2012 was the last year when I thought I could learn absolutely anything and become anything. I was taking so many online courses, from gamification to electoral systems. I was in a weird place where I felt like I needed to play catch-up and learn about both things I knew I would use in the future, and the things I was just curious about. I went all the way in.
While I can still explore random things with a 14-minute introduction video on YouTube, I’m not out here writing essays about ridiculous topics any more.
Pretty much all of the courses I’ve undertaken since this time have been vocational ones. I want to better myself, because I’m working for myself. I need to keep developing, because there’s no one else to keep me in check and make sure that I’m keeping up with the times. Now I feel a lot more secure about how things are going with my business, I can afford to turn my attention elsewhere. I’ve decided to take on a new challenge – to learn as much BSL as I can in 2019.
I have a foundation certificate in British Sign Language. It was an extra-curricular one about 10 of us at sixth form undertook, since we had so much free time between lessons back then. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to go back and learn more words and phrases to make sure I’d be helpful among others that use it out of necessity.
As every British parent with children under 12 should be aware, Justin Fletcher (aka Mr Tumble aka Mr Gigglebiz) makes it impossible to avoid Makaton. He incorporates it into a couple of his shows, encouraging young people to learn the signs as a replacement or supporting form of communication. We need more of that.
I’ve weaned Cameo off a lot of Cbeebies programming, but I still want him to learn sign language. Now we have a more pressing reason to get familiar; my kids have a deaf cousin. It’s now incredibly important to get both myself and both of these little ones fluent in British Sign Language. It’s my challenge for 2019.
I’ll admit that I’m not planning to go to go to any classes or anything for BSL yet, but I’m going to find the most comprehensive online resources to help me get to the stage I want to be at. I’m going to have to drop updates on here to show that I’m actually getting on with this. As of today, the only thing I can reliably do with BSL is the alphabet. Beyond that, I’m shaky.
By 2020, I’ll be a new man.