When I was in sixth grade, my interpreter told me about Deaf culture. One of the things she explained to me was about name signs. Traditionally, in Deaf culture, other people usually give you a name sign, based on something about you. For example, if you had curly hair, your name sign would show that.
At the end of sixth grade, I decided that I wanted a new name sign. The one I'd had up to that point was a generic one and I didn't like it. (Oddly enough, Benj is the only one ever who uses that name sign for me. I don't know why.) So I decided to give myself a new name sign (which is against tradition. I didn't have any Deaf friends back then to give me one). I'd fallen in love with writing in fifth grade and decided to use that for my name sign.
For some weird reason, I chose the sign "draw" as my basis, not "writing". I tell people, when they ask, that I like reading, writing and drawing. In reality, I didn't get into drawing until I was fifteen or sixteen. But maybe I chose draw because it looks cooler, kinda, and the hand has the same orientation as reading, which I also loved. So I went from K-heart to K-draw when I was twelve, and it's stuck ever since.
I thought when I came to Gallaudet that I'd do away with this name sign and get a new one, since I'd broken tradition. But nobody could really think of a better name sign for me, so it's stuck. Funny that a name sign I picked when I was twelve still sticks, even eight years later. Is there anything at that age that really sticks?
I self-identified as a writer when I chose my name sign. For some reason, my family thought I was going to be a famous writer someday. Hah, like that'd ever happen. But I believed it. I thought I was a really great writer. That way of thinking would lead to my getting picked on later. It had to happen sooner or later, though.
I broke tradition by picking my own name sign. I might break tradition again if I really do choose to write this series of stories about a Deaf world I want to write since Deaf stories tend to be signed, not written. But I wanted that name sign when I was twelve, and I really want to write this series of stories.