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Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 2:11pm

Passion for sign language

KETK
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POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 5:43pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 1:29pm

Age is just a number for this Tyler woman who only recently found her passion in life. Sign language.

Becky Minkel was an elementary school teacher. She said she was in love with her kids but not in love with that type of teaching. She was inspired by those who taught sign language.So, she took a sign language class and never looked back.

"There isn't one thing that isn't positive about the deaf culture that isn't overwhelmingly amazing to me," said Minkel.

Minkel first became fascinated with the language when her friend back in Wichita Falls would sign to her without even realizing it.

"The first time I saw my girlfriend signing just to me in conversation not knowing she was doing it and now I do that. I'll go out with my girlfriends and they will be like you know you just signed the menu to our server."

She started taking a continuing ed class, while still teaching kindergarten, and absolutely fell in love with the language.

"I used it kind of as a teaching tool and a discipline because we would walk down the hall and sign the alphabet or their spelling words and they were very quiet so I thought it was great."

When she moved back to Tyler, she took more classes at TJC with her son.

"I knew the language because of my deaf friends, yet he seemed to pass the test with higher grades each time, I was like wait a minute(laughs)."

She now interprets hymns at her church and volunteers to use sign language at weddings and funerals.

"It's the prettiest language out there, it really is to express yourself."

Minkel also owns an interpreting business and is currently helping a young girl get through beauty school.

"I just love it. I wake up every morning so excited that I can go do this.''

But, Minkel will interpret wherever there is need.

"I just said, God I'm going to give you 100% back if you will just let me be with the deaf community that's my gift and reward for sure."

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what a time with Marlena Hamilton! She made me feel so at ease during the interview!

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