Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Morning's Frustration....and New Friends!

Well, I've enrolled back in school to get my teaching certificate. Unless you've personally had to apply for Federal financial aid, you have no idea of how rigorous the application process is. I HATE HATE HATE applying for Federal financial aid, the process is an exercise in page after page of meticulous information that you have to obtain from financial records, tax return forms, mostly things you file away and have to dig up. And usually you can't remember where you buried it. Grrr! I'd almost prefer scooping out my eyes! Anyway, it's done and I'm on my way.

The annoying part was...this morning I had to do a phone interview with my enrollment counselor. I swear, she must have been asking herself, "Why is this guy earning a teaching degree? He can't even talk well!" And I didn't! The interview was a full half an hour of stammering, blocks, word swapping, uncomfortable pauses and awkwardness on my part. I thought her questions were insipid, as well.

"Why do you think our intermediary education program is right for you?"

Uh...because it's the only one you offer? what kind of question is that? My answer: Because it fits my career goals. She seemed pleased with it. I wonder what she would have said if I had answered: "I don't, but I couldn't find Bachelor of Arts in Underwater Basket Weaving on your roster. "?

Later in the morning, I was forced into another uncomfortable phone conversation with one of my creditors. I was trying to make payment arrangements for a debt I incurred from a class I took a number of years ago and forgot to pay the balance. I received a bill in the mail and found, to my dismay, that there was no website on which to conduct business like making payments, etc. I conduct almost all of my finances online.

So, I was forced to call their number. I was asked to give my name, SSN, current address, phone number, hat size (just kidding) and answer a bunch of questions about why I was calling. I became annoyed at one point and said, "Look. I don't speak well. I have a stutter. The phone makes it worse. Isn't there a website on which I can do all of this? I hate talking on the phone." She was very sympathetic and proved it by asking me nearly 20 more questions about what exactly I wanted to do, what my email address was, what kind of internet connection did I have and why do fools fall in love (kidding again)...and at least 14 more useless questions.

In the end, I simply took a settlement and paid the entire balance over the phone, thanked her and hung up. *Sigh*

Anyway, good news: I am promoting two new blogs in my sidebar. The first is from a young lady named Jo who was kind enough to write to me. Her blog is cleverly titled, "StammerheadShark" and the link:


I enjoyed (and laughed at) her entry, "When politeness just makes life difficult", chronicling a recent attendance at a wedding:

"They were all such lovely people, eager to mingle and make light conversation, but throughout the day (and consequently more so in the evening as they all got that little/lot bit more drunk!) I found myself being given the wrong answers to enquiries I made.
Take the stammered question “Are you having a good day?”, to which the response was often a confused face and then a delayed, “No, we arrived last night…”.
Now, I’m pretty certain I wasn’t speaking another language but I think if people haven’t got the ear for understanding my stuttery speech they just try to pick up on any word they might recognise and take a wild stab in the dark. I suppose just as we do when conversing with foreigners whose language formation patterns we aren’t familiar with."
Stuttery speech. I love that. I'm pretty sure that's not a real word...but I'm gonna use it! :)

Another blog I am adding is called, "Manpreet Stammers":


Manpreet is a graduate student and offers many tips and helps for the stammerer or stutterer. His "Overcoming Fears" entry actually made me nervous as I imagined going through the experience he talks about.

"So today Dr. Sachin took us to a Hospital today and we were made to come out of our comfort zone and face our night mares. At first ,we were made to talk to some patients or their relatives who were sitting in the waiting room. I was really scared at that moment. we were suppose to talk to them and ask them about their purpose of coming here and to also tell them that we are working on our speech.we talked to 6 to 7 people out of them 4 were ladies. I always hesitated to talk to any lady, so I was very much nervous at that time too. But after talking to them I felt that there is nothing like a night mare or what ever you call it. They were really understanding our problem and were very cooperative also."
 Anyway, it's nice to find other fellow stutterers/bloggers out there who share in the experience. Please visit them if you get the chance and learn something new about somebody else in this great big world of ours.  Thanks for reading!!

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