I wanted to update some things that have been going on, and just for kicks and the fact that I had pictures laying around, a picture of Cadbury my trusty guinea pig, Greta thinking about eating her, the man-child known as Tub Cat, and if you haven't seen the Mustang yet, that, too.
I've skipped the last three Toastmasters meetings because of midterms, papers, and projects (supplemented with Tiger Woods 06 and NBA Live 06), and considering I should be starting work soon in the next week or so (provided Rob calls me), I'm not sure if I'm going to go again for a while. The meetings I went to were nice, but because of my schedule and my dire need for money (and they started asking for dues), it might not be worth it. If I have a Monday off here and there I'll go, but it probably won't be a consistent thing. It's a shame but in a sense it wasn't really giving me the feeling I thought it would. I guess speaking in front of people was not as frightening as I thought. It's the little things like introductions and phone calls that bother me. In any case, I had a nice time, met some nice people. I know a lot of people who stutter are so afraid of speaking in public, and the people I told about it seem to be very impressed. At least I'll always have my "Best Speaker" ribbon and trophy pictures. Hopefully I'll be able to stop by in the future for a brush-up.
One of our assignments for Diagnostics was to administer a standardized vocabulary test to someone in front of Dr. Larrivee for her to grade our skills as a diagnostician (to the layperson: someone who gets money to give and grade standardized tests). Since we were not allowed to give the test to someone in our program (we are supposed to be familiar with the test and would throw off results), I had my dad drive up. I was happy that he was so eager to come up, and my mom came also and we went out to lunch after.
I was surprised with how well I did. I prepared for hours earlier in the day memorizing the difficult words (especially "terpsichorean"). I had a couple of small blocks, though my major problems were that I pronounced a couple words incorrectly (namely, "indigent" as "indignant") and that I let my dad know which ones he got wrong by telling him "good job" when he was right and saying nothing when he was wrong. Dr. Larrivee gave me 10 out of 10 (which is great because I heard she makes most people do it over) and she told me overall I did very well. But the thing about Dr. Larrivee is, even though she always seems to give a decent grade, she will still criticize the hell out of you (I am still having my Vietnam flashbacks of last semester when she told me one of my literary reviews was filled with "good points, marred by bad writing, poor grammar, and terrible organization." She gave me a more-than-acceptable 83). She told me that my stuttering worries her because she has noticed more problems lately--which there certainly have been-- and that by the time I get into clinic in the fall I need to be better prepared because, as she so delicately put it: "I don't want there to be any reason for you to fail clinic." ....Are you friggin serious? Fail clinic?! That was something that hadn't crossed my mind as a legitimate scenario. I figured it might aggrivate my case manager and confuse parents from time to time, but I didn't think my clinic grade would be affected. Even with my perfect test administration score and the fact that I know when I apply myself that I can control my stuttering, I left that day feeling like shit. Later that evening I ended up going home for the weekend to spend time with my family and Greta and see if I could get back to feeling normal. Sometimes I feel like I can take criticism, and other times I cannot. I'm going to have to have a thicker skin by the time I'm in clinic. I don't want to be shaken easily, especially having to deal with an additional obstacle that the other grad students do not.
Needless to say, I talked to Ann a couple days later and had her put me in the pool for summer clinic sessions. She said she wasn't sure if there were open spots and she couldn't guarantee me anything. I'm gonna be scared shitless of not being prepared so I know I'll work as hard as I can whether I'm getting therapy or not. I never really thought it was weird to have a grad student clincian when I was at UMass, but to be getting therapy from a girl in my program who is in the same classes as I am might be an awkward experience. Whatever they want me to do, I'm down with. Just don't fail me in clinic, for christsake.
My last midterm is Thursday, 4:30-7:30, so once that is over I'm heading back here to get hammered and watch the start of the March Madness. I've been filling out my brackets and I have high aspirations. Two years ago I ran roughshod over everyone in my dad's office pool and had the damn thing won before the Final Four had even started, and this year I expect to do the same. So far with my first draft my Final Four is UConn, Duke, Memphis, and Ohio St. with UConn over Duke in the championship game (I think you can pencil in Ohio St. for national champions next year once Greg Oden gets there. Yikes, he is one large 18-year-old-who-looks-like-he's-pushing-40). I have Gonzaga losing in the round of 32 because that's just what Gonzaga does. Adam Morrison is a great player but the Zags never do anything in the tournement. I don't take Boston College seriously in the tourney either, because they always lose in the round of 32. Those two teams seem to be fashionable picks, and whenever everyone leans toward a team like that, go the other way. I don't have a lot of big upsets other than those two and a couple 9's over 8's, but it's still a first draft. There is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a 12 over a 5, and this year my pick is Kent St. over Pitt. I'm gonna need that $250, so let's go Rudy Gay and the Huskies!
Remember, when you're right 52% of the time, you're wrong 48% of the time.