Sunday, November 26, 2006

Graduate School Letter

Another hoped for beginning is graduate school. Last Wednesday I sent in my application, and I'm hoping that I'll hear back from them shortly after Christmas break. Here's what I told them about myself, and about why I want to study to become an SLP:

Ever since I was a young girl, reading the adventures of Nancy Drew and other tales of heroic escapades, I’ve wanted that sensation of heroism and adventure in my own life: discover the missing clue, solve the mystery, and “save the day”. I always knew that I’d never find myself in the unlikely circumstances that occurred in the life of Nancy Drew; however, little by little, I’ve discovered that the best part of solving a mystery comes when you know you’ve helped another. This discovery is what first led me to begin working towards becoming an SLP.

My first moment of decision came as I was studying my undergraduate degree in Provo, UT. Taking a break from the usual steady flow of school work, I began to tutor students at Independence High, a high school for at-risk youth. Working with a largely Hispanic population, I discovered the great sense of adventure and satisfaction that comes from unlocking the minds of struggling youth and helping them to better form new channels of communication in a new language. Together we decoded words and deciphered sentences, and I knew that I wouldn’t be content unless I pursued a profession that allowed me to continue helping others in a similar fashion.

I didn’t just want to teach, I wanted to expand other’s understanding, help others overcome weaknesses, and seek to help struggling individuals achieve something more. I wasn’t quite sure how I could achieve this goal, and so I took a small time-out from my education and every day life, and served as a full-time missionary.

Before becoming a missionary, I never could have imagined the valuable preparation and knowledge I would receive from putting my everyday life and education on hold, and just dedicating myself to the service of others. During this time of my life I learned to put more energy into my studies, to carefully workout daily plans, and to set realistic and achievable goals. It was a time to teach others, but it was also a time of valuable preparation. I developed many helpful skills as I was instructed on how to better teach, and as I taught English and Spanish, as well as other types of information to the people with whom I worked.

It was during this time that I met Lourdes. I would like to say that I taught Lourdes, but in all truthfulness, Lourdes taught me. Lourdes, a lovely young Puerto Rican, supports a husband who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, as well as three young children. She ekes by, day to day, on her irregular and insubstantial earnings. As I grew to more fully understand Lourdes’ challenging circumstance, I became more aware of just what it was that I could do to help others achieve more than they believed themselves capable of achieving. Attaining more is all about understanding timing.

After working with Lourdes, and many other individuals and families with difficult lives and troubling problems, helping others has come to mean something different to me. Through serving others I have realized that time and growth do not mean a rapid tick of the second hand and one quick upward motion, but instead, they’re part of a complicated steppingstone process. Each steppingstone is accompanied with trial, error, and slow simple progress towards a great unseen potential.

Upon completing my service as a missionary, I have sought to discover my own potential. My course has naturally and easily led me into the field of Communicative Disorders. Serving as an apprentice clinician has taught me that this is truly what I want to do. Confident that I am pursuing the right path, I will continue with determination, and motivation.

My hope is to improve the quality of other’s lives, by helping them to improve their speech and overcome their language difficulties. I am striving to do just that by decoding their speech and language, unlocking mouths and minds, and opening the door to more productive and powerful communication within the lives of those I serve.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A New Beginning

Something I've always enjoyed is a new beginning. I think at times that I enjoy the start of a novel better than the end, no matter how satisfyingly it might finish, just because it's a beginning. There's a kind of fun exhilerating suspense to it. It doesn't matter how you say it, a new beginning spells adventure.

So I've decided, that when life gets boring, midterms get monotonous, or I just plain need a change, I'm going to let each day or moment or whatever be a new beginning, and enjoy every moment of it.

About Me

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Wherever I may roam, Montana is my home.