Sunday, November 20, 2016

My SLP Story {The Frenzied SLPs}

I had a fantastic time in college; really, I had the best time! I tell people if there was one thing I could go back and change, it would be that I would have been a more serious student. I was in the marching band (flag corps), concert band for a couple of years, flute choir for a couple of years, was an RA my senior year, and was a little sister to a fraternity. (Phi Sig, by jig!) 
I went into college 2 weeks after I graduated from high school as a music major. As soon as I found out I had to take sight-singing, I was out of there! (I'll play almost any instrument handed to me after some instruction, but don't ask me to sing in front of people!) Then, I switched to Spanish, because it was something I was good at. After realizing I couldn't really do anything with Spanish without spending some time immersed in the language, I changed to Business Administration, only because somehow I got a very small scholarship. So, there I was floundering, going from major to major, without really knowing what I wanted to do...who I wanted to be.
One of my sisters & I were looking through the school catalog, and we came across Special Ed. That was something I could do, but did I really think I could handle being in a class with the same kids day in and day out? (The answer there is "no"!) Then, right behind SpEd was Communicative Disorders. My sister had a high school classmate who was in the program at the same university, so I called her. She suggested that I make an appointment with the head of the department. The head of the dept. suggested that I take an intro class and see how I like it. I was pretty hooked after that class, but after my first client in the school clinic correctly produced /f/, that was IT. What validation I felt! 
I went on to graduate with my B.S., and had a job in a school system in Ga. waiting for me. (That was way back in the days when you could work in a school with just your Bachelor's.) I had 5 years to attain my Master's. I've had the very good fortune to have some wonderful professors/instructors (in both my undergrad & graduate programs) who didn't stress you out...they wanted you to learn and to be the best therapist you could be. 
My story isn't the most dramatic, but it's mine. Looking back through my life, when I was little (before elementary school), the only person who could understand me was my mom. She said my dad used to get so frustrated because he couldn't understand me. Remember, that was before the days when SLPs were common. My errors must have been developmental; I don't think I had any residual errors by the time I got to first grade.
Then, when I was in 5th or 7th grade, we had to write down what we wanted to do when we grew up. I had written down that I wanted to be a teacher of the Hearing Impaired. I ran across that form a couple of years ago...I had completely forgotten that I had written that down so many years ago. I guess it was destiny!
We'd love to hear your story! If you blog, link up below. You don't have to be a blogger to share your story; go to The Frenzied SLPs Facebook Page and share it there.

6 comments:

  1. I sure can relate to your story Mary! It is so interesting to read how you came upon the field of SLP. And sight-singing....UGH. Hate it, but am a lot better at it than I used to be.

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  2. Love your story, Mary. I was also "floundering" to choose a profession in college. Too many things interested me! So many high school and college students have never heard of or considered speech-language pathology, so it's so interesting to see how each SLP found their way to our field.

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  3. I didn't realize you were a music major!!! All this time I've known you and that is a revelation! So happy to read your story! I was in marching band in high school! It was fun (albeit a lot of practice time).

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  4. I love it! I also had a difficult time deciding on a major. I ended up majoring in theatre! It was a great time. Then I became a teacher and then finally an SLP. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Lots of interesting choices on the way! I'm glad you chose to be an SLP!

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  6. I am loving how many of us had so many other majors/interests/jobs before heading into speech-language pathology!

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