATURE, AND THERE'S AN EXCERPT IN THERE CALLED "THE DEAF MUTE HOWLS," BUT IT'S VERY SHORT. THE FULL VERSION ISN'T PUBLISHED THERE, BUT THAT'S A GOOD START. THAT ONE STORY, AND THEN THERE ARE MANY OTHER WORKS IN THAT BOOK, SO THANKS FOR BRINGING THAT UP. THAT COLLECTION, "ANGELS AND OUTCASTS"-- IT'S A GOOD BOOK. ALL RIGHT, ONE LAST QUESTION. - OK, WAS "THE DEAF MUTE HOWLS" WRITTEN AS A PLAY FIRST? - OK, WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE SAW THAT QUESTION. WAS "THE DEAF MUTE HOWLS" WRITTEN ORIGINALLY AS A PLAY? NO. IT WAS ORIGINALLY A BOOK, NOT A NOVEL. IT'S A WORK OF NON-FICTION. IT INCLUDED HISTORY, HISTORICAL FACTS. SO I TOOK INFORMATION FROM THAT AND THEN WROTE THE PLAY. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, BALLIN WROTE IN VERY ELABORATE ENGLISH. I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW, HE WAS A VERY SKILLED WRITER. MANY DEAF FOLKS BACK THEN WERE SKILLED IN ENGLISH. OK, I'M GONNA SET THAT ASIDE, USING THIS COMMENT ON ENGLISH. GREAT. THAT'S A PERFECT LEAD-IN TO WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT NEXT. SO WE'RE DONE WITH THE PLAY. IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS, I'LL ANSWER LATER. SINCE I'VE BEEN WORKING AS A PLAYWRIGHT, I HAVEN'T BEEN FOCUSING ON THE TECHNIQUE AND THE DETAILS AND ANALYSIS. MY CONCERN HAS BEEN ABOUT ONCE FOLKS DO ALL THE ANALYSIS, THEN THEY SAY THERE'S NOTHING LEFT TO DO. BUT WE NEED TO DEVELOP MORE WORKS, MORE WRITING. SO MY TOPIC IS "NOT HOW, BUT WHAT?" WHAT IS ASL LIT? IT'S IMPORTANT TO DO ALL THE ANALYSIS, ALL THE RESEARCH. IT'S IMPORTANT, BUT MY FOCUS IS ON THE STORIES THEMSELVES. WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM? WHO IS TELLING THESE STORIES? SO I'VE BEEN WORKING ON A THEATER PROJECT WITH A GROUP. A GROUP OF INNER-CITY KIDS, DEAF KIDS WHO ARE DEAF-ORAL KIDS. THESE KIDS TELL ME, "LOOK, I CAN WRITE GOOD ENGLISH, "BUT I'M STILL DEAF. "WHY DO DEAF PEOPLE REJECT ME? I'M STILL DEAF." ARE THEY NOT PART OF ASL LIT, TOO, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE ORAL, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE WRITING IN ENGLISH? SO I WANT YOU TO THINK REALLY CRITICALLY ABOUT THIS. ONE THING THAT I WAS QUITE DISAPPOINTED WITH IS I WISH I HAD A VIDEOTAPE OF THEM TO SHOW YOU. I HAVE ONE, BUT I THOUGHT TONIGHT WE WOULD ONLY HAVE A TV SCREEN, AND I DIDN'T WANT TO SHOW IT ON A SMALL SCREEN. BUT I FIND OUT THAT WE DO HAVE A LARGE SCREEN, SO I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT BRINGING THIS VIDEOTAPE. I DID FILM THE STUDENTS SIGNING THEIR STORIES, AND I ENDED UP WITH A PROJECT OF A 20-MINUTE VIDEOTAPE. MICHELLE BANKS WAS INVOLVED IN THAT PROJECT AS WELL. WHAT I ENVISION WAS THESE STORIES ARE PART OF ASL LIT, JUST LIKE BEN BAHAN'S "BIRD OF A DIFFERENT FEATHER" STORY, BUT ALSO STORIES ABOUT DEAF LIVES, NOT METAPHORS, NOT ALLEGORIES. THOSE ARE BEAUTIFUL, BUT TRUE STORIES. WE TEND TO IGNORE THOSE. STORIES LIKE MYTHS AND FABLES HAVE BEEN PASSED DOWN, AND THAT'S FINE. BUT WHERE ARE THE TRUE STORIES HAPPENING TODAY? SO I STARTED COLLECTING THESE STORIES. THESE STORIES ARE FROM ORAL- DEAF PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN THEIR STORIES WITH THE HOPE THAT LATER THEY'LL BE SIGNED AND BECOME PART OF ASL LIT. BECAUSE TRULY, THEIR STORIES, THEIR LIVES ARE VERY MUCH THE SAME AS THE STORIES OF DEAF PEOPLE WHO SIGN. I WANT TO SHARE MANY INTERESTING POINTS-- ONE OF THEM BEING IS THAT ALL THE WRITING WAS DONE WHEN ALL THE HEARING PEOPLE WERE OUT OF THE ROOM. THE STUDENTS' WRITING WAS DIFFERENT. IF A HEARING PERSON WAS IN THE ROOM WITH US, THE STUDENTS FELT THAT THEY COULDN'T TELL THE TRUTH. AND IF THEY TOLD THE TRUTH, THEY WOULD BE PUNISHED. ISN'T THAT AWFUL? THEY HAD THAT FEAR OF A HEARING TEACHER LOOKING OVER THEIR WRITING AND JUDGING IT AND NOT LIKING IT. SO I WENT AHEAD AND ACTED OUT FOR THE STUDENTS. AFTER I DID THE ACTING, A SOCIAL WORKER GOT UP AND SAID, "WELL, YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND. "THESE ARE DEAF TEENAGERS. IT'S QUITE APPROPRIATE FOR THEM TO BE ANGRY." AND I SAID, "I'M 29 YEARS OLD. I'M NOT A TEENAGER ANYMORE. "I'M 29 YEARS OLD, AND I'M STILL ANGRY. IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?" BUT SHE JUST DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE DEAF. THEY JUST WANTED TO ARGUE ABOUT WHY DEAF TEENAGERS ARE ANGRY. SO THEY CAN EXPRESS THIS ANGER. I'LL SHOW YOU ONE SHORT STORY. THIS IS WRITTEN BY A GIRL. I'M GONNA LET YOU KNOW, THE INTERPRETERS HAVE A SCRIPT, HAVE THE EXACT SAME SCRIPT THAT I HAVE. A LOT OF THE WRITING IS IN ENGLISH, WRITTEN BY THE DEAF-ORAL STUDENTS, AND I'M GOING TO SIGN IT. SO I'VE MADE SOME MODIFICATIONS FOR SIGN. WE CAN ADD ASL LATER. THAT'S FINE. ANYBODY CAN DO THAT. I'M HAPPY TO GIVE THESE SCRIPTS TO YOU TO TRANSLATE. BUT THIS GIRL WAS SENT HOME. SCHOOL WAS FINISHED, AND SHE WENT HOME. AND SHE NOTICED HER MOM WAS CRYING. AND SHE ASKED HER MOM, AND HER MOM LOOKED AT HER. AND MOM SAID, "I'M A SINNER. I'M A SINNER. GOD IS PUNISHING ME BECAUSE YOU'RE DEAF." AND THE GIRL LOOKED AT HER MOM AND WENT STRAIGHT UP TO HER BEDROOM AND CLOSED THE DOOR. A COUPLE OF MINUTES LATER, THE DOOR OPENS, AND MOM COMES INTO THE BEDROOM AND SAYS, "I'M SORRY. I DIDN'T MEAN THAT." AND THE GIRL LOOKS TO HER MOM AND SAYS, "I'M A SINNER, TOO. "I'M A SINNER. GOD IS PUNISHING ME BECAUSE GOD GAVE ME HEARING PARENTS." HEARING PEOPLE LOVE TO FEEL SORRY FOR DEAF PEOPLE. AND DEAF PEOPLE FEEL SORRY THAT THEY HAVE HEARING PEOPLE. HERE'S ANOTHER EXCERPT I HAVE. THE GIRL WAS 16 YEARS OLD. ALL OF THE TEENAGERS I WORKED WITH WERE BETWEEN 16 AND 17 YEARS OLD. WONDERFUL STUDENTS, WONDERFUL PEOPLE. AS I WAS WORKING WITH THEM, THEY WOULD SAY TO ME, "YOU'RE NOT DEAF. YOU CAN'T BE DEAF. YOU'RE A TEACHER." AND I SAID, "YEAH, I'M DEAF, AND I CAN BE A TEACHER." SO THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO GATHER THESE KIDS' STORIES. WE'VE COLLECTED THE PAST, BUT WE HAVE TO COLLECT THE PRESENT. FOR TALKING ABOUT DEAF CHILDREN, THESE TEENAGERS-- THEY'RE OUR HISTORY, THE HISTORY OF OPPRESSION IN A MAINSTREAM SCHOOL. WE HAVE TO COLLECT THOSE STORIES FOR FUTURE, TO BE ABLE TO ANALYZE THEM AND TO SIGN THEM. WE ALREADY KNOW THAT HEARING TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM CHANGES THE DYNAMIC... AND IT MAKES THE ASL LITERATURE BASED IN FEAR. STORIES TOLD OUT OF FEAR DON'T REALLY SEEM TO BE EFFECTIVE. THE STORIES I COLLECTED WERE MORE HONEST. AND THEY'RE ALL HERE. THEY'RE TRUE. THIS IS WRITTEN BY A GIRL WHO COMES FROM A FRENCH-CREOLE FAMILY, AND SHE WRITES, "ENGLISH IS IMPORTANT. IF I DON'T WRITE IN ENGLISH, THEN I'M STUPID." WELL, I GUESS IN ONE WAY, SHE IS RIGHT. IF YOU DON'T KNOW ENGLISH... BUT IT CAUSES THIS CONTRADICTION IN DEAF PEOPLE. SO SHE GOES ON TO SAY, "MY FAMILY LOVES ME "BECAUSE I'M DEAF. "THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO SIGN... "AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO ENGLISH. "THEY SPEAK ONLY FRENCH-CREOLE. THEY'RE NICE TO ME BECAUSE WE'RE IN THE SAME BOAT." "BOTH OF US DON'T KNOW ENGLISH, "BUT MY FATHER DRINKS A LOT AND BAWLS ME OUT...IN CREOLE. "WHEN I'M ANGRY, I YELL BACK AT HIM AND I SIGN. "NO ONE GETS HURT BECAUSE NO ONE UNDERSTANDS EACH OTHER. "BUT WE'RE SAD SOMETIMES. I GUESS THAT'S OK." HERE'S ANOTHER ONE. PAGE 2 FOR THE INTERPRETERS. SOME OF THE STUDENTS IN THE GROUP WERE BLACK, AFRICAN-AMERICAN. THEIR STYLE OF SIGNING WAS REALLY INTERESTING. SOME OF YOU ATTENDED THE WORKSHOP LAST NIGHT-- NO, I'M SORRY. YESTERDAY AFTERNOON FROM MICHELLE BANKS. AND I CERTAINLY CAN'T REPLICATE THEIR STYLE OF SIGNING. THAT'S WHY WISH I HAD THE VIDEOTAPE TO SHOW YOU, BUT ANYWAY, THIS STUDENT WRITES--NEVERTHELESS, THE MAN WHO WROTE THIS WAS VERY WISE, BUT HE EARNED "F"s IN SCHOOL. AND HERE IT IS. "I TALK. I SIGN. "IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ME, WELL, I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU. "WHY? "YOUR STORY AND MY STORY. "THERE'S A MAN AND A WOMAN WHO HAD A CUTE BABY. THE MOTHER AND FATHER TALKED TO THE BABY... "TALKED AT THE BABY. THEY DIDN'T REALLY SEE THE BABY." "THE MOTHER AND FATHER DECIDED TO SHAKE THE BABY AND SHAKE "THE BABY TO GET A RESPONSE, BUT THEY DIDN'T SEE THE BABY. "THEY SPANK THE BABY, AND STILL THEY DIDN'T SEE THE BABY. "THE MOTHER AND FATHER BROUGHT IN A DOCTOR TO LOOK AT THE BABY." "THE DOCTOR ROUGHLY HANDLED THE BABY AND YELLED AT THE BABY, BUT HE DIDN'T SEE THE BABY EITHER." "THE DOCTOR PROCLAIMED THAT THE BABY WAS BROKEN. THE BABY WAS DEAF AND DUMB AND SHOULD BE DEAD." "THE BABY--THE BABY CRIED. "NO. "NO, HE DIDN'T CRY. "THE MOTHER AND FATHER COULD BE HEARD CRYING. "THEY GREW FRUSTRATED AND CALLED THE BABY BAD. "AND PICKED HIM UP IN FRUSTRATION AND SHOOK HIM AGAIN AND COMMANDED HIM TO TALK." THAT WAS WRITTEN BY A 15-YEAR-OLD KID. HERE'S ANOTHER ONE. - AGAIN, THE QUESTION WAS REPEATED. HOW OLD WAS THAT STUDENT? 15. HERE'S ANOTHER ONE. "MY MOTHER TOLD ME SHE FELT PUNISHED FROM GOD BECAUSE I "WAS BORN DEAF. "SHE TOLD ME THAT HEARING PEOPLE WERE BETTER THAN "DEAF PEOPLE. WHY? SHE NEVER EXPLAINED." THAT'S ALL SHE WROTE. ANOTHER ONE WROTE, "NO, NO. "HEARING PEOPLE ARE BETTER THAN DEAF PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY CAN "LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH AND SOCIALIZE "USING THAT ENGLISH. "HEARING PEOPLE ARE LUCKY THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO LEARN TO SIGN." WOW. HERE'S ANOTHER ONE. "I FALL ON MY KNEES PRAYING TO GOD THAT MY MOTHER WOULD "LEARN TO SIGN, BUT SHE WON'T BECAUSE SHE'S TOO LAZY." AFTER I WROTE THE PLAY BASED ON THE WRITING THAT THESE TEENAGERS DID, TWO OTHER DEAF PEOPLE WANTED TO PERFORM THE PLAY. AND THERE WERE TWO DEAF MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS THAT BANNED THIS PLAY. IT WAS PROBABLY THE FIRST DEAF PLAY TO BE BANNED BY A SCHOOL. ONE OF THE SCHOOLS WAS THE WHITNEY YOUNG SCHOOL IN CHICAGO BANNED IT. AND THE OTHER ONE--OH, I FORGET THE NAME OF IT. IT WAS A WHILE AGO. BUT THEY JUST-- THEY "WEREN'T INTERESTED." BUT IT WAS SO SURPRISING THAT THESE SCHOOLS BANNED IT. THE KIDS WERE SHOCKED BY THAT, THAT THE PRINCIPAL BANNED THIS PLAY FROM BEING SEEN. - WHAT'S THE TITLE OF THIS PLAY? - THE TITLE IS "DEAF WATCH SILENCE." "DEAF WATCH SILENCE." THEN I ASKED THE STUDENTS TO WRITE SENTENCES WITH REPETITIONS OF TWO PHRASES. AND ONE OF THE LINES CAUSED SUCH CHAOS, MAKING A TEACHER SO MAD, SHE WALKED OUT. SHE GLARED AT ME. BUT I SAID, "THIS IS THE STUDENT'S WORK, NOT MINE." HERE'S ONE. "MY MOTHER IS HEARING. MY MOTHER IS HEARING. "SHE LOVES ME A LOT. SHE LOVES ME A LOT. "I THANK HER. I THANK HER. "SHE SEND ME GO. SHE SEND ME GO. "GOOD SCHOOL. GOOD SCHOOL. "SHE FELT. SHE FELT. "BUT BUT BUT BUT "I DO NOTHING. I DO NOTHING. "DEAF SCHOOL. DEAF SCHOOL. "MOVE TO DIFFERENT CLASS. MOVE TO DIFFERENT CLASS. "WE DEAF MOVE AS A GROUP IN THE SCHOOL. "WE DEAF MOVE AS A GROUP IN SCHOOL. "WE CHAT AND SIGN. WE CHAT AND SIGN. "BUT THE TEACHER BUT THE TEACHER "TEACHER STUPID. "WHY THEY TALK? "THEY DON'T SIGN. "THEY TEACH. "THEY DON'T SIGN. "BUT HOW DO THEY KNOW EVERYTHING EXCEPT SIGN? "WHEN I SIGN, THEY NOD THEIR HEADS UNCOMPREHENDINGLY. "WHEN THEY TALK, I NOD MY HEAD UNCOMPREHENDINGLY. "WHEN A TEACHER ASKS ME A QUESTION, I LOOK "AT THE INTERPRETER. "I'M CONFUSED. "WHO ASKED ME? "THE TEACHER OR THE INTERPRETER? "I'M CONFUSED. I'M CONFUSED. "WHO'S THE TEACHER? WHO'S THE TEACHER? "IS IT THE PERSON WHO KNOWS HOW TO SIGN? "IS IT THE PERSON WHO DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SIGN? "PEOPLE CALL ME STUPID BECAUSE I CAN'T TALK. "SO WHY CAN'T I CALL TEACHERS WHO CAN'T SIGN STUPID? "WHY CAN'T WE CALL PEOPLE WHO CAN'T SIGN STUPID? WHY CAN'T WE CALL PEOPLE WHO CAN'T SIGN STUPID?" THIS NEXT ONE IS A LITTLE MORE POSITIVE. "GOOD, GOOD, GOOD. "COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION. "WHY? FUN, FUN, FUN. "HOURS, HOURS, HOURS. WASTED, WASTED. "CLASS WASTED, WASTED, WASTED. CLASS WASTED, WASTED, CLASS. "FORGET IT. TIME TO CHAT. "TIME TO CHAT. TIME TO CHAT. "COME ON "WITH DEAF FRIENDS, "DEAF FRIENDS, DEAF FRIENDS, "HUDDLED TOGETHER IN A HALLWAY. HUDDLED TOGETHER IN A HALLWAY. "HUDDLED TOGETHER IN A HALLWAY. "AND WE WHAT? AND WE WHAT? "SKIP SKIP SKIP, SKIP CLASS CLASS. "BECAUSE, BECAUSE, BECAUSE "HEAR BELL? HEAR BELL? HEAR BELL? "NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING "AND, AND, AND, "WE LOVE, LOVE, LOVE TO CHAT, CHAT, CHAT. HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS." REALLY, THAT'S TRUE OF A LOT OF DEAF STUDENTS IN MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS. THEY SKIP CLASSES 'CAUSE THEY'RE IN THE HALLWAY, CHATTING AND CAN'T BE BOTHERED WITH THE BELL. - A QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE IS DID THEY WRITE THE REPETITION 3 TIMES? I MEAN, IS IT WRITTEN THAT WAY? - YES. I ASKED THE STUDENTS BECAUSE WRITING IS SO DEPENDENT ON SOUND. AND I DIDN'T WANT SOUND INVOLVED, SO I WANTED TO CHANGE IT TO NUMBERS AS OPPOSED TO SOUND. SO TO PLAY WITH THE NUMBERS, THE RHYTHM OF NUMBERS. AND I GAVE THEM THAT ASSIGNMENT. AND IN TRANSLATING THAT INTO SIGN, WE CAN DO THE SIGN 3 TIMES LIKE THIS, "PLAY, PLAY, PLAY" OR "CHAT, CHAT, CHAT." SO IT'S THE RHYTHM OF HOW MANY TIMES WE DO THE SIGN. I MET, MET, MET. YOU CAN JUST SWEEP THE SIGN BACK-AND-FORTH. AGAIN, IT'S THE RHYTHM OF 3 FOR THESE. I FIND THAT INTERESTING. - A QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE IS DO THESE STUDENTS WRITE IN ENGLISH OR SIGN FIRST? - I DON'T WANT TO TELL THE STUDENTS "NO" IF THEY WANT TO WRITE FIRST. I FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WANTED. SO MOST OF THEM WROTE FIRST. I JUST DIDN'T WANT ANY PRESSURE. I DIDN'T WANT TO FORCE THEM INTO ANYTHING. ONCE THEY GAVE ME THE ENGLISH, WE TRIED TO FIGURE IT OUT AND EXPAND ON IT. OH, THERE'S A QUESTION COMING FROM THE AUDIENCE. - IT'S OBVIOUS THAT THERE IS JUST A LOT OF EMOTION BEING EXPRESSED, ESPECIALLY ANGER. IT'S LIKE AN ANGER ISSUE. I WONDER HOW DO WE ENCOURAGE THEM TO EXPRESS THIS ANGER, TO EXPRESS--I MEAN TYPICALLY, THEY'RE HOLDING BACK THESE EMOTIONS. - BECAUSE I WAS DEAF LIKE THEY WERE, I JUST HAD A BOND WITH THEM. THEY FELT I WAS DEAF LIKE THEM. TYPICALLY, THEY'RE WITH A HEARING TEACHER, AND THERE'S POLICIES THAT SAY THEY CAN'T DO THIS, THEY CAN'T DO THAT. BUT I WAS IN THERE TO SAY, "YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO." SO THEY FELT THAT IMMEDIATE CONNECTION WITH ME. THEY WEREN'T INTIMIDATED. WE HAD A BOND. THE PROBLEM IS, SO MANY PEOPLE WANT TO ANALYZE THEIR WORK. IF YOU DO RESEARCH WITH A HEARING PERSON IN THE ROOM, I BELIEVE IT JUST CHANGES THE WHOLE DYNAMIC. EVEN IF THE HEARING PERSON CAN SIGN, IT CHANGES IT. IF YOU HAVE MAINSTREAM KIDS OR GRASSROOTS DEAF FOLKS, THEY LOOK AT THIS TESTING. THEY BEEN TESTED THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. BUT DEAF PEOPLE TYPICALLY DON'T TEST OTHER DEAF PEOPLE. SO THEY'RE CONSTANTLY BEING ASKED BY HEARING PEOPLE TO TAKE THESE TESTS, AND DEAF PEOPLE ARE SAYING, "I DON'T WANT TO BE TESTED BY HEARING PEOPLE ANYMORE." SO IT'S A DIFFERENT DYNAMIC WHEN THERE'S A DEAF PERSON IN THE ROOM. THERE IS ONE GIRL THAT I WAS WORKING WITH. I WAS WITH THEM FOR 6 MONTHS. THIS IS A GIRL. SHE SAID SHE WANTED TO KILL HERSELF BECAUSE SHE COULDN'T EVER BE DEAF. I WAS SHOCKED BY THIS. NOW THERE'S A STATE LAW SAYING THAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO TELL IF A STUDENT WANTS TO HARM THEMSELVES, BUT I DIDN'T THINK THIS KID WAS CRAZY. SHE WAS JUST EXPRESSING A FEELING THAT SHE HAD NEVER SAID BEFORE ABOUT HER DEAFNESS. SHE DIDN'T MEAN TO KILL HERSELF. SHE JUST WAS SO FRUSTRATED. I THINK SHE ACTUALLY TESTED TO COME TO NTID, BUT SHE WAS STILL AFRAID TO COME HERE. SHE PASSED THE ADMISSIONS TEST, BUT SHE WAS STILL AFRAID TO COME HERE. SHE JUST STILL WAS FEELING THOSE BARRIERS. THESE ARE OUR DEAF PEOPLE. THEY'RE BEING INTIMIDATED. THAT'S THE EXPERIENCE THEY'RE HAVING. - DOES THE GROUP STILL TRAVEL AND PERFORM THAT WORK IN DIFFERENT PLACES? - WELL, I'D LIKE TO EXPAND ON THEIR WORK AND CREATE A FULL PLAY FROM THIS. ALL THESE KIDS WERE FROM THE CITY, AND HONESTLY, THERE WAS ONE HARD OF HEARING KID WHO RESISTED AND WANTED TO BE HEARING, AND THIS IS WHAT HE WROTE. HIS LANGUAGE IS NOT EXACTLY NICE, BUT... I'M GONNA SIGN THAT, BUT IT'S HIS WRITING. SO I HOPE YOU ACCEPT THAT. HE WRITES, "I LIKE DEAF GIRLS. "WHEN I SEE THEM ON THE STREET, I CALL THEM 'BITCH' AND TRY TO "SUMMON THEM OVER. "'LOOK AT THAT BITCH ON THE STREET.' "DEAF GIRLS ARE EASY LAYS. "THEY'RE EASY LAYS BECAUSE THEY DON'T SCREAM. "DEAF GIRLS DON'T SCREAM. "THEY CAN'T HEAR AND THEY CAN'T TALK. "THEY ARE EASY FUCKS. "THEY ARE EASY FUCKS. "BUT ONE THING I CAN'T STAND IS THAT THEY'RE ALWAYS SIGNING AND CAN'T SPREAD THEIR LEGS WHEN THEIR SIGNING." SO HE WAS QUITE UPSET THAT HE COULDN'T BE INVOLVED WITH THE DEAF KIDS. HE FEELS LIKE HE'S LEFT OUT WHEN PEOPLE ARE SIGNING... THE SAME AS A DEAF PERSON FEELS WHEN A HEARING PERSON TALKS. HE'S FEELING THAT WAY WHEN A DEAF PERSON SIGNS. YES, THAT'S TRUE. THAT COULD BE HIS WEAPON. - THIS SIGN THAT YOU USE. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY THAT. WHAT WAS THE WORD YOU USED? LET'S LOOK AT THE ENGLISH. I'M A LITTLE BIT CONFUSED HERE. SORRY. COULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION? IT COULD BE THE SAME AS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BLACK CULTURE. THIS COULD BE A DEAF CULTURE THING? - IT WAS NOT A BLACK PERSON THAT WROTE THIS. - THIS SIGN YOU USED-- WHAT WAS THE WORD FOR THAT? - LAY. THE ENGLISH WORD WAS LAY. DEAF GIRLS ARE LAID EASILY. SO I USE THAT SIGN. YOU KNOW, THEY'RE EASY TO FUCK. AT THAT SCHOOL, THE SEXUAL TENSION WAS QUITE HIGH. YOU COULD REALLY SEE IT. AND IT INFLUENCED HIS WRITING. DO I HAVE ENOUGH TIME FOR ONE MORE? OK. LAST ONE. I'VE GOT ONE MORE HERE. OK. ONE STUDENT WROTE THAT THEY WERE FEELING BAD. HERE'S WHAT THEY WROTE. "YOU ARE HEARING. I AM DEAF. "WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? "YOU DON'T KNOW MY LANGUAGE, "AND YOU TELL ME IT'S NOT MINE. "YOU ARE HEARING. I AM DEAF. "WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? "I WORK HARD TO LEARN YOUR LANGUAGE. "AND STILL, YOU MAKE FUN OF ME EVERY TIME I TRY TO SPEAK. "YOU ARE HEARING. I AM DEAF. "SINCE I WAS BORN, IT'S ALWAYS BEEN YOUR WORLD, "ALWAYS YOUR RULES. "YOU SEE ME AS BEING WEIRD OR SILLY "EVERY TIME I TRY TO SPEAK. "BUT WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH, YOU LOOK SILLY, TOO. "YOU ARE HEARING. I AM DEAF. "YOU SAY YOU WANT THE BEST FOR ME, THEN YOU PLACE MANY "BARRIERS IN FRONT OF ME. "YOU PLACE UPON ME THINGS TO ME THAT ARE NOT ME. "YOU DON'T LEARN MY LANGUAGE. "I LEARNED YOURS TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. "AND WHEN I SEE YOU LAUGH, EVERY TIME I TRY TO SPEAK, "IT'S NOT BECAUSE I TRY BUT BECAUSE MY SPEECH IS WEIRD AND SILLY. YOU ARE HEARING. I AM DEAF." ALL RIGHT. ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? YES. - SO I DO WANT TO ASK. ARE THESE KIDS WRITING IN ENGLISH, OR ARE THEY WRITING IN SIGN LANGUAGE? - THEY'RE TRYING THEIR BEST TO WRITE IN ENGLISH. THEY'RE ORAL STUDENTS WHO CAN TALK, BUT I DIDN'T TELL THEM "NO." I JUST LET THEM--WHAT I THOUGHT WAS IMPORTANT, THEY HAD TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES IN WHATEVER WAY. I DON'T WANT TO TEACH THEM ANY TECHNIQUES OR WHATEVER THAT WOULD INTIMIDATE THEM. I JUST WANTED THEIR IMAGINATIONS TO FLOW. THAT'S WHAT I FOUND IMPORTANT. THE STORIES, THE IDEAS, ARE IMPORTANT. THE ANALYSIS CAN COME LATER. I REALLY THOUGHT THAT THE ANALYSIS PART IS OUR JOB. I FEEL THAT COLLECTING THE STORIES, THAT'S WHAT'S IMPORTANT. NO MATTER HOW THEY WRITE THEM, IN ENGLISH OR ASL, I JUST WANT THEM TO COLLECT THEIR STORIES. BECAUSE ONCE WE GET THEIR STORIES, WE CAN SIGN THEM BEAUTIFULLY. IT DOESN'T MATTER. IT'S THEIR STORIES. THAT'S WHAT'S IMPORTANT. - SO, DID YOU HELP THE STUDENTS WITH THEIR SIGN LANGUAGE? - THE VIDEOTAPE I HAVE OF THE STUDENTS--WHAT YOU SAW RIGHT NOW IS MY SIGNING. THAT WAS ME TRANSLATING THEIR POEMS. THE VIDEOTAPE IS QUITE DIFFERENT, HOW THE STUDENTS SIGN IT. AGAIN, I THOUGHT WE WERE ONLY GONNA HAVE A SMALL SCREEN, SO I DIDN'T BRING IT. - CAN YOU SHOW US AN EXAMPLE? - WELL, I'M NOT HEARING. I'M DEAF. SO I DID NOT WANT TO TELL THEM WHAT TO DO. THERE'S PEOPLE HERE IN THE AUDIENCE THAT ARE MUCH MORE SKILLED THAN I TO BE ABLE TO TRANSLATE THESE STORIES. WE HAD GOTTEN TOGETHER AND DONE A PLAY BEFORE. I REALLY WISH I HAD BROUGHT THE VIDEOTAPE FOR YOU TO SEE, BUT I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT. NEXT TIME, I WILL. AT OUR SECOND ASL LIT CONFERENCE, I WILL BRING IT ALL. OH, YOU WANT ME TO BRING THE PLAY AS WELL? WITH INTERPRETERS? I PROMISE, NEXT TIME I WILL HAVE IT WITH INTERPRETERS. OH, WAIT. THERE'S SOMEBODY IN THE BACK THAT HAS A QUESTION. GO AHEAD. - GOING BACK, TALKING ABOUT DEAF LIT AND ASL LIT, WHAT IS THE GOAL? WE HAVE A LOT OF DEAF LIT. BUT DO YOU THINK IT OVERLAPS WITH ASL LIT? AND THEN WHEN WE TALK ASL LIT, IS IT JUST TAKING THE WRITTEN STORIES AND PUTTING IT INTO SIGN? DO YOU THINK WE CAN CHANGE IT INTO ASL? - DEAF LIT IS ONE THING, ASL IS ANOTHER. ASL LIT TYPICALLY IS SIGNED FIRST AND THEN TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH, BUT THEN, DOES THAT BECOME DEAF LIT OR ASL LIT? I WISH I HAD BROUGHT THE VIDEOTAPE OF THE STUDENTS. I REALLY WISH I HAD BROUGHT IT SO YOU COULD SEE IT. WELL, WE COULD DISCUSS DIFFERENT SIGNING SYSTEMS, I GUESS. - IF SOMETHING IS SIGNED IN ASL AS OPPOSED TO A SIGNING SYSTEM, THAT'S NOT THE SAME THING. - WELL, ONE PERSON COULD SAY THIS IS ASL AND ANOTHER PERSON COULD SAY THIS IS NOT ASL. I GUESS FIRST WE HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT IS ASL... OR WHAT IS SIGNED ENGLISH. WE HAVE TO DECIDE ON A SIGNING SYSTEM? I'M GONNA LEAVE THAT UP TO YOU. THAT'S NOT MY PROBLEM. I WANTED THE STUDENTS-- MY PROBLEM WAS THE STUDENTS. I WANT THEM--LET'S SAY IF THEY HAVE A CONCEPT OR AN IDEA, IF I IMPOSE A SIGNING SYSTEM ON IT, THEY'LL LOSE THAT. OR VICE VERSA. IF THEY GET UP THERE AND SIGN ASL AND I TELL THEM, "NO, YOU HAVE TO SIGN ENGLISH," THEN THEIR IDEA WILL BE LOST. I WANT TO LEAVE IT UP TO THE STUDENTS. IF A PERSON SIGNS ENGLISH AND YOU TELL THEM THEY HAVE TO DO ASL, I'LL LOSE THE STORY. I'LL LOSE THEIR IDEAS. I WANT TO GET THE IDEAS FIRST, AND THEN WE CAN TRANSLATE THEM INTO WHATEVER LANGUAGE WE WANT. - WELL, I SEE THE RAGE THAT THESE STUDENTS HAVE. IT'S THE SAME AS OTHER DEAF PEOPLE. I MEAN, BASICALLY, UNDERNEATH IT ALL THAT RAGES THERE, WHETHER THEY SIGN OR SPEAK, THERE'S SOMETHING TO THAT THAT WE HAVE TO ADDRESS. IT'S SO OBVIOUS, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE ANSWER IS. WE'RE JUST AT THE SURFACE OF IT. - WELL, IF YOU USE ONE FORM, THEN YOU HAVE TO STICK WITH IT. AND THEN AGAIN, PARTS OF THE STORY WILL DISAPPEAR. SO IF YOU LOOK AT A GOOD DEAF STORYTELLER, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT. YOU CAN TRANSLATE IT FROM ENGLISH TO ASL. IF THERE ARE DEAF PEOPLE THAT CANNOT SIGN ASL, WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS THEIR STORY. WE CAN EXPRESS IT IN ASL LATER. WE CAN TRANSLATE IT LATER. ASL LIT CAN'T JUST BE STORIES ORIGINATING IN SIGN. WHERE BALLIN WROTE, HE WROTE IN PERFECT ENGLISH, ELABORATE ENGLISH. YOU COULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT, BUT YOU CAN'T COMPLAIN THAT THAT PERFECT ENGLISH CAN'T BE PERFECTLY TRANSLATED INTO ASL. IT WON'T BE A NATURAL FIT. THE SAME THING. I WANTED TO FOLLOW WHATEVER THE STUDENTS CAME UP WITH, WHAT THEY CREATED. I WANTED THEIR THOUGHT PROCESSES TO BE FREE. ONE MORE QUESTION. - YOU DIDN'T IDENTIFY IF THE STUDENTS WERE BLACK OR HISPANIC OR WHITE. I KNOW THEY'RE ALL DEAF, BUT I'M A LITTLE MORE CURIOUS ABOUT THEIR BACKGROUNDS. - I'M NOT ANALYZING THAT POINT RIGHT NOW. I'M LOOKING AT THE COMMONALITIES WHICH ARE BASICALLY COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWNS. THEY ALL HAVE THAT SIMILAR PATTERN, THAT THEME. THAT'S WHAT I WAS FOCUSING ON. I'LL LET SOMEBODY ELSE DO MORE ANALYSIS. - BACK TO THE BEGINNING. THESE KIDS, NOT FEELING THEY'RE A PART OF THE DEAF COMMUNITY. YOU WERE SAYING THAT, CORRECT? - FOR ME, YES, THEY ARE PART OF THE COMMUNITY. I'VE MET TOO MANY PEOPLE THAT DISAGREE WITH THAT. "OH, YOU DON'T KNOW ASL? THEN FORGET YOU." ALL OF US HAD TO LEARN ASL. IT'S LIKE, IT'S ODD THAT PEOPLE THINK THAT, "OH, DEAF PEOPLE, ONCE THEY'RE BORN THEY HAVE ASL." NO. AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE HAS TO BE LEARNED. OH, SURE, YOU CAN GESTURE, BUT THE FORMAL LANGUAGE, QUALITY ASL--QUALITY, MEANING NOT PERFECT, BUT UNDERSTANDABLE, CLEAR-- YOU LEARN THAT. AND YOU DO THAT BY MIXING WITH PEOPLE, INTERACTING. IF YOU DON'T INTERACT WITH OTHER DEAF PEOPLE, HOW ARE YOU GONNA LEARN IT? WE HAVE TO EMBRACE THEM IN OUR COMMUNITY AND NOT REJECT THEM JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW ASL. FOR EXAMPLE, PETER COOK... HE DID NOT SIGN ORIGINALLY, AND NOW LOOK AT HIM. HE HAD TO JOIN THE COMMUNITY. LUCKILY, HE CAME HERE AND JOINED THE COMMUNITY. THAT HAPPENS WITH MANY DEAF KIDS. IF THEY'RE IN A MAINSTREAM SCHOOL, THEY HAVE NO OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO BE WITH. SO IF THEY DON'T KNOW ASL, THEY JOIN A COMMUNITY AND THEY DEVELOP LANGUAGE FROM THAT COMMUNITY... AND LEARN ASL, THEN THEY'RE FINE. ENGLISH IS STILL IMPORTANT AS IS ASL... ONCE THEY MEET PEOPLE. I THINK THERE'S ONE PERSON WHO DID SOME RESEARCH ON THAT WHO HAS PASSED NOW. I THINK HE DIED A WHILE AGO. ALSO, THERE'S ONE OF MY STUDENTS WHO WROTE ABOUT THE GIRLS BEING BITCHES. HE ALSO HAS PASSED AWAY. IT'S UNFORTUNATE WE LOST HIM. WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE HIM TO TELL THEIR STORIES. BUT A FEW OF THE OTHER STUDENTS, I STILL KNOW THEM. THEY'VE GRADUATED, AND THEY'RE USING MORE AND MORE ASL. THEY'VE GOT OUT OF THEIR SCHOOL--ONCE YOU GRADUATE FROM A MAINSTREAM PROGRAM WHERE YOU'RE ONLY WITH HEARING PEOPLE, YOU GET OUT WHERE THEY CAN MINGLE WITH MORE DEAF PEOPLE. UNLESS HEARING PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED WITH THEM, YOU CAN SEE THEIR LANGUAGE CHANGE. BUT THEY'RE VALID TO US. THEY'RE VERY VALID TO US. - TODAY, I'M GOING TO BE SPEAKING ABOUT ABC AND NUMBER STORIES AND THEIR IMPORTANCE IN ASL LIT. BEFORE I GO ON, WE'LL LOOK AT MY OUTLINE SO YOU CAN SEE WHERE I'M GOING. I'M SURE YOU REALIZE THAT EACH COUNTRY HAS THEIR OWN CULTURE, THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, AS WELL AS THEIR OWN LIT, WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER CULTURE. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED WITH DIFFERENT CULTURES IN LITERATURE, AND I'VE READ MANY FOLKTALES FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES AND HAVE BEEN FASCINATED HOW OFTEN NUMBERS AND CHARACTERS ARE IN THESE TALES. AND NOW MY INTEREST HAS SHIFTED TO DEAF CHARACTERS IN FOLKTALES. ODDLY ENOUGH, PEOPLE HAVE SAID DEAF PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE ASL LIT, WHEN IN FACT WE DO. WE'VE HAD ASL LITERATURE IN THE DEAF COMMUNITY FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. I'LL TALK ABOUT ABC STORIES AS AN EXAMPLE OF ASL LIT LATER IN THIS PRESENTATION. WE'VE SEEN A GROWING INTEREST IN ASL LIT, AND WE HOPE THAT WILL CONTINUE... AND HOPE THAT THE BODY OF ASL LIT GROWS FOR FUTURE APPRECIATION, FOR DEAF ADULTS AS WELL AS CHILDREN. MY TOPIC IS ABC AND NUMBER STORIES, WHICH ARE BASED ON A STRONG VISUAL FOCUS AND CONCEPTUAL LANGUAGE. IT'S KNOWN IN DEAF CLUBS, SCHOOLS, AND RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS, HOMES--DEAF CHILDREN AS WELL AS ADULTS WILL TELL STORIES USING THE ALPHABET FROM A TO Z. AND WE'VE BEEN DOING THESE STORIES FOR MANY YEARS. OH, BEFORE I GO ON, I WOULD LIKE YOU ALL TO PREPARE TO SHOW ME AN ABC STORY THAT YOU'LL COME UP HERE AND PRESENT ON STAGE WHEN I FINISH WITH MY LECTURE. THEN WE CAN QUESTION YOU, THE PERFORMER ABOUT THEIR STORY, AND THAT'LL MAKE US THINK HOW WE CAN ENCOURAGE DEAF CHILDREN TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN STORIES AND ADULTS AS WELL. SO PLEASE PREPARE FOR THAT. ABC STORIES AND NUMBER STORIES ARE A GENRE OF DEAF FOLKLORE. AND DIFFERENT CULTURES HAVE THEIR OWN WAYS, JUST LIKE DANCE OR LANGUAGE. THESE ARE ALL WAYS OF HOW MESSAGES CAN BE PASSED FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER BY "WORD-OF-MOUTH" OR IN OUR WORLD, WE SAY BY "SIGN OF HANDS." THAT'S HOW WE PASS ON THESE MESSAGES. SOME OF YOU MAY NOT KNOW THE SIGN FOR "FOLKLORE." WELL, I'VE CREATED ONE BECAUSE, WELL, PASSING ALONG A MESSAGE FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER. THIS IS THE SIGN I'M USING. SOME PEOPLE WOULD START THE SIGN FROM BEHIND THEM MOVING FORWARD, BUT ALL STORIES ARE NOT FROM THE PAST. THEY CAN START ANYWHERE IN TIME. BUT TO CLEARLY SIGN IT, IT'S COMING FROM ONE PERSON AND BEING PASSED ON TO ANOTHER. YOU MAY DISAGREE WITH ME, BUT THAT'S FINE. DEAF FOLKLORE CAN BE GROUPED BY GENRE. AS YOU SEE HERE, ONE TYPE CAN BE ABOUT BEING MISUNDERSTOOD, WHERE HEARING PEOPLE HAVE MANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DEAF PEOPLE. FOR EXAMPLE, WE DON'T HAVE EARS OR THAT DEAF PEOPLE CAN READ AND WRITE BRAILLE. THEY HAVE MANY MISCONCEPTIONS HERE AND ABROAD. AND HERE'S A DEAF CARTOON. SO SOMETIMES PEOPLE LIKE TO HEAR STORIES ABOUT DEAF DOGS OR CATS. PEOPLE KNOW THAT WHITE CATS WITH TWO DIFFERENT EYE COLORS ARE OFTEN DEAF. DEAF PEOPLE OFTEN WANT TO SEE STORIES THAT ARE RELATABLE ABOUT THE DEAF IDENTITY. NOW I WANT TO FOCUS ON SIGN LANGUAGE LORE AND WHAT THAT MEANS. IT'S ABOUT A PERSON, HOW THEY SIGN, AND THEY CAN SHOW THAT TO A FRIEND OF THEIRS. IT'S ALSO WHAT WE CALL THE IQ TEST, AND IT'S FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES. SO LET'S LOOK AT ALL THESE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIGN LORE. AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE ARE MANY. HERE'S AN EXAMPLE... WITH A DUEL. ANOTHER ONE IS USING THE LETTERS FOR JAWS AND YOUR FACIAL EXPRESSION. I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU AN EXPERIENCE. I WAS IN GREECE A FEW YEARS AGO, AND I SHARED THAT PLAY ON FINGERSPELLING, JAWS, AND I NOTICED THE GREEK DEAF PEOPLE WERE AMAZED AND THEY REACHED OUT TO ME AS THEY DON'T HAVE THESE TYPE OF STORIES IN GREECE AND THEY YEARN FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THESE, INCORPORATING THEIR SIGN LANGUAGE OR DEAF CHARACTERS. NOW I'LL SHOW AN EXAMPLE OF SIGN METAMORPHOSIS. SO THAT'S A BUTTERFLY. IT STARTS CRAWLING ON THE GROUND UP TO THE TREE, AND HE'S ACTUALLY SPELLING OUT BUTTERFLY STARTING FROM A CATERPILLAR, BECOMING A BUTTERFLY. SO YOU CAN SEE THE SIGN CHANGES. IT'S ACTUALLY YOUR FINGERSPELLING THAT CHANGES, AND THERE ARE A VARIETY OF THESE TYPES OF STORIES. AS WELL AS TOTAL COMMUNICATION, WHERE WE CHANGE THE SIGN. WHERE THE TEA IS SMOKING IN THE "C" INSTEAD OF COMMUNICATION IS A CUP. AND THEN ANOTHER ONE IS Ph.D. MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT'S A DEGREE, BUT WE THINK OF IT AS PLEASE HELP DEAF--Ph.D. THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF AN ABBREVIATION STORY. ANOTHER ONE IS A CATCH SIGN. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION THAT HAS NO EASY ANSWER, OR IT CAN BE ANSWERED IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAY. FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT IS ON THE SCREEN? SOME PEOPLE HAVE CAUGHT IT. SOMEBODY IN THE AUDIENCE SAYS, "DOUBT"? OR ANOTHER PERSON THINKS IT SAYS, "DO YOU?" DO YOU UNDERSTAND? I'LL SHOW YOU ANOTHER ONE. THIS IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF USING "WHEN" AND "BUT." I'LL EXPLAIN THAT LATER. WHAT DOES THIS ONE SAY? IT DOESN'T MEAN WHAT IT MEANS. IT DOESN'T MEAN "MEAN." IT MEANS "FORK." MANY DEAF PEOPLE ARE SKILLED IN ASL AND CAN PLAY WITH THE SIGNS. AND THEY WRITE THESE "IN THEIR MIND" AND THEY ARE IN PERFECT ASL, BUT TOUGH TO TRANSLATE INTO ENGLISH. I THINK WE HAVE A QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. CAN EVERYBODY HOLD UP BECAUSE WE NEED THE INTERPRETER TO GET UP HERE? - IT'S LIKE ON A TYPICAL FORM WHEN THEY ASK FOR SEX, AND THEY'RE ASKING IF IT'S MALE OR FEMALE, BUT A DEAF PERSON WILL WRITE "YES" FOR SEX. - YES, I'VE HEARD THAT HAPPEN. THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S BEING ASKED, BUT THEY PUT DOWN "YES," OR THEY PUT DOWN "OH, 3 TIMES A WEEK" ON A JOB APPLICATION, BUT THAT'S NOT AN EXAMPLE OF THIS. THIS IS WHERE YOU HAVE TO CATCH THE SIGN. YOU'RE SPEAKING OF A PERSON'S LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY. SO WHAT I DISCOVERED WHILE I WAS DURING THIS RESEARCH, I FOUND I WAS TRYING TO JUSTIFY THAT ABC STORIES ARE INDEED PART OF ASL LIT. YOU SEE, I'M NOT A PERFORMER. I COLLECT THESE STORIES, DO THE RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS, AND THEN, ALTHOUGH SOMETIMES I DO SHOW THEM TO PEOPLE, MY GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE THAT BOTH DEAF AND HEARING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND DEAF CULTURE THROUGH OUR FOLKLORE, THROUGH OUR STORIES. WE HAVE TO DO THIS THROUGH ANALYSIS. FROM MY OWN WORK LAST WEEK, I DISCOVERED SOMETHING RATHER AMAZING. IF YOU LOOK AT THIS LIST ON THE SCREEN, DOES ANYBODY RECOGNIZE A PATTERN? YES, THEY ALL INCLUDE THE WORD "SIGN," BUT THERE'S ONE NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCES. ANY GUESSES? SIGNS? YES, CORRECT. THEY'RE ALL SIGNS, BUT THERE'S ONE PART THAT IS MUCH DIFFERENT. ANY GUESSES? CAN YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCES? THERE'S SIGN AND THEN NAME SIGN-- PRESIDENT WASHINGTON, LINCOLN, AND SO FORTH. THERE'S NO STORY TO THAT. ANOTHER ONE IS ABC's, DOING THE ALPHABET, OR LIKE DUEL, AND THEY BECOME GUNS. WE GO DOWN THE LIST, BUT IF YOU NOTICE DOWN HERE AT THE BOTTOM... THESE ARE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHERS. DO YOU AGREE WITH ME? GREAT. SO I'LL SHARE SOMETHING WITH YOU. I TRIED TO DETERMINE WHEN TELLING ABC STORIES STARTED. I ASKED OLDER PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. SOME SAID THEY SAW THEM WHEN THEY GOT TO GALLAUDET, TO COLLEGE. OTHERS SAID IN THEIR DEAF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL. SOME SAID THEY STARTED SOMEWHERE IN THE 1950s. OTHERS SAID IN THE 1940s, BUT NOW MY HYPOTHESIS NOW IS, IT STARTED IN THE 1940s. BEFORE THAT, I JUST DON'T KNOW. I'VE ASKED OLDER DEAF PEOPLE HERE IN ROCHESTER, AND WHEN THEY SHOWED THEM AN EXAMPLE, THEIR REACTION IS, "OH, I'VE NEVER EVEN SEEN THAT BEFORE." SO THAT'S MY HYPOTHESIS SO FAR. I'VE NOT FINISHED MY RESEARCH YET. PERHAPS SOME OF YOU MIGHT ALSO JOIN IN THIS RESEARCH AND AT OUR NEXT CONFERENCE WE CAN POSSIBLY NAIL DOWN A DATE. I'M GONNA GIVE YOU ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A STORY, AND THEN WE'LL GO AHEAD IN VIDEO, AND THEN WILL HAVE A DISCUSSION. BUT FIRST, I'LL EXPLAIN THE PROCEDURE, WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO. I'M GONNA SHOW YOU AN ABC STORY, AND I'M GOING TO ASK THE INTERPRETER NOT TO VOICE FOR A WHILE. ALL RIGHT, THE NEXT ONE. OH, PARDON ME. I SHOULD'VE INTRODUCED THAT LAST STORY. THE TITLE OF THIS IS "WHO DID IT?" THE NEXT PIECE IS A NUMBER STORY, AND IT'S CALLED "COWBOYS AND INDIANS." I KNOW SOME OF YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN THIS BEFORE, BUT I WANT TO USE IT AS AN EXAMPLE FOR THIS LECTURE. IT'S A STORY USING THE NUMBERS 1 THROUGH 15. NOW I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU A VIDEOTAPE. I GOT THIS FROM GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY. IT WAS PRODUCED AS PART OF A PILOT PROJECT, JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA. GREAT. NOW CAN WE TURN THE HOUSE LIGHTS UP, PLEASE? I WANT TO BE ABLE TO HAVE EVERYBODY SEE EACH OTHER. HOUSE LIGHTS, PLEASE. THANK YOU. GOD MADE US SEE EACH ALL CLEARLY. AS YOU WATCH THIS, YOU NOTICED I HAD TO ADD THE WORD "REPLAY" ON THE VIDEO. NOW, WHY DO YOU THINK I HAD TO DO THAT? I WANTED TO TELL VIEWERS THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO REWIND TO REPEAT THAT STORY, NOT TO HAVE TO SHOW IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. SO THEY COULD SEE THE STORY TWICE. THE LAST STORY, I FILMED AT THE KENTUCKY SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF SEVERAL YEARS AGO. HAD A TERRIFIC STUDENT. SHE WAS 16 YEARS OLD, JUST WONDERFUL. SHE WORKED WITH NUMBERS 1 THROUGH 25. I KNOW OF OTHERS WHO'VE CREATED STORIES WITH NUMBERS FROM 1 TO 50 OR EVEN 150. I WANT TO SPEAK NOW TO THE PROCESS. FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH ABC STORIES AND HOW THEY CAN BE USED TO EDUCATE HEARING, DEAF, AND ORAL KIDS AS TO WHAT AN ABC STORY IS ALL ABOUT. WE KNOW THAT ABC STORIES ARE BASED ON A VISUAL LANGUAGE CONCEPT, NOT ON A SPOKEN LANGUAGE CONCEPT. TYPICALLY, HEARING PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND OUR ABC STORIES, NATURALLY. NOW I'M GONNA ASK ONE OF THE INTERPRETERS TO VOICE MY FIRST ABC STORY I SHOWED YOU. AND WE'RE GONNA NEED SOME HELP OVER HERE... AS I WANT YOU TO KNOW WHAT THE INTERPRETER IS SAYING. I'LL TELL THE STORY AGAIN WITHOUT THE INTERPRETATION, BUT WE'LL HAVE THE SECOND INTERPRETER SIGN WHAT THE VOICE INTERPRETER IS SAYING. OK, AGAIN, THIS IS "WHO DID IT?" OK, NOW I'M GONNA ASK-- OH, WAIT ONE MINUTE. OK. AGAIN, NOW I'M GOING TO ASK THE INTERPRETER TO SIGN TO THE OTHER INTERPRETER JUST THE LETTERS IN THE STORY. SO WE'LL ONLY FOCUS ON THE LETTERS, NOT THE WORDS. RIGHT. THE INTERPRETER WILL HAVE TO DO JUST THE LETTERS. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z. OK? THANK YOU. NOW, THE NEXT STEP, THE INTERPRETER CANNOT DO A DIRECT WORD-FOR- SIGN TRANSLATION. YOU KNOW, THAT SAYING THAT "A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS"? IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY A THOUSAND WORDS IN A FEW SECONDS. IMPOSSIBLE. SO I CAN GIVE YOU A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE WORDS THAT THEY CAN SAY. I'LL EXPLAIN HOW I WROTE THIS LATER. WE'VE NOTICED THAT DEAF PEOPLE TYPICALLY DO NOT GIVE THE TITLE BEFORE THE STORY BEFORE THEY PERFORM IT, AS I DID. I TOLD THE STORY AND THEN TOLD YOU THE TITLE, "WHO DID IT?", SO YOU COULD VISUALIZE THAT IT WAS A STORY ABOUT SOMEBODY KILLING ANOTHER PERSON. BUT OTHERS DON'T WANT TO KNOW BEFOREHAND. THEY WANT TO VISUALIZE THE PIECE AS A WHOLE AND THEN ADD THE TITLE AT THE END, LIKE IN EUROPE. OH, THERE'S A BOOK. YOU KNOW, LIKE THE TABLE OF CONTENTS IN THE FRONT OF THE BOOK. THERE'S INFORMATION THERE. BUT IN EUROPE, THAT INFORMATION IS ALWAYS IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK, SO IT'S THE SAME PRINCIPLE WITH THIS. I'LL TALK ABOUT THIS INTERPRETATION LATER. BUT THESE STORIES ARE WIDESPREAD, EVEN THOUGH WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY STARTED FROM. WE DO THINK THEY COME FROM THE DEAF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS OR DEAF CLUBS. SO I ASKED YOUNG AND OLDER DEAF PEOPLE WHERE THEY SAW THESE STORIES, AND MANY OF THEM SAID FROM THEIR TEACHERS. AND I ASKED IF THEIR TEACHERS WERE HEARING, AND THE ANSWER WAS NO, THAT THEY WERE DEAF TEACHERS. SO THESE ARE COMING FROM DEAF TEACHERS WHO WERE TAUGHT HOW TO TEACH DEAF CHILDREN, MOSTLY FROM GALLAUDET, TO THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, TO THE DEAF CLUBS AND THEN OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY. I'VE HAD A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE FINDING THAT HERE IN AMERICA, WE DEAF PEOPLE HAVE THESE ABC STORIES. OTHER COUNTRIES DO NOT. I'VE ASKED PEOPLE AT INTERNATIONAL DEAF WORKSHOPS, THE INTERNATIONAL DEAF INTERPRETERS WORKSHOP AT THE WORLD CONGRESS FOR THE DEAF IN FINLAND IN 1987. I GAVE AN INTRODUCTION ON DEAF FOLKLORE AND SPOKE ABOUT ABC STORIES. AND A GENTLEMAN FROM SWEDEN APPROACHED ME AND TOLD ME HOW FORTUNATE WE AMERICANS ARE BECAUSE WE HAVE SUCH STORIES IN SIGN LANGUAGE. SO I ASKED HIM TO GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE IN HIS LANGUAGE, AND HE TOLD ME HE COULDN'T. SO I ASKED HIM TO SHOW ME SWEDISH FINGERSPELLING. I'LL SHOW YOU AMERICAN ON MY LEFT HAND AND SWEDISH ON MY RIGHT. SO IT'S QUITE DIFFERENT THAN OURS. AND THEN I EXPLAINED THAT HE COULD CREATE STORIES, GET TOGETHER WITH HIS FRIENDS, AND TRY TO DEVELOP IT. HE WAS DOUBTFUL, BUT I ASSURED HIM HE COULD TRY. THE NEXT DAY AT THE SECOND PART OF MY WORKSHOP BEFORE I COULD BEGIN, HE AGAIN APPROACHED ME AND SHOWED ME AN ABC STORY USING SWEDISH FINGERSPELLING. I CONGRATULATED HIM, SAYING, "OTHER COUNTRIES COULD DO THE SAME." A YEAR LATER AT THE DEAF WAY FESTIVAL, I WAS LECTURING ON DEAF FOLKLORE AND A WOMAN APPROACHED ME AND ASKED IF I REMEMBERED A MAN WHO HAD SAID HE COULD DO AN ABC STORY IN SWEDISH SIGN LANGUAGE. "YES, I REMEMBERED HIM." SHE TOLD ME HE HAD DEVELOPED BETWEEN 15 TO 25 ABC STORIES, AND THEY WERE THROUGHOUT ALL OF SWEDEN NOW. BRAVO! NOW I HOPE OTHER COUNTRIES WILL FOLLOW SUIT. DEAF CHILDREN AND ADULTS NEED TO DEVELOP LIT IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE FOR THE FUTURE. NOW, WE DO HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY IN DEVELOPING AN ABC STORY. IF YOU RECALL, IF YOU NOTICE, AN ABC STORY FOLLOWS THE ALPHABET. BUT IN ONE STORY, I BROKE THE RULE AND DID NOT USE A PROPER "T." INSTEAD, I USED THIS GESTURE, THIS GESTURE. SO I BROKE THE RULE BY USING THIS GESTURE, BUT IT HAD TO MAKE SENSE WITHIN THE STORY. IN ONE OF THE STORIES ON THE VIDEOS, THEY USED A PROPER "T" IN FINGERSPELLING, NOT MY GESTURE. IF YOU REMEMBER, THAT WAS ON THE TAPE. ALSO, TOO, THERE IS ANOTHER ISSUE. YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL IN TELLING THE "COWBOY AND INDIAN" STORY. THE VERY LAST SIGN, IF YOU SEE, IS THE INDIANS GIVE UP. MY GRADUATE ADVISOR AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY TOLD ME ABSOLUTELY NO! I HAD FORGOTTEN HOW DISCRIMINATORY THAT WAS, HOW BIASED. IT JUST SO HAPPENED MY ADVISOR WAS FLUENT IN INDIAN LANGUAGES, AND HE TOLD ME WE HAVE NATIVE AMERICANS HERE ON CAMPUS, AND WE DON'T WANT TO STEREOTYPE THEM AS BAD PEOPLE. SO I HAD TO RESPECT THAT, AND I WISH TO APOLOGIZE IF I OFFENDED ANYONE HERE. I SHOULD NOT INCLUDE THIS STORY. I WENT TO SOUTH DAKOTA LAST AUGUST, AND I DEFINITELY REMOVED THAT STORY. I NEED TO FIND ANOTHER NUMBER STORY TO SUBSTITUTE. WE HAVE TO BE MINDFUL OF BIASES OR DISCRIMINATION IN OUR ABC STORIES. THAT PROVIDES A DIFFERENT PROBLEM. NOW I WANT TO HELP YOU TO DEVELOP AND RECORD ABC STORIES FOR THE FUTURE PRESERVATION FOR WHICH THERE'S A GREAT NEED. I SAY THAT BECAUSE WHEN I STARTED AT GALLAUDET, I WAS ORAL. I LEARNED ASL THERE. I WAS FASCINATED BY IT. WHEN I ENTERED COLLEGE, I MET AN UPPERCLASSMAN WHO LOVED SIGNING ABC STORIES. I WAS HOOKED. I WOULD ASK HIM TO REPEAT THE STORY, 5, 6 TIMES. WELL, HE GRADUATED AND MOVED ON. I WAS MAJORING IN ELECTRONICS, HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH LIT WHATSOEVER. I DECIDED TO CHANGE MAJORS TO ANTHROPOLOGY, THE STUDY OF CULTURES, AND I FOUND FOLKLORE IS A PART OF ANTHROPOLOGY BECAUSE YOU CAN FIND CULTURAL REFERENCES WITHIN ITS STORIES. SO SPEAKING OF ABC STORIES, I WENT TO A CLASS REUNION 25, 35 YEARS LATER, AND I MET THAT PERSON WHOSE ABC STORIES I SO LOVED AND ASKED THEM TO TELL ME A STORY. THEIR RESPONSE WAS THEY HAD FORGOTTEN THEM. LOST! THAT'S WHEN I DECIDED WE NEED TO PRESERVE OUR STORIES, AND I'LL SHOW YOU THE DIFFERENT WAYS. TO START WITH--OH, GOSH, THE TIME LIMIT. I'LL TRY TO BE BRIEF. I STARTED WRITING DOWN THE ALPHABET AND THEN SITTING WITH THE STORYTELLER AND MATCHING VOCABULARY TO EACH LETTER. FOR EXAMPLE... SO IF I WERE TO GIVE A PERFORMANCE, THEY COULD PULL OUT THE SHEET AND HAND IT TO THE INTERPRETER. WE NEED THAT. ANOTHER WAY IS TO FILM THE STORIES, EITHER VIDEOTAPE OR FILM. YEAH, THERE'S A PROBLEM WITH VIDEOTAPE BECAUSE IT DOESN'T LAST FOREVER. IT'LL KEEP FOR 5 TO 10 YEARS AND THEN WEAR OUT. WE DO NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE. WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO BE BIASED AND ELIMINATE SOME STORIES. WE NEED TO PRESERVE THEM ALL. WE NEED TO FILM ALL TYPES OF STORYTELLERS, EVEN IF THEY'RE TERRIBLE SIGNERS. WE'RE TRYING TO CAPTURE THEIR IDEAS. WE NEED THAT WORLD VIEW. I WOULD LIKE IN THE FUTURE TO DO ANALYSIS AND COMPARE, FOR EXAMPLE, HOW PEOPLE START A STORY WITH KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND OPEN IT AND LOOK, AND YET THEY END IT DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING ON WHO THE TELLER IS. WHY DON'T ALL THE STORIES LOOK THE SAME? I'M INTERESTED IN HOW THEY DEVELOPED IT FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE, HOW THEIR MIND WORKS. LAST ONE. THIS IS FROM MITCHELL ROBERTS, WHO'S FROM CALIFORNIA, AND IT'S A NUMBER STORY GOING FROM 0 TO 11. SO IT ALL LINKS. IT'S IMPORTANT IF A PERSON CAN'T FIND THE WORDS TO DESCRIBE WHAT THEY WANT, THEY CAN DRAW IT. THE LAST SIGN IS 11 FOR TEARS OR SADNESS. NOW, THIS IS WHAT WE CAN USE ABC STORIES FOR... TO DEVELOP MORE SIGN VOCABULARY, TO INCREASE ASL PROFICIENCY AND PRODUCTION, TO BRING MORE ABC AND NUMBER STORIES INTO ASL LIT FOR THE FUTURE, AND TO ANALYZE DIFFERENT COGNITIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF DEAF YOUTH AND ADULTS, A WORLDWIDE PERSPECTIVE IN ABC AND NUMBER STORIES. AND LASTLY... TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF THEM FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. WE NEED THAT. THIS QUOTE IMPACTED ME DEEPLY. YOU KNOW, SOME HEARING PEOPLE SAY, "I JUST DON'T GET ABC STORIES." SO I FOUND THIS BEAUTIFUL QUOTE. IT'S AS IF YOU'RE LOOKING THROUGH A MIRROR... VERY IMPACTFUL. ANYWAY, THAT'S ALL THE TIME I HAVE. SO I THINK WE HAVE TIME FOR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS? OH, WE HAVE 3 MINUTES. OK. - WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SNOWBALL EFFECT? - YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU START WITH A SMALL SNOWBALL AT THE TOP OF THE HILL, AND AS IT ROLLS DOWN THE HILL IT GETS LARGER AND LARGER? WELL, THAT'S WHAT WE NEED PEOPLE TO DO IS START THE STORIES, AND ONCE THEY START, THEY'LL SPREAD. AND WE NEED INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE TO DEVELOP THEM. FOR EXAMPLE, THE SPEAKER YESTERDAY--OH, A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO SPOKE ABOUT HOW CLASSROOMS SHOULD REQUIRE ALL STUDENTS TO DEVELOP THESE STORIES, AND THEN IF THEY BECOME TEACHERS, THESE STORIES WILL GO OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY, TO THE DEAF SCHOOLS, TO THE DEAF CLUBS. THAT'S WHAT I MEAN BY THE SNOWBALL EFFECT. - I'M NOT SURE IF I WOULD CALL AN ABC STORY ASL LIT BECAUSE ABC STORIES USE SO MUCH SEE--SIGNED EXACT ENGLISH. SO ARE WE USING HAND SHAPES OR ARE WE FOLLOWING THE LETTER? LIKE THE SIGN FOR "CIGAR," WE USE AN "R," BUT I'M JUST NOT SURE. WHAT I SEE IS SEE, AND THAT'S NOT LANGUAGE. - WELL, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. YOU KNOW, ASL IS NOT AS PURE AS OTHER COUNTRIES' SIGN LANGUAGES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN ISRAEL, THERE'S NO FINGERSPELLING IN ISRAELI SIGN LANGUAGE, NONE AT ALL. IT'S ALL SIGNS, ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. WHEN WE THINK OF ASL, WE LOSE SOME OF THE BEAUTY, BUT IT'S STILL CATCHING UP. BUT I AGREE WITH YOU IN TERMS OF WHETHER IT'S A HAND SHAPE OR A LETTER. WHEN WE SEE INITIALIZED SIGNS LIKE "METHOD" OR THE "W" IN "WORRY," YES, I DO AGREE WITH THAT. OH, I HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF THE "WORRY" SIGN USING "W"s. THE GIRL WHOSE LAST POEM I SHOWED USED THE "W" HAND SHAPE FOR, OH, GUNS FIRING. USING THAT "W" HAND SHAPE. SHE WAS DEVELOPING HER IDEAS. SO WE CAN ESTABLISH TWO METHODS. WE CAN TELL THE STUDENTS, YOU MUST DEVELOP THE STORY USING SEE SIGNS OR IN ASL. THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. WE NEED TO REMAIN FLEXIBLE AND REMEMBER NOT BE BIASED.
Notes: 
"This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."
Notes: 
Title supplied by cataloger