Hear Me Out

“Spissific. Speassific. Spas. Ugh, you know what I am trying to say!” I giggled as I yelled. I expressed my irritation with laugher. I hated struggling with “easy” things, especially speech. Talking is the easiest thing anybody could ever do. No skills necessary, just open your mouth and push out a sound. But when it comes to speech everybody expects something more than just a sound.

“No, say it. Slow down and think about what you want to say.” My mom would direct me like a movie. Every time I spoke to my mom she would make sure I knew what I was saying. She would correct me on my grammar and advise me on my slang.

“Spa...” I tried.

“You are concentrating too much on the beginning of the word. SpÉ-cif-ic!” She would say very slow, but enthusiastically. I could not win with her. It seemed like everything had to be perfect with her. I could improve and make everything “perfect” about myself except for my speech.

“SpÉcific.” I made a face of uncertainty. She looked at me as if she wanted me to say it again. “SpÉcific. Specific.” She started to smile. “Thank you.” I whispered to myself. I did not thank her because I was a little frustrated. It was embarrassing, extremely embarrassing. What if I was not with my mom? What if I struggled in front of someone else, like a teacher? Or even worse, like a crush. These type of things would scramble through my head. Banging against my skull and giving me a headache. Awe, how much I hated that feeling. I wanted speech therapy! I always wonder about the kids who took speech in elementary and middle school. And I always wonder why I was not with them. I think I had the “potential” to be in that class, but maybe others did not think I did.

Maybe if I took speech I would feel more confident about words. Maybe if I took speech I would feel more confident about myself! Thinking about it, I can make a list of things that my speech effects. For starters, me not raising my hand in class. I am not afraid to voice my own opinion during a debate. I am afraid of what will come out of my mouth. I always have a lot to say about a topic, but I just keep it in my head. Nicely organized ass if I were to be called on. The words make sense in my head, but once they try to escaped from my mouth, my tongues lassos them back in and twistes them around. Why? Is it my brain or is it my tongue? What should be responsible for this bullshittery? I have no clue.

I try my best to speak, but language has too many factors. “It’s not “yea”, it’s “yes”.” If I had a dollar for every time I was told that, I would be able to afford a medium size Frap from Starbucks and maybe a big chocolate chip cookie. But I do not receive dollars for the corrections of my speech. If it was up to me I would consider my speech to be rather fine than the average. Of course I wish it were better and maybe I do slip up when speaking to adults, but I am only human. I find it hard to speak to adults sometimes. In school you would hear students yelling “Yo Lehmann!” down the hall and you see a smile and a wave in return. Is my principal my best friend? No, he is just a cool adult that cares to have association with his students. Yell the same thing to your boss and I bet they will not be your boss anymore. Adults vary when placed in different communities and environments, and so does speech.

Language is more than a method of communication. It has the ability to make or break someone. I, myself, has been made by language and I too has failed in it.

“Younger people don’t know how to speak. Back in my days…” Venerable people would always voice. I was never interested in their backstories. The past has passed, it is far behind us. There is no reason to talk about it unless we are trying to learn from our mistakes. We should be talking about the future, the place and the time that does not exist yet. Reflecting on the past has no value, benefits or gain for the future. Instead of comparing the past maybe we should be improving the future. Maybe starting with speech.

Comments (2)

Ijustice Avery (Student 2018)
Ijustice Avery

I learned a lot about the things you think about before you speak and how you are self aware about the things you say. I liked all your similes and metaphors…. BARZ!

Madison Militello (Student 2018)
Madison Militello

I understand what you were talking about when you said you were afraid to raise your hand in class because you wanted what you said to come out perfectly. As a child who went to speech class, it was also interesting to hear someone say they wanted to go to speech because I never wanted to go. Overall, your point was very clear and it was relateable.