Week 1

Week 1 is over.  There’s such a release just typing that sentence.  I will never, ever again have to be stressed about my first week as an SLP.  And better than that, Week 1 was really good.  One of my internship supervisors told me I was the best student she’s ever seen at appearing calm and confident on the outside while panicking on the inside.  That was my goal during Week 1, and by Wednesday or Thursday I wasn’t having to fake it.  I was sleeping full nights and not feeling like my brain was on crack most of the time.  Which is good.

I also made it through meeting ALL THE NEW PEOPLE.  I’m an introvert, which contrary to popular belief, doesn’t mean I’m anti-social.  It means it sucks energy from me to meet new people and make small talk.  Especially the small talk.  And starting a new job is all about meeting new people and small talk.  In my case, times two.  Since I work for a cooperative, at a school site, I had to meet both my new coop friends and my new school friends.

And then I had to actually, well, start doing work.  Since by that point I was able to breathe, it felt better than the panicky bit.  I don’t think scheduling will ever be fun, but by Thursday I had a workable schedule (it’s since been broken…oops), and so I got to start seeing kids. During one of my first sessions I learned that a siren in a small South Dakota town in the middle of the afternoon does NOT mean there’s a tornado, that it’s actually for the volunteer firefighters to alert them to a fire. I had to tell the kiddo I was with “Um, well, I’m not sure what that’s for…you just hang out here, and I’ll be right back.”  She probably knew and just didn’t want to tell the new adult that she was crazy.

My kids said some of the best things:

Kid: Touch the back of my hair. It’s really fuzzy. Weird.
Me: Uh, I think I’m good. I don’t need to touch it. But thanks anyways.
Kid: Ah, I almost got you! It was a joke so you would touch the back of my sweaty hair.

Kid: Hi. I like your hair. And even this (my dress).

 And even your pants (they’re leggings). And even this (my sandals). And even your things on your toes (my toenails) and even the red stuff on them (nail polish).Me: Who was your old speech teacher?
Kid A: Um, you know, the one who sometimes walks, and sometimes on the sidewalk, and always breaks her arm? Like last year?
Kid B: Is she in a wheelchair???Me: Hello ___. I’m the speech teacher, Ms. De Yager, and we’re going to go to speech.
Kid: I have a phone.

Kid:  There’s a new kid in kindergarten, and he doesn’t even LISTEN.
That’s what it’s all about.  Okay, not really since it’s really all about improving their speech and language, but this is what makes my day.  And seeing kids Thursday and Friday was awesome.  I’m still kinda scared out of my pants that I’m going to really mess up and not serve the kids as well as they could be served, but what do you do about that…you do your best and go home and have a glass of wine.  And my supervisor is awesome, and puts up with my bajillion questions a day, so really, what more can you ask.
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