Posts

Showing posts from 2018

An Open Letter to Speech Alumni

Image
To My Speech Kids (because no matter how long it's been, you're always my kid),

There's never time to say everything I want to say. I live under the belief  life is best lived without holding back. I've never been afraid to say what I think (or feel). If feelings make you uncomfortable, this might not be for you. But our feelings are, at the most profound level, what connect us as human beings. They are the things that make all the other noise of the world beautiful and important. We should never be ashamed of what we feel. I hope that's something you learned from me by now.

This is for all my speech alumni, and most importantly, to all those beautiful voices who are poised on the precipice of becoming speech alumni in just a few short days.

The end of the season is upon me once again, so nostalgia is in full force. As I sift through old critiques, newspaper articles, and seemingly endless photographs, I am battered by a barrage of old memories. I find myself sudden…

Moving Mountains and Burning Bridges: The Power of Words

Image
Words can move mountains. That's what I tell my speech students--their words can change the world. They can hurt or heal, break or bond. They have power. I'm acutely aware of the fact that what we say to others lingers far after the words are said; words have a way of worming themselves into the very fabric of our being and becoming a part of us. When those words wound, we carry that pain far longer than even we suspect. Words are particularly insidious weapons because too often, we fail to recognize the myriad of ways they'll follow us. I try to be mindful of that. I try to remember, in my daily interactions, to keep my words kind--or as kind as I can in a situation. I admit I fail more often than I would like, but I do my best to make sure the words I leave behind me will make people feel powerful, important, heard, supported. At the worst of times, I try to leave behind words that at least won't do any damage.

Words can move mountains. But they can also burn bridges…