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A Letter to Marie Philip, 1953-1997 Dear Marie Philip, You and I go back a long way. I remember when I first arrived at Boston University in 1979- You were giving a presentation. You were explaining that ASL was a language used by Deaf people and would eventually be used by all Deaf children when they become adults, and you were encouraging parents to learn it. I remember having a hard time seeing you because you were only 5 feet tall, but I had no trouble "hearing" you. Your stature and your presence were enormous. This was the beginning of a long friendship. We had a lot of debates and discussions, a few drinks, and we shared much love and respect. You have touched my heart because you were a person who had contact with my own parents. My parents were Deaf like you, but born into a different generation . The world was not a place where they could say what they believed, and not be hurt economically and socially. Still, they were proud and not afraid of the hearing world. I am proud you traveled the journey you did. Your beliefs, your work, and your life, are examples of strength, pride, and standing tall. The movement toward bilingual and bicultural education received a tremendous influence from your hard work and your never wavering pride and values. Your pride made you indomitable. ASL was not only your language, it was the language of the people from whom you descended. This pride is infectious. It gave many people a sense of self-renewal and pride in who they were. Deaf people all over the world were encouraged to talk about themselves as contributing members of all societies. You were one of the columns that supported publication of the DEAF-WORLD. Although, you were ven? strong in the push to make ASL respected, recognized, and used in schools, in homes, and in the community, you didn't beat people up or force anyone to believe you. Many may not have agreed with you on the details, but everyone listened and greatly admired the way you lived your life. Though your legs were short, you ran tirelessly; not to keep up, but to lead. Your work at Northeastern University, the Learning Center for Deaf Children (TLC), and at Boston University will never be forgotten, Boston, Massachusetts is a place where fame is fleeting. Famous people come and go, but in our world you will stay. At TLC, you really came into your own. You put your heart and mind where your hands were. Here, belief, theory, and practice merged. The outcome has benefitted for all who have had contact with you and with the school. TLC is a tribute to you as a leader. You knew that Deaf children are the key to the future. You proved to the world that Deaf people must invest in their children and that the educational system must invest in Deaf people. At Boston University, you came through with your coffee maker, your books, and your indomitable spirit. Now it was time to invest in yourself. You put this last on your agenda. You threw up barriers and statements that educational degrees are the hearing world's values. Print was the hearing world's value. These were not your values. At first, you did not care about what the hearing world thought. But soon, you came around to realize that, as Tip O'Neil said, all politics are local. Your learning at Boston University was going to be true: that ASL is not only the language that needs to be used and supported in school, but knowing ASL well will provide a key to thinking and learning for Deaf children. The people with whom you came in contact were all impressed by your abilities, your strength, and your feistiness. Our research will continue, and you will be one of the major threads that hold us together. I am hearing but come from a Deaf family. You were so very proud of your family. You loved your mother, your sisters, your nieces and nephews and all your in-laws. They were part of the best world you...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
p. 348
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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