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Ack! My mom reads my blog!

Just kidding, I'm glad you're reading. And I've been meaning to tell you for ages that after your visit last March, Mallory will occasionally cup her hands and take a little slurp of water after brushing her teeth and say "That's how Grandmom showed me to do it."

And any friend of Aimee's is more than welcome to leave (positive) comments whenever she wishes.

So. When I grow up I want to be a Speech/Language Pathologist.

That may seem to be out of the clear blue sky, but it's kind of been in the back of my mind for many many years. When I was in junior high, after reading One Child by Torey Hayden, I thought I might like to be a child psychologist. And one day when I was a junior in high school I suddenly thought that hey, I should totally be a neonatologist. And when I was a freshman in college I took a Psychology course and thought that I should look into being a developmental psychologist, doing research with infants and small children. Why I did not pursue any of these options is frankly beyond me. I was trying to follow the call of Literature, I guess. Stupid Literature.

Then when I started back to work after Mallory was born, I was having trouble pumping enough breastmilk to satisfy her and I started searching all kinds of websites for advice. And I discovered that there were actually people who make their living by helping mothers to breastfeed. (They would be called Lactation Consultants.) And I thought, hm, now there is a worthwhile thing to do, and I looked into what it would take to become an LC and was kind of daunted by the requirements (lots and lots, as in thousands, of hours of volunteer work). But then I actually had to hire an LC after Phoebe was born and I appreciated her so much that I started thinking about it again. And THEN I discovered that there is a certain discipline of Speech/Language Pathology that specializes in infants with feeding difficulties. So I think that's what I want to do.

This career appeals to me for a number of reasons. First -- It's an actual standardized recognized career, with a name and with a certification attached, so I could find a job anywhere in the country. (Because someday we might move. You never know.) Second -- It's one of those "up-and-coming" careers with lots of job opportunities, because of the growing number of premature births, plus the growing number of children with developmental delays such as autism, and so forth. Third -- It pays pretty well, at least as well as what I'm doing now. Fourth -- At the end of the day I could say, "I helped this child," instead of "I built an html email which will be deleted unread by 90% of its recipients" which is what I say at the end of the day now. There's a word for that -- "Job Satisfaction" perhaps (okay, so that's two words).

The bump in the road is that I would of course have to go back to school. It's a 2-year Master's program, plus I think a certification exam, plus there are 15 or 18 hours of undergraduate prerequisites I'd have to fulfill (because I didn't take stuff like Statistics in college). And I don't know how we'd afford for me to go to school. But the way I look at it -- I'm 34 years old. I'm going to be working for what, 30 or 35 more years? I should do my best to make those years fulfilling, right?

Anyway, we'll see.

Just Finished Reading:
All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, And Only Slightly Enlightening Headache by Paula Kamen

Paula Kamen has had a severe headache for 15 years. Fifteen years -- the same headache! And she wrote a book about it! Imagine that. I'm someone who calls in sick when I have a cold! (Well, I used to be before I had kids. Now I call in sick when they have colds.) Over those 15 years she has seen many, many doctors, most of whom see her for a few minutes and then prescribe yet another drug which doesn't work, but does cause debilitating side effects; she has also seen any number of "alternative healers" who give her advice about "tuning into her body" and avoiding dairy and refined sugar. Nothing helped. Her book is an examination not only of her specific problem (which she handles with much more grace and humor than I ever would) but a critique of the American health care system, big pharmaceutical companies, and a society which has been slow to acknowledge chronic pain as the serious, disabling health problem that it is. And, since her "pre-headache" area of expertise was feminism, she also examines how doctors and people in general treat women with chronic pain differently than men. Women, for example, are more likely to be referred to psychologists for pain (under the assumption that they're in pain because they just can't cope with their lives), or to be brushed off by doctors who assume they're exaggerating their symptoms.

Of course, since I started this book, every time I get a headache I get all freaked out and worry that it's not going to go away. So far I'm fine.

ART for the Day
Mispronunciations by Mallory: First off, Mallory couldn't even say "Mallory" until...February or March of this year. She said "Wowee" instead. She may be the first child ever who could spell her name before she could say it. Other gems: For a long time she called Chris's studio the "bivio" and the TV the "teevawee." Music and movies are still "yoovic and yoovies." She had problems with the l sound for a while ("I yuv you," she'd say), and then for a while when she finally got that, she'd overcorrect and say, for example, "I liked eating logurt lesterday." She says "part" and "pell" for "smart" and "smell." And lately, she likes to ride her cooter in my in-law's curdlesac. (I'll leave that one for you to decipher.)


H Noble said…
That doesn't sound out of the blue at all! In fact, it sounds like you've had multiple 'God-incidences' (what I believe coincidences really are) which have led you to this desire to help people in a very specific way. I have a friend who is a speech pathologist and she derives much satisfaction from it. I think the area you are talking about- feeding problems, is an amazing area for medical and technological advancements, as well as a great opportunity for you. Now what we need to work on is preventing those problems! Anyway- nice to hear your dreams. I hope you are able to go for it.

My nephew calls his suitcase his "tootcase" and it also doubles as a lawnmower if you push it in front of you.
Mom said…
I think that is a very worthwhile thing to do. I do understand the difficulties of changing careers with two children and needing more education, but I hope that you can find a way to do it.

Abbey said…
I admire anyone who changes career paths to do what they love...especially speech path. I took many of the classes being in deaf ed and it's not easy. But it's awsome you've found such a unique and rewarding area to work in. Hopefully you can figure out how to do it!
Krista said…
Holly and Abbey -- thanks for your comments; it sounds like you both have some knowledge about the field and the fact you're not advising me to run screaming in the opposite direction is comforting!

And Mom, whenever I think that getting another Master's degree is impossible at this point I just remember that you were able to do it...and you had twice as many kids as me!
aimee said…
First of all, I like your new template! Second, I love that quote by Jackie O. and I am also completely scared by it! Thirdly, yay for your dream. That would be a very worth-while career and you are right-very rewarding and needed. I know that you can do it. That is what school loans are for! :) And you can always move to Edmond and I'll take care of your kids while you go to school and Chris teaches. (See, isn't that great that in whatever situation, I can make that suggestion? It is truly my answer for everything.) Seriously, I'll help out in whatever way, you know that.
Noah still has trouble with his "r"s and "s"s. Rhett is still wet and school is cool and so on. I love that Mallory overpronouced everything!

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