I need someone to talk to. Someone who will truly listen. Someone who will take each word at face value. Someone who will repeat my words back to me, so that I’ll know what I say is what they hear.
Hmm, psychiatrists do that.
Naa, I’m not having a mental issue at the moment.
John hears me. But, sometimes when he hears me, the words he hears are completely different than the ones that came out of my mouth. It makes us laugh.
I have good friends—good listeners. I think so, anyway. I want to be a good listener, but I wonder—am I a good listener? I don’t think so.
|This ear was photographed with my iPad|
and fuzzied up in Photoshop
Sometimes I drift off—dreaming—picking up tidbits and word scraps thrown on the Piazza like stale bread to feed the pigeons. Sometimes I don’t pay careful attention. Sometimes I’m half or quarter listening because I’m busy figuring out what my response is going to be.
Sometimes my brain is racing ahead guessing what the other person will say next. When my guess is wrong, I miss the end of the speakers thought. I’m lost in the confusion of my faulty guessing. Then I’m embarrassed to ask for a repeat, and when I do ask for a repeat, sometimes I forget to listen to the end. You really can’t ask for two repeats.
I’ve discovered that I can talk to my iPad. On the keyboard there’s a little microphone. This is so exciting. Press the little microphone symbol and it lights up. Talk. Press again when I’m done talking. Typing appears on the screen. Woohoo, I can talk and then check up on my listener.
So here’s what I said to the iPad, “Are iPads good listeners? Or anyway, let’s see, I’d like to know the answer to that.”
Here’s what iPad heard, “Our iPads good listeners or I’m today let’s see I would like to know the answer to that.”
What I’ve learned:
- The iPad always spells iPad correctly.
- He hears no punctuation.
- I must talk like I have a mouth full of marbles.
I think I’ll call a friend. I’ll say “Hello,” and then I’ll listen. Really.