Do I get a prize?

Journey into BSL.

Nervous. Thinking that signing up was a big mistake. Maybe I should just turn around and not bother.  So many negative thoughts rushing around my head as I approached the door of the classroom for my first class of BSL Level One.

I am so glad I ignored those thoughts and dived into the world of BSL that cold January night in 2019. My guide on this adventure has been the wonderful Steve.  His passion for BSL is infectious and his teaching style makes it, so you are desperate for the next week to roll around so you can attend the next class.

I have met so many wonderful people through attending SHBSL Classes, we quickly became our own gang all sharing the want: to learn a new language.  I have always felt that BSL should be taught on the school curriculum but now, having been learning it for the last two and a half years; I know it MUST be taught and hopefully that change will come in the not too distant future.

Within the first few weeks of classes we were laughing and joking more than I had in a very long time.  I will always remember learning the sign for Hot Dog and not being able to stop laughing for most of the session: I still blame Sam for this!  Suddenly the fun stopped and an exam was on the horizon, the unknown was flying towards again and the fear I felt on day one had returned.  But it was ok…good even.  This is due to Steve’s leadership and mentoring. His hard work, alongside your own study insures that everyone is ready for each exam when they come round. The fun returned instantly after that first exam

It has been years since I have done any formal study or learning and it has been joyous.  After completing Level One (and passing!) I enrolled straight away for the bridging course  for Level Two  and then on to Level Two itself. I just can’t seem to get of sign. If you are thinking about learning BSL, I can’t recommend it enough.  Just sign up, now! Why are you still reading this? You were meant to be signing up.

Then March 2020 happened.  I would be lying if I said it is without challenge doing half of Level two on Zoom.  But Steve’s determination, drive and humour still comes through even when working remotely. But Wednesday’s Zoom was soon a regular staple of my lockdown routine and I am so grateful for have the group, supporting each other during those difficult months in Lockdown One.  

And we did it. We finished BSL Level Two, even Covid couldn’t stop us.  I have just taken my final exam for level 2 tonight, only an hour ago.  It feels very fitting to have done it and be writing this during Deaf Awareness Week.  Thinking about the Journey that the class and I have been on with Steve at the helm for the last 28 months.  It has been a rollercoaster. Exciting and Scary but I would so do it all again.

So, Steve, Level Three next?

Daniel Burgess
Artistic Director
twitter: @allinprods

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