Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"I wouldn't go to a physical therapist who couldn't walk."

I have never understood how other people picked their career. I know people have interests and those lead to careers. Others go where the money is, and still others just have talent and intelligence in a specific area (because who could be legitimately interested in organic chemistry or physics? Seriously...). Sometimes I wish I had chosen something else, such as journalism or sports management (I can turn the Arizona Cardinals into Super Bowl champions in 2 years with roster moves alone in Madden), but ultimately I know I am in the right spot.

I think I am very fortunate to have a career choice that meets all three of those criteria: interest, talent, and the dollars. I have a legitimate personal interest in the field, I will be paid more than adequately for my services, and I believe in my heart that no other speech-language pathologist (outside of a person in a similar situation) would be a better candidate for a job than I would. In my situation, that's the level of confidence I need to have: nobody is going to be better qualified than me. I have the empathy necessary to understand the agony that a child can go through, but have enough sense to not let them dwell. They have to know that they will have slumps where your mouth, tongue, and chest feel tense and you can't get anything out no matter how much you practice. These slumps could last a day or a week, the important thing is to not give up because the results will come. Even if you have a rut, you need to keep stretching your comfort zone. I know enough to understand that the clinic environment is so sterile that it can be a trap because during a session, fluent speech comes so easily. I certainly know enough not to say "well, maybe you just aren't practicing enough." Empathy is the most difficult thing for someone to have, because you can never be in their position no matter how much you try. I have heard that in the graduate course on fluency, one of the assignments is to go out and stutter voluntarily in a public place in an effort to gain some understanding of that pain. A fluent person doesn't understand how it feels to be laughed at by a girl you are trying to talk to, or how much it hurts to be be hung up on while trying to make a phone call. I don't say this in an effort to gain sympathy or to make people feel bad for me, but those are situations that people take for granted. I am anxious to see how others respond to that, because believe me, it can be very, very painful.

The most difficult thing I am anticipating is how much of a role model I will have to be. I am in the unique position of having to practice what I preach every time I open my mouth. This is difficult because I am not 100% fluent all of the time, or any of the time. In high school, I practiced every morning with a tape recorder, a mirror, and a newspaper article to read aloud. I definitely reaped the benefits of the practice as my speech improved drastically. In college, I never practiced because of being in the vicinity of roommates and I have never been comfortable with that. That, and being caught up in college life took all of my motivation away. My lack of effort showed a lot because of the amount of trouble I had. I would use so many excuses as to why I wasn't fluent, including "I just haven't practiced lately," "I'm comfortable with my stuttering, that's the important thing," "As soon as I get home for the summer I'll practice," and so on. As my fluency showed, I never did. The typical goal for any type of speech therapy is 90% success, because 100% is not realistic. Lately I think I have been around 80-85%. That means I have to step it up and put more effort to get to that 90%. I practice every morning in the car on the way to work, and as soon as I start mowing fairways, I'll have my headphones and my home-made practice tracks and I can practice more at work. I also have to do things I would never have done in the past, including making more phone calls, taking more initiative with friends, and not avoiding any possible speaking situations. To think back to the point where I used to be, where I would have Ethan order my Wings, have Jaylynn order my coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, or have somebody lean over to talk to the drive-thru at Wendy's are depressing thoughts, and those are only changes I have made in the last year-and-a-half. I still have miles to go in regards to risk taking. I make all (well, almost all) of my own phone calls with little hesitation. I do all my own ordering in person and on the phone (just ask my Dad and he'll show you the credit card bill for Wings.....God, I haven't had Wings in a while....do you think they deliver to Worcester?) I am planning on joining the organization called Toastmasters which is more-or-less a public speaking club, I would like to be an officer for NSSHLA, and I would even like to do readings at church (assuming I start going to church up here).

Of course, these are all plans, and time will tell if I actually follow through with them, but I am trying my best, and I need support. I need to actually DO IT rather than talk about it. I cannot be static in terms of my progress. I have the blueprint in my mind of the kind of person I want and need to be in order to be successful in this field, and I'm lucky to have it figured out so early. I have no more excuses.

16 comments:

Ben Livingston said...

=D, thats all.
Ben Livingston

Wen Zeng said...

Patrick, I really enjoyed reading your post. I am a mild stutterer too, and also a university student(Warwick, Economics). I'm a British Born Chinese, and have only stuttered since the age of 16. Like your stutter, its severity goes up and down, but is always lingering even at the best of times. Its just great to hear the personal thoughts of somebody in the same boat. Get in touch or add me to your MSN if u want.

Anonymous said...

Very nice site! Neurontin preis Sectional sofas contemporary sectionals remote solar gate opener personalized stationery order forms Cabin area rug power games tadalafil united states automatic dual gate opener system

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! here

Anonymous said...

government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -

Anonymous said...

public records pro -
questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
satellite pc box -
save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the dog food conspiracy -
the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -

Anonymous said...

xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
bv cures -
calling men -
camera dollars -
carb rotation diet -
cash making power sites -
cb mall -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
credit secrets bible -
destroy hemorrhoids -
dirty talking guide -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dvd copy pro -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -

Anonymous said...

eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
end your tinnitus -
error nuker -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex candlesticks made easy -
forex killer -
forex megadroid -
get rid of your cellulite -
g money pro -
google shadow -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov resources -
health biz in a box -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hybrid water power -
i software tv -
joyful tomato -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -

Anonymous said...

maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
mole wart removal -
muscle gaining secrets -
natural cure for yeast infection -
paid surveys etc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
public records pro -
quick article pro -
quick income blueprint -
quit smoking today -
ranking loophole -
reg clean -
reg defense -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rig worker -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
save the marriage -
site builder elite -
six figure yearly 2009 -

Anonymous said...

sleep tracks -
sold in 21 days -
spyware stop -
stop being tired -
stop your hair loss -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret magic code -
truth about abs -
turbulence training -
turn your photos into cash -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
1st promotion -
3 redlight fix -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish rosacea -
blog lock down -
brad yates -
building a chicken coop -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -

Anonymous said...

carb rotation diet -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy n profit -
credit secrets bible -
cure angular cheilitis -
cure morning sickness -
dirty talking guide -
domain tweak system -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
email finder -
energy 2 green -
error nuker -
evidence smart -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
forex enterprise -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
home job stop -
homemadeenergy -

Anonymous said...

home made energy -
how do i get him back -
hyper vre -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
mafia war secrets -
malware bot -
master cleanse secrets -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
maximum paid surveys -
meet your sweet -
mobile tv pro -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
my dish biz -
one minute cure -
paid surveys online -
panic away -
pc tv 4 me -
pdf creator -
perfect optimizer -
pick the gender of your baby -
plr wholesaler -
private niche empire -
project quick cash -
public records pro -
pull your ex back -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reality creation secrets -
reg clean -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -

Anonymous said...

registry fix -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rich garbage man -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
seize cars -
shop until you drop -
six figure yearly 2009 -
sleep tracks -
spyware nuker -
spyware stop -
sunshine 4u -
the bad breath report -
the cash1234 system -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the free car -
the lazy marketer -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
truth about diets -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
violin master pro -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
xp repair pro -
yeast infection no more -

Anonymous said...

2ip hosting -
10 minute forex wealth builder -
30 minute back links -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
affiliate jackpot -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
battery reconditioning -
blogging to the bank -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
carp evolution -
cb bonus domination -
combat the fat -
content website builder -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure angular cheilitis -
cure morning sickness -
dirty talking guide -
driver robot -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence smart -
fatburningfurnace -

Anonymous said...

fat loss 4 idiots -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex trading machine -
forex trading made ez -
get your exgirlfriend back -
google snatch -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
grow taller 4 idiots -
guy gets girl -
hcg recipes -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
how to break 80 -
hyper vre -
instant domain cash -
i software tv -
jamo rama acoustic -
linden method -
lose the back pain -
magni work -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
negative calorie diet -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
only 4 gamers -
paid surveys online -
panic away -

Anonymous said...

pc on point -
pc tv 4 me -
perfect optimizer -
phone number scan -
pick the gender of your bady -
power 4 home -
profit lance -
public records pro -
quantum mind power -
quit smoking today -
recipe secrets -
reg clean -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
revolutioniz -
richard markenzie direct -
sale hoo -
simple php -
smtp 2 go -
spyware nuker -
surveys 4 checks -
tax liens made easy -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the handcrafters companion -
the retired millionaire -
the super mind evolution system -
truth about abs -
truth about diets -