Its hard to believe I have been here in the UK for over half a year! I love it more than ever and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to be here. I have just moved into a new place and its lovely. I am still getting settled and have a few more things to grab from my old flat. Mr. Tyke said last night, as he hadn't seen it since I really moved in, "now this is a proper home"- and yes.. thats what I feel. Its spacious for me, I am able to invite visitors around and I don't feel as if I am living in a hotel. I was pretty excited when I first moved into my original flat- but I think it was simply the excitement of being here. Once I began to live in the small 20 sq meters I started to feel a bit down. Something that is a part of me is inviting people over, being a host, cooking people dinner- invites where extended to me and I was never able to offer the return. But now I am. I am living on a side street that is next to the bus. I have access to most parts of the city from my location and can already tell a difference in my commute to the university as well just getting around town is better- I am saving 40 minutes a day in my current location. I am excited to get some new art up in my flat and continue to make it "my own"- looking forward to having you over for dinner.
I have been working hard on my research and am really starting to develop my skills as a researcher. I have an analysis that I am trying to get done by Friday and so that has been where my focus is- 16 pages in I think I will make my deadline. About to get to work on that but thought I would stop in here for an update first! All I can say is sign language interpreter educators are working really hard- and there are a lot of demands on them. They are also working in environments where they don't seem to have all the resources to perform their jobs as best as they would like to. What does this mean for our students? What does this mean for the consumers in which our graduates eventually work with? My mind was racing a mile a minute. I laid in bed- wide awake until 1-ish thinking about my research. I think its sucked me in. I guess this is a good thing. I must say tho- being in this research arena is really making me miss being in the classroom more than I am. I wish there was a way to do both. I want to be balancing my work with more teaching. Teaching energizes me and I find that when I am not in a classroom, developing lessons,engaging with students I feel as if I am missing out.
Learn and Master Sign Language
Learn and Master Sign Language launched. You know- the big project I was working on before moving here with Dr. Byron Bridges? We worked hard to create a sign language course that people could learn at home. The course was produced by a company out of Nashville and we are happy to say that it has launched. I know a ton of people have said to me through the years, "I would love to learn ASL," "I have this friend who found out their kid is Deaf- they are interested in learning Sign Language- How??" or "I am taking ASL and feel like I need more support, any suggestions?" So here it is- a comprehensive course teaching ASL so that people at home can learn at their own pace. Now don't get us wrong- we KNOW the best way to learn is through interacting with the community and during the course we say it countless times. But we do know that there are parents out there who may have deaf kids, are working full time jobs and not have the time to go to an official course. Maybe this will help bridge some communication gaps with their kids? Or maybe you work in a place and have a Deaf person who comes into your office or utilizes your services? How cool would it be to have some conversational skills to be able to chat with him or her? Our personal goal with this project is to make ASL more accessible so that hearing and deaf people have more opportunities to interact directly with each other. The company originally wanted 12 DVDs made.. we made 25. There is over 49 hours of instruction, there is a lesson book, fingerspelling practice, deaf culture highlights and so much more. My favorite lesson has to be on safety and emergencies- simply because I think it is so important… could be that dad is a retired fire chief and mom is a nurse! Anyway- I am really hopeful that people will learn a lot from it and that at the end of the day there are more people learning Sign Language so that standing in line at the grocery store isn't so isolating all the time and just maybe you would be able to sign, "OH TONIGHT CINCO DE MAYO MEXICAN FOOD YOU COOK, ME SAME" You know what I mean? I guess its the little things in life. Anyway, if you haven't already, I would really appreciate it if you shared the website on your Facebook walls or twitter feeds- you never know who might really NEED this product, or who might just want it. www.lmslinstructors.com
FriendsI am so blessed to have the friends I do here. I know I have written it before- but I would be lost with out them. I have met amazing people and it simply has made my transition here so smooth. I know that when I am feeling down I can call, I know that when they are going through something serious they will call. What has been so great about my friends here is that its been complete transparency from the beginning. No secrets, no slow reveal- its been here I am.. all my flaws, all my quirks, this is me- take it or leave it. And at the end of the day we have all taken to each other. Its lovely.
Lucky for me- I don't think he reads my blog. :) I can talk all I want about him and he will just occasionally ask if he has "featured" or not in a post. Mr. Tyke and I are doing well. Its been interesting as we have come to learn about each others backgrounds, cultures, world-views… and just who we are as people. We are different. I am happy, rather optimistic and see the good in the world… he is a realist, thinks a lot about life and is a bit more skeptical. I think its a pretty good balance. He makes me laugh (even though I am the real comedian.. I mean I do standup), he is helpful and caring. I had asked him like 5 times if he was going to come with me to sign my lease on my new property and he never responded… but what made me laugh is when I said- you know I have asked you five times about this and you have not answered he laughed at me and said, "of course I am going you know that, I wouldn't leave you hanging"- Ha.. ok. i guess I didn't need to ask 5 times after all. When it came down to set up my internet- he looked around online for the best deal, negotiated the people down in price (thats a real Yorkshire man.. :) , and then even came to set it up for me last night- after driving back from England and not feeling fantastic. I don't know what the future holds for us- but I am happy and I am just going with the flow.
I do stand up? yes- if you missed a previous posting I have gotten myself into some stand up comedy with Bright Club. Its where researchers and people with specialized skills and knowledge engage the public with comedy routines. It has been such a fantastic creative outlet, its helping my public speaking skills and I have been making some amazing friends in the process across a variety of disciplines. I am thankful for one of the professors at the University who invited me to watch a Bright club and while in the audience said, "stacey, I think you could do this"- It has been so much fun. I even ventured to St. Andrews last week- I took a train and a bus to bring my comedy set to a new "stage"- it was a tough crowd but they laughed and I had a blast. I do have a link if you want to see the video- just let me know. Its a private link and I have to send it directly to you.
I have an appointment this morning that i have to get to before I work the rest of the day on my analysis. I hope everyone is well. I am sorry if I haven't been in touch as much the last couple weeks- its been pretty hectic around here with the move, knocking out my projects and just you know living life. I miss you guys back home but know that I am doing well and I am feeling happy. Be looking for a very specific 30th birthday post soon! xx