Make Room For The Stuttering

Archive for the ‘Women Who Stutter Podcast’ Category

PamEpisode 187 features return guest Christine Simpson, from the British Stammering Association. Christine lives in London in the UK and last year retired from a long career in library services. After retirement, she was looking for a project and found herself on the organizing committee of this year’s BSA conference, coming up in several weeks.

There’s a lot of work involved in organizing a conference, but Christine knows it’s going to be wonderful, because it’s always wonderful when people who stammer come together. We talk about what’s in store for conference participants and the wide range of diverse, yet inclusive opportunities available for everyone from first timers to veteran attendees across the age spectrum.

We also speak about what’s near and dear to both of us, continuing the tradition of offering a space just for women who stammer. Women who stammer face unique challenges and experience stammering through a different lens obviously than men. So I was pleased to hear that’s being honored and offered and at the same time I was sad that I won’t be there.

If you are at all unsure what to expect from a BSA conference, be sure to listen in. Our conversation paints a great picture of how much benefit you will gain from attending.

I made a pact with Christine that I will get to the next one, wherever in the UK it will be, in 2020.

As always, the music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

PamEpisode 186 features Maddy Bognar, who hails from Woodstock, New York. Maddy is an occupational therapy student and also a member of a band called the Turn-Ups. She has recently taken a leap to commit to booking two performance shows featuring Kirtan, which is a call and response chant style originating from the Bhakti Yoga tradition in India and is done traditionally in Sanskrit.

Kirtan first caught Maddy’s attention in 2016 when she attended an arts festival, called the O+ Festival, which is really cool to learn about itself. O+ artists and musicians receive health and wellness care in an Artists’ Clinic staffed by volunteer providers and in local dentist offices as a thank you for their creative gifts. O+ calls this exchange: the art of medicine for the medicine of art. I love that!

Kirtan allows Maddy to find peace and a sense of calm, which she then shares with audience members, who participate because Kirtan is also interactive. And Kirtan  means “storytelling” which is so cool because that’s exactly what we do on this podcast, share our stories.

In our conversation, we share how we met a few months ago when we both attended a performance by a stand-up comedian who stutters and wound up sharing that we both stutter and went to dinner together.

Podcast note: I tried as hard as I could in this episode to remove the annoying echo, but just didn’t succeed. Sorry, after all these years, I’m still an amateur.

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 185 features Natalie Park who hails from Loughborough, East Midlands, England in the UK. Natalie is a certified vocational assessor and tutor, currently taking courses in counseling and psychotherapy so she can one day help people who stammer.

We start off the conversation talking about job hunting. Natalie actually loves job interviews, which is quite contrary to most people who stutter. We also discuss education and advocacy and how important this is for future generations. She mentions that openly talking about stuttering smashes assumptions, which we know can be very dangerous.

We talk about how we have the opportunity to use our stutter/stammer in very powerful ways – we can control conversations, slow them down, actually listen to the words being said, instead of just listening to respond.  People who stutter are very powerful people, just not enough of us know that yet. YET being the key word here.

We wrap up this amazing conversation talking about the profound experience that Natalie had at the end of June with 40 other people around her age who stutter. The theme was performing arts and Natalie shares how hard it was to actually put into words the amazing transformation she saw in people after they embraced new ideas and pushed out of their comfort zones. She explains it beautifully here in this blog post called The Week That Changed My Life.

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

PamEpisode 184 features Madeline Wahl, who presently lives in New York City. She moved to NY from Florida five years ago to take a job with the Huff Post. She currently works as an opinion editor with the Huff, has always loved writing and writes a lot in her spare time. Madeline also greatly enjoys solo traveling and talks about how your “travel self” is your “true self.”

I first “discovered” Madeline when I read a few of her articles about stuttering that were published on the Huff Post. I remember being so thrilled to see pieces about stuttering in a popular site that I read and I really wanted to see if I could get Madeline to come on here as a guest. I emailed her, but didn’t hear back. So, I honestly forgot about it!

Then, shortly before this year’s NSA conference I  heard from Madeline. She had archived my email and reached out, saying she’d love to be a guest if I’d still have her. Of course, I was thrilled to hear from her. We started corresponding through email, as Madeline was planning to attend that NSA conference for the first time. I offered her some tips and suggestions and we vowed to meet in person at the conference.

Well, we did, very briefly. Then we followed up about two weeks later, and here’s this conversation we had. Listen in as Madeline shares what that first NSA conference was like, some really deep thoughts about the value and importance of words, and the deep emotions that get stirred up when being surrounded by other people who stutter.

We also talk about intense listening, patience being mindful, and the true spectrum of stuttering that exists within the stuttering community.

I was grateful for this “deep dive” conversation and hope you find it as compelling as I did.

Here are links to several of the articles that Madeline mentions in this episode.

What It Actually Feels Like To Stutter

Why I’m Thankful That I Stutter

As always, the podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 183 features Emily Anderson, who hails from Anchorage, Alaska. Emily is 27 years old and just recently started the first ever NSA Family Chapter in Alaska.

Emily works as an environmental technician doing water sampling and monitors contaminated water sites. She also does outreach with native Alaskan tribes. Emily also has a second job as a server at a steak house restaurant.

Emily shared an interesting phenomena about her stuttering. It actually works to her advantage when speaking one on one with tribal residents. In Alaska, it is custom and tradition to speak slowly and take long pauses, so it works perfectly with her stuttering!

Listen in as we discuss Emily’s impressions of her first NSA conference. She shares that she thought it wasn’t going to live up to the hype she had heard about. Well, she was proven wrong! She talks about the comfort she found being in a judgement free zone where other people had the same weird insecurities she has had.

We talk about workplace stuttering and how she manages in both jobs she has that require a lot of communication. Her favorite workshop was the one on stuttering in the workplace, where she heard the stories of people who have not let stuttering limit their career goals. We even talk about how cool it was that in that workshop she met a real rocket scientist who happens to stutter.

And we talk about the fact that Emily’s mom has been a SLP for 40 years and was the perfect role model for Emily growing up. Mom is so proud that Emily decided to go to her first conference and is actually thinking about going herself next year.

Emily has written a couple of articles about stuttering for The Mighty. Here is the links to two of them.

Finding My Confidence Working In Food Service With A Stutter

When Stuttering Makes Me An Extrovert Stuck In An Introvert’s Body

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

 

PamEpisode 182 features Dana Koprowski, who hails from just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Dana has a background in early childhood education and presently works as a nanny for a family and their two children.

We talk about career choices, interacting with fluent people about stuttering and how for a long time, Dana didn’t really care for it – stuttering – too much.

Then things changed. In 2014, Dana Googled stuttering and came across Stutter Social. Suddenly, she was in a video chat room for the first time with other people who stutter and that changed her life.

She took a break from stuttering for a while and then rejoined the Stutter Social hangouts, where she heard people talking about the NSA annual conference. And learned it happened to be in Chicago, where she lived. Despite coming up with every excuse in the book why she couldn’t go, Dana did go to her first conference and this is her story. Told from a woman who told me she didn’t have a story.

Listen in. It’s amazing. Leave feedback. Decide for yourself if attending a stuttering conference is worth it.

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

Oh, and here’s Dana’s video she posted on YouTube that she mentions in the episode.

PamEpisode 181 features 21-year-old Mikaela, who hails from San Diego, California, after having moved there on a whim six months ago from Vermont. Mikaela works in a float position with the County of San Diego, which means every 3 months she gets reassigned and gets to manage being open with new people about stuttering.

Mikaela’s real passion is EMS and Firefighting. Once her Vermont certification transfers to California, Mikaela plans to work in this field, which of course is a highly demanding communication field. We talk about how she manages and how lucky she’s been to have had “stutter friendly workplaces.”

This episode is really about how Mikaela found support and what that means. She met up with people who stutter on Stutter Social and then when she decided to move to California, she was referred to the local NSA Chapter. It was the first time Mikaela had met someone in person who also stutters.

Mikaela actually immersed herself in stuttering support over 6 months and found herself at the recent annual NSA conference as a first timer. Her experiences and insights are incredible. It’s also wonderful to hear what it was like to meet people in person that she’d only met online.

If you’ve been unsure about how meeting other people who stutter can change your life, listen to this conversation. It’s truly a testament to how “finding your tribe” can be a game changer.

The music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

 


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. 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 2017.
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