Monday, March 2, 2015

Frenzied SLPs - Lucky2BEanSLP

Why did you become an SLP? Has anyone ever asked you that? I have been asked many times! I’m going to tell you my story and why I am Lucky2BEanSLP!

There comes a time in college when you have to make a decision. OK-there are several times when you must make decisions, but you know what I’m talking about--WHAT will your major be? I had trouble with that decision because I like a LOT of different subjects. First, I was an anthropology major. I STILL love anthropology or, more specifically, paleontology. Then I switched to English with thoughts of teaching English. But, wait, I really LOVE biology, too. Ugh. What to do? Then came my junior year. Time to get serious! I remember thinking I wanted to work with people, maybe in a school, but I was not especially interested in becoming a classroom teacher. Should I be a reading specialist? Then someone mentioned speech pathology. Along with a few other courses, I decided to try two speech pathology courses. You want to know which ones? Childhood language disorders was one of them. The professor (who would later become the first reader for my thesis!) was diagramming sentences. Oh boy! Loved it! The other course was about how to transcribe speech into the symbols known as the International Phonetic Alphabet or IPA. A new sound/symbol system to learn? BRING IT! Within two weeks I was HOOKED! At the age of 20, I dropped EVERYTHING else I was taking and jumped in, knowing it would be an additional two years beyond the bachelor’s degree. 

I can honestly say that I never looked back. Not once. Was it luck? Well, partly. Had I gone to another university (originally, I was slated to attend the University of California, Davis), I would not have had the opportunity to major in Speech Pathology and Audiology. So, yes, it WAS luck.

SLPs know the rest of the story, which did NOT involve luck-rather a lot of very hard work. I recall department chair Dr. Mary Jane Rees telling our junior class that only a few would make it through the entire program. Really? I was shocked to hear that. And DETERMINED. We started with 60+ juniors. NINE of us finished with a master’s degree. Dr. Rees was right!

Fast forward 30+ years. I still LOVE our profession and consider the lifetime decision I made at the ripe old age of 20 to be lucky for me and for my family. I am able to work for the school system, at our local acute facility and on-call at our local SNF. When I have time, I take an occasional private client. Where else are you going to find that kind of employment versatility? No where else! Where else are you going to find a profession that allows you to work with all ages and many other types of professionals? No where else! Where else can you find a profession that allows you to make a tremendous impact on your clients/patients/students? No where else-in my opinion.

Now, I also want to say that I have been very lucky to form connections with many other SLPs over the course of my career. Modern technology has greatly increased those opportunities. I am VERY LUCKY to have so many wonderful colleagues!! You are helpful, creative and supportive! Together we ROCK!!

I am truly #Lucky2BEanSLP! 

1 comment:

  1. Love it! We do have the best profession, don't we?