Saturday, January 29, 2011

More or Less

I spent exactly a year and a half working five days a week as a speech therapist.   It was a poor fit. I would come home exhausted and still have to practice my instrument.  I would have to use "sick" time to gig, or else fly back from wherever-it-was and drive directly from the airport to work.   To top it off, I actually made less money than I currently do working three days a week, such being the lot of the young urban public school employee.

I weaseled my way down to the Elysian fields of part-time as soon as I got my certification and haven't looked back.  Part-time is rockin.' I have the space to grow and actually enjoy my music career, and I don't feel like throttling small children and/or stabbing myself repeatedly in the ear at the end of every week.  I like my life better, which has the slightly perverse effect of making me me a better therapist.

I've been reflecting on this because I've been thinking about dosage.  Morphine in small doses brings relief from pain; a large dose can kill you.  One glass of wine protects your heart; three glasses poison it. A mystery novel is exciting; a murder is terrifying.  Stroll vs. schlep.   Treat vs. binge.  One evening with the person you love vs. welding yourselves to the couch and watching 8 hours a day of reality TV programming.

A little is good; a lot is not.  Only, in America, we seldom admit it.  More ice cream.  More headroom.  More therapy.  More!

I wonder if it's because more is easy.  "More" is one of the first words I teach the very small and the very delayed.  There's a sign to go with it, the gathered fingertips of each hand reaching out to kiss one another.  And "more" is functional: kids are so easily motivated to ask for more.  More bubbles!  More crackers!  Moremoremoremoremore!

If there's a sign for less, I don't know it. 

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