Fingers flying, lips moving, but no sound escaping. As a curious five year old I thought my cousin had attained some sort of sickness, but as time progressed and I became older I came to find that her way of communication was in her hands, and this was her life, born into a silent world. I would sit and stare as my aunt manipulated her fingers to form words, and watched more attentively as my cousin produced similar gestures. The mere fact of communicating without use of the mouth perplexed me, boggled my mind, and fascinated me to the point that the desire to learn American Sign Language was then birthed in me. Willing to teach me, my cousin would point to objects around the house, and show me the signs; seconds later she would expect me to show her the same sign and of course I tragically failed, but she never gave up on me. Seeing this growing interest, my mother brought home ASL books for me to practice with, for when my cousin was away at the Florida school for the Deaf and the Blind. Upon entering High school I was ecstatic to find out that my school offered Sign Language as a foreign language. I immediately registered for that class and vowed to stick with it all four years of high school. Going into my third year of school, I really started to think about what I wanted to do after graduation, and what type of career I wanted. I knew that whatever I went on to do had to revolve around children, and incorporate sign language; I just didn’t know what. Just so happens at that time my family decided to take a vacation to St. Augustine. We went everywhere: the fort, the lighthouse, even Ripley’s. One stop on our tour was Flagler College, and that, my friend, is where I officially fell head over heels in love. I stated to my parents what a great school Flagler appeared to be, and how I would love to go there, but I didn’t know what type of programs they offered. Only a few hours later, I was online looking at the school website; searching the list of majors trying to see if there was something that caught my eye. Under education I saw deaf and looked more into it, and after much research I finally found a career path that fit exactly what I wanted to do in life; the best part of it all is that Flagler College caters to that path. Robert Byrne said “The purpose life is a life of purpose”, and I know my purpose involves Flagler College. By equipping me with the tools to teach, Flagler will enable me to be an ear for those who cannot hear and to help deaf children feel confident in their ability to function as proud deaf members of a hearing society through a voice using their flying fingers.
November 19, 2010