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272 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2000
If I got up from my seat at 2:25, she'd say, "Sit back down, David. You've still got 5 minutes before your speech therapy session." If I remained seated until 2:27, she'd say, "David, don't forget you have a speech therapy session at 2:30." On the days I was absent, I imagined she addressed the room, saying, "David's not here today but if he were, he'd have a speech therapy session at 2:30."
After a few weeks of what she called “endless pestering” and what I called “repeated badgering”, my mother bought me a pocket thesaurus, which provided me with s-free alternatives to just about everything. I consulted the book both at home in my room and at the daily learning academy other people called our school. Agent Samson was not amused when I began referring to her as an articulation coach, but the majority of my teachers were delighted. “What a nice vocabulary,” they said. “My goodness, such big words!”
Though I have yet to use any of my new commands and questions, I find that, in learning them, I am finally able to imagine myself Walkman-free and plunging headfirst into an active and rewarding social life. That’s me at the glittering party, refilling my champagne glass and turning to ask my host if he’s noticed any unusual discharge. “We need to start an IV,” I’ll say to the countess while boarding her yacht. “But first could I trouble you for a stool sample?”