The Cynic had the chance to interview American Sign Language lecturer Shannon Fitzgerald regarding gratitude, chasing dreams as a member of the deaf community and why she loves to teach at the University of Vermont.
The Cynic (VC): What do you love most about teaching American Sign Language?
Shannon Fitzgerald (SF): I enjoy teaching ASL because I love sharing my experience of the language and sharing my knowledge and experiences of deaf culture. The UVM community is so welcoming and a wonderful environment to work in.
VC: What do you hope students gain from your courses?
SF: I hope at the end of the semester the students gain fluency in their sign skills both receptively and expressively. I also hope they gain the confidence to attend more deaf culture events to enhance their knowledge of deaf culture and improve their sign skills. I hope that the students go away from my course sharing their knowledge and awareness of deaf culture and ASL with others.
VC: What extracurricular activities do you enjoy?
SF: I absolutely love going to shows. I enjoy traveling to different cities, checking out museums, trying out restaurants, shopping, going to the movies or just curling up with a good book. In the winter, I like to ski and ice skate. In the summer, I love being out by the lake if have a chance.
VC: Favorite holiday food?
SF: I do love turkey and dressing. I love apple pie or apple crisp.
VC: What are you thankful for?
SF: I am thankful for my family. They are my everything.
VC: What are you proud of?
SF: I am proud of how far I [have] come and what I have accomplished. I did not let being deaf get in the way of my dreams or goals.
VC: If you had to choose between the power to read minds and the power to teleport, which would you choose?
SF: To read minds!
VC: What are your hopes for the future?
SF: My hopes for the future would be to continue to be happy and healthy. Also [to] continue to learn and grow as a person.