According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the year of the snake. (I googled it and the internet can't be wrong, right?!) Actually, 2013 (and every other year for that matter) is the year of the BISON...Gallaudet University BISON that is!!! I am dedicating this post to 5 BISON who have each achieved major success in one of two categories this year. I know of other BISON who have also accomplished the same feats, however, I am highlighting these 5, because I know each of them personally.
The first set of BISON I want to acknowledge are the Class of 2013. Of course, I want to congratulate ALL the BISON who graduated this year, but these are the ones I know personally.
First up is Laura Penrod. She got her Bachelor's degree in Family and Child Studies. I met Laura about 2 or 3 months after starting to learn ASL. She is actually my 2nd Deaf friend. Laura, I have enjoyed hangin with you and only wish we could have hung out more!!
Next up is Rebecca Pursley. She graduated with a Master's in Social Work. Rebecca, I have enjoyed the opportunities I have had the privilege of watching you passionately interpret worship during church!!
The final 2013 grad I want to highlight is Heather Zimmerman. Zims received her Master's in International Development and is going for a Doctorate in Education. Z, you are my milk chocolate sista (sometimes A LOT more milk than chocolate, though). I will NEVER have another friend quite like you and the world will NEVER have another friendship quite like ours!!!
Students graduate from Gallaudet University every year, however, the Summer Deaflympics only happen every 4 years. I recognized many of the names of the athletes representing the Team USA in the Deaflympics, especially men's and women's basketball players, from my volunteering and subsequent employment as an athletic training aide (I prefer "watergirl") this past year. It was a pleasure to serve them and I applaud them for making Team USA!!! (For a full list of GU athletes and coaches who coached or played during the 2012-2013 school year and are participating in the Deaflympics for Team USA go to www.gallaudetathletics.com.) Now I want to recognize my friends who will represent Team USA.*
Zamica Gage is a student at Gally and a TREMENDOUS athlete!!! She unfortunately, did not play basketball for the BISON last season due to an injury, but I have played football with her and seen her play softball for the BISON. ZAM, you are one cool and crazy chick and I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU DUNK!!! I KNOW YOU WILL HIT 'EM WITH THE ZAM!!!
Finally, there is Roman Nawrocki who everyone knows as Rusty. He graduated Gally in 2011 with a Bachelor's in Chemistry. He was one of the first Deaf people I met. Rusty, your are a GREAT guy!! You have always been VERY patient and helpful with me and my ASL. Now, it's time to flip the switch and KICK SOME INTERNATIONAL BUTT IN TAEKWONDO!!!
I am PROUD to know EACH of these BISON and call them friends!!! I congratulate ALL of them! Once again, CONGRATS to ALL of the Gallaudet University Class of 2013!!! And to all of the BISON representing TEAM USA, CONGRATULATIONS...now handle your business in Sofia!!!
*The Deaflympics run from July 26th-August 4th. For more information about the live streaming webcast, go to www.sofia2013.com and click on "LIVE" at the top of the page. You can click on "CEREMONY" at the top to view a live stream of the opening and closing ceremonies. Thanks to Rusty for providing me with that website!!!