In a message dated 3/14/2005 5:00:36 PM Pacific Standard Time, a
Hi, Dr. Vicars:
I am relatively new to studying ASL, but I want to get a lot
better--FAST! I am a hearing person who fell in love with
words--spoken and written--as a child and always wanted to learn
to sign. In college, I majored in French and minored in Italian.
Languages have always fascinated me. Now, as an adult, I'm
finally learning ASL. I am taking semi-private lessons with a
friend. The teacher is really good--she has a lot of ASL
experience (although she is hearing too). She worked at the
state school for the deaf in Riverside for more than 10 years. I
study and practice every day. What I think I need most is to
expand my vocabulary, increase my speed and learn more about the
theory or system of ASL syntax (as opposed to spoken-English
I know about the 12-day immersion program at CSUS this summer,
but I don't think I'm quite ready for that. (And freeing up that
much time would be difficult as well.) Do you know of any
shorter-term ASL immersion programs in Southern or Northern
California? I looked on the Internet and found some programs,
but they were in places like Canada, Maryland, Vermont, Maine,
Texas, etc. I'd rather stay in California if I can. My teacher
says there are regional and state differences in the way people
sign and the last thing I need is to get confused by different
signing techniques as I'm building my ASL fundamentals.
Our teacher is going to take us to the Riverside school soon
(kind of a field trip) and I can inquire there, but I have been
using your Lifeprint Web site quite a bit (thank you for it, by
the way!) and I get the sense you are a terrific guy and an
excellent teacher. So I thought I'd ask if you know of any
other, shorter immersion programs I could go to this summer in
the Golden State (I love the sign for California--how very cool
and esoteric that it is the same as the sign for "gold!")
Thanks for any help you can give.
Sent: Mar 14, 2005 6:00 PM
I do "private" excursions with small groups.
Meaning...for $300 each I take 5 students to Disneyland on a
three day no-voice excursion and teach them the equivalent
of a semesters' worth of information in three days.
This is a killer deal when you realize that includes your
ticket and hotel. (Plus transportation from Sacramento to
Disneyland. Plus a copy of my book.)
Next week I'm taking a group of students (sold out) to
Why do I do this?
I take one of my kids along for the trip. I generally break
even after all costs are subtracted, but how to you count
the value of hanging out with one of your kids for three
Feel free to get a group together and we'll go to whatever
amusement park you'd like.
In a message dated 3/15/2005 8:37:16 AM Pacific Standard Time, a
This is a wonderful idea! I saw on your Web site about the trip
to Knotts Berry Farm, but did not know if it was open to people
who are not your students at CSUS.
I am going to attend a monthly meeting/lunch/club of deaf, HOH
people and ASL students on April 2. This is the local deaf club
for my area and it will be the first time I've gone to such a
meeting. Once I get a sense of the people there and talk with
some of them, I can check as to whether anyone would be
interested in attending a Vicars Mini-Vacation. I bet most of
them have probably heard of you. Also, I can ask my teacher if
she knows anyone who might want to go and I have a contact at
the local junior college where they teach ASL (but I did not
want to study there because I heard it is a "cattle call"
atmosphere and hard to get one-on-one instruction from the
Since we are in Southern California, if we go to an attraction
down here (say, Disneyland), it might actually be easier for us
because we could drive there and meet you at the Magic
Kingdom--or wherever. Is summer better for you? How about June
or early July?
I am so excited at the prospect of meeting you and getting an
intensive/immersion ASL class. I will be back in touch with you
about this after I recruit a few more people.