About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Friday, May 11, 2007

One seriously cool fortune cookie

On my way to an appointment after work one Wednesday in early March, I stopped at Panda Express. Don't know if you have them where you live, but their Orange Chicken is a thing of beauty and a joy to taste. I ordered a Panda Bowl, which is a portion-appropriate serving of two items; mine were the chicken and good old boring plain white rice, cooked to perfection.

The best part of eating Chinese, or even pseudo-Chinese sped up for American tastes and schedules, is the fortune cookie. I like them best when they are fresh, of course, but even prefabbed and shrink-wrapped they are fragrant, noisy fun.

Any good LDS [Mormon] girl will tell you that astrology is bunk, but fortune cookies are invariably correct! The eeriest one I ever opened was two days after the children's father forgot our penultimate anniversary, and it read "He does not love you very much, but he loves you all that he can." [I think there was some divine intervention going on with that one, but moving on...]

The *best* one was the one I opened two months ago: "You have a natural grace and great consideration for others". Oh gee, I certainly hope so, particularly the latter.

When I went back to school in 1995 to earn my AAS in Interpreting for the Deaf, one of the first required classes that I took was a mime class. And for one of our projects, we had to lip-synch and choreograph a song, using no sign language or speech. My best friend found the song for me, Barbra Streisand’s “Everybody Says Don’t” from her Back to Broadway album. I had been very quiet in my classes up to that point, but the night of my performance my innate feistiness was there for all to see. I had so much fun pointing at the teacher when she sings "laugh at the king", and the entire class cracked up.

I didn’t watch the VHS that was made of all of the performances until after I’d graduated from the program. And I was moved to tears to see how graceful I am when I perform. I had always thought of myself as something of a klutz, but that tape showed me otherwise. For just a moment, I saw what God sees when He sees me.

I try to retain that in my mind and in my heart, and to see it when I look at others. One of my favorite Primary songs is “I’m Trying to be Like Jesus”. It never fails to bring a tear or two; the melody is one that tiptoes into your ears and nestles deep in your heart.

Some days I do better than others.

And now for your regularly scheduled knitting content:

[visualize photo here]

I am an inch past the end of the raglan decreases on the back of LittleBit's hoodie. Seventeen inches to go before we bind off! And the battery in my camera just died, so I can't give you a visual.


Tan said...

Do you work as an interpreter? Years ago I was assigned a visiting teachee who was deaf. She could read lips and speak, but much preferred sign language. I worked hard to learn sign, and even went with her to her birthing class when her husband couldn't come. I was terrible at it (I never could read finger spelling) and have forgotten everything I learned, although while I was teaching in Special Primary I did learn Silent Night in sign so I could lead it at the Christmas program.

One of the weird things that happens here in Utah is people want the Primary kids to learn songs in sign. We don't have anyone in the ward who requires it, but it's just sort of a cute thing to make children do. They don't bother to use the church's actual video that comes out every year for the sacrament meeting program with the songs correctly interpreted, though. There is just usually someone whose sister's friend's ward has a person who "knows some sign language" who has figured out a word for word translation that the kids learn. These get pretty garbled by the time they get passed down from non-signer to non-signer a few times.

A member of our ward who used sign at home growing up because his two brothers are hearing impaired stopped by the Primary to watch one time. He said, "What are they trying to do in there? That sign language doesn't make any sense!" He corrected a couple of egregious errors for them. I wish they wouldn't do it. It makes sign language into a cute trick to teach kids, the way we teach our dog to sit on command.

Lynn said...

Working as an interpreter was the plan. But I failed the Level 1 exam two years' running, and at the time I graduated from the program, the school district was only paying $14K a year to their interpreters. What I love best is theatrical interpreting, followed by religious interpreting.

I have a problem with the signs that the kids learn for "Love One Another". The sign they use for "have" is the sign for "own" or "possess", and not the sign that signifies something that happened in the past. I *loathe* signed English.

When I sign it, sitting in the congregation at church, I sign the concepts and not the transliteration. But you couldn't call me strict ASL, either, more PSE (pidgin signed English). I don't use any of it enough to maintain much of a vocabulary; I make way more as a receptionist in a law firm.

I got called out of the congregation last stake conference to interpret for an investigator, but the elders were able to figure out how to turn on the closed-captioning, and I got to breathe a sigh of relief.

I know what you mean about turning sign into a "cute trick" for the kids.

I did get to sign "Silent Night" in the ward Christmas cantata last year, and I love having the ability to sign a hymn when I get choked up by the Spirit and nothing will come out of my throat.