November 2013

Random musings

So, here we go, time for a test.

I have a zillion thoughts in my brain, of course, but nothing succinct or brilliant enough to write. So, of course, I’ve been avoiding blogging for a few days. Because, if I don’t blog perfectly, I shouldn’t do it all, right?

Oy. Gotta get away from that. So, let’s try. Just writing. Stream of  consciousness…whatever it may be.

Okay. On my mind right now:

How damn good I felt after yoga tonight — I love this class on Tuesday afternoons, I love the teacher, I love how she gets me completely, 100% In The Zone. I love how the music mixes with my breathing and my movements and I am just filled with that amazing intensity feeling. And, I love how strong I’m becoming. Not in an obsessive way, but in a factual, I’m becoming strong and flexible way. Not only am I doing poses that I could never do before, but I have almost erased the thought that, “I can’t do that pose.” It’s hard to explain, but I just feel like my body is amazing when I’m in this  class. And I don’t ever have a moment of doubt. Sure, I don’t always do everything perfectly, and I fall and grunt and shake during inversions and balances, but I never don’t try. And I rarely don’t get the pose. It’s almost like, once I stopped remotely entertaining the thought that I couldn’t do it, I could do it. Does that make sense? I just have that full belief in my body and my strength, that I can balance on one arm or one leg or crisscross things or move through flows until I’m dripping sweat, and of course I can do it all. My body is the shit and I can do it. And on that note, that’s why I learned a new headstand tonight, and I simply watched Katie show us how to do it, asked her to watch and help me, and then….I did it. Because I believed. Anyway. It’s awesome.

Hmmm. Maybe I could write, after all. It’s disjointed, and maybe not that important, but…it’s my blog. So I can do whatever I want with it, right? And you can choose to read it, or not read it, or like it, or hate it, and it doesn’t matter. Right?

But what do you DO?

Because I have been invested in the field of speech-language pathology for many years now (truly since my junior year of high school), I sometimes forget that not everyone totally gets what the field is.

Friends and family know that I work intensely with autistic kids, and kids with social pragmatic difficulties. They know that I work in a school. That I see all ages. That I work with language-disordered kids, among other things (fluency, articulation, etc). But, I do realize that that’s still not clear — why does a speech-language pathologist do all of those things? What do I do?

Here is the quick cheat-sheet overview.

Language has three components: form, content, and use.
1. Form has three components. Phonology (the sound system of a language, how sounds are combined), Morphology (the structure of words), and Syntax (the order and combination of words in sentences). Essentially, we’re talking about grammar, noun/verb agreement, prefixes, suffixes, etc. Phonology is the basis for reading — knowing which sounds go together in which ways, etc.
2. Content: here we’re talking about words (aka “semantics”). What words mean, how words are defined, how to put words into sentences, paragraphs, how to cohesively use the definitions of words to express points, how to sequence sentences in the correct order, which words are antonyms and which are synonyms, and so on and so forth. Goes on forever.
3. Use: how form and content combine in daily life. AKA pragmatics. AKA, “how do we use language to be social?”

And….I work on all of these. All of these components develop naturally along a trajectory for neurotypical kids. But for most of my kids, they aren’t developing naturally. They have to be taught, often explicitly. That’s where I come in.
Examples of things that my kids might struggle with:
–Grammar, noun/verb agreements, prounoun uses
–Adding detail to sentences (e.g., adjectives)
–Using words to succinctly express what they are trying to say (e.g., “This weekend, she was there, I mean, my aunt, and um we went to that store you know? And……..”)
–Extracting the main idea, main points
–Higher-level language: idioms, multiple meaning words, metaphors (e.g., does “It’s raining cats and dogs” mean that animals are falling from the sky?)
–Comparing and contrasting (e.g., a 6th grader who can’t explain what’s the same/different about a lemon and an orange)

And again, the list goes on and on. It all comes back to these fundamentals of language. They are the building blocks of everything. If a kiddo has a language disorder, and struggles with the above, it’s only logical that they may have trouble in content classes — Science, Social Studies, etc. Because then, not only are they missing the building blocks, but they’re expected to understand the concepts too.

This is a very, very, very, summarized, abbreviated, and quick explanation. But maybe it’s what someone needs to see. Does it make sense? Should I give more information? I could geek out post after post with basic, or detailed, information….say the word and it’s a go. (Or, I may just do it anyway, because after all, I can!)

Let it go.

In yoga, my teacher will talk us through a difficult pose, and then, as we move back through our vinyasa, tell us, “Let it go, breathe it out, it’s over. Move on from it.” And I can’t help but try to remind myself of that throughout my day. What an incredible idea — that when something is over, we don’t have to hold onto it. We can breathe it away. We don’t have to hold stress, anxiety, anger, we don’t have to ruminate. It’s really just about breathing it away.

I need to keep doing that.

Breathe it out. The moment is over. It happened, and it’s done. Let it go.

Just go!

I didn’t want to go to yoga today. I got home, my head felt heavy, and I lay (laid? Whatever) down on the couch.

“I’ll skip today. I just can’t do it today.” I tried to tell myself. But, turns out I argue fairly well (ha! If you know me well, this is an understatement). So, I reminded myself,

“Dude. What are you thinking? Yeah, you’re tired. But yoga wakes you up. And your Tuesday yoga class is your favorite. And it has never left you feeling less than ecstatic, proud, strong, energized. So put on a scarf and mittens, and go. ”

So, I did! I can’t even believe I contemplated skipping. I love yoga, I love Tuesday yoga, and I feel so so so good now.

And on that note….

FYI, I actually do like lifting. But I literally laughed out loud at this.

A fairly obvious conclusion

Here is one of those pieces of information that we all KNOW is true, but we kind of intuitively forget it until it happens:

Once you’re in the habit of doing something, it’s easier to do it.

I know, I know. Duh. Obviously. Roll your eyes. Whatever. It’s the kind of thing that we have to really make a part of us, truly live it, until it’s internalized again.

I last posted about my habits/resolutions that I’m aiming to increase. Well, it turns out, when I “clean one thing” one day, I usually clean something else. Or clean one thing the next day. And when I “moved my body” one day, I make myself go for a walk the next day. And when I practice “keeping in touch,” it doesn’t seem so overwhelming — and I look forward to it.

None of this is to say that I do all of my resolutions every day. But that’s okay, that is in no way my goal. Perfection isn’t necessary at all.

It’s just getting easier. That’s all I’m sayin’.


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