These first few weeks of school have been great. Classes are going well, seeing my friends for the first time in 3 months is amazing, and watching the Women’s Soccer team come out on top for their first couple games is awesome. This school year starts a lot of firsts for me, as it does for everyone. We all have new classes, classmates, and some different professors. Whether we like these new changes or not we are stuck with them for at least these next 6 weeks or the rest of the semester. Each morning when I wake up I think to myself, “Who am I going to see today?”, “How do I want them to perceive me?”, or I think “Do I even care?” For a lot of us college students, I feel like we go through these questions constantly in our heads. Usually in the morning I am left with that question of “Do I even care?” and honestly I guess it just happens to depend on the who? and what? of the day. Who am I going to be running into? and What am I planning to do the rest of the day? Am I going to a nice dinner with friends tonight or am I just planning on working out after my classes?
This past Wednesday I started my first practicum. I was a little nervous going into it, not sure of what to expect. I was assigned to the Central Institute for the Deaf over in downtown St. Louis. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to explore that area of the city yet, so I was excited to be at the specific institution. Because it was my first day it was necessary to wear my business casual attire to my practicum. I wore a dress and flats, which was appropriate attire for the occasion. When I got to the room in which I was staying for the evening I realized that I would have to be on the floor playing blocks and dancing around with children the entire time. The teacher thanked me for being so well dressed, but confirmed with me for future references that I could where leggings and tights with my dresses, so that I could be more active with the activities.
I believe that it is a good thing to be prepared in your nicest and most appropriate attire for the first occasion in meeting someone or doing a new job. It is in that first impression that can make or break you. If you dress up on your first day wearing holes in your jeans and a tee shirt when that is clearly an inappropriate attire for the occasion, then it could reflect poorly on you. It could resonate the question to your employer of “Do they want to work here?” or “Does this person even care about having a job?” You don’t want your employers even be considering those questions. My advice on this topic… always look the best on your first day and set a good first impression. Even set good impressions throughout your semester at that practicum, class, or work office. Be that good looking example for others and care about how you express yourself to others when it really matters most. Be yourself, but be classy in the way you do it. <3
This is going to be one of those “propaganda” posts for a Fontbonne activity (consider yourself warned). But it won’t be painful, I promise! I want to tell you a little bit about NSSLHA. What is this acronym, Kristen? I’m so glad you asked!
NSSLHA stands for the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. As its name states, NSSLHA is a national organization for undergraduate and graduate students studying communication disorders. At Fontbonne, NSSLHA is for Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and Deaf Education majors. We (I am a member!) hold meetings the first week of each month.
Why should I join NSSLHA? Besides being a great place to meet other students in your major, NSSLHA provides opportunities for service and learning about the communication disorders field. NSSLHA brings speakers to Fontbonne each semester to speak on topics like places you can work with your degree or on specific disorders. Last spring we had a speaker from a NICU (the place in the hospital where they take care of the preemie babies). NSSLHA also participates in service activities—the Walk for Autism, Dance Marathon, and fundraising for Fontbonne’s speech and hearing clinic. They even help with Fontbonne activities like the Fall Festival coming up in a few weeks.
So, my point is, if you are a Fontbonne student studying Deaf Education or Speech-Language Pathology, you might want to give NSSLHA a try. If you have some other major (and I haven’t persuaded you to switch to SLP or Deaf Ed) I consider you all to be cultured individuals who just learned another acronym (and about an important campus organization). Congratulations!
“Why did you choose Deaf Education?” is the second most-asked question behind “what made you decide to go back to school?” Well I have always loved education, and years ago, I almost went back to school to be a teacher. The thing that stopped me however was the system of it all in terms of how students were being taught. I thought then that my personal beliefs would cause me to constantly clash with what was being taught in the classroom, so I continued to be a stay-mom.
When the time came for me to get back in the game, I was again drawn to education, but I still knew the “traditional” teacher role would not be for me. I wanted something that was different, though I know that I will still be a teacher in the traditional sense. Specializing in Deaf Education provides me a challenge to keep me focused. It was like it just popped in my mind, but I had spent many days and nights asking for guidance and then it came.
After receiving my B.A., it is my plan to enroll in the graduate program to receive my M.A., and though I initially plan to step into the classroom for a few years, my ultimate goal is to start a company that specializes in Early-Intervention services in underserved areas at home and abroad.
Hello all–Happy Friday! The good thing about being in a challenging, fast-paced program is that the weeks fly by! This weekend is going to be particularly awesome in my household come Sunday evening—it’s the Oscars! My roommate and I are both movie buffs so we’re scrambling to watch all of the Best Pic nominees before the big day. I’m not a huge Woody Allen fan, but so far Midnight in Paris has been my favorite. We’ll see! (Although… I’m bad luck lately. I was rooting for the Pats last week. So… sorry if I just doomed you, Woody.)
For as much as I love having the opportunity to spread my wings and live independently in St. Louis while my loved ones are home in Maine, it can also be really hard sometimes. Something that does not make things easier is the hour time change. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but my mom always forgets and texts me when she gets up in the morning, because at home we get up around the same time. I’m the twenty-first century girl who sleeps with her cell phone by her head, so when I occasionally forget to turn the sound off… I get a five or six AM wake up call. Or then there’s the flip side, when I go to Skype my boyfriend back home in Maine before bed. If I’m getting into bed around 10:30 or so, it’s 11:30 his time, and he’s wiped. It’s crazy how one little hour can mess with sleep schedules and daily routines so much!
It’s all about adapting though, because this transition is SO worth it. I love my life here in the Lou! I love being independent, I love being in a new place, I love that I’ve made a smart career choice, and I love making new friends with similar interests. I had job offers last year and I had other graduate programs that I was looking at… but coming to Fontbonne ended up being a no brainer. For anybody out there who is reading this and is contemplating the SLP graduate program… it’s a really, really well-rounded program where you will learn the ins and the outs of being a great clinician. And, added bonus, there is funding available for people interested in committing to specific areas of professional development such as deafness, AAC, becoming a graduate assistant, or working in the developmental language group. I’m a deaf emphasis scholar, which is an awesome opportunity — especially in St. Louis. There are lots of renowned schools for the deaf here, and I can’t wait to experience one or two out on my practicum rotations in the coming year.
Okay, I’m off! Happy weekending ☺