Meanderings

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose”

(The more things change the more they stay the same.)

Alphonse Karr, Les Guepes, 1849

Summer day, Canal St. Martin, Paris

 La Vie en Rose!

In the 2009 movie, Julie & Julia, an ambitious young writing starts out to duplicate all of Julia Child’s famous French recipes. She starts off cooking and blogging.

As she types her daily posts, she wonders whether anyone “out there” is reading them. Did anybody care?

It is inevitable. First we wonder where the words are flying to. Whether they make sense to others!

Blogging itself is rather random. Not like a carefully crafted scholarly manuscript following a logical outline.

Is that okay?

Scholars carry with them a certain kind of neurosis about the grave responsibility of writing for posterity.

What tone should be set?  Optimistic? Realistic?  Cynical? Hot news? Strictly informational, so as not to offend?

There is always the voice saying: “Get to the point! Edit this down!”  Another voice says, “It doesn’t matter.”

One can’t help having thoughts about a project like this.  It has come to me that candor is a starting place for pubic policy and professional debate:

Candor

Main Entry: can·dor

Pronunciation: \ˈkan-dər, -ˌdȯr\
Function: noun
Etymology: French & Latin; French candour, from Latin candor, from candēre — more at candid
Date: 14th century

1 a : whiteness, brilliance b obsolete : unstained purity
2 : freedom from prejudice or malice : fairness
3 archaic : kindliness
4 : unreserved, honest, or sincere expression : forthrightness

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 1970.

Sidewalk artist, Montmartre, Paris.

NOTES AS THEY ARISE

We will begin to examine the value of internet connectivity.

HAPPY ENGINEERS

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ABOUT POSTS

All of our posts are subject  to review and change.  Some are roughed out and fixed up on the fly.  Every post exists in context.  Context includes all blog  posts. We seek reader feedback at all levels of concern, correction and insight. Style varies with the tone.  Spellings change with expectations for internet searching.  Text style is bent by layout requirements.  Images transcend text in most cases.  Each post can reflect many prior posts as to analysis and perspective.

Experts

I have known and met a great many leaders in the field of American speech-language pathology.  I have visited campuses and given lectures.  I have listened to a great many  papers.  It became of interest to me to ask experts whether on their own campuses faculties had adopted recommended practices.  No was the common answer.  One scholar had written a book on clinical supervision the clinical supervisors at his institution had refused to use.  What struck me is that the kinds information distributed by workshop presenters did not flow in a feedback loop through the national office to curriculum committees.  CEO instruction was not indicative of progress back on campus.  This phenomenon has created a lot of confusion about best practices.

Non-Profit Status

The history shows from 1960 forward ASHA gradually lost its academic controls. A few academics attracted to leadership roles and outside professional staff took over.  Professional staff included attorneys, public relationships personnel, writers, accountants and computer specialists.  Non profit status required  non academic goals.  The mission grew to include real estate activities and publishing.

Changing

This blog has changed my views on the profession and public education.  I am embarrassed at to how insular my thinking has been over the years.  I saw no connections with American history and the civil rights movement.  I had only partially studied ASHA history.  All is  not lost.  One can learn and find new directions.

BOOK

I’ve started to write a book on the problem of over-identification.  An old friend Jacques Robinson used to tell his doctoral students after they completed their reviews of the literature:  “You’ve built a platform, now build a rocket.”

Our raw material here is quite comprehensive and conclusive, as far as it has gone.  But it needs focus and framework.  The framework turns out to be me.  There is so much autobiographical perspective to our blog posts a book necessarily reflects my 52 years in “speech correction.”  I have known historical figures and spent countless hours reading their works.  I have done about everything one man can do in the field.  Most everything I write has been experienced first hand.

It’s been an adventure.

Update: April 2013

Time has been taken away from writing, but I am thinking daily about the issues I want to bring out.  The most important is the one most practitioners do not care much about — cultural forces shaping clinical decisions in schools.  Flat out, school personnel can’t understand what they do without a deep understanding of the American culture.  Practical workers dwell on methods without understanding methods.  It reminds me of the asylum era of mental health treatment, where confinement was the context for helping the insane.  Or how medical workers “scrub up”  when in fact they infect patients all day.  In a paper called, The Discourse of Speech Therapy, I write about the ritualistic nature of articulation therapy.  Generations of SLPs fail to advance treatment because they want to follow the traditions that signal they belong to a professional group.

Leo Tolstoy

“The biggest surprise a man can face is old age.”


Writing

I have had to put a hold on the book plan for several reasons. One, time. Two, family business. Three, direction. Who wants to read a book on over-identification? I prefer to invest my time carefully, to find the right perspective and purpose.

ASHA Organization

I am seeing how the internal organization of ASHA is shaping public policy and service to the membership. I wonder whether leaders have the background to do the job.

May, 2014

Work on the history of the CAA only confirms the position we have taken, namely, a divided ASHA and inadequate attention to graduate education curriculum.DSC00239

The history of ASHA is clearly insufficiently documented. I believe having a website contributes to the problem. I wonder who runs the website, and how they conceive of the problem. Who is the supervisor? What is the archive policy? How does it carry out the public relations mission? It seems to be for members rather than the public.

Time has come to look back on the posts assembled to see whether they hold up. To look at them from a high place. Blogs are good for exploring. The academic approach is of great value but limiting too.

Death

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.
By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

[A E Housman]

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