Y’all sure had questions!
Hello and welcome to my first ever Q&A! I will split this into several parts, because there were a lot of questions. Also, my bad. I didn’t see that people actually responded to my community post. I didn’t realize I don’t get notifications for that, and I didn’t check before doing the Coffee Chat video. So… Sorry if you thought I ignored your comments, I wasn’t! For the Q&A, I’ve split the questions into three categories: general questions, book-related questions, and deaf/ASL-related questions. Today’s the first, general questions.
A few of you asked why I started YouTube. One added on that, and asked if I want to make it a career or keep it a hobby. Why did I start YouTube? I have a video explaining more in-depth from three years ago, so I will link that here. Basically, I started because I didn’t see myself on YouTube. At that time, the only person I knew of that posted regularly, was a YouTuber, was Rikki Poynter. (Editor’s note: This was also roughly when Rikki had just started transitioning from doing makeup to advocacy and deaf topics.) As for it becoming a career, or staying a hobby… Honestly, I don’t care either way. I think it’d be nice if I could actually make a living from this, just doing what I actually enjoy doing for fun. But will it? I don’t know. At the moment, I’m semi-consistently posting because I don’t have a job. I do want to find a regular, stable-paying job, and that will change how I do YouTube for sure. So right now, my answer is most likely it’ll stay a hobby.
Do you know languages other than ASL and English? (In the video, I signed the first part in Auslan.) Yes. I know a little Auslan. I lived in Australia for two months. So I learned Auslan. I’m not fluent, but I know a little bit. (This is where I went back to ASL.) As for written languages, I know a lot of random words from a lot of different languages. I have attempted to learn several languages at many points in my life. Do I remember any of these? No. What I HAVE tried to learn: Two years of Spanish in high school. One semester of Italian in college. Danish because I was living in Denmark for seven months, so I wanted to learn some of their language. It helped, but now I don’t remember most of it. French, I picked up words here and there, I learned it just because. Again, don’t remember most of it. What I would like is to learn a language and actually have it stick in my head, and not forget it all.
A lot of you asked about travel and living somewhere else, so I’ll just tell you what the questions are, overlapped/combined/etc.
Have you been out of the country? If yes, where and what’s your favorite place(s)? Yes, several. I’ve been to Canada. (Editor’s note: I’ve been to Vancouver, BC; Niagara Falls, and Toronto.) I live only a hour and half away from the border of BC, though I haven’t been to western Canada for years. I need to fix that. I lived in Denmark for seven months, Australia for two months, traveled to Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. I’m not going to tell you my favorites because this post will already be long, so let’s not do that. I enjoyed all of the places I went to.
If you could move to anywhere in the world for a few years, that’s not the PNW or Alaska, where and why? Tough one! A lot of places I want to go, and maybe live. But I think I probably would choose somewhere like Germany or France because that’s kind of in the center of West Europe. From there, it’s easy to travel around Europe and visit all the places.
Five places you want to travel to and why? Five? That’s it? *sigh* Fine. One: Prague, Czech Republic. Eastern Europe is a completely different world than Western Europe, and I just want to see that. Two: Japan. It’s so hard to pick just one place in Japan to visit, so I’ll say a few. Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka. Three: Iceland. I think it’s a cool country for many reasons. I’ve been to the airport in Reykjavík, but actually seen the country? Not yet! Four: South Africa. Specifically, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Five: Cuba. It’s really hard for me to pick a top five, I… Let’s just move on.
Aside from family members, who had the most impact on you when you were growing up? I know it’s cliché, but my teachers. I think for me, they had more of an impact than most people. My teachers saw me as just another student. Sometimes they did hesitate a bit with my being a deaf student, but after working with me for a while, they realized I was just like any other student. They, for the most part, had the same standards for me as they had for anyone else. That really made a big impact on me, and I really appreciated that.
What did you study at RIT? Favorite spot at RIT? I entered RIT as a photo major. Two years in, I didn’t like it, so I changed to studying leadership. I took classes like management, psychology, hospitality, and those combined to become a major in leadership. I did that because I want to work in student affairs or advocacy. My favorite spot at RIT depends on what I want. If I want to be alone to work, study, Java Wally’s. If I want to be social, see people, hang out, it’d be SDC because that’s where all the deaf clubs are.
Favorite museum? I haven’t really gone to museums lately, but one museum I LOVED growing up, and probably will still love today, is the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Another good one is the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.
Current desktop picture? Phone? Leave it to you to ask a difficult question, Laura! For my desktop, I have three. I have a Mac laptop, so I have three separate desktops shown above. For my phone, I feel like I have to explain a little bit so take a look at the images below. My home screen is on the left. It’s the bi flag colors obviously. My lock screen on the right is bismuth. On the periodic table, the abbreviation is Bi. Get it?
Do you know the BSL alphabet? Do it as quickly as you can! Yes? I know Auslan. Close enough right? (Go look at the video to see me do this at 6:40.)
Disney/Studio Ghibli fan? Yes. Yes. Honestly, I really enjoy Disney. Yeah, I know it’s intended for kids, but who cares? If it’s good, I’m watching it. By the way, if you haven’t seen Coco, go watch it! It’s so good! As for Studio Ghibli, I was obsessed with My Neighbor Totoro growing up. Also, I’m obsessed enough that a friend gave me this book, The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle, as a gift. I really appreciate it!
A couple of you asked about my favorite clothing/fashion. My favorite piece of clothing… I don’t really have one. Everything I own is a favorite of mine. If I don’t really like it, I get rid of it.
What’s the most annoying thing about other drivers when you’re driving? People who don’t turn on their blinkers.
Curious why you put image descriptions on your Instagram posts? Good question. Basically, it’s for my followers who are blind or have low vision. In addition, this is also why I make blog posts for most of my videos. I don’t really do them for ASL Ponderings because that often requires a good understanding of sign and visuals to get what I’m talking about. That’s really hard to translate to purely the written word. So, that’s what the blog posts are, kind of a transcript of my videos. They can read these at their own pace with screen readers, they don’t have to keep up with the YouTube speed or have to slow it down, or whatever. Also, these are really good for people who need time to process information. They can read at their own speed, and not have to keep up with my signing speed.
Would you relocate for love? I don’t know. Do you have to? Yes, most relationships kind of have to be physically close to be effective. But I don’t feel like it’s something that’s a must for a relationship to be successful.
Who are some of your favorite living artists? Right off the top of my head, I think of two deaf artists. First, Tate Tullier. I LOVE his #tubtimewithtate series, it’s amazing. Check it out on Instagram, seriously, you won’t be disappointed. Second, Christine Sun Kim. She does a lot of art related with sound. It’s really interesting, look her up. She has a few TEDTalks too!
What are you most looking forward to in 2018, or in general? One, a potential big road-trip this summer. It’s still a big question mark, so don’t get too excited. I’m trying not to! Second, finally getting a job!
What’s something that you tell yourself when you’re feeling down that brings you comfort? I don’t know if there’s really anything specific that I say, but I do remind myself that I have family and friends, I’m not alone. I can always depend on them if I need. One quote I do like to remind myself of: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible,” Walt Disney. I just like that quote because growing up, I have frequently been told, “No, you can’t, you’re deaf, you can’t.” No. I can do it. So, it’s kind of fun to do the impossible. And watch their faces.
Do you watch TV? What do you watch? Netflix recommendations? Yeah! I watch a lot. Well, not lately. I’ve been reading more. But anyway. Recently on Netflix, I binge watched Altered Carbon. Yes! So good. If you haven’t seen it, Bright is pretty good. (It’s a movie.) On Hulu, Drunk History. Yes. If you haven’t seen Drunk History yet, or you don’t know what Drunk History is, you are missing out! It’s hilarious, and you learn a lot in the process. I watch a lot of things, so I’m just going to move on to the next question.
DC or Marvel? Both! Now, if you’re talking about the MCU vs DCEU… MCU. I enjoy the humor more. I do appreciate dark, gritty stuff, but DC’s just not hitting the right things for me (apart from Wonder Woman). Not that I won’t watch it, I just enjoy the MCU more right now. For the universes in general, I don’t really have a specific preference.
What would be your dream hobby/skill? The only thing that comes to mind right now is that I would love to be really good at drawing. I do draw, but I mean better at rapid drawing. Webcomics, that kind of thing, more quick and semi-good drawing, and not take forever to draw something.
Favorite childhood memory? Easy. Roadtrips. Those are probably what I remember the most clearly from growing up. I had two big roadtrips growing up. The first one was when I was 7, soon 8 years old. My family went on a trip: WA, ID, WY, SD, MT, ID, WA. The second one was when I was about twelve years old. I went with family friends: WA, OR, CA, AZ, NV, ID, WA.
If you could collab with anyone, who and why? I will just throw out a list in no particular order. I’m not going to say why I want to collab with all of them, but basically, they’re all cool people. Also, I’m not going to include some people that I wouldn’t mind collabing with, because I feel like I can reach out to them and actually do something. This list will be of people that I feel like I can’t.
- Ahsane the Artist
- Chase Ross
- Tyler Oakley
- Evelyn from the Internets
- Thomas Sanders
- Rowan Ellis
- MarkE Miller
- Riley J Dennis
- Hannah Witton
- Jackson Bird
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