A short time ago several women on TV were talking about their most embarrassing moments.
Afterwards I tried to remember mine and for sure I have had many. There is one that was not only my most embarrassing and painful moments and now that I think about it, Dr. Phil would say a life changing experience for me.
I have to go back in my childhood to tell how it
all came about. I was the only child out of six that stuttered and I was also left handed. I don't remember my brothers or sisters ever teasing me. It was just accepted "Dorothy stuttered".
My first day at school I entered the real world. My first grade teacher asked if there was anyone in the class that wrote with their left hand and several of us raised our hands. She said there was no such thing as a left handed person and from that day on we would always use our right hand. She walked around the room making sure we did. I love to draw and it was so hard to switch hands so when she wasn't looking I would use my left hand. She would sneak up on me and whack my knuckles with a ruler. I had bruised knuckles until I became right handed. She hated my stuttering also and if she called on me and I stuttered she would make me sit down.
I suppose I have her to thank for being ambidextrous and maybe needed her in my life, but I don't think I needed her all that much.
It was in my senior year that my stuttering caused my most embarrassing moment. My English teacher wanted half the class to recite a part of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the other half a couple of verses of Edger Allan Poe's poem, The Raven. I knew I was in big trouble so I studied both in hope I could say the Raven.
The next day when it came my time to go up to the front of the class. I asked my teacher if I could say the Raven and she said no. When I got nervous I would stutter worse and so when I started saying for for for scores scores and seven seven seven years ago our fa fa fa by the time I got to fathers the whole class was laughing. It was funny and I would have probably been laughing too if it wasn't me up there. I had started fighting back tears and looked over my shoulder to the teacher for support and she was laughing, too. Then the tears started down my cheeks. I walked out of the room and went to the restroom and leaned against the wall crying.
Another English teacher came into the restroom and she ask me why I was crying. After I told her, she put her arms around me and told me a story. She said many years ago a man that stuttered put some small pebbles in his mouth and walked along on ocean beach and recited poems and speeches and he went on to became a great orator. She ask me if I knew any tongue twisters and I told her yes. She said I should try that. I was afraid of swallowing pebbles so I used dried beans. They tasted awful after a while and I changed them for more dry ones. I said Peter Piper Picked a peck of Pickle Peppers (you know how that goes) over and over and I even sang it.
We moved away a short time later so I never got to go back and thank that teacher. I still stutter a little but not all that much.
I have often wondered how my life would have been if I had recited the Raven and not the Gettysburg Address. Or if that teacher hadn't came into the restroom and taken the time to be kind to me and taken the time to tell me that story.
We just never know how our acts of kindness, a kind word ,or sometimes not saying anything just being there for a person can change a person's life for the better. I just know that teacher will always have a special place in my heart.