Chapter Meeting – Dec 1, 2016

We were 7 people at this meeting.  We had a new person attending, an SLP interested in stuttering, as well as some members we had not seen in a while.

One of us shared that he is now working in Philadelphia’s Fire Department.  He had 6 months of very hard training, paramilitary style.  There is a lot of speaking during the training drills and he had to practice a lot in order to prepare for the exam.  He forced himself to make phone calls every night to talk to people.  He repeated the lessons out loud, as well as all the different scenarios that could come up during the drills.  At the end, he had practiced so hard and so much that he had the highest score in his class.  We are all very happy for him and wish him success in his new career.

We talked about the upcoming holidays, our plans and how they make us feel.  The holidays can be very stressful.  There are a lot of gatherings, personal and at work.  There is a lot of pressure to talk, catching up with people you haven’t seen in a while, get ready to have visitors, etc.

We continued talking about initiating conversations.  It is not always easy.  It can be very hard, but it depends on the situation. This turned into talking about public speaking.  This was interesting because public speaking is not easy for many of us, but it is for others.  For some, when they talk to an audience they are in control of the conversation and feel more at easy.  For others, the audience is a source of anxiety and makes things harder.

Chapter Meeting – Nov 15, 2016

We were 5 people at this meeting, including a graduate student from La Salle.  We had free pizza from Giovanni’s.

We covered several topics around volunteer stuttering and disclosing.  Each of us shared experiences on how we do it and how frequently.  It is not always easy to disclose to others about our stutter. Some people are very direct, others mention stuttering in a more indirect way, such as talking about the NSA, making a joke, or referring to a movie about stuttering.  However you do it, it something very personal and unique to each individual.

We talked about anticipating success, instead of failure.  It is a completely different mindset from what we are normally used to.  We tend to be afraid of the words that we cannot say or the sounds that are difficult to say.  When we see them coming, we get anxious because we struggle to say them.  However, we forget that despite being difficult, we eventually can say them.  But we only remember the bad part of the experience, the struggle and the shame.  We don’t think about the other side of the experience, the part where we finally say it.  We need to focus on the success and anticipate it.  If you anticipate success, you will be more likely to recall that feeling and get confidence in what you are saying and how you say it.