Monday, February 2, 2015

A strange time to start a blog?

You can say that again!

My name is Alycia and I'm currently 26 years old.  I mention that because I have this notion (and maybe you do, too,) that at 26, I should know more about things.  Like, maybe I should know who I am, where I'm going, and why my world looks/feels the way it does.  Unfortunately, I'm not quite there yet.  

At the very least, let's start with "now".  Right now, I'm in my third year of a 3-years Master's degree program at the University of Georgia (getting my degree on July 31, 2015!).  I am studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with the ultimate goal of becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).  I am currently in the internship phase, which means that for the next six months, I'll be in a public school, a hospital, and a children's rehabilitation setting to learn all I can before finding my first SLP job and earning my first SLP paycheck (hooray!).  Up to now, I've taken 95 credit hours and have done clinic hours at UGA, a pediatric outpatient clinic, and in some public schools.  I'm one month into my elementary school-based internship.  I'm exhausted.  Whoo!

I have learned so much since stepping onto The Speech Path in 2012.  One of the main things I think we all learn, especially those of us in the 3-year cohort, is how little we knew before, and how little we know now.  It's both humbling and powerful.  I'm planning to write about speech-language pathology (my career/passion) and beauty (a budding hobby) in addition to anything else that comes up (e.g., gaming, crafting, college student affairs, family) in the current and next chapters ("sagas" sounds more epic, doesn't it?) of my life.

My two main interests for this blog, SLP and beauty, may seem very different.  I'd venture a guess that there's only a limited circle of individuals who would be as interested in each as I am!  Speech-language pathology is a clinical science, a constantly changing field of challenges and puzzles, research and real life.  An SLP helps her patients with speech, language, swallowing, voice, fluency, and cognition.  No two patients are the same, so she can never relax and she can never "settle".  She cares deeply for each patient and is motivated by both data and functional outcomes.  She has to keep her instrument (her mind!) sharp so that she can positively and precisely approach each assessment, diagnosis, and intervention.

As a novice makeup enthusiast, I am simply having fun.  However, I see other "gurus" on the interwebs who are intensely skilled, able to transform and to influence through their expertise and experience.  I see view counts and subscribers in the hundreds of thousands and think, WOW!  What a far reach these talented individuals have!  I'm certainly spending a lot of time watching their reviews and tutorials, and I'm not the only one.  I wonder what the world would be like, what my world would be like, if bright stars in the field of SLP had as much influence with the content-consuming generation of today.

I'm imagining a world of glamorous scientists speaking to the YouTube masses about evidence-based practice and the merits of early intervention!  How cool would it be to see a cat-eye tutorial alongside an explanation of the cranial nerves and their role in speech, language, hearing, and swallowing?!  Nerding out by myself?  That's okay.  Are you with me even a little bit?  Curious, perhaps?  Fabulous.  

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