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Shining light on the art of speaking with your hands, The language of ASL

haile jones
ASL signing

     You can say so much without saying a single word, the beauty of speaking with your hands. Speaking a language known as American Sign Language (ASL). Here at Grantsville High School an ASL class and club is offered and available for all students. Even if you don’t take ASL class, “We accept everyone and anyone, you don’t even need to be in the class to be a part of the club,” said Ashlee Mirgeler, ASL teacher. 

     ASL is a class where students get to not only learn about the language and how to sign, but the culture and the history of American Sign Language. The deaf community has had many struggles with getting recognition in the past, ASL was only officially recognized as a language 63 years ago, in 1960 by William Stokoe, a scholar and hearing professor at Gallaudet University. People in the hearing community think that something is wrong with deaf people, but that isn’t the case. Deaf people are more than capable of doing everything a hearing person can. They deserve the same treatment and respect despite their differences. Deaf people can drive, become lawyers, become doctors, and be just as successful as a hearing person. Being deaf doesn’t mean you’re dumb, which is a stereotype made by hearing people. 

    ASL club meets once a month to try and promote the language, to advocate and shine light on the deaf community and culture. The club also interprets the theater when they happen, so stay a look out and go watch them tell a story with their hands. The ASL club has a range from freshmen to seniors. Freshman, Zoie Kell, member of ASL club said, “ASL club has made high school better so far by creating a much more fun environment, the biggest impact would be the friendships I’ve made from the club.”

   “As a teacher, what I want students at Grantsville High School to know is that if you have a passion for something then go find it. For me it is ASL and I care deeply about it,” said Ashlee Mirgeler, ASL teacher. Go find your passion, and who knows that passion may be for ASL and you didn’t even know it. 

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Doing anything by herself was hard. Going up the stairs was almost impossible. Going down was a little easier. She sat on the top step. She set her crutches by her side and started the slow descent. Sliding down step by step. After only a few steps she stopped. Olivia Richardson couldn’t take it anymore. The initial knee injury was hard, but the fact that she had had to get surgery and now couldn’t walk on it was even harder. So was the fact that no matter what no one understood what it was like. To not be able to do the things she loved. To not be able to even just practice with her volleyball team no matter how hard that practice was. Volleyball was a part of her.   Liv had broken multiple parts of her knee. Tripping over a hurdle at a track meet had started this painful process, and was continued as her knee cap popped out of place at every volleyball practice. She had been through surgery, and grueling physical therapy that pushed her to her limits each and every time. She worked hard. She pushed through the pain, and at times it was constant. She was doing it for her team. She was doing it for her body. But most of all she was doing it for herself! She was the one who was going to come out on top. Then she could prove to them what she could do.    Liv stood on the volleyball court. Varsity player. An asset to the team. She had come so far. Looking around she was filled with gratitude for the simple things she had taken for granted before. “Volleyball has given me opportunities to meet new people and travel” Liv said. She cherishes all the memories she makes with her team and she knows they will be there for her and in return she wants to be there for them when they go through hard times.   Now she understands what it’s like to feel alone. What it was like for no one to understand how you feel. Also what it’s like to come out on top. To get through the hard times. Olivia Richardson had won!     
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