Friday, May 12, 2017
Field Trip Friday: School for the Deaf
"Mom, I don't want to go to this museum, it's different." That was Shorty's comment as we got out of the van today. It wasn't that he didn't want to go, he didn't even know what lay inside. Truth is, it's been ages since we've been on a field trip adventure, so when we pull into the back parking lot of a simple brick building without any bells and whistles signaling grand fun inside, the little guy didn't get very excited. His words though were true, it was different, but it was another adventure broadening our kiddo's horizons!
Our trip today was to the William J. Marra Museum and deaf cultural center on the campus of the Kansas School for the Deaf. I have been wanting to make this trip for a while. My cousin William "Deafy" Boular attended this school for a time, and whenever we drive down I-35 its sign beckons us to come visit.
When we walked in we were greeted by a wonderful gal who was deaf. It left me regretting we hadn't brushed up on our sign language! Before Shorty was born, Mookie, Bubby and I checked out several sign language dvds from our local library and practiced daily. We were getting really good at it, but our language lessons shifted to Latin and we let our ASL slip. Lately, I've been watching our ASL interpreter who is part of our worship team at church and trying to stay practiced but I'm still rusty. Our pleasant greeter though didn't let our ignorance phase her and handed us laminated descriptions of the entryway exhibits and showed us around.
We watched a short video and then our guide took us to my favorite part of the museum, a couple of rooms set up like a residence with technology to aid those without hearing. It was great! No pictures were allowed in the museum, so you'll just have to check all this out yourself ;)
The rest of the museum walked us through the history of deaf schools in the United States and ended focusing on the Kansas School. There was also an opportunity to take a quiz on what we had learned through the museum - the kids loved this because they could play against each other!
Our host came back and checked on us before we left and asked us how we had found out about the museum. I explained my cousin's connection, and she held up a finger for us to wait and disappeared. She came back with a binder of students at the school for the deaf and my cousin was in there, giving his dates of attendance as 1885-1890. How cool!
We all walked away feeling really glad we went. Shorty did alright and had changed his tune, Bubby's favorite part was the quiz at the end, and Mookie's favorite part was our host. I have no doubt that kiddo faked not remembering any of her sign language (she's done this before because she's a bit of an introvert). She had so enjoyed her sign language lessons that getting to see someone speaking using just that language I'm sure was thrilling :)
We've been slacking on our field trips as of late, but this day might lead to a resolution to rectify that ;)