Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My Introduction~

Hello everyone! For those who haven't met me, my name is Brandon Whitson and I will be the Peer Mentor for the ASL LLC Spring 2016! I am here to provide guidance in many areas ranging from academic issues/concerns, questions, or simply someone to talk to. Although I am your Peer Mentor, I am also a Junior here at UW Milwaukee so I have a background and familiarity with our campus. I highly enjoy getting to meet people and am even more elated to be able to help you all with whatever you need.

Now more about me... Some of my favorite things to do are watch The Golden Girls reruns (who knows Beatrice Arthur???) and cooking shows, enjoy quality time with my best friend (dog) Sally, and pick up parts of different languages (go figure right). One thing I find absolutely intriguing about Japanese is that there are THOUSANDS of different complex characters that depict meanings. Children at the age of not even 15 already know over 1,500 different kanji, which again is amazing to me. I compare this to the various deaf people in America whom grew up with ASL and how they learn hundreds of unique different signs that depict meaning. There are deaf children that are able to pick up finger-spelling in the first few years of their life when it has taken me years and I'm still polishing my skills. Regardless if we look at this from the linguistics standpoint of language acquisition or not, the bonds that are formed through the sociocultural communities and the language that unites them is what I ultimately enjoy being a part of.

As I said, I am currently a Junior here at UW Milwaukee double majoring in ASL Studies and ITP intended. I am applying for the Interpreter Training Program next fall and BELIEVE me when I say I am a little nervous. However, it is a wonderful feeling to know I have made it this far and I honestly cannot wait to be in the program. Interpreting and translation has always fascinated me because I've always enjoyed learning different languages. I think this stems from me growing up with my mother's side of the family speaking Puerto Rican while I learned English. To this day, when everyone is around my Abuela's kitchen table I can pick up the gist of what's being said, especially the not so nice words. I feel I am blessed to have this bi-cultural influence in my life and also believe that it is the reason why I am here today learning ASL, Japanese,  JSL, and strive to learn more about different languages and their respective cultures.

I look forward to working with you all and lets have a great semester!!! Take care!

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