Saturday, May 8, 2010

A parable

I was looking at old English essays of mine to post on my book blog. Yeah, I know I'm a nut.

Anyways, I was looking through my essays for my Bible as Literature class in the fall term of 2008. For one of the assignments we had the option of writing a parable. It could be a true story or something entirely fictional. Here is what I wrote, with some minor editing.


Once upon a time there was a baby girl. She was strong and healthy, but when she reached her first birthday she happened to fall on her head. Her parents rushed her to the doctor, who was unconcerned. He told them certain symptoms to look for in the baby, and sent them on their way. Unfortunately, the doctor was wrong to be unconcerned; the girl had suffered brain damage.

The girl took very long before she began to speak again. And when she did, she had both a language disorder (difficulty understanding people and finding a way to communicate her ideas) and a speech disorder (difficulty pronouncing words correctly). It was such that virtually no one could ever understand her. As strange as it sounds, she could not even hear what she sounded like; she heard herself speaking the same as how everyone else spoke.

Her parents sought out help for the girl. She began speech therapy at a younger age than most children, and her father worked intensely with her. He would record what she said, and then play it for her so she could hear the sounds she had made.

When the girl came to her tenth birthday, she could make herself understood much more easily than when she was younger, but she still had much difficulty with speech and language. Her mom asked if she would like to sing in a chorus; the mom thought that it would be fun for the girl, and also that it might help the girl’s speech disorder. The girl gave it some thought, and then decided that she would like to join a chorus. So, she joined.

The girl had a lot of fun in the chorus. Every week she looked forward to rehearsals, and found that she had a great love for music. Within the year she was taking private voice lessons from the chorus director, the first of which she could still remember many years later; in particular, how they had argued over whether the girl should or should not open her mouth wide for singing (the girl wanted to keep her mouth almost entirely closed while singing, and was somewhat stubborn about it). But eventually she was convinced to open her mouth, and she began to learn the proper way to pronounce her vowels and how to shape her mouth.

She loved singing very much, and also joined other chorus’s. She learned so much from the singing. She was able to match vowels with other people, and pronounce her words properly when singing, as she was unable to do when speaking. She could also hear whether she pronounced things properly or not while singing, as she had been unable to do while speaking. Eventually one day she was shocked to suddenly hear her speech disorder while speaking; she had heard recordings of herself before, but she was amazed to actually hear it as she spoke.

She still had a speech disorder by her nineteenth birthday, but by then people who met her were always certain that it was simply an accent. The question she was asked the most by people she met was “Where are you from?” It amused to answer truthfully, “Oh, I grew up around here.” People often told her “You should tell people that you’re from some exotic place, like Europe or Australia! That’s what you sound like.” But she preferred to simply tell people the truth of what had happened to her. She still had the language disorder, but it did not trouble her as much as it had used to.

She was not sure where she wanted to go in life, but then a few things happened that made her future clear to her. One was the elation and joy of performing. This was nothing new to her, but it confirmed for her that she simply must stay in music for her entire life. The second thing was that she met a music thanatologist – she was amazed by the thought of helping people heal through music. True, she herself had experienced the healing effects of music, but she had not given any real thought to it before. The third thing was that she dwelled on the fact that she felt called to healing, but that she felt no inclination to become a nurse or doctor. It suddenly became plain to her that she wished to help other people through music, as she had been helped. And so she dedicated herself to helping others through music, went to a university from which she earned a degree as a music therapist, and went on to help people whenever and however she could through music.


Can you guess who the girl is? If you guessed me, you're correct.

But as I was just telling my mom several minutes ago, part of me was sad that I would no longer be studying English in school when I chose to be a music therapy major. However, I am COMPLETELY HAPPY to be switching back to being an English major!!!

I'm not giving up my music, and I'm not giving up on my wish to help people. I'll just pursue those activities elsewhere. :)


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yay for English!

Sarita Rucker said...


Anonymous said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

Sarita Rucker said...

Then why are you frowning at me?

Madam Lost said...

Angel - I don't think it's a frown -- at least that's not the way it looks to me. I think it's a cultural difference.