Welcome to the Chicken Soup for the SLP Soul Blog Hop! If this is your first stop, here is how it works: Several SLP bloggers will be sharing stories from their careers in a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” style. We hope you find these stories inspiring, funny, or just plain fun. And in the end, you have an opportunity to win some great prizes too! Check out the end of this post for all the details.
Working as an SLP for the past several years, I have had my share of moments worthy of a Chicken Soup for the Soul post. However, I feel like the story of HOW I chose to become an SLP is a fun one. If you’ve been here before, you may have read a short version of this story before but I am going to share it again here today, with a little more detail.
When I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” I absolutely HATED high school and I did the bare minimum to get through. All I knew was that I liked working with kids, but beyond that I had no inspiration. So I chose to stay at home and enroll in our local community college while working two jobs (one working with children and one to make additional $$ so I could back pack across Europe).
I did this gig for 3 years. I made my goal of traveling to Europe and then I applied and got in to a university not too far from home. My major? Liberal Studies. Because I figured I just become a teacher since nothing else had inspired me and I wanted to work with children.
My first semester in college was a LOT of fun. I made new friends and spent a lot of time out 😉 One night, I was out at a bar dancing with friends when it happened.
5 Little Words
I had been dancing the night away for a while and I had just left my friends to get some water. On the way back to the dance floor, a guy walked up to me and handed me a small notebook. I was a little confused. I look down at the notebook and he had written:
Do you want to dance?
Little did I know, but those 5 little written words would forever change the course of my life.
I looked up at the guy, still a little confused. Then it hit me: He is deaf.
I actually was tired of dancing. I used his pen and paper and told him I’d love to just sit and chat with him. So we found a booth in the corner and we spent the better part of an hour writing back and forth, getting to know one another.
But as we chatted on paper, I became concerned.
Sure, we were communicating ok, but my new friend’s grammar and syntax were off. There were a few times that I was a little confused about his meaning. I sat there wondering WHY this man couldn’t communicate more effectively! Sure, he can’t hear but he should be able to read and write, right?
A Major Change
That night, I headed home and immediately got online.
I googled deafness and deaf education. I wanted to find out what kind of career could help deaf people communicate. I stumbled across this field called speech language pathology. I had never heard of it before! But the more I read, the more it sounded perfect for me. I could work with children, and I could make a difference!
The next day, I changed my major to Speech Language Pathology. That next semester, I started the coursework. And never looked back. (Ok, I looked back on the first day of classes when I found out I was going to need to get a masters degree, Ha! But after I got over that little detail I never looked back again!)
I am so thankful for my friend asking me to dance that night.
And of course I now know that my friend’s written grammar was that of American Sign Language. He literally wrote in the same way he communicated with sign. If you are reading this and are unfamiliar with ASL, it is not just a gestural form of English. It is actually it’s own language- with it’s own set of grammatical rules with are quite different from spoken American English.
A Life Changer
That night not only changed my career path- it also set me up for so much more.
I had been accepted to grad school at the same school where I was receiving my bachelors. I was looking forward to another two years at this great school.
Two weeks before graduating with my Bachelors, I met another guy. This guy, however, didn’t ask me to dance. He asked me out. It turned out, that he still had another 1.5 years at our university. So we spent that time together. And a few years later, we would get married. And have three of the most amazing children ever.
If I hadn’t changed my major, I likely would have left right after graduation and my now husband and I may not have followed the path we did.
Which means I wouldn’t have these amazing little people inspiring me to be a better person, every day.
And I also wouldn’t be here right now, writing to all of you.
Sometimes, you just have no idea where you will find inspiration for your life. For me, it was in a bar one random Thursday night in college. Keep your eyes and heart open as you never know where you might find the next career changing moment for YOU!
This is a BLOG HOP! Enter to WIN!
Here is how it works: As you “hop” from blog to blog, you will want to collect a number at each stop. In the end, you will be adding up all the numbers and entering the total in the rafflecopter for a chance to win some great prizes!
Here is my number:
From here, you’ll want to HOP on over by clicking on the image below!
If you’d like to start from the beginning, you’ll want to HOP on over to by clicking below.
Thanks to all these AMAZING SLP bloggers for making this possible!