Monday, May 15, 2006

Dear Summer...

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you, without a dope blog to step to...

Bad joke, sorry.

It's been over a month since I've written here. Between finals, work, and my new guitar (which I suck at), I've had very little time and little motivation to write in this. Maybe I am just out of stuff to address, or maybe I just haven't given any real thought to stuttering in a while, but the least I can do for my minions is update the goings-on of my life as of late.

Graduate School: Year One is over at long last. My grades are posted and I got an A- in Diagnostics (the hardest, most time-consuming course), a B+ in Aural Rehab and a B in Adult Language Disorders. I definitely worked hard this semester (though 90% of my focus went to Dx, the other two classes really were afterthoughts) and it payed off. In terms of class difficulty, I think the worst is behind me. However, the 800-pound gorilla (see right) known as "clinical practicum" is still lurking.

Starting May 22nd, I have four classes this summer, all in the evening. I take two 1-credit electives (though I'm not really sure about the actual dates. When I checked online it says I have them at the same time, but that couldn't be). After a few more weeks off, I take two more classes for 1 credit and 3 credits. I've worked a lot of hours in the past couple of weeks at the easiest job in the world and once class starts I don't expect to miss any time. Tatnuck Country Club is a diamond mine of awesomeness. Last Friday everyone left at noon because of the rain and I decided to stick around, paint a couple rocking chairs and read a book until closing time. I just like being allowed to lock up. It makes me feel so responsible. (By the way, if you ever want to steal mowers and shit, I leave the key under the tire near the front door.)

Speaking of responsible, I've decided to start my own mini landscaping business in my area on Saturdays and Sundays. I've printed up fliers advertising "affordable, expert care of lawns and gardens" complete with my marketable tattoo as a logo. Dr. Larrivee already said she has a big mulching project and I'm hoping she spreads the word to her neighbors. If I can get 6 or so lawns (3 on Saturdays, 3 on Sundays) for $30-$50 each, that's at least an extra $200 per week. Granted I drive a Mustang, but I figured out how to fit a mower from work into the trunk. Nick (the assistant at Tatnuck) said I could even borrow his monster F-350 truck if I needed it and that I could help him out with his side projects as well. By borrowing all the equipment from work, I'll save on capital until I can afford my own mower. As I've said a million times, Tatnuck Country Club is the greatest place on earth if you want to come in late, screw around, play golf, play poker, smoke weed (I don't smoke weed, but if somebody wanted to, they could) without reprecussions, AND get punched off the clock hours after you leave. Even the 50-year-old gardener drinks cans of Busch down by the dump at 9 AM. Someone was telling a story of how a kid got fired from there, and for the life of me I can't figure out what could possibly happen that would warrant a firing. I've narrowed it down to either: 1) doing donuts on the greens in a cart, or 2) stealing Rob's last handful of bacon.

Needless to say, I will have almost no free time this summer, and I consider that a good thing. I've been much happier since being back at work, and with summer classes and side landscaping projects on the horizon, you are looking at one rich, happy boy. I sometimes look back at all the things I used to be afraid of when I was younger, namely, speaking with other people and trying anything new, and I think I've made so much progress regarding that recently. I'll be dealing with clients and parents next year and I'm starting a small business where I'll be dealing with people I don't know. It might not seem like much, but they are still really big steps for me. Onward and upward.

As usual, stuttering has been up and down. These past few days have been hard and I can't seem to get my timing down on my breathing. That takes practice, which I am still out of. I know that I make the most progress when I make fluency the focus of my life like I did last summer. In my current situation and atmosphere I have no desire to do that. From the people I've met at support groups, the happier people tend to be the ones who stutter severely (and I mean SEVERELY) because they accept who they are. In a way, speech therapists are the enemy.
Still, I need to be ready for the fall. When I talked to the clinic director a few months ago to talk about having therapy this summer, she said she would put me in the pool and let me know. I haven't heard back anything yet, so I don't know what that means. I'll stop by sometime soon and see what the deal is.

I've seen 2 movies recently: Silent Hill and Poseidon. Silent Hill rocked and scared the absolute bejesus out of me, namely because the one known as "Buckethead" was back with his big cleaver in midseason form, ripping this girl's skin off and throwing it against a church door. If that isn't bad ass, I'm not sure if anything is. The guy (or whatever he is) just stomps people all day and night. Menacing.

Poseidon was pretty good, but very short (90 minutes) and had no character development at all. The movie was essentially: Boat. Wave. People trying to get the hell out of the boat. I never saw the original version so I can't compare it. It was pretty intense and one of those triumph-of-human-spirit deals, but I don't know if I would've seen it without free movie passes. Silent Hill, a triumph-of-Buckethead deal, will be a DVD purchase the day it comes out.

That's the breakdown. Enjoy your week.