Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday, which is where I feature people and interview them. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and confusing and large as your own.
This week’s interview came by way of recommendation. I spoke to Ms Kelcie Smith. See her interview below.
1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do and what is your current side project?
My name is Kelcie, I’m a nanny and full time student. My current side project is probably American Sign Language as it’s my major in college and my passion above anything else.
2. Do you think ASL is a skill everyone should pick up? How important is it in today’s world to be considerate of the differently abled?
Definitely! I think everyone (or all of the people open to it) should learn at least basic sign language. It’s easy to learn and remember simple signs. I worked at a roller skating rink last summer and some deaf teenagers came in to skate, so I gave them their skates and sizes and was really the only employee able to communicate well/accurately with them. I feel like it made them feel more comfortable and helped them have a better experience.
I believe it’s very important to be considerate of deaf and hard-of-hearing people because they aren’t any lesser than we are, they’re wonderful people who have things to say and experiences to share. The barrier between hearing and deaf people is ridiculous in my opinion because we should be interacting with them just like we would if they were able to hear.
3. Considering ASL is your major in college, what are your career aspirations? Do you have specific goals that you’re chasing, or are you going with the flow picking up skills you think you should have?
I have a few different options in mind. I either want to be an interpreter, or a counselor for the deaf and/or autistic people who use ASL as their primary form of communication. My original major was Psychology before I fell in love with ASL so I definitely want to do something to incorporate the two; even if I don’t, it’ll still be good to have a background in both fields.
I feel that there is some struggle with mentally ill deaf people because they can’t get the help they need, same for autistic people who communicate through ASL. I’m mostly just going with the flow and learning new skills, I know my end goal (being an interpreter or a counselor), but I also know that it takes time and patience to master either of those goals so I’m being patient with myself and just learning everything I can.
4. Leading from your point on patience, what do you make of life in your country (the USA) right now? Are people too culturally impatient and politically intolerant? What advice would you give to your fellow young people in the US and all around the world?
Oh dear. This is going to be a long answer, lol. I’m a liberal woman. I am a feminist, I am pro choice, I’m a lesbian and a rape survivor. I do not agree with anything Trump has done (and I probably won’t agree with anything he will do). Everything he stands for is against who I am, and who the people closest to me are.
With that being said, I believe that the people who are still actively supporting him are doing so and using his name and him being the POTUS, to mask and rationalize their racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, etc. I don’t support him or his supporters one bit; and if I could give fellow young people any advice it would be to RESIST.
Resist, but be smart about it. Stick to your beliefs, but do not put your life in danger.
Be smart about the protests/marches you attend and what you do during them. Be stern, stick with your beliefs and morals, but be smart and don’t put your life in danger. Be mature about the ways you resist and protest.
The world already sees us as “immature” for reacting the way we have, so in my opinion, if we can protest/picket/march as peacefully as possible, we won’t get as much bad media attention and we will make more change in the long run. Long story short, don’t forget your views, stand by them, and RESIST.
5. Great. Finally, do you have anything to plug? It could be something you’re selling or something you believe in. It could even be your favorite musician or some words to live by.
I’m going to share a quote from my favorite spoken word poet, Andrea Gibson. They have helped me through literally everything.
“Life doesn’t rhyme, still life is poetry, not math, all the world’s a stage but the stage is a meditation mat. You tilt your head back, you breathe when your heart is broken, you plant seeds in the cracks and you pray for rain. You teach your sons and daughters there are sharks in the water, but the only way to survive is to breathe deep and dive.”
Love is love, black lives matter, climate change is real, immigrants make America great, women’s rights are human rights. If you care at all about what’s going on in my country, let your voice be heard. If we band together we will be so loud no one, not even Trump can ignore us.
Thank you for reading Talkback Tuesday! You can leave a follow-up question for Kelcie in the comments below and I’ll try and get an answer for you.
Next, subscribe to this blog with your email address at the bottom of the page, or check out the previous interview with Sayan Guha from last Tuesday by clicking the image below: