The print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1977-1989, January 27, 1988, Image 6

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    “The Full Moon Phenomenon”
Some experts believe there is no connection between the full
moon and erratic behavior or mood changes in us, but I have
observed and been a part of a strange phenomenon that occurs
every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds. My job as a
bartender gives me the opportunity to observe people in various
stages of celebration, social exchange, loneliness, or depression. I
am firmly convinced, that at the time of the full moon, alterations
in personalities do occur.
George is the most recent example of the change. At least once a
weekend he ambles into the club. A tall, nice-looking man, he
always has an easy smile as he eases into his favorite bar stool. His
ever-present cowboy hat doesn't conceal the calm that always
seems to be there in his warm blue eyes. There is always a
Heidelburg established on the bar in front of him, but with George
it's just a prop, something do do. He's unlike some of the others
determined to "get drunk tonight!"
One evening, during a gorgeous harvest moon, he took his usual
bar stool, but he didn't seem’to be the same polite George I'd
always known. His tone was demanding as he ordered his beer. I
didn't notice anything else amiss. It was just a fleeting feeling of
uneasiness that night There was something different about George.
I didn't pay too much attention to him throughout the evening. It
was a hectic Friday night. Soon, it was time to gather up the half­
empty glasses, overflowing ashtrays and whatever else was left
there on the tables to surprise me. The next job was to convince the
stragglers that the fun was over.
Quite a few of them gave me their usual excuses and comments:
"I'm not through with that drink yet!"
"Gimme a whiskey!"
"You can't take that. I'm not done!"
"Hey, I have 2 minutes!"
After the allotted arguing time (I'm sure they feel it's a require­
ment), they relented, as always. One who is never a problem is
George, but not tonight.
I'll never forget the cold look in those steel blue eyes when I pick­
ed up George's beer. His mouth dropped in actual horror as though
someone had struck him. He scanned the bar around him to see if
others had actually seen the outrageous deed I had done. His head
dropped to his arm on the bar as if to cry. Then up it came again
with that horror-stricken look. He put his head down once again as I
watched his outstretched hand continue to curl and uncurl as if a
brewing storm in him were trying to escape. Finally, the words came
out of his mouth ever so slowly: "I can't believe it. You took my
beer." I delivered my usual speech about O.L.C.C. rules and that it
was time to close, but as I was talking I was becoming more unnerv­
ed by his piercing eyes.
I was actually thinking to myself, "This man wants to kill me!" In
retrospect it does sound like an overreaction, but that was how it af­
fected me. I don't know what would have happened had the
bouncer not come along and broken the spell.
He said, "Come on, George, it's time to go home." It was as if a
light switch were turned off in George as he wandered out the door
with the bouncer's help.
The mixture of feelings, from fright to bewilderment, lingered
with me as I cleaned the bar. Sleep came a little later than usual
that night Even now, two years later, it still makes my skin shiver
when I think of those few moments and that burning look.
Although George is once again his wonderful, sweet self and pro­
bably has no inkling of the impact he had on me that night, I won't
forget what happened. The experts may say whatever they wish, but
am a firm believer in the full moon phenomenon.
by Lis Dymond
“The Stutterer”
You call a friend on the phone. You ask a question at a department
too much force is being applied to speaking gives this ap­
pearance. The stutterer realizes this all too vividly. He is far from W
store. You order food at a fast food restaurant. You talk to your
friends during school. You give an answer to someone who wants to
being retarded; he is usually intelligent, but in a tainted sort of
know how to get somewhere. All of this sounds very routine doesn't
way, focusing much of his thoughts on his problems. To escape
it? This is something you may do every day. You don't even think
this very embarrassing appearance the stutterer puts on a mask
twice about it. You take for granted your ability to communicate.
of insensitivity arid coldness. Now he not only has shut himself
This time, imagine yourself calling your friend on the phone again.
off from the rest of the world, but has effectively created a force
He says "Hello;" you sit there; garbled sounds come out of your
to repel others. Compiled with this and the other effects I have
mouth. He says "Hello" again, now you can't breathe, the harder you
mentioned earlier, the stutterer has gone from being the most in­
force out a word the worse it becomes; your friend hangs up.
effective speaker to becoming the most effective non-verbal
Someone asks you a question on the street You choke, no air
seems to come out of your lungs. Your mouth starts to twitch violent­
The stutterer also becomes very unwilling to risk anything,
ly and your eyes begin to roll up. The person waits patiently, you still
step into new territories, or get involved with anyone. He has
remain in this convulsive state trying to speak; the person walks
gone from refusing to speak to being afraid to speak. He walks a
away. What do you do? How would you feel?
thin line, trying with all his effort not to veer off to one side or
This is the world of the stutterer. You have probably seen someone
the other. Going off the line into the down side of life causes his
who stutters, or actually know someone who does. Have you ever
problems to magnify. Bad grades, family problems, and criticism
wondered what his problem was or how he coped with it? Being on
take on a whole new meaning in the stutterer's case.
the receiving end of the situations I have stated above, would you
Not only does the stutterer not wish to be caught up in the tur­
have really wanted to know.
bulent down side of life's experiences (wha does), but is also
Stuttering is believed to be a coordinative disorder involving a ’
afraid to be caught in the up side as well. Times like these cause
disruption in the speaking process and the auditory system. It is
the stutterer to lose part of his foundation and also break down
believed that stuttering may be caused by genetic factors, but no one
the walls he created. He does not know how to deal with the
knows for sure.
situation, most likely because he never learned how. He begins
Little of this matters to the person who stutters. His overwhelming
to feel that he is losing control of his speech and of himself. Then
concern may be just to get through his next sentence and avoid trying
he quickly pulls himself back down. Once he has gained control
to get caught up in another one. His inability to communicate for
he can better analyze events, watch himself and watch others.
whatever reason may have one cause, but many detrimental effects.
He has now regained his flimsy idea of false comfort.
The effects of these situations may cause the stutterer to (like I .
have mentioned above) avoid speaking situations. These situations
Emotions also prey upon the stutterer. Every time he stands there
become embarrassing, stressful, and very painful. In order to ac­
trying to get out a simple word his frustration builds and he becomes
complish this the stutterer will begin to avoid other people. This in
very bitter after countless attempts. He now-begins to fear other peo­
time may cause the individual to withdraw even further, becoming
ple; his heart pounds every time someone approaches him to talk. He
reclusive and distant. He begins to feel overwhelmingly depressed
becomes angry and punishes himself for his behavior. Of all the emo­
and starts to take much of the burden for his failures on himself now
tions the worst are sadness and loneliness. They are caused by his
refusing to talk to anyone. His speaking ability now, and afterwards,
avoidance of other people. The depression this creates becomes hard
will most likely continue to get worse. This is not because his stutter­
to overcome.
ing has gotten any worse, but his avoidance of social situations has
Not all of the effects of stuttering are bad, a few that are produc­
made him an ineffective communicator. The ability that most people
ed are very good. His disability has made him very sensitive to other
have to interact socially, use words in correct context, and generally
people. He is not quick to judge them for their problems and can
be at ease around other people is something completely lost in the
easily place himself in their shoes. He also does not make hasty
stutterer's case.
judgments. He uses his analytical ability to figure them out; then he
One side-effect that occurs from this withdrawal is the ability
makes the best choice.
to constantly analyze situations. One might consider this ability
These are just some of the effects that stuttering may cause. Some
to be worthwhile and useful. In the stutterer's case it has grown
stutterers have very few of these effects, some have more; it all
to such an excess that it begins to hinder him in all .ways. He will
depends on the individuaL I have been with and talked with many
begin to analyze everything by trying to foretell events that may
stutterers, they share many of the same feelings. I also am a stutterer,
never happen and reading other people's minds. He does this to
but you may have already figured that out. I do know that all of us
protect himself and to keep himself from getting hurt.
feel a little bit apart from everybody. We just want to be like
Stuttering, when first seen has often been mistaken for being
everyone else.
retarded. The convulsive facial gestures that are produced when
by Darin Kenney