The American manual alphabet in photographs

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Ever seen a poster or flyer somewhere which said anything like: ‘Short course in sign language, 20$’? If you are in college, you’ve probably seen these hanging around. Last year, you could have learned sign language, the basics of photoshop, become an excel hero and dance the salsa. Why even bother? Nobody is going to these things right? Why would you spend time learning something you are probably never going to use?

When somebody is thinking about doing some kind of workshop mentioned above, I try to encourage them, I even am willing to join them if it is on a time I am able and if it is something I like, just as an encouragement. The point here is, you can learn a lot of different skills, for a really, really low price. I am going to do a photoshop workshop (which takes two evenings) for 1 euro. After that, I expect myself to have a couple of basic skills, which go further than I can do now. I hope it makes me able to do a couple of nice changes here on this very blog! If I am going to do this kind of workshop outside university, I will pay over 100 euros to do anything like it. That is one reason to embrace the possibilities you get.

The other reason is that these at first useless skills helps you to develop as a person. To improve yourself, to improve you as a person. You are probably stuck in a routine, you are learning a couple of times in the library about politics, hang out with friends and write a couple of stories on your blog. But what if you suddenly go do something COMPLETELY different? How will that effect your brain? You need to do something different all of the sudden, so your brain gets stimulated in a way he doesn’t get stimulated that often, which is better for the future. And at these workshops you will meet new people. People who do different kind of things than you do and you know meeting new people is nice!

Furthermore, side skills can help you in helping other people. How awesome would it be if you are in the train with friends and suddenly you start to talk with a deaf guy in sign language? What would your friends think? What would the people around you think? And if you are in a committee and you have to design a flyer and you are able to do so and make an awesome flyer? Think you will get some satisfaction out of your committee members’ faces!

Side skills seem pretty stupid at first, but they can impress people and improve you as a human being. And the fun part is, you have a lot of possibilities to develop side skills right now. College is good to you, you have the change to be outstanding in excel for only 20 bucks, learning to do the salsa for 5$ only, how cool is that? Next time you see a flyer, think about signing in, think about just doing it. Try it sometime, you might learn something!

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