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Here is the recap for June meeting of the Brooklyn Chapter.  Better late than never, I always say.  I actually don’t say that…but people say it.

We will have the July meeting on Monday July 10, normal place and time.  Make sure to come, we’ll discuss the annual NSA conference in Dallas along with all other stuttering-related goodness.

Onto the recap!

We kicked off the meeting when a brave stutterer shared about her uncertain employment situation and her apprehension about the prospect of interviewing for a new job as a person who stutters.  The room, full of 20+ stutterers including several new-comers, empathized with this individual.  Many shared their similar experiences, along with some of the tricks and techniques that they’ve used to make the most of job interviewing.  At the end of the day, interviewing is hard whether you stutter or not – but stutterers do face special challenges and it’s great when we can band together to help each other sort it all out.

We also discussed at length the NYC one-day conference, held on Sunday May 28.  Roughly 80 stutterers attended the day of workshops, camaraderie, and support.  It being a stutterer-only space, many felt a renewed vigor and pride with regard to their stutter along with increased confidence and comfort in how they’d approach stuttering moving forward.  We also discussed the content of the workshops, with special emphasis on one presenter’s question: is stuttering one’s “authentic voice”?  Or is one’s authentic voice fluent?  A combination of the two?  We discussed the interplay between these questions and what we can learn from considering important questions like this.

Tying into our earlier topic, one new-comer – a school-teacher – discussed a recent performance evaluation he received, which made special note of his stutter.  The evaluation as it pertained to stuttering was not entirely positive, listing issues involving this individuals stutter and how it impacts his teaching.  This individual noted that it is hard to hear tough words and criticism regarding your stutter, especially when there is validity to the criticism.  However, he also noted that while his teaching style may face particular challenges as a stutterer, his stutter also can be a tool which can remove certain walls between teacher and student and make him more approachable and easier for students to connect with.

Lastly, the question was posed whether we stutterers tend to stutter more around people we are comfortable with OR more with strangers and those we are not as comfortable with.  As is often the case, the answers ran the gamut: some more with strangers, some more with loved ones.  One member shared that he stutters most in his home with his romantic partner, and offered that the openness and vulnerability of stuttering freely at home has had a positive effect on the relationship in terms of developing trust and comfort.

That’s all for now.  Come in July!  Who knows what we’ll cover, but it’ll be about stuttering and it’ll be interesting!