ASL Club Testimonial

Adriana McMahon

The ASL club at WESS is in its first couple weeks of starting, and as a member, I can personally attest that it is off to a strong start. With freshmen Rebecca Naunton and Adrianna Macmahon as the leaders, it really does feel as though we are in control of our own learning, and it’s shocking how much that actually motivates you towards it. It’s a new idea for a club at WESS, something that most high schools probably don’t have, as it is an underrecognized language. The members are excited about learning something that might be beneficial to us in the future, it’s a great addition to the community of WESS clubs. When asking Adrianna about it, she told me, “It’s an interesting language, extra credit and good for college…also better job opportunities.” 

As ninth graders I think we all are beginning to feel as though we are a little more responsible for our futures, and taking what clubs we participate in into our own control is one great example of that. The club comprises about ten individuals, all of whom are interested and dedicated to learning sign language. While even the leaders of the club are not completely fluent, we all learn as a group, pulling off of the web and learning really awesome songs to teach us things (for example the color song:

Every club member has concerns, like William French who says, “having students try to control a room of other students won’t always work.” 

Chloe Kleid –  who for the majority of the interview teased Adrianna about her capabilities as a teacher – also had concerns, even though she made sure everyone knows she would NOT rather teach it herself. Despite these critiques, it’s a tightly knit community; we are a group of kids bound together by their passion for the language. So far every member has mastered the alphabet and the colors, and while it sounds trivial, it reminds us of what an accomplishment it is to learn a language and to be fluent in it. In a time in school where many of us fall victim to the stress and pressure of feeling as though we have to know every last piece of information even if we don’t really understand it, ASL is a fun way to cure that sort of frustration. It’s very rewarding to be able to watch yourself do the entire alphabet with your hands. Trust me. Being proud of yourself, even if it is because you memorized how to make a few words, is a good feeling. I hope we continue to pursue it through this club. 

For those of you who would like to join the club we meet on Mondays and Wednesdays in the music room during lunch, but the actual club starts at 12, so you have time to get lunch, or just eat lunch in the room.