05 June, 2006

See Here!

My latest voyage of discovery has taken me to a fun place where I'm not allowed to speak. Hurrah, I hear everyone cry!

It's all Neil's fault. Or it might be Gayle, who told me we were getting a deaf co-worker, but who turned out to only be deaf in one ear (I think she's just lazy, personally). But it's mainly Neil for showing me how much fun he's been having learning sign language. On a whim, I decided to start learning myself, and checked out a couple of online resources. By the end of the weekend I'd learned a few basic signs, brushed up my spelling, learned numbers (badly, as I later found out) and colours.

Now, something horrible happened that Sunday afternoon - I got *kind of* dumped. Although you can't really be dumped after just one date, can you? But considering how smitten I was, it hurt. So I didn't go into the office that Monday, deciding instead to work in an office in the city centre, where no-one knew me, and so wouldn't think it odd that I kept diving out of the room and into the gents to sob quietly.

In-between minor breakdowns, I started to search the work's intranet site for courses on sign language. Four days later I'd still not found anything. As a last shot, I emailed See Hear, that telly show most of you flick past on weekend afternoons. Within 30 seconds they got back to me with a course and by the following day I was signed up, having missed just one lesson.

Back to Neil, who is very confident [c-sign rising up chest] and has been studying the thing for a few years [something involving a pointing left hand being pointed at by however many years it's been, represented by the same amount of fingers on the right hand]. The first sentence I learned was 'My name is J.... i.... m.' (painful!). Thanks to Neil my second was 'My manager is a miserable lesbian c***', a phrase I proceeded to share with many of my work colleagues - who concurred! Oh I like this!

I'm getting faster, I know I'm doing better than the majority of the others in the class (I seem to be one of the few attending every lesson [hands held palms down, sides rubbing together]), and the lessons have given me something to look forward to when going to work, as well as cheering me up massively. But my confidence was rocked a little when I caught BBC News 24 this lunchtime. It's signed in the 1.00 edition. Bloody HELL he was speedy. I caught the sign for 'mobile phone' [loose fist held to side of head - bit obvious that one] and got the impression that there was a report he wasn't happy about involving an exploding bus. But then, I could hear the actual narration so I'm not such a clever dick after all.

Still, I can sign the whole of 'I can sing a rainbow' now, the title to Cher's 'Do You Believe in Life After Love' and a few episode titles from Doctor Who [a rather emphatic loop and then curved hands drawing a circle = 'The Impossible Planet'; a stroke down my right cheek and then some waggling fingers = 'Girl in the Fireplace'; though 'Castrovalva' will probably end up really vulgar the way my spelling's going]. Which means I can at least keep a group of very young deaf kids or some very easily-pleased gays entertained for a few seconds.

Just have to remember not to mention my manager at any point...

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