Ahhhh, a new semester. New books, new assignments, new challenges. Cold, wet air. It wouldn't be spring semester in Bloomsburg if it weren't cold and wet. Anyway, for my final semester I have to write a research paper for practicum seminar (or transliteration...same professor, hard to keep the two classes straight. This paper could totally be for transliteration but I'm pretty sure its for practicum seminar). So, I asked my advisor if I could write a paper on the influence of LSF (langue des signes française) on ASL (American Sign Language) from a linguistic point of view. This is a topic I have been interested in for a long time. History is very important to me, and for those of you who do not know the story of how ASL came to be, la langue des signes française was brought to America by two men. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc. As a speaker of English, ASL and French this story is even more important to me.
So, now that I have my advisor's blessing, I set out looking for resources to write my amazing paper. Since this is a story that begins in Paris in the early 1700's, I figure I had better start in France before I look to America for resources. So I am browsing the LSF sur le web from Université Paris 8 (who have a lovely LSF program that I would looooove to attend one day) which was set up by a group of LSF students. So I'm reading about the history of the first school for the deaf in Paris and I'm reading about l’Abbé de l’Epée, and his "Signes Méthodiques" which is basically the sign system he came up with to educate the deaf. So I am thinking, "wouldn't it be just amazing if l’Abbé de l’Epée wrote a book about Signes Méthodiques?" I am thinking that this would be too amazing to be true, but regardless I do a search to see if l’Abbé de l’Epée ever wrote a book recording his signes méthodiques. Well what do you know? He did. in November 1775 l’Abbé de l’Epée published a book called Institution des sourds et muets, par la voie des signes méthodiques OMG!!!!! Some genius in some library in Paris scanned this book page by page into google books. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Oh, and it gets better. So as I am excitedly reading this 237 year-old book, and I am thinking..."I wish I had a copy of this." Then I see in the side bar "Get this Book in Print" EXCELLENT. So Google e-books leads me to this tiny bookstore in New York City that is willing to print it and mail it to me for less than $20. MY LIFE IS COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!! So, basically, I am pretty much SET for writing the best research paper EVER WRITTEN. So that's my story:) Age of the geek!!!!