When the only deaf person you’re interacting with is your tutor, you’re going to know the themes of conversation you can expect with them. They’ll be focused around exam topics or the curriculum.
But in deaf club there are no rules about topics, and you’ll be amazed at the conversations you can have. To give you an idea, here are some of the things I discussed at my first ever visit to deaf club:
- Princess Diana
- Car crashes on horrible roads
- Getting hit by a train
- Clocks & clock making
- …and many more!
These conversations with new people may feel a bit like an exam – your name, sign name, where you live, what you do, etc. But it is crucial that you do not let the conversation stop there.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t need to ask personal stuff, but ask things and learn from them. By asking questions (and getting into weird topics like we did) you have a fantastic opportunity to expand your vocabulary.
The main piece of advice I can give you is this: do NOT pretend to understand if you don’t. I will happen to you – but don’t nod along and pretend. Because at some point you WILL get caught out – and it will be a true ‘let the ground swallow me up’ moments.
So bite the bullet, and get chatting!