Friday, October 23, 2009

A Twenty Dollar Pick Me Up

Well folks, this week has been a little rough. I don't want to say I have been depressed lately, because that isn't true..I guess the words that best describe how I've been feeling are dehumanized and deflated. I will start from the beginning. On Monday I took a test that I studied a lot for. And, my grades aren't in yet, but I don't think it went very well. It seemed as if the professor was attempting to trick us at every turn, ask questions that had multiple answers, leave me guessing my every thought. Personally, if I were a teacher I would want to test my students on what I taught them and not try to "trick" them, and I would also feel accomplished if they did well, not happy that everyone got fooled by question number 17. Don't you want us to do well? I just don't get it.
Secondly, midterms left me so deflated that I could not peel myself off of the couch last night to get anything done. This means I had nothing to post for the Sew-N-Tell. I realize I have no one to blame but myself for this. I just like having people read my blog once a week, and leave nice comments.
Lastly, today was my first experience giving a speech and language standardized test. It looks easy when you watch someone do it. All you say is "show me ball" and watch the kid point to a ball, then give them a check. Easy peasy. But no. Giving standardized normed tests is hard. You can't say anything more that what it says in red on the sheet. If a kid asks you to repeat, you probably can't. If the kid doesn't answer the question right you say;"tell me more about hat" but can't say; "well a hat goes....where? (inquisitive, yet compassionate look included). If a kid did a really good job taking the test you can't say; "Wow, you did a great job!" If a kid is struggling, you aren't supposed to smile at them and give them hugs with your eyes. And if they look at you with sad puppy dog eyes because they don't know the answer you can't tell them, even if you really want to. Nope, none of these things that seem so second nature and easy to me are allowed. I think of myself as a kind person. I like helping people, why else would I be in this profession? I like kids; they are sweet, and funny and still kind hearted and genuine. I like to smile when kids do something right, and help them when they need it. I don't like rejoicing in their failures because if they get 5 wrong in a row I can stop testing them. This doesn't seem like something people who are supposed to help kids should do! Giving a test alone was enough to send me searching for tissues. Then came the bad part. Having all of your flaws and weaknesses read to you off a sheet of paper all in the name of "clinical growth". I understand, I need to know what I did wrong to grow as a person, and clinician. How can I give unbiased evaluations if I don't learn how to stop being so biased and gosh darn helpful? I get it. It's just I've never been told that the nice things I do are wrong. Like saying; "Can you tell me about ____" instead of saying; "Tell me about _____". Or that smiling at a kid is not what you should do, ever! It just makes me feel like I can't be myself in order to be a good SLP, and that's not a way I like to feel.
After I finished scoring the evaluations and fought off tears I decided that going home was not an option, I headed for Barnes and Noble. Ah the joy or browsing the "craft" section with no plans, no one waiting anxiously for you. My plan was to pick out a few books, sit on a comfy couch and look at them, but not buy them. I had a nice pile and retreated, only to find that there are no comfy couches in B&N. Drats, they must have known that when people have a nice place to sit they will read a whole book in the store and not buy it, because I don't think I am the only one who does that. Instead I found a hard chair and a table inside the Starbucks inside the B&N, where people (aka employees) will look at you with annoyed glances if you don't have a double mocha grande tall latte with a twist in hand while you read magazines and get them sticky with your muffin fingers but have no intentions of paying for. My thoughts; "Stop looking at me! I'm not supposed to spend any money! I'm just here in this book store to read the books without paying, and inside this coffee shop inside the book store to have a place to sit without getting any coffee!" Then I cracked. I hate coffee, but I am a fan of steamed vanilla milk. How delish.
I went to the counter and told the woman what I wanted, she asked me what size, "I don't know....what can I get for $2.50 that's all I have?" I say.
"Well, in fact you can get a Grande" She says.
"Okay I'll take that one." I say as I hand her a $20, she looks at me like I am from mars and gives me my seventeen dollars and fifty cents in change.
As I sat sipping my steamed milk and flipping through pages of sewing books I flipped open the cover of "A is for Apron" I am intrigued by the first few pages of vintage aprons, then by the pages and pages galore of awesome apron idea, and then there are pages of pattern pieces you can copy and cut out to make your own! I couldn't resist just going to the counter and asking how much it was. "If it is less than $20 I'll buy it" I told myself.
"Your total comes to $17.95 Miss." the words rung like gold in my ears.
I handed the woman my $17.50 along with some dimes and pennies I scrounged from the bottom of my purse and I was the proud owner of a Grade Steamed vanilla milk and "A is for Apron" by Nathalie Mornu.
I came home and read over some of the patterns, sipped my remaining drink (a grande is apparently a large) and ate some pumpkin bread:
And everything was right in my world again.
I just realized that the pattern pieces from the book need to be enlarged by 400%. It's a good thing I know the copy code! :)
Have a good night everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Lauren,
    I have had my share of horrible feedback days too. They're not fun. I think they just have to find things that you do wrong to feel like they're doing something. It is not bad to say "can you..." or to smile at kids. It's good. You will be an awesome SLP- way better than the ones that don't have the kind of compassion that you do. Keep it up and just shrug it off when you get the clinical growth comments. My supervisor is kinda fake with kids and I hate that. We know how hard they work for us and it's important to recognize this. They need it! So don't worry about test scores and stupid comments. Just keep your head up and know that you will be a great damn SLP soon!


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