Friday, October 9, 2009

Good evening all my teammates! October 3rd was a very special day of excitement for me. Where I live on Long Island, we have many fans of the New York Islanders, Long Island's NHL team, and Opening Night is always a big deal. As I was wandering around the concourse before the game to check out the warmups, I came across two people who I assumed were season-ticket holders. I happened to be within earshot of their conversation, and it went a little something like this: "Hey, Johnny, how you doin?" "Looking forward to seeing our kids grow this year, especially this kid Taveras." This conversation ended with "This never gets old." That is the part I wanted to focus on, that one statement. "It never gets old," for me, refers to the honor, but more importantly, the duty I have as an NSA teammate to lecture at speech pathology classes to make sure our future SLP professionals know about the experiences of what it is like to stutter, and the birth of the NSA Nation. This past week I completed three speaking engagements in five days-first, to a graduate class at Saint Joseph's College in Patchogue, N.Y., a graduate class at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., and a third to undergraduate students at Richard Stockton College in Pomona, N.J. To me, public speaking never gets old. Throughout life, you may have heard the expression "The thrill is gone."-maybe you're tired of going to that restaurant, going into the city to check out the nightlige. But for me, speaking about the NSA Nation never gets old. Every time I get up in front of a class, I know the world is listening. Whenever I read tales of my fellow chapter leaders who speak to classes, that is another sign the NSA Nation is spreading. You don't need to be a chapter leader to speak to students. Just remember that we are all teachers of our experiences stuttering. That never gets old. My name is Steven Kaufman and I am a person who stutters. Until next time, stand up and be counted. Make your voice heard.

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