I was the Chief Architect at Corillian Corporation, now a part of Checkfree, for 6+ years. Before Corillian and Microsoft I worked as a Principal Consultant at STEP Technology, speaking, writing, consulting, and very much not getting rich during Web 1.0, although I worked on a bunch of web sites you have heard of. I’ve also been an Adjunct Professor at OIT, teaching C# and Web Services. I created the first PalmPilot Diabetes Management System in 1998 and sold it to a healthcare company some years later.
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Teaching our son Sign Language has been a dramatic success for us. He’s 14 months old now and the last six weeks have been an explosion of communication. Two months ago he was just barely starting to use the sign for “more.” Today, he knows at least 30 signs (says Mo, at least 40, says I) and is learning at least one new one a day.
Just yesterday Mo mentioned that he’d be pointing to a book and making a sign she didn’t recognize. I said, show me…he’d been signing “pig” all day, a sign I’d taught him the week before, because he wanted a book about Pigs read to him.
As a new parent, I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to connect with a baby, your baby, on a conceptual level…sounds silly to say, but Baby Sign Language can be about more than just “milk.” We were reading “Goodnight Moon” just this evening, and my son signed “moon all done” when we got to the page where the moon was gone from the sky. That moment really sealed the deal for me. Sticking with Sign Language was the right thing for us to do.
It’s not that much work to learn the signs. As you learn a few dozen, you’ll see a pattern, and other signs will get easier to learn. We carry a picture dictionary around with us in the baby bag.
Sometimes folks see us sign to him in public and say “oh, is he deaf?” with a kind of worried face. We reply that we’re teaching him Sign Language so we can see what’s on his mind a year or two early.