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"Overcoming My Speech Impediment" UW personal statement


dannimac 1 / -  
Nov 26, 2011   #1
The prompt is: Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
I still feel like I should add some things or possibly start over (I almost feel like it doesn't answer the prompt enough?), but welcome feedback/criticism/revisions. Thanks!

Since around the first grade I had been going to speech therapy for a severe speech impediment, in my case, commonly called "block" stuttering, and was told one of my main "triggers" was speaking to an audience. I was 12 years old. That day I was to tell my English class about Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; I knew it front ways and back ways, no problem. As I approached the front of the room, one hand held a couple of note cards, the other clenched tightly in fear. I had not told my teacher of my problem as I had in years past, excusing me from certain situations such as this. I had vowed to finally face this no matter what. I looked out at about thirty of my peers and started to speak, glanced at a note card and stopped. I did not stop by choice but because my voice was gone; I was physically unable to form the word my mind had prepared. I looked up, bit my tongue, begging for a distraction, and pushed up my glasses while my throat became more and more tense. The silence became to long to be just a pause, and everyone was now confused and whispering. I eventually finished my presentation, but was humiliated. I continued to dread any form of public speaking.

I was still not fully over my block stutter, a bit better, but not over. I was now 17 years old. This time I was standing in front of a room of about a hundred high school students. It was my turn to introduce my proposed resolution paper on the topic of the Somali conflict at the 31st Virginia Model United Nations. I was fed up with my fear of public speaking; I had voluntarily come on this trip to exterminate it. I began reading with a very large lump in my throat; there were a few pauses but they were just that, pauses. The delegate to my left believed I could not pronounce the words, and probably, so did everyone else; I accepted this. I was sure I could get through this. Everyone clapped, and I returned to my seat. A while later, while chatting with another delegate, he casually commented that he really liked the way I introduced my paper; that I was a good speaker. That was sincerely the greatest compliment I had ever received.

After living most of my life with a completely unpredictable speech impediment, after seeing seven different speech therapists, I had long lost all confidence in public speaking and many other aspects of ordinary life. I knew that it could come up in any situation and fitted my life around it. Although I know this is something that may very well stay with me for the remainder of my life, I now feel as though I have overcome it. I know I will continue to face many barriers and obstacles throughout college and beyond, but through this experience I have gained the confidence to face and handle them.
josie94 1 / 3  
Nov 27, 2011   #2
Since around the first grade I had been going to speech therapy for a severe speech impediment. I n my case, I had what is commonly called "block" stuttering, and was told one of my main "triggers" [what does that mean? Please explain or reword] was speaking to an audience. I was 12 years old. That day I was to tell my English class about Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; I knew it front ways and back ways, no problem. As I approached the front of the room, one hand held a couple of note cards, the other clenched tightly in fear. I had not told my teacher of my problem as I had in years past, excusing me from certain situations such as this. I had vowed to finally face this no matter what. I looked out at about thirty of my peers and started to speak, glanced at a note card and stopped. I did not stop by choice but because my voice was gone; I was physically unable to form the word my mind had prepared. I looked up, bit my tongue, begging[verb agreement-begged ?] for a distraction, and pushed up my glasses while my throat became more and more tense. The silence became too long to beconsidered merelyjust a pause, and everyone was now confused and whispering. I eventually finished my presentation, but I was humiliated. I continued to dread any form of public speaking.

I was still not fully over my block stutter, a bit better, but not over.Definitely reword this previous sentence. As for tense, "I am", perhaps?] I wasam now 17 years old. This time I was standing in front of a room of about a hundred high school students. It was my turn to introduce my proposed resolution paper on the topic of the Somali conflict at the 31st Virginia Model United Nations. I was fed up with my fear of public speaking; I had voluntarily come on this trip to exterminate it. I began reading with a very large lump in my throat; there were a few pauses but they were just that, pauses. The delegate to my left believed I could not pronounce the words, and probably, so did everyone else; I accepted this. I was sure I could get through this. Everyone clapped, and I returned to my seat. A while later, while chatting with another delegate, he casually commented that he really liked the way I introduced my paperand claimed that I was a good speaker. That was sincerely the greatest compliment I had ever received.

After living most of my life with a completely unpredictable speech impediment, after seeing seven different speech therapists, I had long lost all confidence in public speaking and many other aspects of ordinary life. I knew that it could come up in any situation and fitted my life around it. Although I know this is something that may very well stay with me for the remainder of my life, I now feel as though I have overcome it. I know I will continue to face many barriers and obstacles throughout college and beyond, but through this experience I have gained the confidence to face and handle them. I suggest ending with a metaphor that ties in your speech impediment--give it a little pizzazz! hehe]

Overall, very good topic to write about! I really liked the organization. Just fix a few of the grammatical and awkward statements, and I believe this could be a great essay :)

Would you be so kind as to review my essay as well? :D


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