Make Room For The Stuttering

Shiny Eyes On Stage

Posted on: June 1, 2011

Tonight is our awards night at school, an event that has brought conflicting emotions for me over the last four years. As some  may recall, the first time I facilitated this ceremony, my boss criticized me the next morning for “butchering” the kids names. I had, in fact, stuttered. That comment stung, and obviously I have remembered it.

As advisor for the National Technical Honor Society, I facilitate the induction ceremony, which includes speaking from a script, introducing speakers and calling students names as they receive their certificates. I have long gotten over the nervousness and anxiety of this “performance”. Last year, I even advertised using humor about my stuttering, to put both me and the audience at ease.

But, it is still tough to be on stage speaking into a microphone. Reading from a script and calling out names is my most challenging stuttering situation. I stutter more, for whatever reason.

I worry if I don’t advertise in some way that parents will think I am mis-pronouncing their kids’ names. And I don’t want that perception. Names are important. For some of these students, this may be the first ever award they are receiving.

During rehearsals with the students last week, I told them all I stutter and that I may stutter more than usual up on the stage using a microphone. They were fine with my disclosure. I was glad I did it!

My biggest concern for tonight is that I will get choked up on stage. This may be the last Honor Society ceremony that I will lead for the school. I have been informed that my current job is being abolished. I will either be doing something else within the school or unemployed at month’s end.

So it will be bittersweet for me tonight. I know I will do fine and represent the school and students well. It will be a beautiful candle lighting ceremony, solemn and emotional. Even in ordinary times, it is easy to get caught up in the emotional moments and feel the joy and pride of the students.

I will surely feel joy for the students, and sadness that it may be my last time presiding over this. Things change, times change, people change. My emotions run pretty consistent though, and it is hard for me to hide them any more.

So there is a good chance my eyes will be shiny tonight, for more than one reason. A bittersweet moment that will become another memory for me.

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2 Responses to "Shiny Eyes On Stage"

Wonderfully written, Pam.

Always deliver first your heart. It may not help in the short term when the words seem to be trapped, but in the long run it will provide you the roadmap you will need.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2016.