Communication: The Importance Of Communication In The Classroom

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As I sat in my second-grade classroom, I felt the pebbled plastic of my chair leave imprints in the palms of my hands. I watched from my desk as my teacher, Mrs. Houselog, wrote out a math problem on the overhead projector. She had just made a mistake in the problem, and my something nagged in my head to say something, but I was only able to watch. I couldn’t force myself to raise my hand and speak, instead brewing in my frustration. When I was around four, I had a stutter. I was late to talk, and I repeated phrases as I stumbled over my words, my mouth working like a runaway train with severed brakes. As a result, I no longer had any desire to talk, and my older sister Lauren became my voice. She spoke when I needed to, explaining when my…show more content…
I was more confident with a smaller group of peers, but was determined to be able to speak confidently in front of a class. Now, this wasn’t like a switch flipping. I felt enormous anxiety when speaking up in class, and I would run over what I planned to say repeatedly, searching for fallacies in my argument, but it eased the worry that clouded my ability to speak.
I did learn the importance of communication that day, and a reliance on communication has stuck with me. It was through this that I learned the power of being quiet. When people don’t speak as often, the moments in which they choose to use their voice have power. I often find that when I choose to speak in class, I feel respected. Thinking carefully about what I express earns the acknowledgment of peers and it makes me feel in control of my own voice.
By the time I got to college my confidence grew and I knew I wanted to pursue medicine. In addition to my studies, my work in the healthcare field has exposed me to a variety of scenarios. I have worked as a standardized patient at the Medical Education Research Facility helping medical students practice their clinical skills and learn how to empathize with patients by listening to their stories. Much of this stems on skills of communication with the patients, but it also includes setting an agenda for the visit, listening actively to the patient’s own narrative, using empathy to understand the patient’s emotions, and agreeing
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My research project with the Iowa Violent Death Prevention Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exposed me to the causes of violent death in Iowa and I produced a report for the state detailing suicide data and advocating prevention methods. I served as a Student Leader Board Member at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where I managed hundreds of volunteers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, tracking their hours and working on projects to benefit the patient and family experience. I was recently chosen to be the Chairperson of the Student Leader Board and will manage over 700 college student volunteers over the coming year. However, I started out as a typical volunteer in the hospital, mostly in the pediatric inpatient units. There, I met a vibrant young patient who taught me a great deal about the power of listening. I asked her if she wanted company and she asked me if I could help her with a favor. She was newly freed from a feeding tube and wanted to make a list of foods to eat. She started with her mom’s creamy chicken parmesan and worked her way through her favorite restaurants. We stopped after a while and I rubbed her feet because she was in pain, but her story and optimism allowed me the chance to try and understand her situation. She was going
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