Monthly Archives: October 2015

Marshmallow Challenge

Recently in my Innovations class we did the “Marshmallow Challenge.” We got into groups and each group got a piece of string, a strip of masking tape, a few spaghetti sticks, and one marshmallow. In 18 minutes, our group had to work together to figure out how to build a structure with the supplies given. The group with the tallest structure won. The purpose of the project was to promote team building, creativity, and innovative thinking. Relating that to the ASL project I am doing now, I think the purpose of our teacher having us do the challenge was to show us both that we have ideas that we don’t think of until we are put in a situation where we have to think fast, and that it’s okay to fail. It ties into everyone’s projects, as we all try and fail on our way to doing something great.



Seth and I created a Snapchat account for our school. Each day, we find one or two people to take a video of doing a sign and then caption it with directions on how to sign the word/phrase. We have a decent amount of “friends” on the account, one of which being a lady from California that Seth knows. We signed “cat” and “dog” one of the days and the lady sent us a video of her baby trying to sign “cat” which was really cool. We haven’t done much other than the Snapchat yet, but if we save enough of the clips we might make a compilation video near the end of the semester (or earlier) of all of them put together. I suggested having people send us Snapchats of their friends doing the sign of the day or sending a black screen giving us suggestions of what words/phrases they’d like to learn next. On Friday, we put on a Snapchat asking people to send us videos doing their favorite sign they learned over the weekend. I’m not sure how popular that was because Seth is currently the one logged into the account. I’m having fun with the Snapchat thing I think it was a really good idea. I look forward to seeing what an impact we can make and how much we can teach students as we continue on with this project.

Jody (I hope that’s how it’s spelled…)

This past Thursday, a girl who goes to my high school came into my psychology to talk to our class about her blindness. I see her around school almost every day and I never knew she could speak English so well. Listening to her talk about her “disability” was such an eye opening experience. She told us how the school is where she is most comfortable because she knows her way around just as well as the rest of the students do. She described how she typically feels outside of school, which is anxious, intimidated, and scared. Sometimes she hears people whispering about her, and her sense of hearing is extra strong due to her loss in sight (when one sense is lost, the rest get stronger). She passed around her dollar bill reader, calculator, and some type of “laptop” that she can use to do basically anything but listen to music. When she is clothes shopping, she feels the textures on clothes to decide if she wants it. She remembers colors because she wasn’t completely blind until she was six. She likes blue and yellow. Nickels and quarters were the hardest for her to tell apart but she says the textures around the coins are different, one rough, one smooth. I was really proud of her for being able to get up in front of random people four times in one day to talk about herself. She was quiet but far more confident than I would have guess she’d be.

MPLS With Grace

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Three weeks ago I went to Minneapolis, Minnesota with my friend Grace. This was our third trip going their to see SoMo (he’s a singer). But one thing that made this trip the most unique was that we documented every part of it through pictures and/or videos. The first two trips were the most fun I’ve had in my entire life so I though what better than to capture every moment of this trip? We stayed in a hotel in Oakdale which was in a more residential area rather than a big city. In the mornings Grace and I went off adventuring in random places down paths through woodsy areas and private drives. We got some really cool footage doing this and it was refreshing to just go out and see what there was without knowing what to expect. We made sure we only went to places that we had never been before. We both have a love for healthy foods so we went to Trader Joes and Jamba Juice which was like heaven. At the actual concert, we both met SoMo for the third year in a row and he recognized us and I basically died. He gave us signed red lighters (he has a song called Red Lighter….long story) and signed our VIP passes, writing #3 on them. Grace and I both took videos of each other meeting him and we were front and center at the concert. While waiting for the acoustic set to happen, we saw SoMo’s opening act, Jordan Bratton, on stage. He saw Grace and I and asked if we wanted a picture so we took a few and then I took a video of him talking about some things to add to the documenting, which was pretty cool. The concert was amazing, as usual, and afterwards when buying one of Jordan’s shirts he said “Hey you guys were in the front row!” and hugged us and thanked us for coming AND HE TOLD US HE LOVED US AND I WAS DEAD LIKE I WENT TO HEAVEN THAT NIGHT GOD BLESS HIM HE IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND HUMBLE. There was a lot more that happened on this trip but it really was the best time ever. Somehow my Innovations class sort of inspired me to want to document the trip….not sure how because it doesn’t really have anything to do with the class. But we got so much cool footage and in about a month I will begin making a who video on the trip putting the pictures and videos together and I’m super hyped about that. I will probably put the link to it on my blog.

Switched At Birth

Last Monday I watched the most recent episode of the Show Switched at Birth. Switched at birth has many deaf/hard of hearing people as its main characters and it’s really interesting to watch. In the last episode, Daphne, the main deaf girl, decides to travel to Mexico with her sister, friend, and mother. She had planned on going somewhere else with her boyfriend for spring break but last minute changed her mind. In Mexico, Daphne and the others helped give cochlear implants and hearing aids to the deaf/hard of hearing. Almost all were successful but there was one girl that the implant failed to help. Daphne feels helpless in trying to convince the girl’s mother to let her teach the girl sign language. Before Daphne leaves, she gets one word through to the girl and she learns to sign her first word in Spanish. This episode was really powerful and it was perfect timing for this project. Just because there are options such as hearing aids or cochlear implants doesn’t mean they are guaranteed effective.

The Beginning

Hi my name is Kelly. I am a senior in high school. I have created this blog for my class Communication and Innovation. This semester, I plan on doing great things. My classmate, Seth, and I are starting off by doing a project focusing on ASL (American Sign Language). To begin with, we want to raise awareness of the importance of learning ASL. We believe that ASL is just as important as learning Spanish, which most people start learning in third grade. I know it would be a little far-fetched for us to make ASL an elementary school class. I’m not exactly sure what we will do yet, but it’s important to start somewhere. I hope this blog will soon be filled with pictures and exciting posts about the awesome things we will have (hopefully) done!