Ten Years of Teaching Online: 500 Free Hardcore ASL Streaming Videos!

This week, Jann Sweenie and I are celebrating our 10 Year anniversary of teaching American Sign Language online at HardcoreASL.com!  As part of this ongoing decade celebration, we are now offering more than 500 of our ASL video streaming teaching videos at no cost to you!

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Curtains Make Good Neighbors and Bad Art

The quickest way to lose any social argument is to hide behind claiming the wellbeing of your children is at risk while not standing in front of them and offering them direct protection.  If you’re truly concerned about the welfare of your offspring, instantly act on their behalf, and don’t slog into the courts to beg a remedy to a simple matter of privacy that could be solved simply by drawing the curtains.

There’s an old saying in the Deaf Community when it comes to watching other people’s Sign Language conversations from across the room — “eyes for for?” — meaning “my eyes are for watching, and if you don’t want to be watched, then move out of my line of sight. Make your own privacy.”

Today, we could say the same thing about a camera in situ — “photos for for?”

There’s a big hoo-hah here in New York City over the right of a family to demand privacy in their floor-to-ceiling windowed apartment — even though they leave the curtains open — so anyone, and everyone, can see directly into their living space.

One neighbor, Arne Svenson, found the patterns of the family’s windows intriguing and took a series of images of them as part of his “The Neighbors” photography series.  Here’s an example from his fascinating collection:

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How Baby Signs Infantilized American Sign Language

Five years or so ago, the Baby Signs movement was in full bowel, with mommies everywhere clamoring to get their babies “signing” their first words instead of verbalizing sounds.  “Baby Signs,” the theory still goes today, “is a prime key to early intellectualization and language acquisition for babies.”  The problem with that notion is that Baby Signs do not teach a language — Baby Signs only destroys an established language by infantilization and misuse and ego projection — and I’ve never seen any convincing, quantifiable, evidence that Baby Signs actually does a baby any good.  Oh, Baby Signing is great for mommy because it makes her feel fulfilled and that she’s given birth to a genius-child-by-inference using imagined visual glossing, but Baby Signs does nothing significant at all for the baby because the intention is to never actually teach the baby American Sign Language.  The intention of Baby Signs is to improperly use ASL HandShapes out of context to bridge the baby into spoken English.

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Throwing Down Gang Signs: It is Deadly Being Deaf

It can be pretty rough being Deaf.  Your disability is pretty much invisible unless people look for a hearing aid or catch you using sign language.  Being Deaf often includes having to deal with stupid people and purposeful misunderstandings.  A recent example is what happened in Miami.

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The History of Our American Sign Language Classes at CUNY

Janna and I were delighted to create, and then teach, our “Hardcore ASL” style of learning as a new series of American Sign Language courses offered by the City University of New York professional school, and while we no longer teach there, the experience was both historic and defining.

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Camille Paglia Scolds Lady Gaga's Nattering Vagina

Let there be no doubt:  Camille Paglia hates Lady Gaga — and she says so, quite clearly — in a relentless, unbending, 3,200-word, flaying published in The Sunday Times.  The article is behind a paywall.  I ponied up the $2.00USD access fee for one day access to the website.  I was surprised to read not a single kind word was shed in Stefani’s favor:

There are blurred borderlines between the sexes: gender is now alleged to be fabricated rather than biological; so everything is a pose. Thus Gaga welcomed the rumour about her being intersex and converted it into a fashion statement. Casual “hooking up” blends friends and lovers, with sex becoming merely an excuse for filial hugging…. Hence Gaga gratuitously natters on about her vagina. In the sprawling anarchy of the web, the borderline between fact and fiction has melted away.

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Banning Sign Language on a New Jersey School Bus

When I used to take a bus to school, I remember it being a rowdy ride most of the time. The kids were always bouncing up and down in the seats, despite the bus driver always going out of his way to show us the importance of putting on a seat belt. Some kids used to play a politically incorrect game called the “Chinese Fire Drill” in which they would jump into the seat directly in front of theirs. There was, naturally, plenty of horseplay on the bus.

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