… but somebody gets to do it.
“Cute Lil’ Booger” by @stevegoad (click to visit page)
That crazy time of the year has hit where we school SLPs are trying our best to hold it together in denial that Thanksgiving actually IS this late (what the heck, calendar?!?) and counting down the hours until our first “break” of the year. I was hanging out in my lamp-lit office today while eating lunch as quickly as humanly possible when I found a booger just chillin’ under my desk. Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I was the original home of this booger let me assure you that no booger of mine has ever ended up on the underside of a desk drawer. And yes, I was mortified upon finding this booger… and yes, I found it with my FINGER! Between the involuntary gagging and frantic search for something, ANYTHING, to wipe it on I realized that this was not the first and most likely far from the last time a booger that does not belong to me will end up on my finger… or clothing… or face (yep, those were fun times)…
Now, I realize that the population of students that I fell in love with and now have the privilege to work with do not intentionally provide these opportunities for my immune system to strengthen but nonetheless, I now have a rock-solid army of leukocytes at the ready. I also have a rock-solid army of hilarious (and often disgusting) stories at the ready. Despite what you may have heard, an SLP’s job is not always glamorous.
Need a few nuggets of proof?
1) You know that magnificent feeling at the end of the day when you can wash off the grit and grime of the day? Cleanse yourself of the stress of the day and de-makeup your face? Add to that an SLP’s deep cleanse because they were sprayed from approximately 2.5″ away with gale-force winds from a child’s nose and mouth. Did you wipe down at work and re-apply makeup? Yep… Did you feel clean? Heck no! So there you are scrubbing your face raw in hopes that there wasn’t anything too incredibly treacherous in that medley of snot and spit. Oh… but because you were a professional, you finished the session after a quick tissue wipe-off.
2) We all like to feel good about ourselves. Our clients are sometimes seemingly on a mission to destroy that well-earned ego with comments like, “your office smells like my sister’s ugly shoes” or my all-time favorite, “Hey Ms. Llama llama”. Sometimes they can be cryptic such as, “the tooth fairy is YOUR grandma!” that leave you wondering what they REALLY meant by that comment… and it probably was as mean as you imagined. It’s not all love letters and hugs… sometimes SLPs can slightly frustrate their clients. And their clients will call them a Llama.
3) I would say that for the most part, my clients love coming to speech. We have a good time while targeting those tricky goals. We laugh, we create, we barf…. woah, wait, what?!? I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say that an intense game of articulation go fish can apparently have negative, VERY negative, results. So, proceed with caution.
4) Chairs, UGGs, and iPads… oh my! The list of projectiles is ever-growing. Last week there were tiny child UGGs flying at me and the week before that it was an iPad mini (that I caught in a very ninja-esque maneuver just as it neared a certain, file-cabinet-induced death). I remember during my school externship saying, “I’m sorry but we are not throwing tables today.” to a student who was preparing to do just that. I will say, that these projectiles have only been encountered in one of my buildings where my students have more complex needs and have limited communication abilities. I will also say that my reflexes are pretty marvelous at this point.
5) Did I mention boogers? Oh, I did… okay.
So, you see… being an SLP is not always a glamorous job. You will encounter some interesting happenings in your career. But, it’s never the same day twice and that’s spectacular!
Just watch out for the boogers…
I think I need copious amounts of hand sanitizer… or maybe just Thanksgiving break. It’s a toss-up at this point.