A couple years ago I had a student with echolalia and Asperger's Syndrome. Echolalia is a fun and funny speech disorder wherein the speaker repeats, ad nauseum, a series of vocalizations. Asperger's Syndrome is characterized by a ridiculously wide range of symptoms, including poor social skills, an intense need for routine and structure, and self stimulating which can include hand flapping and rocking. I hit the jackpot with Jonathan; he presented all of the above symptoms, often at the same time.
(BTW, do we even need doctors anymore? Seriously, this site offers parents a characteristics checklist starting in kindergarten and continuing on through high school. I'm gonna go ahead and thank Jenny McCarthy for that one. Also, be glad you don't have vaginismus. Zing!)
Anyway, one of Jonathan's favorite phrases was "chicken and cheese." He'd fold his pasty white hands into two talking "mouths," hold them at eye level in front of his pudgy face, and there they'd chant back and forth "chicken and cheese." Chicken and cheese chicken and cheese chicken and cheese. It kinda has a way of bouncing around in your mouth, doesn't it?
All this brings me to my current attack of echolalia. See this blog is about me, not some bespectacled third grader I taught my first year outta college. However, like Jonathan, sometimes my brain gets stuck on a particular word or phrase and I can't stop repeating it. It's like the needle in my brain has gotten caught in the groove and the repetition of words just keep spinning around and around. Sometimes it's words like discombobulated or gimcrackery.
Or sometimes, like this weekend, it's the phrase "It hasn't stopped raining for days." Rolling thunder and pouring rain woke me Sunday morning. The same rain that started Friday night. The same rain that continued into Monday morning.* The same rain that is likely to wash out the remainder of my week and perhaps my last Korean summer.
It hasn't stopped raining for days. It hasn't stopped raining for days. It hasn't stopped raining for days.
And then of course I am forced into a sad rendition of Jars of Clay's 1995 hit, Flood. "Isn't that a Christian rock band?" Casey so helpfully asks. Uggh, yes. At least I'm not miming the rain with some insane hand gestures.
*Blogging and time traveling