Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roooooock Saaaalt :)

...Okay, this really happened to me last year and I never got to blog about it, and I had to do an assignment for summer school, so I just used this experience. It's too funny. I wish I had a video camera to record my funny times asking for rock salt in a lisp. Ha ha ha. So, here's my paper talking about my experience. It's kinda long, but funny.

A Day of Tongue-Thrust and Distortion

As a Speech Language Pathology major, changing my speech pattern for one day really opened my eyes. For this assignment, I was curious and anxious to view people’s reactions as I spoke with a tongue-thrust and distortion (lisp). This paper will discuss the places I went, the products I requested, and people’s reactions to the lisp I spoke with. In order to maximize this change and observe people’s reactions, I made sure I visited a few stores throughout the day and asked employees for certain products with an ‘s’ in them. Rock salt was one product I was in need of anyway and the word salt just happened to have the letter ‘s’ in it…perfect!

The day I spoke with a lisp my family and friends just laughed and thought I was just being regular me. My cousin Maddie and I talk in lisps just for fun quite often when we get together, but never to make fun of others, of course. So, because of this, they didn’t think too much of it. I’m sure they thought I was just in a lisping mood; little did they know about my experiment and the results it brought. Even though I feel comfortable lisping with my cousin and around my family, I was nervous and apprehensive to do it in front of strangers for real. I didn’t think I would feel so nervous, but when it came right down to it, I totally was.

Looking for rock salt for a project took me first to Wal Mart. As I walked in, I knew what I had to do…actually talk to someone! I had an anxious feeling inside while I looked around for someone I dared ask about finding some rock salt. It was funny because I couldn’t just ask anyone, I had to walk around and wait until I found someone that I felt comfortable asking. Inside, I was praying that I would be able to keep a straight face when I spoke. I knew my lisp wasn’t real and if I laughed out of embarrassment, it would give me away. After looking around for a while, I found a younger kid back in the electronics department that I got the courage to ask.

I went up to him and said, in my best lisp, “Do you guys carry rock salt?” Immediately he noticed my speech impediment and I could sense he felt really uneasy and uncomfortable. Without looking me in the eye, he stumbled to tell me that he wasn’t sure and that I should go and ask customer service up at the front of the store. I thanked him for his help and wanted to talk some more, but it seemed like he just wanted to hurry me off to someone else. After I talked with that kid, I found myself too nervous to actually ask another person about rock salt. I did not go to the customer service woman at Wal Mart.

The young kid’s reaction to my lisp was what I had sort of expected. He just felt very uncomfortable talking with me and looking me in the eye. I did try and talk to him, but as I said, it seemed like he just hurried me off to another department. Interesting! His non-verbal language communicated to me that he was nervous and uncomfortable with the situation. He backed away and turned a little bit, signifying that he was not interested and didn’t want to stay there and help me. One place down and a few more to go, I needed some rock salt.

The second place I went to look for some rock salt was Kmart. Even though I had mustered up a little bit more courage this time, I was still kind of nervous about asking. It seemed like I walked around forever looking for an employee, there were just none to be found. Back at the bike racks, I finally saw a man in a red vest and figured I better ask him while I had the chance. I looked the man in the eye and asked if they carried rock salt in their store. Again the same thing happened, when I spoke. This man noticed right off the bat that I spoke with a lisp and it caught him off guard. Instead of hurrying me off though, he and another employee walked me to the place where it should’ve been, but they had none in stock. The man wouldn’t look at me very long when I was speaking, but he was very kind to help me when I asked more questions about sizes of cans and prices for future reference. With the non-verbal body language, something was just off, again, and he stood further away than normal.

After two unsuccessful trips for rock salt, the last place I went to was Smith’s. Since this was my third trip and I had been speaking with a lisp for a good while, I wasn’t nearly as nervous. An employee stacking some oranges saw me coming toward him, but he turned to stack the oranges again until I approached. I said, with my very best lisp, “Excuse me, do you sell rock salt here?” After I spoke, the look on the man’s face said it all. He turned bright red and said, “What?” So, I asked again. It was totally apparent that he had no idea what I had asked him for. He was very uncomfortable and I could tell easily. I asked him again if they sold rock salt, and he replied, “Rock thelt?” Ha ha ha.

Thelt is not even a word, and it was so hard for me to not laugh out loud. The poor guy had not a clue what I asked for. I asked again, and while asking, I made a hand gesture like shaking a salt shaker to give him a non-verbal cue. In the mean time, he was on his radio, trying to get some help, and all of a sudden he shouts, “Oh. Rock salt!” And, I said “Yeah, rock salt.” I could sense the huge relief he felt when he finally figured out what I asked him for. In a fumbled, nervous voice, he told me where it was located, but funny enough I couldn’t understand him this time. Kind of frustrated he said “We seem to have a hard time understanding each other.” I actually couldn’t believe he said that. What if I really did have a lisp? I’m sure I would’ve been offended. But, walking quickly in front of me, he lead me to the rock salt as I asked tons of questions along the way.

When we got to the rock salt, he helped me for a bit but then hurried to leave. I know he was uncomfortable, and I would love to know what went through his mind during our crazy conversation. I am sure he was relieved to go back to stocking the oranges peacefully and quietly. I was grateful for his help and grateful that I did not laugh out loud when he was helping me. After I finally got my rock salt and was out of the store, I did have a good long laugh about that experience at Smith’s.

I will say that the little adventure at Smith’s took the cake and was a great finale for this speech observation project. I had a great day and learned a lot from my experience. One major thing I learned was about myself and how I felt about speaking with a lisp in front of strangers. I had no idea that I would feel nervous or anxious, because I do it so often in front of my family. I was really nervous at first, and afraid to speak to other people. I felt kind of embarrassed to speak with a speech impediment and I just kept thinking about all the people in the world that really do this every single day.

As for perception and what it means, my views of that were expanded and I realized that perception was not just seeing, or hearing. Perception involves many different senses that we possess. With my experience lisping for a day and observing different reactions, I realized that different senses come in to play. I noticed that as people heard me speak with a lisp, their body language of backing away or turning away kicked in. At first, they withdrew and their eyes diverted from me as I spoke. So, perception isn’t just hearing, body language and non-verbal actions follow, to convey a message of uneasiness or discomfort, in my experiences. It was a real eye opener to be a part of this experience and I learned many things. After this experience, the way I perceived a speech impediment was different than before. I realized how hard it was to communicate with a lisp, and how uncomfortable I felt at times. People perceive others in different senses, and many senses come in to play to convey a number of messages.

The experience I had with having a lisp for a day changed me forever. I am grateful for the insight I gained about being in someone else’s shoes, or speaking someone else’s way. I am going to help others with their speech problems someday, when I have a degree in Speech Language Pathology. I cannot wait for that day to come, and I hope I will be successful and help others communicate more effectively. My perception of others has changed and there are no words to describe what a benefit this experience has been to me personally and professionally.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tho, I'm thtudying thpeetch pathology at UTHU...

Thith themethter'th been a real change from the latht one. I haven't pothted a blog for thuch a long time, tho, I figured I better thtart. I don't really care about blogging, but I've got thome time on my handth, tho why not...Like I thaid, thith themethter'th been a real change. Latht themethter wath a total dream, I loved every clath that I took, and thith time, I don't. I know I've got to thtick with it and perthevere becauthe that'th what it'th all about, but I have a pthychology clath and I hate it tho tho bad. I'm not even interethted in pthychology and I hate going to that clath. I fall athleep almotht every time, and I feel bad becauthe I thit on the thecond row and the teacher can totally thee me. The inthtructor is BF Thkinner'th great granddaughter, by the way. Who ith jutht related to Thkinner? Weird. Really, I'm jutht in the mood to type in a lithp and pothting on thith blog ith a goood excuthe to do it, tho there. I'm jutht rambling on, trying to fit in every 's' word I can, to maximize the lithp! Ha ha ha! Thomeday if all goeth well, I'll have a mathter'th degree in thpeetch language pathology and help kidth thay their th'th! For now, I'll jutht keep plugging along, walking to thcool in the freething cold thnow, dethpithing every thecond of it, telling mythelf it'll all be worth it in the end. I better get into graduate thcool after all of thith or I'll be devathtated. I'm crothing my fingerth!Peath!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Too Busy to Blog, But Must Tell About the Diet Coke Dumps!

So, um, according to my last post it sounded like I'd just be blogging all the time. Well, as you can see, it's October and I'm just getting around to my second post. Life is busy. I'm in Logan at school studying Speech Language Pathology and my life consists of Phonetics homework, Anatomy models, Language, Speech and Hearing Development, and Orientation's great! Actually, I'm totally in love with school and am grateful to be in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. P.S. I just got formally accepted into the undergraduate! Go Aggies!

Here's the story about my Diet Coke dumps. The first week of school was a real treat! I tell you what. It was my first or second day at Utah State and I looked super super cute with my new GAP cropped jacket and everything, so I was having great day and decided to stop by the food place and buy me a Diet Coke with party ice...only the best! Well, I did, filled 'er up to the top and went on my way. A little bit later I decided I had to pee, so going in to the bathroom, I thought to myself "just leave your drink on the counter by the sink, no one will take it in one minute anyway." It's gross to have to take your drink into the bathroom stall, but I ignored that thought and took it with me anyway, I know...way sick. So, when I got up to grab my purse or bag, I guess my elbow, or something brushed my drink and the next thing I heard was the sound of Diet Coke and ice splashing ALL OVER THE BATHROOM FLOOR! Nice, huh? I couldn't believe it. Sticky Diet Coke was running all over the floor, in between the grout in the tile and spreading, fast. I felt so bad and couldn't just leave it to spread everywhere, so out of the stall, I looked around and magically there was a newspaper magazine in one of the other stalls, to help soak it up. Can you believe this? My first day at school and I have a Diet Coke dump. So, with that magazine, I mopped it up the best I could, then just left, still feeling bad about the whole thing.

That's not, that same week, I think on Thursday, I was back at the food court place, fillin' up another drink and somehow it got knocked and while filling up near the top, the whole thing just dumped right over, spilling all over the counter and running down the front, on to the floor. NIIIIIICE! I couldn't believe it. Twice in one week...I was off to a winning start at USU! So, feeling like a total loser, I went up to the Hogi Yogi guy and was like, "Um, I need a mop!" I explained what happened and he said he'd take care of it, so I just filled up another Coke, hung on tight this time, and was on my way, laughing inside, almost in disbelief that it happened again. Needless to say, after the Diet Coke dumps during the first week of school, I survived and haven't dumped one since...because I haven't been back there to get one! Ha ha!

Life is great, a little chilly, but great! Thank goodness for Uggs! (which turned my feet black, by the way.) Oh well, I've got my own room, so no one knows about that! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blogger Beginnings

So, it's 8:29 pm on the 24th, Sunday, and I was just checking out my Sister's blog because I already miss her, and found myself creating my own... Weird. I never, ever thought I'd have a blog, mostly because I don't really know how to do it, and have no idea how to put pictures on, either. I just barely found out how to do facebook, and blogging's a whole new world. But, nonetheless, here I am, typing away on my lap top at my new desk in my new apartment in a new city, with new roomates...Yikes! Pretty great though, now I can have someone, or should I say, someTHING to vent to...sweet! Well, here goes nothing, I'm sure I will just blog away!