“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, an American Sign Language (ASL) music video adaptation by the Rochester (NY) School for the Deaf (RSD), Senior Class of 2016

During the 2016 spring semester, the main objective of RSD High School students in Teacher Paul Kelly’s ASL Video Production class was to produce an awesome music video that also showcased their historic school, which celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2016.  The highlight of this music video is the way in which the students use the beauty of American Sign Language to show how they feel about their RSD experience, from early childhood all the way through graduation.

The resulting video titled The Middle, by the American rock band Jimmy Eat World, performed in ASL and produced by RSD students, debuted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, during a student assembly in the RSD auditorium, located at 1545 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY. At that time, the video was also released for viewing on the RSD YouTube channel.

As a team, students translated the lyrics into ASL and rehearsed sign production to carefully match the tempo of the song. Students scouted scene locations on the RSD campus, recruited “extras” from the student body, and led all video shooting and editing.

The video’s high production values were made possible through the efforts of Stacy Lawrence, of Pittsford, NY. Lawrence is founder and past executive director of Deaf Film Camp, in Old Forge, NY, where deaf and hard of hearing teenage campers produced ASL adaptations of Pharrell Williams’ Happy and Phillip Phillips’ Home in the last two years, garnering worldwide media attention. Lawrence was instrumental in bringing to RSD in May renowned Deaf cinematographer, editor, and director Wayne Betts, Jr. (Through Deaf Eyes, a PBS documentary; Gallaudet: The Film; Through Your Child’s Eyes: ASL; Convo Relay: Austin Deaf Community). Betts, who also taught at Deaf Film Camp, and Lawrence advised and guided RSD students throughout the steps of producing this ASL music video. RSD Teaching Assistant and Drama Club Advisor Vicki Nordquist also assisted RSD Teacher Paul Kelly and his students with ASL translation.

Please contact the Office of the RSD Superintendent info@rsdeaf.org for more information about this video.

LYRICS:

Hey
Don’t write yourself off yet
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just try your best
Try everything you can
And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away

It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

Hey
You know they’re all the same
You know you’re doing better on your own so don’t buy in
Live right now
Just be yourself
It doesn’t matter if that’s good enough for someone else

It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

Hey
Don’t write yourself off yet
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just do your best
Do everything you can
Don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are going to say

It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

SG Mission: to serve our viewers by providing reliable, valuable, and important Deaf community oriented information in every newcast.

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silentgrapevine

SG Mission: to serve our viewers by providing reliable, valuable, and important Deaf community oriented information in every newcast.