Manpreet, me (JP), Rishu (She is a volunteer at Samagra) and Sachin went to Christian Medical Hospital Yesterday. It was an oppurtunity for me and Manpreet to test our speech in daily life environment involving communicative pressure because its really easy to talk, bounce and prolong in a non-threatening environment at Samagra but for most of the people who stammer all their techniques & fluency vanishes as soon as they get out of speech Therapist’s clinic. First assignment was to talk to two patients and try to remember various information from them like their name, purpose of their visit etc..The aim was to focus not only on our speech but on listening skills as well.It was not an easy task for me. Even though my stammer doesn’t bother me but I was trying to force the words out sometimes & forgot to bounce with both the people. Rishu & Sachin were observing us and gave feedback after the assignment. After this, the next assignment was to talk to three people who seem to be in a hurry.The aim here was to check how we perform under pressure. This time Rishu decided our “targets”. My first target was a couple who were leaving the hospital after their kid’s checkup. It took me some time to convince them to talk to me but again forgot all my techniques. Same thing happened with next two people. I don’t know why i was not able to bounce on some of the words and was forcing them out. Sachin told me that its because I have only accepted my stammer at an intellectual level and not at an emotional level, which seems valid to me. After this we all went to meet the Medical Superintendent. She was a nice lady & surprised us by telling that she thinks bouncing and prolongation are really COOL and everybody should use them. After this, came the real challenge of the day. Go to an inquiry window & with all the people in front of you, start bouncing loudly from behind and ask a question. I was not easy to start with. As soon as i started bouncing a few heads turned back to see, who is this ? But that’s it and then they carried on with their work. I was expecting them to kill me 🙂 . I asked my question by bouncing loudly and got a reply too :). I did this twice. The last assignment made my day. I felt there is nothing wrong with me stammering and bouncing, the only thing to be taken care of is that I should stammer easily, without exerting too much force.
P.S. The Medical Superintendent told us that the hospital was built by a German Engineer, who went back to Europe to get his medical degree only to start this hospital & help the people of the area who had no access to good medical facilities. Really an inspiration for me!