|ASL instructor Christopher Rawlings and mentor Ben Wenzel|
participating in a vocab review game.
This semester has gone by so fast! I can’t believe my first semester as an RA is coming to an end. As the ASL-LLC RA, it has been great to see everyone’s skills develop. Many students didn’t know any ASL before coming to UWM. Now I see students having full conversations with others. Students have gained a better understanding of some of the struggles their Deaf peers face on a regular basis as well as learning what Deaf culture is all about. Residents have learned this through experience from living in the ASL-LLC as well as from their Deaf Culture class.
Some of my favorite moments have actually been from both LLC residents as well as residents who are not in the LLC. I see non LLC residents trying to learn ASL and learn to communicate with Deaf residents. These are my favorite moments because it shows me that the LLC is very influential. The ASL-LLC is more than a community for those who request it, but as an LLC we try to educate others about the culture and language that we are immersing ourselves in.
All of our events this semester have allowed residents to see different aspects of Deaf culture and different things that Deaf people enjoy doing within the Deaf community. We started out with Deaf Game Night, which showed students the type of games Deaf individuals enjoy as well as Deaf cultural norms such as sitting or standing in a circle (most of the games involved standing in a circle). Deaf Bowling night allowed students to have fun while using the language they recently started to learn. Bowling is also a popular activity within the Deaf community. Our last event is a study night. For this event the ASL instructor for the ASL 1 class, Christopher Rawlings, will come to the community to help lead games and other activities that allow students to practice the important aspects of the language they learned through the semester. This event will help residents prepare for their ASL final exam. I am proud to see how far the ASL LLC residents have come, and can’t wait to see their skills improve even more next semester!