Chapter Meeting – March 19th, 2015

We didn’t have a meeting on March 4th due to a snow storm in the area. We had a nice crowd for the March 19th meeting. Katherine Filer, Bill Parry and the rest of the cast for the play were there. Also Todd Cardin, our playwright, and his wife Emily attended.

We started the meeting with the Welcome Words and a brief check-in from everyone. Katherine updated us on the renovations on her house. Bill Colins told us about his move to a new apartment as well as recent promotion at work.  Congratulations Bill! We talked about our recent participation in the Panel for People who Stutter at La Salle University.  We all enjoyed it very much, especially the new format with small groups that made it more interactive.

Bill Parry talked about his therapy sessions via Skype and how that has enabled him to interact and treat more people all over the world.  He thinks that is easier for the patient to have sessions via Skype than in person because there is no hassle with transportation and the person is in his/her own personal environment and feels more comfortable.

Mitch brought up an interesting topic regarding stuttering and the need for perfection.  There are many studies regarding this topic and he feels that sometimes he doesn’t get anything done trying to get it perfect.  He decided to just act on things even if they are not perfect and has found that he has been a lot more productive in the last few weeks.  I confess that I am the same way and I think I need to start doing the same.  My “to do” list is endless, I start projects very easily but I have difficulty finishing anything completely.

Todd presented us with the script to the play and we had our first reading.  The play is wonderful!  It is funny, emotional and has a very good message.  Everyone has a chance to a short monologue and we all sing individually and as a group.  The play is not about stuttering but it is mentioned briefly in a very nice way.  We are planning our rehearsal schedule and we will secure a venue for the Fringe Festival very soon.  Stay tuned for more news about this.

Panel of People Who Stutter at La Salle University – March 17, 2015

LaSallePanel2015This was a lot of fun! We were invited to come to talk to students of the Stuttering and Fluency Graduate Course at La Salle University on Tuesday, March 17. This is a regular event that Dr Barbara Amster has been hosting for her class for many years and this year she is joined by Dr Mitchel Trichon, a new teacher at La Salle who also happens to be a member of our chapter.

I have participated in the panel for the last five years and I’ve always enjoyed talking to the students and catch up with some of the other panel members that have become regulars (Shaun, we missed you today!). Usually we sit in front of the class and answer the students’ questions, offering different perspectives on a topic or talking about our experiences.

This year we started introducing ourselves and talking about our experience with therapy and how we’ve handled our stuttering. Afterwards, the students broke up into seven groups and each of the panel members talked to one group at a time, rotating every ten minutes. As a person who stutters, I felt more comfortable in the new format because I was talking to 5 or 6 persons that were very close to me at eye level, rather than being at the bottom of the classroom facing up to 35-40 people that had their eyes focused on me. So, just to start, it was a lot easier and less threatening to talk to the students that way. We were just having a casual conversation and I was more relaxed.

I was asked often about stuttering in different languages and the difference between therapy methods in Spain vs the US. They also asked about my childhood experiences, my involvement with the NSA, difficult situations, what I found helpful about therapy (or not), and many other topics. I also asked them about their classroom exercise to go out and pretend that they stuttered.

By the end of the two hours I had been talking non-stop and I was very tired and at the same time very happy to have been able to share so much with the students. It was very exhilarating and a lot of fun. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more time, I felt that I had a lot more to say and wanted to continue to talk longer. There is always next year.