I saw the moment approach from across a crowded convention center. The look of concern furrowing a brow, the quickened pace to avoid missing even one moment more before resolving the ‘issue’ at hand, and the mandatory accessories required by a true professional; overly large purse, scarf, a rainbow of achievement ribbons flapping from the registration badge.
“What is your competency?”
Asked not in interest but in challenge. A demand to justify my qualifications. A self appointed societal gatekeeper arrived to confront me about me. The intent of the question was quite clear.
“Just who do you think you are?”
Hmm, who do I think I am?
I’m a daughter to no living person and a sister to a lost brother.
I’m an inner city kid who got really lucky to be surround by adults who understood education was a way out of poverty.
I’m the product of Boston Public Schools, the Massachusetts State College System, and Northeastern University.
I was an L Street Brownie for a day.
I’ve worked in companies in the top 100 and the bottom hundred.
I participated in the pilot study for FIM – sorry about that.
I’ve been radiated for the good of my clients’ swallowing.
I was thanked for that effort with a punch in the nose once.
I’ve never bounced a check.
My clothes have been soaked with every kind of bodily fluid most of which was not my own.
I’ve been published over 100 times in magazines and novels and not one word was about speech language pathology.
I presented BDAE results to Harold Goodglass.
My joke made Edith Kaplan laugh.
I’ve been hit by lightning…, twice.
Northeastern University put a plaque up with my name for the 2005 Preceptor of the year but I’ve never been able to find the sign.
I was always a pretty good aunt but my niece made me a great aunt in 2002.
Jeri Logemann poured me an orange juice once.
I got kicked out of the Smithsonian and I almost was asked to leave Graceland.
I shook hands with Reverend Jesse Jackson next to the ice rink in Rockefeller Center.
While I have lost track of the exact number of clients I treated in 25 years, 7 months, and 2 days of practice a conservative estimate would be just over 13,000.
Nancy Helms Estabrooks bought me coffee once.
My grad student supervisor taught me lessons in 1987 that I’m still using today. And, she’s still my best resource for navigating the wonderful world of Speech Language Pathology.
I know how to Twitter and know what a # is and I’m not afraid to use it.
I stopped watching TV in 2009 and haven’t missed a thing.
Since I turned 24 years old, I’ve been solely responsible for my ownself.
I’ve stood at the edge of the Atlantic during a hurricane taking a video with my cellphone so I could show my friend in Singapore what a hurricane really was like.
I’ve walked 4 5k’s.
I jumped into the Atlantic on February 23 2013 at Nantasket Beach in Hull MA to raise money for Special Olympics. It was more than a little chilly.
I have done everything that ASHA has asked and more to maintain my CCC for a quarter of a century.
but, in all that I’ve done and all the roads I’ve traveled and all the conversations I’ve had, I’ve never felt so self important as to assume another SLP needed my approval to carry out their practice. …
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