Dear future Serteens!
When I was little I was taught that “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and that’s how I got into sign language.
Just kidding. But even if that’s your only motivation for joining this club, do it. American Sign Language (ASL) is seriously the most beautiful language I have ever had the good fortune to be introduced to. And not only that, but the people in Serteen have been some of the kindest, most interesting people I’ve met while at Pine View. I am so excited for you to be able to share those same experiences and become a part of the Serteen fam.
Before you take over the club, though, I think I should tell you a few secrets to successful club meetings that I’ve gathered over the years:
Learn sign language. It can come in very handy. (Hah, get it?)
Jokes aside, ASL is not only a three-dimensional language (what!). The culture behind it is incredibly accepting, kind and rich. Plus, with ASL you can become a part of the deaf community as well as communicate perfectly underwater, through windows, at loud concerts, in class when you’re supposed to be quiet…
Always bring food to meetings. Always.
Honestly this should be rule #1. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my years in Serteen, it’s that no food equals nobody shows up. Don’t expect more than about 3 people on any given day when food is not being provided. Food is life.
Join even if you don’t know any deaf people or any sign language.
I didn’t know any deaf people when I started Serteen, and I didn’t know much ASL either. Serteen is the place for you to start learning about that stuff, and make friends with deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people similar to you. You can also get a ton of community service hours from all the super fun events, which reminds me….
Ask General Hicks about community service hours and scholarships, and also about making new T-shirts and hoodies!!
He’s our Sertoma representative/sponsor, and he’s the reason why we’re able to put on and go to so many cool community service events. He’s also in charge of ordering our T-shirts. Our current ones are very outdated. And boring. And gray. We need new ones.
Tell your friends to join, too.
This is actually kind of important because people don’t tend to realize just how amazing ASL is unless you legitimately drag them to see it for themselves. Advertising for the club with just signs (ha, ‘signs’) doesn’t usually cut it. You’ll have to bring some friends along with you. And then make sure the meetings are fun! Boring meetings means bored members. Fun meetings means excited members!
You must keep the tradition of Signing Santa alive!
This is our biggest and most gratifying event of the year. It’s what we fundraise for. If you put in some effort, you can truly have an unbelievably huge impact on the lives of the Oak Park students that attend the event. For so many of them, Signing Santa is the highlight of their year, and for a lot of us, it’s the highlight of our year, too! Making those kids happy is so incredibly rewarding. Be their superhero. Go all out for them. Don’t let the tradition fade.
Last but not least; have loads of fun!
Enjoy your time in Serteen. Make good friends and even better memories. And keep learning, because you never know when this stuff might just come in ‘handy’ in the future.
Once again, I am so excited to be passing on the flame to all of you. Good luck! Make your high school years memorable. From the class of 2016, here’s to you, future Serteens! \m/_
Serteen Founder and President 2013-2016