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subfield code a U46-000022 USFLDC DOI0 245 Mark A. Algeo oral history interviewh [electronic resource] /c interviewed by Stephanie de Silva.500 Full cataloging of this resource is underway and will replace this temporary record when complete.1 600 Algeo, Mark A.7 655 Oral history.localOnline audio.local700 Silva, Stephanie de710 University of South Florida.b Library.Digital Scholarship Services Digital Collections.Oral History Program.773 t USF Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders 50th Anniversary Oral History Project4 856 u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?u46.2
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 transcript
text Stephanie de Silva (SS): All right, so.
Mark A. Algeo (MA): You want me to tell you history first, or do you want to ask your questions first?
SS: Let me get through this, and then well go through history if thats okay.
MA: Oh, theres some interesting things in this place.
SS: Yeah? Im excited. Okay, well, let me ask first. What years were you a part of CSD?
MA: Seventy-one to 74.
SS: Okay. Seventy-one to 74. And what was your role? So you were a student?
MA: Yes. Yeah.
SS: And your major was?
MA: Speech pathology. There it is.
SS: Look at that. Oh, that is so cool! Thats really cool for me to see because Ive just gotten mine.
MA: Do you see? It just says, Speech pathology. It doesnt say
SS: Oh, thats cool. Can I take a picture of that? For privacy, I can block your name, but Ill do it afterwards. That is really neat.
MA: Sure. I thought youd to see that.
SS: That is cool. Thank you. So it just says Speech pathology.
SS: And so, you did your bachelors or your masters? Or just your masters here?
MA: At that time, it was a strictly masters program.
MA: You came inI transferred from community college. It was called Manatee Community College at the time, so I had an AA degree from there. And you came in, and you took five entry-level courses. Im sure they still have the same five courses.
MA: Intro to speech, intro to audiology, statistics. I forget the other two, but there were five courses you had to take. And when you took those, you had to take the Graduate Record Exam. And you had to get 1,000 on that.
SS: A thousand. The scoring has changed and everything on the GRE.
MA: What is it now?
SS: Now I think its likeits three different sections. Its the English, the writing, math. And I think itsI dont even remember. It feels like so long ago. Its, like, out of 300 each or something. I dont know. Its different. Theyve changed the scoring.
MA: Yeah. So it was a total score of 1,000. And if you passed the courses, and if you got that, then you got accepted into the program, and you got to stay.
SS: Okay. Well, its still a similar process now.
MA: Yeah. But there was no bachelors. I did get a bachelors because I had enough hours from the College of Behavioral Science. But it isnt like I went through any ceremony or even applied for it. They just said, You have enough hours. It said it on my transcripts. You know, Bachelors awarded from collegeat the time, we were part of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. I dont know if you still are.
SS: We still are, yes.
MA: Oh, okay.
SS: Behavioral and community sciences, yeah.
MA: So thatsthen I got my masters.
SS: And so, did you get a certificate for your bachelors, or they just told you?
MA: No, they just told me. I couldve gotten one if I applied, I guess. But I was only interested in the
SS: In the masters, yeah. In the long run. Okay, very cool.
MA: Yeah. And in order to be a speech path (sic), you had to take qualifying exams, which were in the 10 fields. You had to pass 10 questions from 10 fields at the end. And you had to do a masters thesis.
SS: Okay. So the masters thesis was required. You had to do it.
SS: Okay. Because its optional now.
MA: Both were required. You had to pass the quals (sic), and you had to do a masters thesis.
SS: Can you tell me about those tests that you had to pass?
MA: It was like one question from the 10 areas you had.
MA: That was afterwards. Did you get your Cs?
SS: Yeah, the Praxis.
MA: Okay. I didnt take that. You had to do an hourI mean, a year, in a CFY. Then you could apply for the Praxis.
SS: Right. Okay. Thats interesting.
MA: Yeah, this is a lot better.
SS: How it is now?
MA: Yeah. I really didnt see the need for the quals and I didnt see the need for doing the project, the thesis. I mean, yeah, I did a lot of research, and, yeah, I read a lot of stuff, but Im not sure it really helped me at all.
SS: Maybe only if you wanted to do a PhD, then that might be good practice.
MA: Yeah, well, the problem with the quals at the time is I worked in the summer, so when I took the quals, I was with students who were, like, a year after me because they went straight through. And the only question I failed was on instrumentation because I had a terrible professor of instrumentation. He didnt know instrumentation. He broke everything he touched.
SS: (laughing) Oh, no.
MA: And the next guy actually had a curriculum. And his thing was, if you were establishing a program, this is the stuff you would need, which was his question. And my guy never touched on that at all. I had no idea what he was talking about. Thats not what I was taught in my instrumentation. We just went through a lot of machinery that he couldnt use. Trying to figure out these
SS: You probably knew the names, but (both laugh). Okay, thats interesting. So why did you choose USF CSD? Why did you choose to study that at USF?
MA: I came from a family that was not college-educated. Most of my brothers and sisters were basically high school, go to work at a factory. And Im from a family of eight kids.
SS: Wow. And where are you along the eight?
SS: Youre the seventh, okay.
MA: Yeah. And so, I didnt know anything about (inaudible) at all. I had no background to help me, nothing, no one. And my high schoolI went to Riverview High School, Sarasota. And the guy who was guidance counselor at the time only had a group of kids. I never saw the guidance counselor in my years there. So I was really on my own. And the other thingthis is a long story. Theres a reason why its a long story. The other thing waving its ugly head was the Vietnam War.
SS: Of course.
MA: Because I graduated high school in 69. So I was able to get a college deferment for two years, 70 and 71. But then we did the lottery. I dont know if you remember the dear(??) lottery.
SS: I dont.
MA: Do you know what that was? They put everybodys name into a hat. And they pulled it out. And if you were number one, that means you were the first group to go. And I was 121, not a great number. Because this is, you know, 71. Things were cranked up pretty good over there. So I was graduating Manatee Community College. And then you think, Why even bother to apply? Im going to go to Vietnam and, basically, get shot. You know, thats how its going to work. But then, the last minute, I decided to apply. Well, I might as well apply somewhere close to home. I lived in Sarasota, close to home.
SS: Okay. Wow.
MA: You got that recorded, right?
SS: Yes, this is exactly why I record because theres no way. This is just if, God forbid, something happened to the recording, I at least have
MA: You can always call me again, Steph.
SS: Thank you. I appreciate that. Just in case, I didnt want to forget everything. (mumbling) Sarasota. Okay. And what did the facilities at and surrounding the area look like? I know you mentioned the apartments off campus.
MA: Heres is another long story, but it pertains. I dont remember the name of the guy who was in charge of the program, and Ill tell you in a minute why I cant remember his name. But the story I hear is he went into the head of USF, and he wanted to grow the department because it was pretty small here, at the time. And he was told, In order to get more professors, you need more staff. You need more kids. So what he didthey usually took 30, he took 99 kids when I came. And then, over the summer, he was out working on his pool in his cabana, and water came in, and he managed to electrocute himself and die.
SS: Yes. Ive heard of that.
MA: So Stewart Kinde came in, and he becamehe was like, in audiology. He became the guy in charge, so he was learning all that stuff. Along comes 90 kids when theyre accepting 30. It was a bit chaotic. And, on top of that, we werent on campus. We were housed across the street from Fletcher. Now, I had my bearings(??) bit. Do you know where the dorms are?
SS: Well, which ones?
SS: Iota dorms?
MA: I dont know if its still here.
SS: I dont think so.
MA: Okay. It was a two-story, and when you came down Fletcher, there used to be like Lantana, there were some apartment buildings there that were very tall. And it was just beyond them on the left. It was a very, very ugly two-story apartment building. The old kind with two stories and the rail fence in front of it, and the twisty, wrought iron kind of fence.
SS: Can I ask you, was this Mildew Manor, was it called that?
MA: Yes, this is Mildew Manor.
SS: Okay, Ive heard of Mildew Manor. So thats the same place, okay.
MA: So basically, our program, our thing was in like five or six rooms down below. The first room was, like, the equipment area. The second room, I think, was audiology. It had the boost in there. But keep in mind, this was, like, an apartment, small apartment, one-bedroom apartment. And then they had a classroom, and then they had where the secretaries were, and some of the professors offices, and another one for that. There was one classroom; no way you wouldve fit more than 15, 18 kids in that thing.
SS: And you had 90-something.
MA: Yeah, so they were scrambling to find places all over campus. So we met in various classrooms all over campus. So that was how it got started. But the facilities were terrible.
MA: Therapy was, they took a room maybe twice this size, and they partitioned it with two panels of plywood paneling going this way and this way and broke it into four.
SS: And that was four different therapy rooms? Wow. (laughs)
MA: Yes. And if your professor wanted to observe you, there was, like, a slit on the door, and he had to go like this and basically look at you.
SS: Thats so funny.
MA: Im not sure I was ever observed when I did therapy in the entire time I did therapy.
SS: Because you wouldnt really know because theyre just looking through.
MA: And I never saw any comments on ourwe had to post our lesson plans out on the door.
SS: We email them.
MA: Oh, email them. Yeah.
SS: Or we do print them out and hand them to the supervisor, who then hands them to the front desk then files them. Its a whole process. Youll see. Ill take you down (inaudible) and you can kind of see what I mean. Wow. Okay. Thats interesting. So the facilities and then it was split into four, and
MA: Yeah. It was, like, you know, when the love bugs would come and mate? They would still be on the ledge top in September when the next batch were coming in.
SS: (laughing) Oh, gosh.
MA: It wasnt cleaned very well.
SS: Oh, no.
MA: It was filthy.
SS: And did you have a lot of clients coming in at that time?
MA: Oh, heck yeah. Yeah.
SS: For what, mostly? What cases did you see?
MA: Back then, the big thing was artic (sic) and some language. But language wasnt even big then. My language courses were not that good. And no swallowing.
SS: Yeah, I know those came into the field a lot later.
MA: Yeah. And, yeah
SS: What about stuttering?
MA: They always glabbed and globbed(??) onto a stuttering case because they were harder to find.
SS: Thats very cool. Okay, and what was the atmosphere like, with the students and with the faculty and?
MA: It was, I think, a bit ofwe felt, like us versus them. So we were all together, us, because we werent on campus. And sometimes we had to scramble to find a building, and sometimes theyd give you a hard time when you wanted to do that. So we were pretty unified as a group. We knew each other well. And by the time things really got going, a lot of students got called out.
SS: Yeah. And so, when you say, Us versus them, you mean CSD versus the university in a way?
MA: Yeah, yeah. And it wasnt called CSD. It was called speech pathology and audiology. And it wasnt speech-language pathology. It was speech pathology.
SS: Yeah, well, thats how I learned that the language came in a lot later into the field because it was just speech pathology. Yeah, okay. And the faculty and the students were unified, or just the students?
MA: Yeah, and they were pretty informal, you know. The gap between student and professor wasnt as well-defined as I think it is now. I knew Arthur Guilford when he was here. I got a specialist degree. And I crossed two divisions, speech path and education, and he was part of the team I chose.
SS: Oh, interesting. Okay. And who were the major community partners at the time?
MA: What do you mean by major community partners?
SS: As in, now we have connections with, like, Tampa General Hospital and
MA: Oh, no. I dont think we had any.
SS: None? Okay. And then
MA: With school systems, yeah. We workedsome people interned in the school systems. And that was an interesting quirk, too. Ill tell you about that when you ask.
SS: Okay. Well, Id like to knowso where did you do your externships and your clinic hours and everything?
MA: I didnt do any externships or clinic hours.
SS: Okay. So did you just do what you did, like, with the four split rooms, and then the supervisor looks into those?
MA: Heres the deal. I wasnt going to work where I ended up. I was working on my masters, and I was working on stuttering. And my major professor was Tony Zenner. Have you heard that name?
SS: No, I have not.
MA: Hes about half crazy. He was an interesting guy.
SS: (laughs) I actuallyI want to write his name down, Tony.
MA: Anthony Zenner, Z-e-n-n-e-r. He was my major professor, and I was really contemplating going on for my PhD in speech path. In fact, I had talked to a guy; I think it was Harold Looper(??), but Im not really sure, who came down for an eventFlorida council of stutterers. I dont know if they still even exist.
SS: Yeah, well, National Stuttering Association.
MA: Oh, thats what theyre called now?
SS: Um-hm. I think its the same thing
MA: So he was coming down to come to that thing. And so, we had talked, and I was thinking that I went up to Knoxville(??).
SS: To work there?
MA: Yeah, to get PhD.
SS: To get your PhD. Okay.
MA: But I had to work for a year.
SS: Your work year first? The CFY now?
MA: Yeah. So Im taking you off-course, but I think its interesting and you might like it. Youve got to know this lady. Her name was Lila Klock, and thats a picture of her when she came to USF.
SS: Thats very cool.
MA: She was 50 years old whenyou want to hear her life story?
MA: Okay. Lila Clock
SS: Can I write her name? Whats her name?
MA: Yeah, L-i-l-a K-l-o-c-k.
MA: Lila Klock was a war bride, and she was a bit older than her husband, World War II. And of the eight years they were married, they were together four because he was in service. So to give you an idea of her age, by the time she started college, she was 50. And she graduated with her masters at 53, and she drove me along for the ride. So Lilas husband was in the Air Force. After the war, he got signed up to fly these new things called jets. So he was out in New Mexico training, and the guy behind who was the navigator got confused, and there was fog, and they ran into the side of a mountain, and they were killed. So she has a four year-old son with a cleft palate. Complete cleft with lip and palate. And she had gone forward(??) with the surgery, had gone to Houston to the best guy, had surgery for her son, so she was raising a son by herself. And she put everything into her son. When he finally went to college, she felt like she could go back. So she went to Valencia and did, like, two years in Valley U. Because she, you know, heavy hours; she was a mature woman. And then she came here in 71 with me, and we became buddies.
SS: So you took classes together and everything.
MA: Oh, yeah. Every class together until she graduated, the year before I did.
MA: Yeah, yeah. Because she went in the summers, and I didnt. But, at the time, it was part-time student [and] full-time. After you crossed 12 hours, it was full time. And there was one fee, so you could take as many hours as you liked. So we used to take 21 and 24 hours.
SS: Thats a lot. Thats a heavy course load.
MA: And I only got three Bs while I was there.
SS: Thats impressive.
MA: Thanks to her.
MA: My anatomy course, for example, she got a Halloween skeleton. And she used to say a muscle, and I would take a piece of yarn and hook on the origin insertion(??) and everything.
SS: Thats fantastic. I think we still do things like that.
MA: I nailed it.
SS: Thats great. Now I look at videoswell, when I was an undergrad, I would look at all the videos on the Internet, like, trying to find all the different angles.
MA: I think that was better because you really had to manipulate it. You know, you really had to get your hands on it.
SS: I agree. I agree. I actually know an undergraduate student who bought a brain and is going through all the parts of the brain and stuff. Not a real brain, obviously.
MA: My friend Lila got a job in Crystal River, Florida. You know where that is?
SS: I dont. Im not familiar.
MA: Where are you from? I love your accent.
SS: Thank you. Im from Trinidad and Tobago.
MA: Oh, okay. So anyway, its North of here. Its on [Florida State Road] 19. So if you were in, like, St. Pete, its about 90 miles North. Its known for manatees. If you every want to see manatees, go to Crystal River, especially in the winter.
MA: Because they come in there because the water is warm. And theres a manatee center and all kinds of stuff. You ought to go before you leave Florida.
SS: I tried to go last year around this time, and I didnt see a single one.
MA: Whered you go?
SS: I went to Weeki Wachee Springs.
MA: Youre close. Keep going a little bit more, and youd come to Crystal River. And youd have seen them. Theyre lousy with them.
SS: They told me thatwell, the people that were working there said, We just had a flood of them come through yesterday! So I had just missed them by a day. I was like, No.
MA: Well, they stay in Crystal River. They stay there all winter. So she got a job in the Key Center, which is, like, the third largest adult residential developmental delay placement place in the United States. Its a very large center, and its well-received in Citrus County, which is the county for Crystal River. So when I graduated, I was going to do my CFY with her because she just got hers done and she had her Cs. And so, oh, what the heck. I worked. I applied for a job in the Citrus County school system. And Citrus County was a very small county. At the time, there was like 6,700 kids in the entire school system, so small. Its a rural county, especially then. So I went up for a job interview, and the director of special ed (sic), coordinator of special ed, interviewed me. And we talked about hunting, and we talked about fishing. He never asked me one question about speech path because he didnt know anything about it.
MA: And he said, You look like a good ol boy. If you shave off that damn beard, Ill give you a job.
SS: (laughs) Did you have the beard since then?
MA: Yeah. But it was more of a goatee then. So I shaved off the damn beard because this was a verythis is 74. This is a very conservative, Baptist county. Like, when I applied for a job, I had the talk of the thing you do not do as a teacher in this county, very Christian and conservative county. Like, if you want to buy booze, you go out of county. You do not buy that. A teacher does not do that.
MA: And you dont engage in activities with other young ladies who are not your wife. People would know. They would talk.
SS: Well, small county life.
MA: Very small, um-hm. So I got the job there, and while I was there, I happened to meet this cute little kindergarten teacher. And we had our first date November 13th, and we got engaged December 13th.
SS: Oh, thats so nice.
MA: And weve been together ever since.
SS: Oh, thats lovely. How long has it been now?
MA: (counting) Forty-one, almost 42 years.
SS: Thats like the perfect little love story. Congratulations.
MA: I knew almost right away.
SS: Wow. Special.
MA: So I didnt go up to Tennessee. I stayed in Citrus County.
SS: Your life went straight down that track.
MA: Yeah, I never regretted it.
SS: Thats fantastic, aw. Thats lovely. And that was your first
MA: Yeah, I did my CFY with Lila. I had to wash her car a couple of times.
SS: Okay. Thats very cool.
MA: Yeah. And at the timeoh, heres an interesting thing. I was trying to find this brochure we had, and I thought I still had it. it was called Citrus County meets their needs on wheels.
MA: And the reason for that, the county at the time was divided into two areas. There was the East side, which is Floral City and Inverness and Hernando. And the West side, which was Crystal River and Homosassa. And they were like 17 miles apart. The center of the county was not developed at all. It is now, but it was not at the time. It was, like, you passed through it to get to the other side. It was all farmland and cattle and crops. So, even thoughwell, I lived in Lecanto in a trailer park, and it just opened. There were four trailers, counting mine, in the whole park. It was huge, one of these huge parks. And so, I had a job in Crystal River in Homosassa. And, in order to get a job as a speech pathologist, two things had to happen. Number one, you had to be licensed as a teacher. And I think I includedI was going to include that in here. I thought I did. Maybe I didnt. Yes! That.
SS: (reading) Department of Education, speech correction. Oh, wow.
MA: So thats what it was. The licensure didnt apply back then. In order to work in the school system, you had to be a certified teacher. So I had to get certified as a speech correctionist. Well, there was a lady who was in charge of the clinic, Jean G-l-o-v-e-r, Glover. And she kept saying, You need to take education courses. I said, Oh, Im not going to work in the schools. So I didnt. So my first year, this lady at the county office kept sending me all this paperwork. I didnt know what it was, and I kept ignoring it. Finally, she called me in the office(inaudible) I wasnt supposed to ignore it.
SS: You were supposed to be filling this out the whole time!
MA: I was supposed to be taking these three courses I had to have by the end of the year in order to get a temporary. So I had to take three education courses. I had never taken one course. I had just had oral surgery, taking out my wisdom teeth. Had them drive me down to take a final in an education course.
SS: With your wisdom teeth out?
MA: Oh, yeah. They were just all packed up.
SS: (laughs) Were you not delirious? Well, Im guessing you passed.
MA: I did, yeah.
SS: So its fine.
MA: And that was one requirement. The other thing was you had to have a chauffeurs license.
SS: Okay. Wait, why?
SS: Of course.
MA: It was a small table. The area wasnt quite as big as this.
SS: No way. It was smaller than this?
MA: Yes. About this wide, but in terms of the working areabecause that was cabinetry back there. They had two of them. They had 63 and 96. I had 63. It wasnt as bright, but it was made by a cabinet maker, and 96 was made by the technical center, by students.
SS: Tell me, what is 63 and 96?
MA: That was the numbers on the van.
SS: Oh, okay.
MA: I had 63, and 96 was the other speech man. When they constructed 96, they thought it was a good idea to make a sound-proof booth in this little room.
MA: And they put a fluorescent light inside the soundproof booth. You dont do that because that makes a hum. Well, thats got to go.
SS: Yeah, its impractical.
MA: The booth had to go, number one. Number two, I said, You cant have the lighting in there because, when you turn had that on, it makes a hum. Itll ruin your hearing test. Oh.
SS: And did they fix it? They took the light out and everything?
MA: Yeah, yeah.
SS: But the other guy was using that van?
SS: Lady, okay.
MA: Yes, other lady. She would have the entire East side. I had the entire West side.
SS: So interesting. And would you plug into the same school every time, or would you have to go to different schools?
MA: I had five schools.
SS: Five schools that youd go to.
MA: Yeah. I had five schools and 110 kids.
SS: Wow. How did you do your filing? How did you keep your documentation?
MA: No one taught me. I had to develop on my own. And that was another interesting thing. The guy before us had the entire county, and he had workedI didnt thinkhe didnt have a masters. But he had worked somewhere and had enough courses to get certified. You know, you can get certified as a speech correctionist without having a degree as a speech pathologist.
SS: Oh, okay.
MA: That was possible back then.
SS: If you had a degree in education, you could get a certification?
MA: Yes. And if you took x number of courses, you were then certified as a speech correctionist, and you could get a job in a school system. Thats what this guy had done. But he had worked in a mental health facility, so hed come up with the bright idea that every speech problem was basically a manifestation of a mental health issue. So his approach to therapy was to counsel everyone. And he didnt keep any notes. And I had no idea who he saw.
MA: So here I was, fresh out of the university, up here, five schools, and no idea what the case load was.
SS: No background knowledge.
MA: Yeah, so I had to develop everything.
MA: It was an interesting year. And on top of that, all the teachers hated speech pathology because this guy was two shades shy of crazy.
SS: I think theres a littlebecause youre trying to tell them what they need to do to help their child, and it makes their life difficult sometimes.
MA: You dont do that. You dont tell them what they need to do.
SS: Yeah. Yeah. It gets difficult. Okay. Thank you. So Lila Klock.
MA: Lila Klock.
SS: This is great. So this is her in the lab
MA: About the third head on the back. No, this is her doing something on her own.
SS: (mumbling) Check that white coat.
MA: She always liked the white coat.
SS: Yeah, its, like, official.
MA: No. See, I was more of an educational speech path. She wanted to be more organic. And I probably shouldve, but that really wasnt a viable thing then. At that time, this was more a behavioral, operant conditioning kind of place. So they didnt really care about the cause; you wanted to change the behavior, which has some real weaknesses.
SS: Well, its just incredible. We learn a lot about how the field has developed over the years, how it began and how its developed. Its really interesting. To hear all of this now, first hand, is really very cool. Okay. Let me ask you, so who was the chair of the department at the time?
MA: Kinde, Stewart Kinde.
SS: Stewart Kinde. And that was because Dr. Webb(??) was electrocuted?
MA: I dont remember the guys name. I thought it was Beatle, but Im not sure of the guys name. Whoever it was, yeah. He got zapped in his cabana at his house fixing his pool.
SS: Right. I had heard that story, yes.
MA: Its true.
SS: Well, because I was doing an interview, and the fellow that I was interviewing said, And he died unexpectedly. And I was like, Oh.
MA: Who was the guy? I might know him.
SS: Dr. Langhans?
MA: No. I dont know that name. Langhans?
MA: Â Wasnt here I was there.
SS: No? Well, ohno, sorry, that was Mr. Ehren.
MA: Tom Ehren?
MA: Oh, I know Tom! Were old buds, yeah.
MA: E-r-h-e-n (sic)?
MA: Yeah, I know Tom. Hes a smart guy.
SS: Oh, it was great to interview him as well. He gave me a lot of very cool information.
MA: He (inaudible).
SS: Yeah? (both laugh) It was great. I learned a lot of really cool things about, of course, the same time.
MA: Yeah, Tom graduated just before I did.
SS: Did he do the summers as well?
MA: Tom did. But he was outhe graduated when I got in, I think. He was out in 71. We met later on because wed go to FLASHA. Thats how we met because we were both small county. At the time, he wasnt down-south Florida. He was, like, de Soto County or Hardee [County]; someplace really small in the center of the state.
SS: Right. So you didnt meet him from USF? You met him later on?
MA: (inaudible) because there arent that many guys at FLASHA, which is nice because you never have to share a bathroom.
SS: Yes. They have a long line, and then you just go straight in.
MA: Yeah, yeah. So thats how we meet, a convention because (inaudible). And we used to go to Weekend with the Experts. Do they still have that?
SS: Im not sure. Im not familiar. I havent been to a FLASHA yet.
MA: Do you know the name Rhonda Work?
SS: No, Im not familiar.
MA: Okay. Rhonda Workthe State of Florida has a special ed division. And the special ed has someone with each area, like dyslexia, speech, hearing, learning disability, emotionally disturbed, severely mostly disturbed. So somebody with that area, kind of your contact person. Rhonda Work was theshe was not the first woman I knew. There was one before her, Sarah something or other, Cornwall(??), Dr. Sarah Cornwall(??), she was pretty stiff. But Rhonda had been a working speech path, a school system speech path in south Florida. So she was a lot moreshe knewshe was down and dirty. Shed been doing the same thing weve been doing. Dr. Cornall(??) was always PhD, that university. Not Rhonda. She came from the field. And so, she put onsomething had been established, called Weekend with the Experts. The idea was, for a lot of people in the school system, you needed to be able to keep up with training and do all that kind of stuff. But it was hard. So they sponsored this thing that was in Orlando. It was kind of central. And four weekends a year, all day Saturday, all day Sunday, theyd fly in someone, and it was training.
SS: Okay. So like continuing education stuff?
MA: Yeah. And you could get that. And I went to that for years because, in Citrus CountyI dont know how well you know Florida. Citrus County is surrounded by Levy County, Hernando, and Sumter. And were on the Gulf. The reason Im telling you this is, on the other side of them would be a university, but there was no university in Citrus County. Well, that means some things. Number one, training is hard because youve got to go 60 miles any way, maybe 70 miles. Were 70 miles from Gainesville, 60 or 70 miles from here [University of South Florida], and a little bit more to UCF, which wasnt even around when we started.
SS: Its in your program.
MA: Yeah. That came in later. And it was not called UCF. It was called Florida Technological University. They changed the name a bit later, and they didnt have speech path. That developed
MA: Okay. So what that meant was, you couldnt get any training really easily.
SS: You were like right in the middle.
MA: The other thing on that, in Citrus County, is, like, with hearing impaired kids, you couldnt send your kids to the next county because they didnt have one. They sent theirs to the next county. So our hearing and deaf kids wouldve had to travel at least an hour and a half, maybe two hours each way on a bus. And our super intendent said no. He was an old country boy, and he said, We take care of our own kids. So we developed our own because we had to. So you really had to learn about every kind of disability because there was no one else to send them to; you were it. You know, Citrus County, there wasnt even any rehab centers in the county that dealt with kids. We were it. we developed a pre-school intervention program before it was even funded by the state because the super intendent said, you know, Weve got these kids that need help.
SS: We need to do something about this.
MA: Yeah. He didnt care if we got funded or not; youre going to help these kids. You didnt say no to the super intendent. So we did. So we had that before the state even did one because we were it.
SS: Yeah, and you knew these kids needed help.
MA: Yeah. So thats why I had to get a lot of training because I was fresh out of college, and I was faced with the real world.
SS: You got a lot very quickly that you had to deal with.
SS: And so, how long did you do that for, going to the training, like, four times every year?
MA: Oh, gosh. Over 10 years I did that. Way over.
SS: Thats very cool. Well, how has CSD changed since you were studying here?
SS: CSD, sorry, communication sciences and disorders? How has the field changed?
MA: Im impressed. Im impressed with what I see now. I think, what I see from you guys, youre a lot better prepared than I was. I think you carry yourself more professionally than we did. I think your training has left you more confident than, I think, we were. And I think your facilities are so much better that the quality of your therapies and the quality of your intervention is probably better than we had.
SS: Okay, right, yeah. It makes sense. Have you ever seen this building? Youve been in it because you said
MA: Again, yes
SS: With your grandson.
MA: Yeah, with my grandson.
SS: Okay. And you said he was here for his speech or hearing?
MA: Speech. He was developing some interesting disfluency. And they werent disfluency, they were true stuttering. Because he had secondary behaviors; he hand tension, and he had word avoidance.
SS: Oh, okay.
MA: And I saidand hes three. Three and he had this stuff. And I said, Katie, I really think you need to go there. If you work on it young, its so much easier. And he had a greatI forget the therapists name, but she was really phenomenal, did a great job with him.
SS: Oh, good.
MA: And I forget the guys name because he contacted Katie, who contacted me. The professor
SS: Dr. Maxfield.
MA: Yes. I liked him. I really enjoyed talking to him.
SS: I take classes with him now.
MA: Yeah. Hes a smart dude. She liked him.
SS: Yeah. Im absorbing everything.
MA: So he invited me in to watch a session, and I was very impressed with her. I was impressed with him, too.
SS: Thats great. And so, your grandson doesnt do intervention anymore? That was back then?
MA: Hes doing great. I havent seen any follow-up behaviors. That really, they dealt with it. He got comfortable. He did the interaction, and it was great.
SS: Oh, fantastic. Thats great. So more prepared, we have better training now.
MA: Yeah. And, of course, technology.
SS: Yeah becausewell, now, because of billing and stuff, the supervisors have to be in the room. But before, they were able to look on camera and just supervise a session.
MA: We didnt do any billing. It was free.
MA: Yeah. We called up the parents and scheduled the kids; they came on in.
SS: I want to note that. Yeah, this billing, because of USF Health, has been introduced recently. I want to say in the last two years or so. But before that
MA: Yeah, this was not the first building you guys had. You had a building before this. And I was at that one. Jane Scheuerle was one of my professors, S-c-h-e-u-e-r-l-e.
MA: E-u-e-r-l-e. That was one of the questions that was on her first test, Spell my name.
SS: Scheuerwait. Im sorry. I totally missed it.
MA: S-c-h-e-u-e-r-l-e. Jane Scheuerle.
MA: Do you remember I said they went from 30 to 90?
MA: So, right away, one of themwhat was that course? The anatomy course, aha! So they had a guy teaching it, John Siemens, who was, I think, over in Lakeland. He was, like, an adjunct professor. And his approach was pretty low-key. And so, the first day, he was in there, and there was this nice, middle-aged, sweet lady sitting there. They said they had to break the class up because it was too big. People were standing around, you know. And so, she looked so sweet, I decided to go with her. Good thing and big mistake all rolled up in one. She was a tough cookie. She worked you. Her final exam was, Describe everything involved with inhaling to getwith producing a sound, basically. And you had to talk about inhalation and all that, and exhalation. And you got a point for everything organic that you named.
SS: Everything mentioned, yeah.
MA: You had to have at least 100 items, yeah. I had like 140.
SS: And what about the other guy you didnt go with?
MA: Easy-peasy, yeah.
SS: Well, I bet you learned a lot.
MA: Yeah, oh yeah. We had to dowe had to make drawings. A hundredlike, I dont know how many drawings you had to make of different things. If you saw my handwriting, Im not coordinated.
SS: (laughs) You have doctors handwriting.
MA: Speech kind of falls into that. Yeah, oh yeah. So to sit there and draw, and it looked pretty good. To sit there and draw and label and all that stuff, that was tough for me. Many, many hours doing that.
SS: Just the art aspect of it, regardless of the actual anatomy.
MA: Yeah. Just the act of drawing. I never took, you knowwhen I was in grade school, I went to Catholic grade school. And, one year, they had a person comeit was sisters of charity whodidnt listen to their name. One of the nurses came from the head convent, and she was a handwriting expert. And shes talking to all these kids. And she said, you know, Work on this loop, and then she gets to mine, and she says, Just try harder. (both laugh)
SS: She didnt even know where to start.
MA: She was overwhelmed, yeah.
SS: And were you learning to write in cursive?
MA: Oh, yeah. So handwriting was one of the things you got graded on, and you couldnt have any Ds or Fs and get on honor roll. So Id make As on everything else, but handwriting kept me off the honor roll for years.
SS: I dont know what its like here, but when I was in elementary school back home, penmanship was a class. And you had to pass penmanship, or they wouldnt let you go to the other grade. You had to do your penmanship. I mean, please ignore this; this is terrible.
MA: I wouldve been in the second grade forever.
SS: Yeah, that was a big thing, the cursive and whatever. I still write in cursive now.
MA: Yeah, me too. I kind of do a combination. Cursive and manuscript.
SS: Its just so much faster when youre taking notes, the cursive. But yeah. And can I go back to this question?
MA: You can do anything you want.
SS: Youre just the best person to interview ever. Who else was a part of the department at the time, if you remember any faculty or any students?
MA: Stuart Ritterman.
MA: Ritterman. He did the staff and he did artic, andwhat else did Stu do?
SS: Is ithow does he spell his?
MA: S-t-u-a-r-t R-i-t-t-e-r-m-a-n.
SS: S-t-ucan you do that slower for me? Im sorry.
MA: Oh, Im sorry. Which one are you stuck on?
MA: S-t-u-a-r-t. And Kinde was the other Stewart, e-w.
SS: Okay. Because I know some people spell it with a W and stuff.
MA: Yes. He was an e-w-a-r-t, Stewart Kinde but Stuart Ritterman with a u-a-r-t. He was the guy, the first head of thehe was in charge after the guy had electrocuted himself, and he became the department head. It was K-i-n-d-e, was Kinde.
SS: Oh, K-i-n-d-e.
MA: Yeah, Im sorry. I shouldve spelt that for you.
SS: No, thats okay. Its just, there are so many multiple ways to spell
MA: And hes the Stewart with an S-t-e-w-a-r-t. Stewart Kinde. And Stuart Ritterman is the u-a-r-t R-i-t-t-e-r-m-a-n.
SS: Oh. Ts not Ds.
MA: Yeah. He was a cool guy, but he was not a good lecturer. He had this book he had developed, and he always read from this book.
SS: His own textbook?
MA: Well, it was kind ofit was like a big, like, four-inch binder, papers falling out of it, and thats kind of what he taught from. Phonology, thats the other thing he did.
SS: He taught phonology?
MA: Yeah, artic and that, and yeah. He was really into that stuff. (whispers) I dont think he was a(ends whispering) I dont think he was really good at the watching students kind of thing. He
SS: Not very interactive classes, then.
MA: Yeah. I didnt mind that as much. He was really more of a theoretical kind of guy. Like, Tony Zenner was, hed done therapy, you know. He was down and dirty, too. You could sit
SS: Not so much?
MA: See, thats kind of how the program was. You could sit down and drink a beer with your guy.
SS: Very close-knit.
MA: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And then the second year I was there, a guy came inGronhovd, G-r-o-n-h-o-v-d.
MA: I think it was Dale Gronhovd, Gronhovd. He was a good guy. He did the language stuff.
SS: Okay. So he was a professor as well.
SS: So was this one of the few language classes that you had that you mentioned earlier?
MA: Yes. Yeah. I didnt impress anybody with language therapy. I was more self-taught.
SS: Okay. And what aboutso you didnt go to school with Mr. Ehren. What about other, fellow students thatdo you remember?
MA: Lila Klock, thats my big one. Oh, gosh. I dont know if I remember my students.
SS: Okay. Thank you for bringing that picture. That was very cool to see. Okay. Well, lovely
MA: Herbert Skip Cox(??). And he married a girl, I think her name was Von Bath(??). I cant think ofVon to Cox(??). I dont know what happened to them.
SS: And these were students?
SS: Okay. Thank you. And, well, what are your favorite memories?
MA: Of the university?
SS: Yeah. Of your time here.
SS: Lila was your favorite memory?
MA: Lila was godmother to my oldest daughter because she was in Citrus County when I was, yeah. I wasbecause I still had a pretty significant stuttering issue then, and I had a lot of confidence issues. And, like I said, I was the only in my family to ever go to college, and I had no background on how to go to college. I mean, thats kind of second-nature to people now, but my family worked assembly line stuff. Im from the Midwest, Ohio. And thats now the rust belt. But that was the background. You worked in the factory for International Harvester. And so
SS: Can I ask you, sorry, just to clear that up. You said your family is from Ohio?
MA: Yeah, Springfield.
SS: And did they move to Florida when you were
MA: Remember I said I was kind of the tail end of the litter? Im seven of eight?
MA: So my oldest sister is 15 years older than I am. And so, shed be 17 years older than my younger brother. So my dad worked for International, and then he got a heart condition, and he had to take disability. And that was in 65. So Im 14 [at the time]. So Mom decided, you know, This isnt good for us. Lets move to Florida. So five of my siblings had alreadythey were out of the house. There were three of us left: my older sister Beth, who was two years older than I, myself and my younger brother. And we moved to Sarasota. And my mother was a very religious woman. And her idea was she wanted a house that she could walk to church every day. My mom went to mass every day. Are you Catholic?
SS: I am.
MA: Okay, so you know what mass is.
SS: I do.
MA: You know the term. Not everybody knows the term.
SS: No, no. I am familiar.
MA: Okay. So she wanted to walk to mass every day. And my mom had a bad hip. She had a shallow hip socket. My mom finally hadshe was born with that. And she finally had an operation like at 80, 85, and there was almost no hip socket left. And the doctor looked at her and said, Maam, didnt that hurt? Yes.
SS: Shes a tough cookie? You wouldnt even know all these years.
MA: Yeah. Shes a tough ol Irishman. Yeah. Yeah. So she wanted to be able to walk to church with that bad hip and the limp. She got a two-inch built-up shoe. As it got older, it got more built-up, and finally after the surgery it was a lot better. So we moved to Sarasota, across the street from our church. And my sister went to Cardinal Mooney [Catholic High School], which was a new high school at the time in Sarasota. Its well established now. And I went to Brookside [Middle School] because I was still stuttering. And in the public school, you could get therapy. You couldnt get that at a private school. And then my younger brother went to the local Catholic school across the street, and then he went to Brookside. And then from Brookside, I went to Riverview. The trouble with doing therapy in a school, especially when you get that ageif you get taken out of class, number one, its hard, at that age, to get taken out of class. So I stalled a bunch of therapy. And, number, two, youre still held accountable for all the work. So it was tough. So I didnt go to therapy very much. And when I went to [University of] South Florida, I still had a rather significant stuttering issue. And it was kind of an unwritten thing, or kind of implied that, unless I got it under control, it didnt matter how I did; I wasnt graduating.
SS: You werent graduating high school or here?
MA: No, I wasnt graduating and getting a degree as a speech pathologist. It didnt matter how I did. So hence making good grades, hence the three Bs only.
SS: Well, thats impressive, taking 20-something credit hours. I cant imagine
MA: Well, I didnt have any money, so I had to take as many as I could.
SS: Yeah, of course. Because you said it was one, set rate, and then you could take as many hours as you want.
MA: Yeah, part-time [or] full-time rates. Once youre full-time, it didnt matter what you took, as long as you paid that full-time rate.
MA: I never took less than 18, never.
SS: Um-hm. Me, it was 18 every semester. I cant imagine taking 20-something. Thats crazy.
MA: Yeah. One time, we took 21, and then we audited another class.
SS: You know, I dont even know that its allowed anymore.
MA: Oh, it isnt, I dont think.
SS: Its not allowed anymore. I think 18 is the cap. And if you wanted to do one class over that, you had to go get special permission.
MA: No, nobody cared. I remember going through registration because it would be, like, in the PE building. And youre in all these terrible lines. And, first, you had to go through a line that went by the pool, hotter than the shades of hell. Sorry guys, Im sure you can handle hell.
SS: This is just for me.
MA: Hot, like, because its pool (sic). And then you went from there, into the gym, where, like, the basketball hoops were. And the air conditioner was on freezing. So after youre absolutely drenched through the skin, then you go up. And hopefully you can get the class that hasnt been closed out. It was, yeah, those were fun times. That was registration. It wasnt online.
SS: Yeah, you had to go in and register for everything.
MA: You had to pull these cards out.
SS: And your textbooks and the resources and everything, were they in the library? How would you?
MA: You needed to buy textbooks.
SS: Youd buy them.
MA: Yeah. There was a book store on campus. Id go over and buy them.
SS: Okay. Thats interesting. So your favorite memories were Lila.
SS: Am I saying her name right, Lila?
MA: Lila. She was my bud. And I think the camaraderie because we were all on the same, lousy boat. There was a student lounge, you know, where you kind of wrote your notes and did stuff, so hang in there. But I didnt hang in there very much because, like I said, I was taking 18 to 21 hours. But when I would, yeah, hang in there, Id work with some of the kids that you worked with. I remember getting invited to someones house, and I didnt know the Italian custom. The Italian custom is, you clear a plate, they give you more food. Now, my background was Irish, and there wasyou know, it was bad manners not to clear your plate.
SS: If you dont clear your plate, yeah.
MA: That was a bad combination. That was a bad night.
SS: Did you leave there, like, rolling out?
MA: And it was spaghetti, of course.
SS: Oh, thats lovely.
MA: It was a nice family, yeah. And I met this other little kid that I worked with, and he had a cleft lip and palette. And he had to have more surgery, so I was with his parents a lot when he was going through that, and they were good people. Good people. Camden Koontz(??).
SS: Oh, you remember his name and everything.
SS: Oh, thats good. And what were your favorite courses other thanlike, which onedid you really enjoy this course?
MA: And I still enjoy this: I really like artic therapy. I really do. And it took me a long time because, the book was Harris Winnits(??), and hisone of the things in there, the organic component really didnt have that much to do with it, and it took me a while to come around the point that hes wrong. The organic had a lot to do with it. I was atso I learned about acoustics and air flow, and how that was affected by tongue placement and that kind of thing. And I learned a lot about, from OTs and PTs, about body and tone and fixations and how that affects tongue placement. And, like, sometimes, Ill look at a kid, and Ill look at his face, and Ill know hes going to have an error before he even opens his mouth.
SS: You see the tension.
MA: And I got an idea because of that. Because open-mouth posture, the thick lower lip, thin upper lip, gap in the teeth, a fixated smile. Often you see that with a lateral lisp because theyre fixating, and the tongue is like this, instead of a tongue like that. Well, if its like that, the air cant go this way, can it?
MA: Its got to go that way.
SS: Oh, thats interesting.
MA: So Ive always liked artic therapy. Its like a puzzle you have to solve for each kid. Why is he doing that? Because people do the most effective and efficient thing they can do with the mechanism that they have, so why is that the most effective way for him to produce that sound?
SS: Right. I think its really cool that you just said that its like a puzzle you have to solve because thats what I say as well, and everyone kind of looks at me funny. And Im like, no, thats why Im so interested; its not boring; each person is like a puzzle.
MA: No, I dont find it boring at all. Ive always enjoyed that.
MA: I metone of the most interesting cases I ever had; remember I said the small county? The one where, the services, we were it?
SS: Of course.
MA: So there was a principal and his wife, and the principal asked me if Id work with his son at night because he was three, and he was unintelligible. So what it ended up doing because hes as smart as a whip, he really was, I ended up drawing these figures. Like bubble people, so they were like ba, be, bi, bo, bu (sic). But they all had something in common; they all bubble. And there might be monster people, and there were butterfly people, and all these different characters, but they all looked the same. So what we did, first we just played a game where I put two down and Id say one. And he had to point to the one Id say. And because I would say it, and he knew the characteristics that made that this or that made that that, he was good at that. So later on, when I finally got to him doing it, I said, But I said that one, and you said that one, and you could see this look on his face, like, Oh. He got it: Oh, thats important, that characteristic is important. He got the idea that the characteristic I pointed out to him were (sic) the salient feature that he needed to focus on. He had not been focusing on that. And, like, he started falling over himself making improvements.
Unknown speaker (US): Im sorry to interrupt. Theres a student taking a test in that room.
MA: And Im kind of loud because Im old.
US: Its okay. But if you guys can try toyou can shut this door, too, because it makes it sound proof.
MA: Yeah, sorry.
US: No, thats okay.
SS: Thank you for letting us know.
MA: Thats what happens when you get old. You cant hear worth a spit.
SS: Thats okay. Thats fine. Now its sound proof.
MA: Send my apologies to the student.
SS: Its fine. They knew we were doing this. Its okay.
MA: Okay. When I get enthused about what Im talking about, I really get loud. (laughs)
SS: No, I love it. Im the same way, to be honest, so were probably very loud right now. Its okay. So any last words that youd like to leave behind? This is where you can tell me anything that I havent asked you about already.
SS: Let me make sure thatyeah, its recording.
MA: My own, personal history. Do you want to know about that?
SS: Sure, absolutely.
MA: So I started out, like I said, basically I had the entire west side of the county; someone else had the entire east. And I finished that first year, and I got my courses, so I got my temp, temporary certificate. You had to go two years, and I forget why. Then you canoh, I took, like, one course or something, and I got a temporary certificate. So I could go two years, and everything had to be done in two years. You could only get one temporary certificate; I had to take all these education courses, (whispers) which were pretty much a waste of time. They were bad. (ends whispering) But I took them. And, in that time, the county was starting to grow, so they built another structure to the complex, the administrative complex, which was basically one small building and a warehouse behind that with a couple of offices in there, and then the bus compound. That was basically administration. Well, they built a whole, huge complex that I didnt know was there because I never came to the east side of the county. I was on the west. And I came over something, and I see this huge buildinghugeand I find out I have an office in there.
SS: They didnt tell you? Oh, jeez.
MA: The guy who was coordinator, in the whole time I was there, I think he saw me one time. Im a new person, dont you check in with new people? I was on my own the entire time. No one checked in with me. Basically, you had to be self-taught. So I never knew if I was any good or not. How would you know that? There was no point of reference. Thats one of the reasons I wouldnt do weekends. So then, they decided, when they had a building and there were, like, two of us, that someone needed to be in charge. This ladyI had a masters and she had a bachelors, but she had experience, and I didnt really have that much experience. But as it turns out, she wasnt interested because she had plans on becoming a guidance counselor. So I became the head of the department too. But the next year, we went to four. And the next year, after that, we went to five, and then we kept growing. So I had to learn how to be a department chair. And I took some extra courses on learning how to do that. So what would happen, then, because we were growingit was very hard to get speech pathologists back in the 70s. There werent that many programs putting them out, even bachelor-level people. They were really boo-hood, (sic) bachelor-level people; you wanted to get masters. But Citrus County, Florida, is not beach Florida. So you dont really get people coming to Citrus County, Florida, unless they cant get a job.
SS: Its not St. Pete.
MA: So I was really good at finding some people, but they didnt apply. I would go after them, and I found people.
MA: So Mrs. Reese, who was that lady who said, You need to talk to me. Ive been sending you all this stuff, Mrs. Reese. She was the one person in the human resources department. She was always amazed I would find these people because she had no applications on file, and I would find them.
SS: How did you do that?
MA: I would contact friends. Who do I need to contact? Well, contact this university, or contact this place, contact this place. So I started calling up these places, and they would say, Hey, theres an opening in this county, you know. I was calling the Northeast a lot because the Northeast was overrun with programs, and there werent that many jobs up there, and they wanted to come to Florida, but they didnt know we werent Sunny Beach Florida.
SS: At least they got the warmth, to some extent.
MA: Yeah, yeah. So thats how we grew. So I kind of [did] on the job training, learning how to be a department chair as we grew, so I could get more skill as we went on. I think by the time I leftI left once in 86, and I went to Sarasota to Happiness House. I think that place still exists. Its a rehab facility.
SS: Ive heard of it. I dont know that itI dont know.
MA: Its almost on the Sarasota-Manatee County line. It was from the 50s. It was a polio center.
SS: I have heard of it from these interviews, but I dont know that its still there.
MA: Im pretty sure it is. I dont think its gone anywhere.
SS: But that wasMr. Ehren mentioned that was one of the community partners because he had done some work there and stuff, so thats why Ive heard of it, but I dont know if its still around. You left in 81, you said.
MA: Yeah, I went down there. But I had a hard time selling my house, and, by the time, I had four kids. It was too hard on my kids. People were telling him their parents were separated, you know, divorced. And their mom, my wife, was still back in Citrus County. And it was too hard on my kids. I went back to the school system, and I didnt go back as a speech path. I went back asI was a department head of OT-PT homebound hospitalized. Im not an OT or PT, but the OP-PT had become the ESE director.
MA: And she wanted someone in there that she could trust, and she and I had kind ofI came to that realization about the organic, and so we started palling(??) around. She was the only OT; we had no PT. She was the one and only OT. So we started palling(??) around, and I learned a lot from her about the organic component. So we had a trust, and we worked together a lot, and we did preschool screenings. We were a team. Her name was Barb Thorpe, T-h-o-r-p-e. She was the director of speech path in Citrus County for a long time. So I took OT-PT, and then about this time, a lot of the counties were having people who specialized in staffings (sic). You talked about the changes in special ed; when I first did therapy, we had three pieces of paper that a parent signed to get a kid in therapy. By the time I left, we had 17, and that was in 86. Its even more than that now, different pieces of paper that a parent is involved in or run by the them before the kid is actually seen. So a new idea was coming around called staffing specialist. Have you heard that term?
SS: I have not.
MA: If you work in a public school, every special ed program, you dont just put a kid in a special ed program, and you dont put him in a special ed class because thats considered very restrictive, okay. And its separating them from the mainstream, which can be a property-rights issue, you know, keeping them from having the full flavor of school. So a lot of rules and restrictions and safeguards were put in place. Well, its very hard for a regular teacher to keep on track of that, so someone had to manage all that. From when a child is first, maybe they think somethings going on, and hes screened, and hes evaluated, and hes tested, and hes placed, and an IEP is developed, and hes seen, and thats going to be reviewed every year, and thats going to be [reevaluated] every year every three years. So somebody had to be in charge of that at each school. Because youre talking about, at a large elementary school, there might be 100 kids in special ed, total. And at the time, and I think its still true in the state of Florida, especially back then, gifted program was considered a special education program. So you had to go through the same, stupid paperwork because they were considered special ed. So all that paperwork had to be managed, and somebody had to do it. And also, if you said stupid stuff, you could hold the school system liable for providing services that usually they wouldnt provide. So you had not to say stupid stuff. Somebody had to know what stupid stuff you didnt say, and things like that. And that became the person known as the staffing specialist, and theyre at every school, and they manage all the special ed stuff. Well, Im in there involved with the RTI stuff.
SS: I dont know
MA: Response to Intervention.
SS: Oh, okay, yes.
MA: It used to be called RTI, maybe its called something else now. So somebody had to manage all of that, and that was the staffing specialist. Well, I helped develop the staffing specialist program in Citrus County, and I was, like, the head staffing specialist. And, at the time, we didnt have school-based staffing specialists, we had itinerant staffing specialists because we used that model because speech was itinerant, psych services was itinerant, even teachers of the emotionally disturbed(??) were itinerant, so we kind of followed that model. So I had, like, four schools, via staffing specialist, initially. So yeah, that kept you running. So we developed that model, and so, I became, then, that. And then, I became coordinator for special education, and I did that for about four or five years. But, you know what? I dont like being yelled at for stuff I dont do. And when youre coordinator of special ed, youre getting yelled at for stuff you didnt do all the time. Everybodys mad at you. The principals are mad at you because youre saying to them, You cant do that, and the teachers are mad at you for saying, Well, youre supposed to do this kind of stuff, and the parents are mad at you because you dont give them everything they want. Everybody, basically, is mad at you.
SS: You cant make anyone happy.
MA: Yeah. So I went back to being a speech path, and that was in 91.
SS: So this was after 8 years of not being a speech path.
MA: I wasntI quitwell, I stopped in 86, and I went back about 91. Five years. But I felt rusty, so I took a Praxis course up in North Carolina. I found out things hadnt changed as much as I thought.
SS: Well, thats refreshing.
MA: And then, from 91 until 2010, I retired from Citrus County schools, but I wasnt really ready to retire yet, just likeare you familiar with DROP and all that stuff?
SS: Not really, Im sorry.
MA: Would you like to know about it?
SS: Sure, you can tell me. Its just because Im foreign.
MA: To work in a public school system, youre tied into the Florida retirement system.
SS: Of course.
MA: Okay. And after 30 years, youre fully vested. You have all the years you need. Well, at the time, way back when, two things were happening. There was a shortage of teachers, and they had all these people with all these brains who were retiring. So they had to find some way to keep them around. So they came up with what is called DROP: Deferred Retirement Option Program, or something like that. Everybody called it DROP. So what happened was, you were still working. All of that money they wouldve put into your retirement account, they put into a lump sum that you could manage. So you didnt really manage your retirement account; the state had that, and they gave you a monthly check. But you were going to have this lump sum; were Â talking, like, over $100,000 that was yours and you could do with whatever the heck you wanted for five years. But you couldnt do it more than five years. And if I worked 31 years, I could only do four years of DROP. So 30 years plus five years DROP. So in 2010, I had 35 years in, I could do it. I tried to come back as a private contractor, but you had to fill out this form, and they said I didnt meet the criteria. They basically were saying, Could you do your own schedule? And I was saying no because I was thinking like a therapist. I wanted to do a schedule that was best for the kid, not the best for me. So they said, Well, youre following too closely the school model, like theyre in charge. Im thinking, No, the kids in charge. Im doing whats good for the kid. So I couldnt do that. So I called these people who were providing OT and PT to the schools. I said, I want a job with you. I want to be a speech pathologist, and I want to work at this school, and I want to work two days a week, and these are the two days, and thats all I want to work. They said, Great, because they couldnt find speech paths.
SS: Okay. And when was this?
MA: Two thousand ten.
SS: Two thousand ten, after you had retired.
MA: Yes. And so, I worked, the first year, at one of the schools I had worked at before. But I had a falling out with the coordinator of special ed. So he fired me. I never got fired before. So the second year
SS: (laughs) After all these years.
MA: Yeah, its kind of cool! Cool, Ive been fired! Like, a thing I can mark off my bucket list. So then she didnt want me back because I was too expensive because I had athey were basically paying my daily rate. So, you know, 35 years, I had a specialist degree; I got paid more for that. I was expensive. Im good
SS: Well, you have a lot of experience, hello.
MA: Yeah, I had teachers say they used to like hearing me talk at an IEP meeting because I would explain to the parent exactly what I saw. And I would take what I saw and explain why the kid was doing what he was going to do, and how I thought we should handle that in order to get him from where he is to where we want him to be. And I never use professional language because it scares parents. I always talked in parent-friendly terminology. I talked right to them. And I talked slowly. I took my time, and Id want them to understand. Because if a parent walks in, it might be 10 people in a room and a parent. Come on. That isnt fair. So I tried not to do that. And I always said, you knowI gave themyoure supposed to give them, when youre testing and you want to place, youre supposed to give them a sheet with your facts on it. Well, what was common was we had this pre-printed thing, and you circle some stuff. And, like, it might say, PPVT. Well, come on, they dont know what Peabody pictures or category tests are. And even if they did know the name, they dont know what it is. So even though I only type with two fingersI call it the sink and destroy methodI typed up and developed these macros for every test that I gave, so I gave them an actual report. And what I said on it was exactly what test I used, and I explained what each test was in parent-friendly terms, and I would put down the data of what he scored, what was the normal score, kind of where he waslike average, below average, above average, and I might say significantly below average. That meant he met criteria, and then I would claim that meant he needed some help. So they knew exactly what was going on with their own kid.
SS: Right. And thats so valuable in itself because, if they dont know whats going on, its just
MA: Yeah. So that was my background. So when I retired, I worked for that year with the public schools, and then they kicked me out. (laughs) The guy said, Oh, well, I have these two private schools that need a therapist. Okay, cool. And it was a sweetheart deal. I went to a private school, and I saw one kid at a time. And you had to averageyou dont know about FTE. Did Tom tell you about FTE? Tom didnt tell you about FTE? Okay. This is interesting. This is how Florida decided how you were earning your pay. And he didnt tell you anything about this? Okay. In the very early 70s, the State of Florida wanted to find out how many hours should special education work?
SS: Oh, your tour is at 11:30.
SS: So we better head downstairs
MA: Whats the tour of?
SS: Of the campus. You wanted a tour of the campus.
MA: Sure. Can we talk while we do that, or do you want to finish this?
SS: We can talk. I justthe guy is going to come downstairs to pick you up. Thats why Im like (inaudible) lost track of time, Im sorry.
MA: Well, Ill give you a quick one about FTE.
SS: Did you not want to do a campus tour?
MA: I can skip that.
SS: Oh, okay. Well, then, I can go and tell him.
MA: I want to explain FTE to you, so I wrote down how it worked.
SS: Okay. Thank you.
MA: Okay, so they had this system called Full Time Equivalency. So what happened was they basically used middle school as a model. And a middle school teacher, at the time, averaged 30 kids in a class. So they wanted to find out how many kids the special ed programs [and] the resource rooms averaged, and compared that to 30. And, at the time, speech path would have, I think, three kid in a class at the time. So 30, three, 10 is your ratio. So in order to hit your ratio, you had to average about 75 a week, because five into 75 is 15. They figured you have 5 hours of therapy time available per day; thats three. But what happened was counties got greedy. So they required their permissions to see more than 75 because they wanted to make a buck off of speech. So they were seeing 100, 110, 120, making all this extra money. Well, the state said, I guess we dont need to pay that much of a ratio. So the ratio kept dropping. It went down to, like 6-point-something-or-other. Well, you take 6 into 30, thats almost 5 kids. So you had to average like 4 kids an hour. What that means is, if you have a severe stutterer that you need to see by himself, youve got to make up for it by putting 6 or 7 kids in that language group, in the artic group. So thats what started making the school system very unattractive. And youd hear about that, the number of kids. Well, thats how the number of kids thing got started.
MA: Okay, so thats what happened.
SS: Okay, and thats the Full Time Equivalency. Well, I know there are some ladies who work in the school system now, that are taking classes with me, and they say its so hard because they have big groups of children, and they have one child who stutters, and then the other five are
MA: I never scheduledI always schedule kids by their problem.
SS: Well, I dont know that they have the option. Thats what theyre complaining about. Theyre like, We get this, and its just difficult.
MA: Yeah, I did my own scheduling. I always did my own scheduling because, number one, no one else knew what the hell I was doing anyway, and they didnt know how to do it. It was kind of easy at a middle school. I ended up at a middle school/high school. You know, Itheres a little, few less kids, but you only took them out of certain classes. So I got their schedules, and I would say, Okay, I could take him out of recess, and I can take him out of tech or tag, or something like that. And so, Id see who I had available. I put down, like, one through sevenor seven periodsof all the kids available at one time. And then Id start mixing and matching and come up with a master schedule. I could do that in a day.
MA: Thats how Id do a schedule.
SS: And youd choose children with a similar problem or that you
MA: Yeah, language togetherlike, if I had self-contained classes, Id put those kids together.
SS: Well, thats the most functional way to do groups, but apparently these ladies dont even have the option. They just take whatever they get, which is difficult now.
MA: And I always put artic on Monday.
SS: Why is that? Because theyre rested?
MA: Because I like artic.
SS: Oh, okay. Because you liked it.
MA: It would make me want to come back to work on Monday.
SS: Oh, you looked forward to it. Personal strategy.
MA: Yeah. All right! Its strictly artic today! I love it.
SS: Thats good. Motivation. Thats great. Okay, thats interesting.
MA: You can have that. Thats how it works.
SS: And does this [referring to FTE program], is this still in existence now?
MA: Yes and no. The thing about bureaucracies, they never get rid of anything. So I think they mightve still hadeven though with electronics you dont have to do a hand-count anymore, they still have to submit the stupid paperwork. How that would work is you had to send a list of who you saw the third week in October and the second week in February. Whoever is on your caseload then, thats who you saw. So if a kid came in at the end of February and left at the end of the school year, you didnt get any funding for him because he wasnt here then, which is an archaic system, but thats how it worked. And I dont think theyve gotten rid of those dates and that number stuff, even though they dont use the ratio system anymore. Its funded differently. Now they have the matrix system. Do you know about the matrix system?
SS: I dont know much about the school system
MA: Dang, girl! They (inaudible) all this stuff. Okay, matrix system.
SS: (laughs) Im not familiar with the school systems up here as yet. Ill learn more about that next semester.
MA: You want to work in a school?
SS: (whispers) Not particularly.
SS: But I dont know yet.
MA: What are you going to do?
SS: I dont know. I really like working with kids, and I really like working with adults. But I dont know. I havent decided.
MA: You like swallowing?
SS: I havent had experience with swallowing yet.
MA: Â I dont really care for swallowing. I did it because you can make money at it, you know, at night. I did that. I never liked it.
SS: Really? Not interesting?
MA: I like the kids.
SS: Yeah. Ill do swallowing in summer. Ill learn about swallowing. Because this semester I already did adults, so a lot of aphasia, apraxia, TBI, and then next semester Im going to work with kids. So thats why I dont really know much about the school stuff as yet. Ill find out.
MA: They have a funding mechanism now, unless its changed in the last year or two, called the matrix system. So basically, an artic kid being seen once a week is a 251, and I forget how much money you generate for that. But it goes down to 255, which is the really severe, involved kids. So a lot of the kids are speaking; special ed might be at 252 or 253. And thats how its funded now, by that. So the school system, based upon that number, gets a lump sum for that kid. So, of course, the school is going to get that and nottheyre still going to try to squeeze every ounce of blood out of your arse, and theyre going to put as many kids into a group as possible because the funding isnt as good as it used to be. Thats the matrix system. And what they do is they award points. They have, like, all the different areas of communication in one area, self-help, academics, behavior, and they do points on all that, and they come up with the total. Want me to write that stuff down?
SS: You can write it down, yeah.
MA: Five areas ofwhat would it be, development? So it would be communicationIm trying to remember all of these. Social, self-help, motor, academic. And they would have questions, and you would get points; those(??) points, each area.
SS: And so was itthe more points was the severity and more money?
MA: More points, then more money. And theyd add up all of that, and whatever the total was, and there would be a thing for the total.
SS: Thats how much money they would get.
MA: So for communication you might have a two or three in there, but everything else was normal. Thats how it worked. Did that help?
SS: Yes, it did. Im sorry that I dont know these things off-hand already.
MA: Oh, youll know it. After this, youll learn all about it.
SS: Well, now I know when I start to learn about it Im, like, (whispers) Oh, I know about that.
MA: So keep an eye. What the school system wants to do is get the kids (inaudible) as bad as they really can be, so you get more money and then get as few services as you can to really fix the things you just said were really, really bad. Got it?
SS: Got it.
MA: You want to earn a lot of money, then have somebody do all the work.
SS: Right. And so, you retired in 2010, and then you did, like, on contract for private school
MA: For a year. And then I did private school. And one of the private schools I was at was a little Christian school. And the parents had a significantly involved kid in the public school system, and they really wanted to bring special ed to their private school. Private schools dont do special education, right?
MA: Because theres no funding. How are you going to do it? So they wanted to do this, and I heard them talking, and I wrote up a job description, and I wrote up what needed to be done and what the skills needed for the person to do it. And I went to them and said, If youre really serious about a special education program, youre going to need to do this. And these are the skills the person is going to need. You dont have anybody on staff that can do it. I can do it. So I wrote myself a job description, and I created a job.
MA: So I went to work at the little Christian school. And the first year, we had five kids in the special ed qualifying. By the time I left, we had 55, in five yearsfour years. And I developed our own IEP system. I developed our own referral system. I developed a tracking system. I worked with the teachers. We came, improved therapy techniques. We had pull-out. We had constant cooperative consultation, and we had collaboration. So we had OP and PT speech coming into the school providing it there.
SS: Oh. And all of that in how many years? Four years. Thats incredible.
SS: Some exponential growth.
MA: Yeah. So then we had it and peoplethe school went from struggling to have enough kids to, now, to have a waiting list. Because when you bring in 50 kids, youre not just bringing in 50 kids, youre bringing in their siblings. Mom wants everybody in the same school. And the state had this thingwhats this called now? MacKay Scholarship. Have you heard that word?
SS: No, I havent.
MA: Write that one down. Thatll be a biggie for you. M-a-c-k-a-y.
MA: M-a-c-k-a-y, yeah. Its named after a legislator who probably had kids, and he wanted his kids in a private school, but he didnt want to pay for it himself. So heres what happens. Youre in a public school, and your mommaand youre in special edand your momma doesnt like all the drugs and all the promiscuity in the public schools. She wants you in a nice, Christian school where you have to wear a long dress, and youre going to be safe, and no one will ever do that nasty stuff to you. So what they can do is enroll you in that private school and take all the money you wouldve generated as a special ed student and give to that private school, which now makes tuition viable. The thing is, the private school was not responsible for providing you any of the services that you had when you were in the public school. So our school was different in that we did provide services.
SS: And then you would get the money that they wouldve had in the public school. You actually had the services for them.
MA: Yeah. So we had special ed teachers. We had special ed-only classrooms. We had aides working with the kids. So we had a study hall, but ours was a study hall like somebodys over you saying, Come on, now, you need to do your work. Uh-uh, no daydreaming. You say its done? show me that its done. I dont believe you unless you show me that its done; youre not telling me that its done. So it was a study hall, but somebody was on them. And most kids, if you just stayed on them, they would probably do okay. The minor kids, they just would tell you that they did their homework when they didnt do their homework.
SS: Yeah, kids are sneaky.
MA: Yeah, we understand the fact that kids lie. And then, like I said, we could work with parents insurance companies, and they would fund OT and PT, but it was not the school model. It was the therapeutic, medical model. So the agency I worked for had those folks, and I was good aboutbecause of my background, Im NDT training. Do you know what that is?
SS: No, I do not.
MA: Neural Developmental Treatment.
SS: Oh, okay.
MA: I had the eight-weeks course of NDT. So my knowledge base with working with OT and PT is a bit stronger than most speechies (sic). So I kind of knew the questions to ask and things to see, especially when I saw certain things with a kid. And I alsoremember how I said were a small county, and you had to develop your own stuff?
MA: When the autistic kids started coming in, we had to deal with our own autistic kids. We couldnt send them off. There was no one to send them to. Remember I said it was a two-hour bus ride? Put an autistic kid on a bus for two hours, see how good hes going to do. So we developed our own program.
SS: You lose so much time, too. You just spent four hours traveling when they couldve been doing something else.
MA: So I kind of became, in terms of therapy, the autistic person in our county working with the kids. They kind of sent them to where I was. So we started getting a lot of autistic kids. We had like 9 autistic kids. In likes that our population was 53, and we had 9 autistic kids, thats a pretty high number. We had about half as many as they had in the entire school system, I think, because the kids were being bullied, and they would be in a safe environment. The kids were good, Christian kids; they didnt do that kind of stuff. So the kids felt pretty comfortable. So knowing about that, and knowing about some of the issues they had, I knew when they needed to have OP and PT to work on sensory integration issues and desensitization and tactile defensiveness and food texture kind of stuff. So I was able to get the caseload up. So we had a lot of therapy coming in.
SS: Wow. And so, by the time you left, did you have the SLPs [speech-language pathologists] on board? Or was it just for the
MA: Oh, yeah.
SS: You had recruited other SLPs?
MA: I didnt do any SLP stuff. I was a staffing specialist. Didnt we talk about that?
SS: Yes. Now that you say it
MA: I basically was, like, the ESE coordinator there. I developed everything, and I was in charge of all that. And I was, like, holding teachers hands and talking to them and reassuring them. So Im in there only two days a week. That was Wednesday and Thursday; I play golf on Tuesday and Friday. Im retired. I can do that. So I was there two days, and I didnt want to work on Mondays. So I was there two days a week.
SS: Unless its artic.
MA: Yeah. And I wasnt doing therapy. So it got to the point that I had created everything I could create, and it was basically just doing the same old thing. And thats not fun. So I said, Its time to go. So in 2015well, actually, 2015 but really I handed in my letter January this year. I said, Kim, Im not having any fun anymore.
SS: Im going to go play golf.
MA: Yeah. Be with my grandkids, travel. I have eight grandkids, expecting my ninth.
SS: Wow. Oh, thats so nice. Oh, and you got to see them recently.
MA: Yeah. I got to see three of them; in fact, Im staying there. Im taking two back with me home. The parents are going on a little getaway. Ones going with his buddy, and the other two are going home with me.
SS: Oh, nice. How old are they now?
MA: The two Im taking are sixno, seven and five; boys, theyre all boys.
SS: So then, youre going to drive back to Lutz now, and then?
MA: Yeah. Yeah. Go back to Lutz, pick up the boys, and go back to Inverness.
SS: Oh, thats nice. Well, my goodness. I have so much to type. I have so much information. Thank you so much.
MA: Youre welcome.
SS: This is great. This is awesome.
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