Six in, six out!
20 August 2022
In this post I reflect on my 6 years post PhD and also look back to my 6 years in my PhD program. I have grown a lot as a teacher, as a scholar, as a teacher - scholar and, to some extent as an administrator. As I enter my 7th year as faculty at Sac State I also enter my sixth year as program coordinator. Since becoming program coordinator I've led a program review of conducted annual assessments and we've made very significant changes to our program.
Here are two of the most significant programmatic changes we've made to deaf studies since my arrival…
Increase ASL 1 & 2 from 3-unit courses to 4-unit courses
Add language requirement for all upper-division Deaf Studies courses
Here are some of my publications since my arrival…
Chua, M., de Meulder, M., Geer, L.C, Henner, J., Hou, L., Kubus, O., O’Brien, D., & Robinson, O. (2022). 1001 Small Victories: Deaf Academics and Imposter Syndrome. In: Addison, M., Breeze, M., Taylor, Y. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86570-2_29
Geer, L.C. (2021). All in With Google Slides: Virtual Engagement and Formative Assessment in Introductory Sign Language Linguistics. Proceedings from the Linguistics Society of America Symposium on Scholarly Teaching in the age of Covid-19 and Beyond, 6(2), 1-6, https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i2.5103
Geer, L.C. (2021). Syllabus: Current Issues in Deaf World: Deaf Languages & Cultures Around the Globe. Syllabus, 10(2); pp. 1-14. https://syllabusjournal.org/syllabus/article/view/305
Geer, L.C. & Keane, J. (2018). Improving ASL Fingerspelling Comprehension in L2 Learners with Explicit Phonetic Instruction. Language Teaching Research, 22(4); pp. 439-457. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168816686988
Here are some of my presentations since my arrival…
Zarchy, R.M. & Geer, L.C. (2022, June 23-25). Teaching hearing parents ASL to enrich language at home. Presented at the International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition 4 (ICSLA 4). Online conference. 23-25 July 2022.
Geer, L.C. & Zarchy, R.M. (2021, June). Learn ASL at Home: Team-taught, family-focused ASL instruction for Families of Young Deaf Children. Presented at the National Deaf Education Conference. 24-25 June 2021.
Geer, L.C. & Zarchy, R.M. (2021, June). Supporting parents learning ASL: Identifying barriers and creating solutions. Presented at the Deaf Education Alliance Summit: Connecting the Dots. 4-6 June 2021.
Geer, L.C. (2020) Learning to Rise Up from the Deaf President Now Protest. Poster presented at the Multicultural Education Conference. Sacramento State, Sacramento, CA. (Online Conference)
Geer, L.C. (2017). Embracing (and normalizing) diversity through second-language teaching. Presented at the Multicultural Education Conference. Sacramento State, Sacramento, CA. 25 February 2017
This past spring/summer, I also won two awards!
Women of Influence Award In Recognition Of Outstanding Contributions To The Quality Of Life For Students
Early Career Award for Teaching Hearing Parents ASL to Enrich Language at Home at ICSLA 4
Most significantly, in my time is faculty I wrote a book ( well, co-wrote 😉)
Writing this book, both the process of developing the original manuscript, and revising and expanding for the second edition, which will be out very soon, urged me to seek further training in early intervention.
As I shared in an Instagram post, I decided to go back to school six years after getting a PhD! So far I have completed two courses for this program, a certificate program in collaborative leadership for DHH infants toddlers and their families, and it has already proved incredibly helpful. I look forward to continuing that program this fall and my next six years!
COVID finally caught up to me
10 August 2022
Well, COVID-19 finally caught up to me after 2.5 years of dodging and ducking and several close calls. I want to share a bit about my experience and what I’m dealing with now, 16 days since the onset of symptoms.
It all started with a sore throat the day after returning from my first trip – involving a plane flight – in over a year. But I’ve had lots of sore throats since the pandemic started. This was probably nothing, right?
That night, I had a dream within a dream about testing positive for covid. I Tweeted about it here. I woke up feeling achy all over in a way I haven’t in a very long time. I did a rapid test. Negative. But I felt worse by the minute. I was soon curled in the fetal position on the couch, shivering and febrile.
The fever and horrible aches – I felt like I got hit by a bus – lasted only a day. By the next morning, I felt ok-ish. But by this point, my doctor had ordered a PCR covid test, so I went to have that done, along with a strep culture and flu test.
Strep results came back first. Negative. I didn’t think I had strep.
Hours later, the big whammy came in – ABNORMAL CULTURE DETECTED. I’d finally tested positive for covid.
After that one horrible day – where I still tested negative on an at-home test – it wasn’t too bad. I wrote a bit more about my experience here. The worst part was the isolation until my husband tested positive several days later.
I felt like I was being punished, having to shelter in a separate bedroom, no contact with Razi or our animals. But of course this is complicated by the fact that I did do something which could be construed as reckless, which resulted in my catching covid. I went on an airplane where not everyone was masked. I went to a conference and unmasked to eat indoors. While I took some precautions, it obviously wasn’t enough. Plus my ability to take these risks reflects my privilege as someone unlikely to experience complications due to covid (and I didn’t).
My first negative test after the onset of symptoms was on day 11. Ironically, since then, my cough has picked up again 🤦🏽♀️
Now 16 days since the onset of symptoms, I can finally stay awake all day. For a while, I was taking 1-3 hour naps daily. I’ve heard from others that covid and even post-covid fatigue was killer. This was my experience.
How long will my cough last? Who knows. For now, I’m still leaning heavily on cough syrup and cough drops to manage symptoms. If I feel like I need a nap, I take one (on days where my schedule allows this) but overall I’m ok. Obviously this could have been much worse. I’m thankful to be vaccinated and boosted and to be mostly surrounded by folks who are as cautious with covid as I am.
If you’ve managed to evade infection this far, hats off to you! If you learn anything from this post, it’s this: if you have covid symptoms but you’re negative on a rapid test, just assume you have covid (and get a PCR if you can). Mask up and stay home to stop the spread!
27 July 2022
I’ve been quiet here this summer because I’ve been BUSY! You could say it’s been a scholarly summer. Razi (my husband) and I have had a lot of projects!
We’ve been working on our contribution to the Elements in Sign Languages series from Cambridge University Press
We presented at ICSLA 4 (International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition) and won an award!!!
Attended our first in-person conference, the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) conference as ASL at Home
While I haven’t been teaching for Sac State, Razi and I have been teaching Learn ASL at Home and I’m teaching a course for Language First.
Oh, and remember I’m in school again! I’m in the Infants, Toddlers and Families Leadership and Collaboration certificate program through Gallaudet. I’d like to share a bit about my experience with that as well.
So, this hasn’t left much time for blogging 😢
But I do have some ideas in the works and I have a couple of collaborations in mind — one already on the calendar to film!
I hope to have some more posts in the coming weeks. Bear with me. It seems like “when it rains, it pours”: when I blog, I blog a lot in a short time and then get hit with drought.
The perks of writing retreats for big writing projects
20 June 2022
A few months ago I was contacted and invited to write an “Element,” something longer than a typical article but not quite book-length, something around 20-30,000 words. I said “yes sure” and invited my husband to join me in writing something about our ASL curriculum, ASL at Home. So, we worked everything out with the editors and set the due-date for this as September 1st. But it would be impossible to start working on this during the academic semester, so we planned to wait until summer to begin. This made me anxious about the due-date. I wondered how we’d finish in time.
Thinking back, I haven’t had a writing project of this magnitude since my dissertation. So, thinking back on my dissertation days, I recalled that what really allowed me to finish was taking writing retreats. We typically didn’t leave town. We’d go to the writing center on campus and get together in groups of dissertating graduate students. Sometimes we’d discuss our work, kind of workshop portions of our dissertations, maybe brainstorm a bit, but most of the time, this was an accountability thing. We went and we wrote. Maybe all morning, maybe all day.
Thinking about that, I wondered if my husband and I should do the same. Could we go to a hotel somewhere and just focus on our writing and get a good jump-start on this project?
We worked it all out; we sent the pups to their favorite trainer and we left the kitties with mounds of food and plenty of fresh water and escaped to a nearby town. The hotel room was a nice suite with a separate bedroom and living room. It was nice to keep those spaces separate. The living room was spacious with a nice desk, and we brought another desk with sit or stand options. It was very conducive to writing! My husband printed various inspirational quotes which we pinned up in the living room to help maintain our motivation.
At the start of our retreat, we had an outline – what we’d sent to the editors and publisher to propose this project – of roughly 450 words. By the end of the retreat, we had over 10,000 words, which is halfway to our goal!
My point in this blog is not that you have to get a hotel room to work on big writing projects, but do take advantage of the writing retreat spirit. It could mean meeting a friend at a coffee shop, mostly to write, but if you get stuck, potentially to talk things out and get back to it. The point is to dedicate time and create accountability to finish your project. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me!