Speech Therapy

I teach a class called "Modern Communication." The irony is that for the first ten years of my life I couldn't say my own name.

I was always very fond of my name.

...but I hated being introduced to people.

The letters "L" and "R" were my personal demons.

... so twice a week I had to leave class, descend a flight of stairs, and squeeze into a closet of a room with Ms B., the speech therapist.

Ms B. was a great believer in stickers...

... and in a special box.

But I didn't want a lacy, neon green shoelace or half a ripped Garfield comic book. Instead, I offered Ms B. a deal.

She really didn't understand.

Suddenly my diagnosis blurred. I was no longer the girl with the speech problem; I was the girl with the attitude problem.

Eventually Ms B. wrote me off as a lost cause.

Sixteen years have passed, and to hear me talk you wouldn't know that I'd ever had a speech problem.

But every time I say my name there's a fraction of pause before I attempt the syllables, and then my tongue lingers deliberately on the liquid consonants lest a "woe-wee" inadvertently escape my mouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment