Sunday, February 26, 2017

Where to learn ASL

The other month I gave ideas of how you can learn ASL. Now I am going to give you specifics, for the Bakersfield area, the pros and cons of each location/ modality and the total cost that each option offers.

I have been trying to learn ASL for about 5 years now, after having taken a class about 15 years ago in High School, and kicking myself for not taking it in College. So now a mother of 3 I have been trying to find the best way to learn ASL. I have studied the different modalities for the last 3 years and this is what I have come up with, for Bakersfield specifically.
1. BC classes - $968+ books
    - ASL 1-4: (4 credits each at $46/unit (if resident of CA) +$13 Health care +$4 Student Center + $1 Student Rep +$40 Parking (optional)) 4= $968
   - In person classes
   - Local teachers well known in Deaf community in Bakersfield, local signs
   - on East Side, commute 2 days a week. Class offering times get limited the higher you go
2. Eissler - $25 - cash only
  - Parent organization
  - local Deaf teacher
  - focuses on signs you use in everyday life
  - every few months they restart the class
  - can take kids to class
  - only one level offered
3. BGLAD $40 - cash only
  - Local Deaf Community class
  - Deaf Teachers
  - ASL 1 class
  - offered every few months
  - cheaper than BC
  - only one level offered
4. Gallaudet University $2583 +Books
   - Online
   - ASL 1-3 $861/course
   - Premier Deaf College in country
   - looking at adding more advanced ASL classes in future (4-6)
   - do a placement screening before you start a course to make sure you are in the right class
   - Classes done at your own pace, to be completed in a set amount of time
   - offer Online certificate programs as well
5. ASL University- free or $966
   - Online, his taped university classes for free
   - options for University credit at $483/ course (ASL 1&2)
   - does have basic outline for ASL 3 &4 but not at organized as ASL 1&2
   - Teacher answers questions from students
   - has a facebook page
   - has a You Tube channel that he updates
   - site is full of link, you can get lost
6. BYU Indpendent Study- $1000
   - HS level courses splits Year 1 & 2 into 4 courses $250/ course
   - Teacher led course
   - one on one signing appointments
   - student discussion boards
   - instructor hosted wiki
   - UC approved for this academic year
6. SignIt! $80/ Units 1&2
   - Online
   - From creators of Signing Time, teaches ASL 1
   - different than all other online and video Signing Lessons I have seen
   - offer free sample lesson to give you an feel for format
   - working on being credentialed with a University
   - Not finished, currently 2 of 10 Units are completed
   - Free for those with children Deaf or Hard of Hearing under age of 3 through My Deaf Child
7. DCMP- free
   - online library, has an App
   - must sign up as a student of ASL
   - check out videos, online
   - have many different subjects to watch, different lengths of videos
   - children's- professionals, can sort by grade level of ASL knowledge
   - different ASL video lessons including the 'classic' "Meet the Bravo's"
8. Signing Time- $350 -online/ $700- Video
   - Online $10/ea , Video $17/ea
   - Aimed at teaching children under 8
   -ST Series 1&2 Teaches over 1,000 signs
   - Includes Baby Signing Time focused on children under 3
   - ST Sentences teaches basics of ASL grammar
   - Sales are offered throughout the year, videos sold individually, and 2-3/ year have a $10            sale. The full set often goes on sale a few times throughout the year, esp around Black Friday.

I hope this gives you some ideas on what will be a good choice for you and your family. I know which I want to do, and what I will probably do.

I personally have tried Signing Time, DCMP, SignIt, ASL University, and (started) BC- was too pregnant to continue. I look forward to continuing my education with more formal training.

Yoga at home

My home practice area, with my daughter's mat
The best way to learn a new art is practice. I will be the first to admit attending yoga classes can be expensive. It is one reason why I started teaching. But you do need to attend classes with a well trained teacher to learn the art of yoga, and so you don't hurt yourself, or create bad habits.

So let's say you attend class once a week. My class on Tues nights is a great place to start 😜. Then, at the beginning, pick 2 other days a week, find a place in your house, and practice what we did in class. If you want I will write out the sequence... hint we will do the 5 poses I explained here, plus a few seated.

It is like my band teacher in elementary school always said, "practice makes permanent" if you practice something wrong you will always do it wrong. If you come to class once or twice a week, then practice at home what we covered in class you won't learn bad habits and I promise you will see yourself grow immensely in your yoga practice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

2018 here I come

Back to basics. These previous 5 poses have been my standing poses for the two months. They are the bedrock of my practice and have rebuilt my practice. They are what I will be teaching my students in March. I am amazed at how strong I feel and how quickly my practice is coming back with only doing these 5 poses standing poses each night.

As my practice builds so does my voice and confidence. I have seen my Senior Teacher. The first time I taught in front of her was... well rough to put it nicely. I had just started practicing the week before. I felt weak and my voice was unsure if it could teach again. Then my teacher in Bakersfield gave me another chance to help her teach. My voice started weary, but found its rhythm. I felt the desire to teach again, and I knew that my body would come along.

A few weeks ago I went back to San Diego to see my Senior Teacher again. Again the first time I taught was shaky, but better, but the second time I knew I taught well. I felt as if the room was mine and those in front of me were not my peers and my teacher that I get nervous around, but my students that I love and am eager to help.

At the end of that weekend my teacher and I talked about my certification. I have graduated from her two year training program. My teaching is strong and par with an Introductory II Certified Teacher. But since I just had a baby my body is not ready to go up for assessment. I knew that this meant putting off my assessment for another year. 2018. At least this time I didn't want to cry when she told me I had to wait for assessment. I don't want to push my body into something it is not ready for.  I am a mother of 3 beautiful children, and my yoga practice is caring for them. Learning how to help them grow up. I am not a perfect mother, I yell more than I want. I give ultimatiums, and don't let the kids play in the front yard as much as I want. But I try to take the time to thank them for things they do well. I try to sit with them and read, play, and how to learn. I am trying to continue to learn patience and compassion. These things are my yoga. My practice is what I am able to do at the end of the day. I aim for 1-2 hrs, but if my kids need me, then my practice can wait.

I taught my first class last night, and my second class today (with a baby tucked under my arm). I am grateful for the chance to teach and help others gain what they need from yoga.
Michael and Mom in San Diego for training