Thursday, August 28, 2008

Master Specialty

Back when I was first in college but after I had switched from commercial art to education to psychology but before I did social work ;) I told my family that I wanted to become a bibliotherapist or go into some form of expressive therapy, like dance or drama therapy. My family made fun of it and I changed majors six more times.

I stutter-- it is the most terrible thing to hear when it strikes me and it visits for just a few hours to several weeks. People drive me crazy as they think that I am "nervous" around them and I say, "D-d-d-don't f-f-fl-flatter y-yourself, you aren't that im-im-im-impreSSSSive." A stammer doesn't mean I'm nervous, tears don't mean I am sad, don't assign feelings to me.

The stutter is annoying, like having someone flick a light off and on, but much worse to listen to and I don't have the luxury of hiding. (It got bad for a few weeks after my massage teacher yanked my freaking nose!) I think that the stammer is caused a twitching neuron. It could be in my hands. I have found recently that I can overcome it by placing my hands on a keyboard, and Darrin has shushed me for years by holding onto my hands when we are arguing and it's like putting a hood on a falcon! (Do people who sign stutter? That almost sounds like I am being funny, but I am not.) When I was much younger, I had it bad (so far my kids don't.) I got through the stammer to where I could control it by performing. I was in 4th grade and discovered Ed Lear and recited a few of his poems for my "whole school!" I would later do well in debate and public speaking in high school, as well as miming with drama. Stage fright? Lord have mercy-- I am a ham and a half! I always wanted my audience to enjoy my performance, but performing in front of people is like having s~~-- if you are having a great time and you are aware of the mores and what is expected of you, the other person probably is probably liking you, too. . . I wasn't thinking of this at the age of nine, but I was having fun and my speech therapist was very proud of me when I floated off the stage! I did well in debate because I had an audience and it was when I was on stage that I turned on. If I stammered, I just plowed through it because people wanted to hear what needed to be stated, not my apologies and I was timed in speaking.

My expressive arts program is aimed at giving voices to people who do not have voices and who are often not heard. If you come to my blog very often, you will see that I am very interested in this. The great thing about this is that I'll most likely be jobbing out and still be writing for a living as well as encouraging. Oh-- when I was in a horrid court battle with my ex,one of my daughters asked what I was like as a parent. She was a bit confused and the person asked her that if she was a great athlete in the Olympics, what would her dad and his wife be doing vs me and my husband. She told him that her dad would be yelling from the stands and complaining of her performance, that her step mother would be arguing with her coach about what to do and giving advice to make her slower, that her step father (Darrin) would be her coach giving her advice to help her be better at her sport, and that I'd be running with her! That is how I see myself as a teacher, as well!

There is a program at a certain college that does low residency programs in an expressive therapies specialty. I am very interested in it.

I spoke to my local college's MFA in Creative Writing department today and they said that it doesn't teach you to teach people to write or express themselves, only to write. I want to teach and encourage. That probably sounds nerdy, but we all have gifts and encouragement is mine. This degree needs people who can write but also who want to share other passions. My husband saw it and really loved it and thinks I can do well with it. He told me to go for it as long as I think I can get a job with it-- and that is my hang up.

This is what I am contemplating this week. It's really exciting because I may start it in a few short months. I have to wrap up statistics!

Oh-- do drop by Little Plastic Castles. Ann wrote a very sweet poem to her cadaver (really, she did!) I could have never done medicine and I laugh at myself thinking that I thought that I could-- with 9 kids? Was I on drugs thinking that I could do it? (No, my dad was dying! LOL I would have done anything to have found his problem and kept him around to see my kids!) Ann is the kind of person you want in medicine treating the bodies and souls of the people you love. I hope she doesn't lose her dignity and respect for all things as she is put through the mental, physical and emotional ringer of medical school and patients who demand miracles when she has no answers. Read her blog-- this is a person who has high standards for herself, who rises to challenges and is truly good. I hope that puzzles unravel themselves with her intensity to solve them. I can't believe that every school didn't accept her, and I hope that one that has her appreciates her for the treasure that she is and feeds her passion for medicine.


Ropi said...

I used to stutter but with the help of a speech therapist it is quite okay now. So it isn't such a big deal. Have you attended any?

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Yes-- it comes back sometimes but and I have a few tools to deal with it.