Last night I ventured into the local Deaf community, quite a big step since I didn't know anyone there. I had visions of everyone using book-perfect ASL with beautiful non-manual marks and wonderful facial expressions...and me not understanding any of it. Of course, that wasn't true. Like a lot of Deaf events I attended while at Bethel, this one had more hearing people than Deaf, mostly students from the Jehovah's Witness church wanting to be able to communicate with those who have been coming to their church. There were also students who sometimes forgot to sign if they were speaking and who were writing down new vocab words...oh, the memories.
It was slightly comforting to know that they haven't been studying it as long as I have, so then I felt better (and signed slower....I sign way too fast when I'm nervous). Getting to know everyone really was enjoyable. It was so good to know that I can still sign! I got the contact info of two girls (one Deaf, one hearing) and I hope to be able to hang out with them sometime.
I have a story about one good voicing moment I had when I was mentally interpreting what one lady was saying, but I won't bore you all with that right now.
So, moral of the story is that, by the grace of God, I enjoyed myself, despite not knowing anyone and having to use my second language. The fact that I could even remember ASL after being at a quiz meet all day is a miracle, for real.