CJ Students Sign Carols

CJ faculty and staff were treated to a unique brand of caroling performances Friday during periods 2, 3 and 5 when students taking American Sign Language stopped by to sign—not sing—a few classic Christmas favorites.

Every December, students in Mrs. Judi MacLeod’s American Sign Language (ASL) I and II classes take time away from the classroom to showcase what they have learned by signing Christmas carols with their hands for those in the Welcome Center and the guidance office.

“It’s nice to get into the Christmas spirit and it is a fun way to practice expressive language,” MacLeod said.

While the day is a fun time for all parties involved, it can be nerve-racking for performers who each get graded on how well he or she signs. Caroling counts as one section of the ASL first semester exam and is worth one-third of the students’ test grade.

“The kids are usually a little embarrassed and scared,” MacLeod admitted. “They’re performing and that is really hard, but we get welcomed back every year we do it.”

Audiences this year listened and watched as four small groups of period 2 students signed O Holy Night, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, with MacLeod providing vocals.

Darrien Howard, a sophomore taking ASL I, found his first CJ caroling experience to be challenging, but enjoyable. “It was interesting because it is not like your normal day in language class,” he said. “Other than it being hard, it was a lot of fun.”