I sent in a request to be part of an intensive 3 week class this summer to learn sign language. And I’m terrified.
I’ve been trying to figure out why this terrifies me so because really, this doesn’t seem like something that should strike fear in my heart. It’s something I want to do. (hence the application) But it makes my heart race to think I might get into the class.
So why did I apply? I want to learn. The place I work has a high number of deaf students and I’d like to be able to communicate with them without paper and pencil. I think it shows a bit of respect to learn this to help serve them. And I plain old think it would be cool to learn.
Now my fear tells me I have been getting by without learning and no one would bat an eye if I didn’t learn. It also keeps whispering in my ear that it will be very embarrassing if I can’t learn. I don’t have the best memory. I haven’t been a student in forever. I DO NOT MEMORIZE WELL. My entire office will know I’m taking the class and will expect me to come back full of knowledge and the ability to sign to actual deaf people and understand the same deaf people’s signing. What if I can’t?
Working at a university has many positive aspects. Free classes for one sounds like a beautiful benefit unless you don’t do well. Then EVERYONE will know you are an idiot.
In the end I bit the bullet, gave my boss the application to sign (it’s during work hours), and sent it in. I don’t have one of those bucket lists or 40 by 40 lists because I can never think of anything I really want to do. This morning on my way to work I realized that learning sign language is something I would like to do before 40. I’ve always wanted to learn, and really, it’s not out of my reach. But it is very scary.