Slips of the hand

Josh Swiller arrived this afternoon, and a bunch of other people did too, so now the dorm feels like an actual place instead of a deserted jail. I was here all by myself for ten days.

Slips of the hand: when I told someone that “my roommate” Josh was arriving, I used the sign for together: my together Josh. I walked away vaguely feeling that I had implied my companion Josh. I may be from San Francisco, but I’m not that kind of San Francisco.

And when a woman in my class signed Pleased to meet you, instead of signing meet by holding two fingers up vertically relative to each other, she held them horizontally: Pleased to have sex with you. I don’t know what the sign for “have sex” is yet, but the class took it that way and everyone broke up.

I’m studying for my final exam, and somehow I forgot the sign for forget. If you don’t know the sign for forgetting, does that mean you have to remember everything? I hope so.


  1. Funny! It looks like learning to sign is a little bit like trying to lipread but you get the wrong word. Glad you have roomates and friends now!

  2. The big difference between MEET and SEX is that the former uses one finger on each hand (the 1 shape represents a person) and the latter uses 2 fingers (represent two sets of legs 😉 )

  3. Forget is hard for you? Wiping all the information out of your brain is how I was taught it.

    Remember is hard for me. Hard enough that our ASL teacher would always cover in her reviews and made it part of her mid-term. After *that* I REMEMBERED (picture me touching one thumb to my forehead and touching my other thumb) remember.

    Enjoy the dorm party! Should get fun from here.

  4. May I ask a question that is not about sex?
    You’ve stated that you practiced understanding speech by listening to books on tape. Did you simply listen and concentrate, or did you try to follow along with the text?

    I’ve read your book and my experience with the CI is similar to yours. All sorts of things sound wonderful and “natural,” but after 9 months, understanding speech is still a challenge.

  5. Ah yes… I remember first learning ASL. The sign she did in error reminds me of the sign for “date”. Maybe they took it as “Nice to date you?” The sign for “recently” and “sex” is very similar… Screwed that up a lot at first… Recently = Make an “X” with right hand, turn your hand so that index finger is facing towards your back, put index finger on right cheek then wiggle that index finger. Sex = “X” with right hand, tap right cheek w/ the index finger around the apple of the cheek, then tap again on the same side on your R jawline. Oh the intricacy 🙂

  6. I am anxious for you to update your blog and find out what YOU think of class, and your Gallaudet experience so far. I’m sure it has been quite the ride. See you Thursday.

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