In-Depth Blog post #4

In-Depth Blog Post #4

Justin C.

February 25th, 2021


Hello reader, thanks for tuning in to episode four of my In-Depth career!

Things I will go over in this blog post;

  • Recap of what In-Depth is,  and who my Mentor is
  • What did I learn in weeks 5 and 6 of in-depth?
  • How to have a beautiful mind


Questions you might have.

If you are tuning in for the first time you might have a few questions such as;

  • “What is In-Depth?”
  • “What skill has Justin chosen to learn?”
  • “Who is his Mentor?”

What is the In-Depth Project?  

The In-Depth project is one of the final and most important projects in the Talons program. It is a 5-month long project for Leadership that lasts from January to May. In the project, we choose a certain skill (one that you haven’t really gone into before and is not regularly available to learn at school) and go in-depth in it, learning and gaining new skills along the way. By the end, you should have learned a certain amount of knowledge or be able to perform your certain skill at a relatively good level. Everyone is tasked with finding a potential mentor and asking for their mentorship. The mentor should be an expert in the field of your skill so that they have the best chance of helping you successfully complete your end goal.  

 What skill have I chosen to learn?  

The skill I chose is American Sign Language also known as ASL. ASL is a complete, natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, with grammar that differs from English. It allows people to communicate using their hand motions rather than talking. The separate grammar will definitely be a challenge to learn and make it difficult. It is widely used among Deaf and Mute people as a main means of communication.  

Recap of my Mentor:

Nigel Howard is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and has been the man tasked with conveying the sometimes complicated details around new cases and the growing public health threat posed by COVID-19 through ASL to the deaf community locally and across the country. He has been a professional interpreter for more than two decades, including 24 years as an instructor at Douglas College’s program of sign language interpretation. Howard also works in the linguistics departments at both the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. One of his specialties is interpreting in medical settings. Nigel Howard is deaf and knows 7 different Sign Languages including Japanese, American, British, Australian, Portugues, German, and Russian which makes this a very unique experience.

What did I learn in weeks 5 and 6 of in-depth?

During these weeks I did a lot of review and expanded my knowledge of different signs.

I expanded on my knowledge of;

  • Responses on how you feel; Good, Great, Fine, Wonderful, Tired.
  • Family: Younger Sister, Younger Brother, Older Sister, Older Brother, Mom, Mother, Dad, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, Parents, Grandparents, Oldest, Middle, Youngest.
  • Friend
  • Course(s): Leadership, Math, Photography
  • Sports, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Golf
  • Nature, Mountain, River, Tree
  • Animals: Dog, Cat, Fish
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Plan(s)
  • Time: Hours, Minutes

How to have a beautiful mind

What new information are you getting and what questions did you ask to probe further into the topic?

Every meeting I have with my mentor I gain lots of information about not only how to sign in ASL but the different aspects of ASL. I have talked to my mentor about the different components that make ASL such as;

  • Use your dominant hand (the hand that you use for writing)
  • ASL uses facial grammar to convey meanings, emotion (affect, tone, nuances) and also shows the size, distance, etc.
  • Different hand sizes/motions are the same as emphasizing words.
  • ER is a sign that you use to represent a person TEACH-ER
  • There are about (estimated) 300 signed languages around the world

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