by Mitch Cepler

“It is not a sin to attempt and fail. It is a sin not to make an attempt at all,” is a quote that all people who stutter should know. Whenever called upon in school to speak, I think of this quote.

I have gone through the teasing and the embarrassment of speaking in school. However, since the FRIENDS Conference at Hofstra University, I have been eager to speak in school. I have become proud of myself and more comfortable about speaking in class.

When I began giving oral presentations in school in sixth grade, I was extremely scared and nervous. In ninth grade, I took a public speaking class, in which I would have to give a speech every other week. After giving the first few speeches, I lost all of my nervousness. The key to not being nervous is being comfortable. I would practice at home for at least three days prior to giving a speech. This method really helped out.

I am now in eleventh grade and I have been teased since nursery school. When I was younger, I would retaliate to the teasing. However, now I try to ignore the teasing. I actually feel better when I, ignore it rather than retaliating because I don’t let it bother me.

Yes, the teasing bothers me, but I view it differently. I view it as an annoying person trying to feel good about himself, and I know if I ignore the person he will eventually stop. If someone does not quit teasing you, make sure you tell a teacher or your parent. From personal experiences, I was reluctant to tell a teacher about a problem child; however, I am glad that I did.

The key to succeeding in life is to realize that you are not at a disadvantage because you stutter. If you get thrown a curveball, don’t just watch it go by you, but hit it out of the ballpark

If you stutter, don’t let it drag you down, find something positive about it and take advantage of it. I have.

This article is from Reaching Out, December, 1998

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