From the Free Online Dictionary, the meaning of the word interrupt and it’s different forms.
(nt-rpt)v. in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts
v.tr.1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.2. To hinder or stop the action or discourse of (someone) by breaking in on: The baby interrupted me while I was on the phone.
I think about the times I get interrupted. In the middle of a block, someone interrupts and fills in the word they think I was going to say. I sometimes feel disrespected when that happens.
I also think about how many times I actually interrupt another person who stutters, as it’s not always easy to tell when a person who stutters is done speaking or if they are in the middle of a block. It seems to happen a lot when I am chatting with someone over Skype for the podcast.
I usually wind up just apologizing and acknowledging that sometimes it just hard to gauge if the person is done speaking or indeed in a block.
Sometimes it’s hard to establish a rhythm between two people who stutter who are engaged in good conversation and good blocks.
Has it happened to you, that you accidentally interrupt someone who stutters while they’re in a block? How does it make you feel?
Episode 112 features Rachel Dancy who hails from Saginaw, Michigan. Rachel works as a job coach at Do-All, Inc. which is an agency that supports people with developmental disabilities.
Listen in as we discuss how Rachel chose her field of work and the importance of having a supportive work environment. We talk a bit about negative reactions to stuttering and the best ways to handle them.
We also hear from Rachel’s boyfriend, Rick, who shared his point of view on being the partner of someone who stutters. We discuss interrupting and why that happens from time to time.
This was a very honest and insightful conversation and it was great getting to know both Rachel and Rick.
The podcast safe music clip used in this episode is credited to DanoSongs.
I am so lucky! I had the opportunity to talk to middle school kids on Friday about stuttering. I was invited to Tamarac Middle School to talk to their 6th, 7th and 8th grades about stuttering, as it ties in to their character education theme of the month – compassion.
I spoke at this same school 5 years ago and the coordinator looked me up and asked if I’d be willing to come back. I was thrilled and said yes immediately.
I taught the kids about what stuttering is and isn’t, we discussed myths and I showed them some famous people who stutter. I also had several activities for the kids to try, so they could experience first hand what stuttering feels like.
I had grapefruits and asked several young volunteers to come up and try to hide a grapefruit somewhere on their person where it wouldn’t show. This was to simulate covert stuttering.
I had Chinese finger traps that the kids used to experience getting stuck. We also did a writing exercise where several volunteers were told to write their name over and over as perfectly as they could. Then a kid would poke and jiggle their writing arm, making them mess up. This simulated knowing what we want to say but having something interfere.
I also had some volunteers take a deep breath, hold it and try to say their name. Laughs erupted when the kids squeaked out their name. The volunteers told us how their chest and throat hurt and how they felt they were running out of breath.
The kids asked great questions and competed with each other to get chosen to volunteer. At the conclusion of each talk (I gave three separate presentations) we ended with a stuttering contest and then talked about how learning about stuttering builds empathy and compassion.
It was a great experience. I am so lucky.
She uses such descriptive language to nail the feelings we have during stuttering moments. She describes stuttering as “dashing to make a connecting flight but being too late.” And “making it to the subway just to have the doors close in your face.”
She describes fluent conversation as a back and forth volleyball match, with the words flowing just right, until an “out-of-bounds” is called when stuttering emerges.
Wahl’s descriptive language and imagery perfectly describes those stuttering moments where we feel helpless and out of control.
The article has been shared numerous times in the stuttering community via social media posts, garnering lots of “likes” and comments.
Wahl writes that over time she has come to terms with her stuttering. She knows she is going to stutter every day. Yet she doesn’t focus on acceptance. She focuses on the moments when she is able to execute her words fluently.
She writes about “the exhilarating, skydiving-through-the-air moments (that) occur whenever (she) says a sentence without stuttering.” She practices tongue twisters in front of a mirror in order to perfect her speech and not stutter.
I don’t think she has really come to terms with her stuttering if she is celebrating her fluent moments and endlessly practicing to not stutter.
I would have liked to see her say something about acceptance.
What do you think?
Episode 111 features Lois “Cookie” Green who hails from Fremont, California.
Lois is presently a photographer, owning her own business after retiring from a 25 year career working for an automobile manufacturing company.
Listen in to a great conversation about how Lois has managed her stuttering over her life time. She shares how she got the nickname Cookie, which is a story that many of us will be able to relate to.
Lois also shares about how a visit to a reflexology practitioner helped her to become fluent on two key words.
We also chat about management strategies, taking risks and becoming a leader. It was great getting to chat with Lois after getting to know her a bit through the Face Book stuttering groups.
Feel free to leave comments or questions for either of us, or just let Lois know what a great job she did. The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.
As people who stutter, we often worry about how listeners will react to us when we are stuttering. Are they going to hang in there with us? Will they maintain eye contact?
Or will they get “the look” and avert their eyes and look anywhere but at us? Or will they become impatient and finish our words or sentences for us?
There was an interesting thread about this on Facebook, where a group member asked what we as stutterers should do to make our stuttering more acceptable to listeners.
The response was mixed – with many weighing in that it is not our responsibility to alter our stuttering in some way to make it easier for a listener.
I happen to agree with that! We stutter – most of us have lived with stuttering our whole lives, since we began talking. It can be very difficult for us – shameful and embarrassing. Why should we add to the mix by also assuming the responsibility of how a listener might feel?
In this day and age, with so much diversity, a listener should listen to us exactly the same as they would to anyone else. With respect and patience.
It might make it easier to disclose or advertise that we stutter, but that generally is for our own sake, to lessen our own anxiety. When we do that with confidence, it often provides a cue for the listener to react in kind.
But we should do that for ourselves – not the listener. That’s not our responsibility.
What do you think?
Episode 110 features return guest Carolina Ayala who hails from Ajax, Ontario, Canada. Carolina and I are friends from attending the National Stuttering Association’s annual conferences and we stay in touch throughout the year.
Carolina works in the disability field with adults with intellectual impairments and is also a part-time educator at a local college. She also does volunteer work.
Listen is as we talk about the struggles Carolina has experienced at work related to her stuttering and the strategies she uses.
We also talk about the humanitarian mission work that Carolina has had the opportunity to do. She has gone on mission trips to Mexico, El Salvador, Thailand, Cambodia and most recently India. She shares some of the significant memories of the recent trip to India, of which she is very passionate about.
Carolina worked with exploited women in the Red Light District of Kolkata, and also spent time working with children whose parents are on the street.
She had the chance to meet a child who stutters, named Nata and tells us how she was able to share the stuttering experience with him.
Below is Carolina’s favorite picture from her trip to India – giving first aid to children on the streets.
The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to DanoSongs.