Stories we've collected from our students
I work in Human Resources at Cedar Point and one of the projects I’m working on is associate interviews where I go out into the park and survey some of our employees, asking about their job, how they like CP, etc. each interview is 2-5 minutes. Well I went up to a housekeeper and noticed she wasn’t responding when I said “hi” and then finally when she noticed I was talking to her, she signaled to me that she was deaf! Well I went straight into greeting her with all of the tools you [Lauren] and Marla have given me!! I also let her know I was really new to ASL and she said “me too!!” It was really helpful because she signed very slow to think about how to say what she wanted. Even signing her name, she looked up to the ceiling to think about the sign for each letter. But we were able to carry on the same five minute conversation as any other associate! Because of you pushing me to be the best I can be, I didn’t have to alter the interview at all (except the language :) ). She received the same experience as every other associate. You can tell she was really happy that I came into her life, but let me tell you! This was life-changing for me! I will never forget about that experience! ~Jarett, Autumn 2020
Dear Mrs. Sanders,
I do not know if you remember me but my name is Haroon Quadri. I was your students a few years back in ASL 1 and 3. [note from Lauren: Kristin was his 102 teacher] Thank you so much for writing me a letter of recommendation for medical school, I am just now completing my first year at Northeast Ohio Medical University. I also wanted to let you know all the things that we talked about when you interviewed me for what to say in my letter of recommendation was put to action in my at my new university! I have started a medical student interest group for deaf patients, where we are not going to be talking about deafness as a disease but as a way of life that physicians should understand before approaching their deaf patients. Thank you so much for everything and I hope you enjoy this summer!
Haroon, Class of 2019 Northeast Ohio Medical University MD Candidate
"I was in Chicago this weekend and I was about to get into an Uber/taxi when my driver texted me to let me know she was deaf. When I got in the car I was able to let her know I knew sign language and have a conversation with her. I learned that she was also from Ohio, which I thought was crazy (she taught me how to sign small world)! I just wanted to share with you because I thought it was really cool that I was able to use what we learned in sign language to communicate with my driver." ~Neeloo (Spring 2015)
"I have met a lot of friends online, which is great. One guy randomly stumbled upon my profile page and we really had a lot of stuff in common. Both had really similar interests and the conversation was so fluid and I could feel a friendship building. He was a bit apprehensive to tell me after talking a lot for a week or so, but he finally came around to telling me that he is deaf! He was worried I would be off-put but when he heard that I took ASL as my foreign language, he was so excited to meet! We have hung out a few times and it really great to still use ASL, especially with someone who I can learn from every time we hang out. He is a really great guy, deaf or hearing, and it feels great to still practice everything I learned at OSU outside of the classroom. So thanks to you and the great professors in the ASL department, I have managed to make a great friend here, which may have been a challenge without the proper communication tools I learned at OSU!" ~Justin (Spring 2014, after completing the series, graduating, and moving to NYC)
"The RPAC hosted a tournament last weekend for a Deaf and Hard of Hearing organization. It was especially exciting getting the chance to actually talk to a few of them. One of them even made mention that my ASL skills were pretty good. I took a little pride in being able to communicate with them without having to fingerspell everything, so for that I definitely have to thank you! And I just thought you would share in my excitement in knowing that this pretty cool event took place right here on campus. They DEAFinitely showed their Deaf culture by being there for a good hour or two after the tournament was over and having mass congregations with colorful conversations that I may have eavesdropped a little on!" ~Jordan (Spring 2013)
"It (ASL 1101) was a fun class and I learned a lot. I actually met a lady at a wedding 2 weeks ago who was deaf. We had a decent conversation and I was able to do it somewhat without thinking. One thing I've noticed since taking this class...I really want to talk to people more." ~Aaron (Spring 2013)
"I am currently enrolled in a speech pathology graduate program and absolutely love it! This past week I was working with a client doing some AV therapy. She was implanted with a cochlear implant six years ago, has an interpreter at school and signs at home. If there is a communication breakdown, we typically use pen and paper. In the middle of the session, a police officer entered the therapy room and told us to leave the building immediately and that there was a potential gunman on the premises. As we left, there were four or five police officers stationed on the floor, holding (really scary looking) rifles.
We exited and everything ended up being completely fine, but I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for the skills you taught me. I was able to keep my client calm and informed with the sign language I retained from class. I also avoided audism when speaking with her and her mother after the incident. I learned so much from you and the rest of the ASL program. You are all so motivated and passionate- definitely something that rubs off on students. Keep up the fantastic work! Thanks again for all you do!"~Sarah (Spring 2013)
"I'm glad I could take part in this class and I must admit you have probably been my favorite instructor in my college career. I'm officially deeming you my ASL Momma and I look forward to not only learning more about ASL's culture, but when I take my talents to LA, I really want to start up media or some sort of Deaf television programs or station that truly shows the culture and community for what it is...maybe like a Deaf version of BET....but I really thank you for this inspiration and I hope to see you in the future." (Theater major, Spring 2012)
"I just had to email you!!!! I'm at home (Norwalk, OH) for the weekend... and I didn't think there were any deaf people in this small town! But I was wrong!!! I was at a open house for a new business with my aunt and this couple came and sat next to us and they were signing back and fourth to each other. I was nervous at first but my aunt pushed me to say hi. So I did! And I sat and chatted with them for over an hour!!! I was so excited!!!
I found out that my dad and my uncle built their house 23 years ago, and all the connections we had through their kids and my family members. We talked about how long the drive is from norwalk to columbus and so much more!!!
I just wanted to email you and say "THANK YOU!!" thank you for teaching me everything you have! It was so fun and I could tell that the lady I was signing with didn't want me to go and she just wanted to keep signing with me! It made me feel good and I'm pretty sure I made her day!
I just had to share with you! Thanks again! You both are such fabulous and exciting teachers!"
"I work at a shoe store at Polaris and today a deaf couple came in to buy some shoes. The woman came up to me and tried to speak but she was signing at the same time, so I told her I was learning sign and that if she went slow I'd probably catch on. She and I signed back and forth for about a half hour and every time she got to a sign I didn't understand she would spell it out really slow so I could understand. It really was an awesome experience that I was able to talk to her and visa versa. When she left she wrote a note that I was the first worker she'd ever met that took the time to try and understand everything she was saying. She then took our online customer service survey when she got home and wrote my district manager an email saying that I was an awesome associate. So long story short, ASL helped me get in good with my managers." (Spring 2012)
"I'm now done with the ASL series and have finished my language requirements at OSU, and while it will be a strange feeling not having ASL on my schedule after taking it a year straight, it was one of the best decisions I made in my academic career.
I saw those big language programs as these massive institutions with a bunch of teachers and grad students teaching, etc… and it just felt like it was recipe for disaster with me. Then several kids I knew told me about the ASL program. They gave me great testimonial to the teachers within the program—that they were very caring, and understanding individuals, who really worked hard to make sure their students succeeded. That’s what sold me on ASL—and I’m sending you all this email today to say that the three of you, each in your own way, proved for their review to be 110% accurate.
I have some great teachers at OSU, but going through the ASL program has almost been a nice closing microcosm of my instructor experience in college—people who have been caring, understanding, helpful, and thoughtful beyond belief. The collective way I was treated, as a student in the ASL program was nothing short of unbelievable. There was never once a moment where I didn’t think my well being as a student wasn’t genuinely cared about. So while I by no means am exiting the ASL program as the most academically successful student to graduate from the series, I confidently feel that I've achieved a comfort with the concept of learning a language that I never thought I would achieve. As I said, taking ASL has been one of the best academic decisions I have ever made. ~Zach (Summer 2011)
"My experience with the ASL program at Ohio State could not have been better. The teachers were so passionate and made each class a fun, worthwhile experience. The way the curriculum was taught made me look forward to each class. I would recommend taking ASL to anyone with the slightest interest in discovering a new language!" ~Kevin (Spring 2011)