I enjoyed the Speaking Conference Call last Thursday

Dear Kim,

I enjoyed the Speaking Conference  Call last Thursday because I was able to meet you and the rest of the IENs students. It was very informative. And I find it challenging too, because you encourage everyone to talk and to give our opinions. I am a shy type and I find speaking is a difficult task when in a group like that. And usually what happen is that I am running out of the right words. But then, I find it interesting as we go along, and hearing the comments of the participants is benificial for English grammar learners like me.
Thank you very much for having this conference and I hope I can participate again next time till I pass a CELBAN exam.
Thank you Maria,I appreciate both that you attended and that you are shy. It is probably hard to believe but I used to be very shy too. I never talked to any one. Over time this changed but when I started learning American Sign Language, it all came back. I was too shy to speak in sign language. Actually I was afraid of making mistakes. But then I started teaching CELBANPrep. I met so many courageous people who were willing to make mistakes in public. I watched them, and listened to them. And I marveled. If they could do it, so could I.

I started slowly, learning how to interpret songs. I was so nervous my hands would shake. (How does a person sign with shaking hands?) It took over two years for me to get over my fear and nervousness. But now, I can interpret music in a way that makes me feel very happy. I still can’t really communicate well with someone who is deaf… it is hard for me to understand when they sign, but I am doing much better.

If you speak to anyone who has taken CELBANPrep, you will hear them tell you that my motto is practice, practice, practice. (You can even read this in comment people write.) It is my motto because it is something I truly believe in, because it is practice that has allowed me to grow and achieve so much.

The thing is to risk, to face fear, a person needs a safe place. I hope that you discover that I have created a safe place in CELBANPrep, and that the people that have come to CELBANPrep continue to build a space that is safe and secure… a place where you can fall and land softly because those that witness you falling are there to support you having come to understand the value of identifying weaknesses so that they can be turned to strengths because they too have undergone this process.

Life is about taking risks. Overcoming shyness is about taking risks. Measured risks means taking risks in safe environments. You have taken a measured risk in sharing this with me, Maria… in writing this message. I hope that you feel safe in doing so. I hope you feel proud in doing so. I hope you feel a greater sense of security in doing so. And I hope that you continue to do so. Because I know that one day in the future you will meet someone who is shy and you will say to them, “I used to be shy too, but over time this changed…”

Have a beautiful day, Maria!

Other messages about Speaking Conference Call posted on Facebook, April 19th.

One response to “I enjoyed the Speaking Conference Call last Thursday

  1. Dear Kim
    I want to appreciate you for the great conference call which you hold. It was amazing. It was my first time attending conference call, and I learned what is going on during speaking exam. I also have found my weaknesses in speaking part. In total, I have got a vivid image of the celban speaking session.

    Best Regards

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