Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some People Don’t Know

Some people don't know
how important it is that they exist.

Some people don't know
how good it is just to see them.

Some people don't know
how comforting their smile is.

Some people don't know
how good it feels to be near them.

Some people don't know
how much poorer we would be without them.

Some people don't know
that they are like Heaven's gift to us.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The imperfect teacher

I think there is fear instilled upon students not to make mistakes.  I think there is an expectation for students to conduct as themselves as they perceive their instructors expect them to - a perfect specimen.  Yet, I firmly believe if we are truthful about it, then we must embrace the fact that we each and every one of us is flawed.  That as consummate a profession as we may want to project ourselves, the truth is we are imperfect beings constantly and consistently aiming for perfection. That we are all in the process of fine tuning ourselves and the art and science that we practice.

The goal, then, is not to have students avoid mistakes, to tread with trepidation, but instead to show them that here at the big leagues, we are capable of screw ups, but more importantly we are capable of overcoming it and turn it into art.  A teacher, then, is not someone who was perfect, but someone who is smart enough to learn from the mistakes of others, and to own up readily those they make themselves.    

We are like bullets aiming for the bull's eye, unless we are inches away, the reality is we will always travel a deviated course dictated by laws of nature, accounting for gravity, temperature, and wind.  The goal is not to shoot straight, but instead to learn to adjust accordingly until the aim is true consistently, no matter the changes in circumstances.

That takes a lot of trial and error, that takes courage from knowing that it is likely we will miss, and hope eternal that we have a chance of hitting spot on.  Confidence, therefore, does not stem from a controlled environment, or rigid adherence to standards of perfection.  Confidence stems from knowing one has a reasonable expectation of screwing up royally but still overcome it in the long run.  Confidence then becomes an innate factor and not an extraneous variable.

Fear creates unnecessary tremors. Unrealistic expectations begets undue stress.  An educator's objective should therefore create an environment where it is alright to mess up.  After all, when and where else can a student afford to blunder if not under the auspices of a teacher?  Energy is wasted on fear.  We dare not approach if we create an ideal image of perfection.  After all, isn't that the same with dating.  We don't ask someone out because they are perfect, but because there is a chance beneath all that "perfection" is an equally flawed being who will accept us and grow with us.

On a side note... don't date your students or teachers, it complicate things.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Keep reaching for the stars

There will always be voices of dissent, criticism, and small mindedness. They often seem louder, and pertinent. This is in part due to the ennobling factor in good people to focus on what is wrong and potentially make it better. Sometimes, good people take it a step too far; they gave too much credence to such criticism, so much so that it cripples them. Yet if you listen closely, the boos and jeers may be loud, but the quiet support and approval of many will overtime overcome. Therefore stay the course, weather the storm, and make compassion your guide. Realize that what you do matters if someone at least has taken the time to criticise. Figure out the parts that are valid, that is true, that gave the critics grounds to criticize. Improve on it, discard the needless emotional content and move on. No need to be drawn in by their misery, no need to be pull down to their level. The beauty of flight is there is always gravity to overcome, still we soar, still we reach for the stars.

The flower grows, not only because the sun draws its adulation, but because it too rakes sustenance from crap heaped upon it. A car moves because of friction allowing the tires to gain traction. So will progress occur, not in a vacuum unchallenged, but through the refinement of constant bombardment, like pebbles carved smooth by running water, pearls from irritation, silver polished by fire.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I want to be the reason you have children

I want to be the reason you have kids.
I want to be the reason you think it is great to bring a life to this world.
I want you to feel safe to have a daughter because you know there will be guys like me who will know to treat her right.
I want you to be comfortable to have a son because he will have a good role model to guide him straight
I want you to have children because they will always have someone avuncular who will look out for them.

I want to be the right kind of friend, the kind who inspires trust and faith.
Who throws the right kind of party where you met that special someone,
The friend who is never shy of innuendos and double entendres.
Who keeps pouring until your cup runs over and the two of you is forever drunk with love.

I want to be the glue- the kind you can count on when your handle on things is broken, 
And life becomes unhinged. 
I want to remind you of what is important - your family, and your loved ones, 
Oh, and most importantly to have fun.  

I want to be the reason you can trust the world will be a good place for you children.
Because you know they will have a friend- just like me, 
And they will become themselves great friends.
I want all of us to be the reason every one of us wants to have children.   

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Screening at the NICU

I walked into the quiet room.  Quiet, save for the constant drone of machines running to sustain a miracle.  Quiet, save for the occasional chirp of monitors tracking the vitals of a budding life.  Quiet.  

Beyond the thresholds, outside this room, the hospital is a bustling place, charged with latent energy of people going about working wonders, fighting the odds.  Yet, here, in this room, amidst all the chaos, the crisscrosses of electrodes and tubes, lay a newborn asleep in his bassinet, unaware, unconcerned.  Here he lies, in the deep boneless, relaxed sleep reserved solely for the uninitiated, the pure and innocent. 

His mother stood above him, looking very much the survivor of the storm that has passed, wearied but relieved.  His nurse sat nearby, a silent, vigilant sentinel.  Guardian angels, the two of them, if ever there were such things, for few can exude the same tranquility and serenity.  Few altars, temples, or dedicated places of worship have heard more prayers and bear witness to miracles than what has occurred here, in this tiny acreage.  The room feels sacred; sanctified by love, hope, belief, and determination to do what is within one's power.      

It is into this tranquil corner I intrude my presence. My goal to establish that this infant can hear more than just the silence.  But before I do, I take in the moment.  

Ironic that in order to see if one can hear silence, we must first make some noise and see if we can elicit a reaction.  Similarly, presence of faith can only be determined in the presence of trials and tribulations; joy and love in harsh times.   

Post-post script:
Baby passed bilaterally

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thoughts on prayer

  • God hears and He listens. How can He not when we claim Him to be the omnipotent and omnipresent being that He is.

    And He answers, often in the most unconventional ways.

    When you pray, pray not upon your worries, your woes, or your insecurities.

    He knows all of that

    Instead, pray with thansgiving for the small things in life.

    Pray for the ability to be open to experience

    Pray for His strength, and for your ability to surrender yourself to Him.

    Pray for the ability to breath, to take a step back, and to acknowledge His works in the midst of all that you do, seek, and speak. Pray that you will bid Him enter.

    Make your prayers be a moment to find safe haven; to acknowledge that yes life is crappy, but here you are, and here He abides.
    Pray, and recognized that He has given you the necessities to survive and forebear.

    Pray that you will be ever ready to welcome every moment that G-d may speak, for He does, in little acts and stolen moments, in the random hello of a friend to the smile of a stranger.  
    Sometimes, you will have to initiate and invite His presence to you by extending it to others through your smile, your kind words, and your compassionate acts. Pray that you are able.

    Give thanks, for you are pursuing something noble each and every moment. Give thanks for while you struggle, others would wish to be in your shoes.

    Rejoice in the mysteries, be glad for you have options as obscure they may be to you.

    Pray that your imagination will be great and extends beyond the here and now.
    Just pray, never stop, and always remember others pray for you. And when all has been said and done, give thanks for this sacred moment.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Will you speak up?!

"Because I have the right to be heard!  I have a voice!" ~ King George VI, The King's Speech

As audiologists, we pride ourselves on being excellent listeners.  We espouse good communication skills, we advocate on our patients' behalf. Now it is our turn to have our voice be heard.  Our president, Dr. Bettie Borton would like to hear from you, will you give voice to your concerns?  Remember, our bylaws (Section 5.2.1) guarantees our right to address the Board of Directors and be heard, but ultimately it is our obligation to first give voice.  So I invite you to read this letter, and be heard

Thank you.


Andy Lau, Au.D.,FAAA