I was at ASHA in Atlanta last week. It came at the end of a bumpy road I had been traveling for some time. I wasn’t sure what to expect but hoping it would be a detour away from that bumpy road.
ASHA stands for American Speech Hearing Association. The last time I attended my national convention was in 1988. A lot has changed…a lot. In 1988 I traveled alone and knew no one at the convention. I think I talked one person into going out to dinner one night. In 2012 I knew many people thanks to social networking. I never worried about eating alone. In 1988 I felt isolated in the few thousand attending. In 2012 I felt connected in a sea of over 10,000.
Technology has made it so easy to connect with people across the states and internationally. I met so many people who had been part of SLP online groups, app developers or bloggers. These people were now real and in person! As my new in person friend Rosie Simms stated “It’s so nice to meet people in 3D!”
I attended sessions to regenerate my clinical skills. I worked in the Smarty Ears booth and helped share apps for use in therapy. I was able to visit other exhibit booths and explore new materials. I was able to reconnect with a coworker and run into long lost friends.
The highlight was listening to Dr. Maya Angelou. An amazing 84 year old who is an author, poet, activist, producer, actress, professor and my new inspiration! This lovely woman spoke about her life and shared her poems. The message she shared was moving but the following made me catch my breath and brought tears to my eyes.
“When it looks like the sun isn’t going to shine any more, God put a rainbow in the clouds. Each one of us has the possibility, the responsibility, the probability to be the rainbow in the clouds.”
“It’s imperative we know who we are and how powerful we are. Someone has to stand up and say, ‘I am willing to be a rainbow.’ ”
We need more rainbows in our clouds. In our profession we ARE a rainbow in our clients’ or students’ lives. This is my new mantra and I will try to bring more rainbows to clear away the clouds.
This detour has led me to many rainbows! Here are a few I met. (I only wish I had taken more pictures.)
Stay tuned for some ideas I learned and plan to incorporate into my therapy sessions…along with some rainbows!