Excuse me, can I talk to you for a minute?

“….muchas gracias por ayudarnos!”

I have said that phrase a hundred times, each time with more confidence. Every morning I walk into a new Head Start school and hope parents had an extra shot of willingness in their morning coffee. Feeling a little out of place in the midst of Latino families, I give myself a little prep talk as I approach parent after parent for just a few minutes of their time out of their busy mornings.

This week I was busy collecting surveys from parents trying to see how much they knew about early childhood speech pathology resources available to them. I thought getting people to take a survey would be much more difficult, especially in the morning when people are trying to get to work. Maybe it’s a southern thing, but for the most part everyone was very willing to participate. I thought I’d have to bring out my boxing out skills from basketball and corner parents into taking the survey, or at least throw out a few terrible pick up lines; but I left my sneakers in the bag and my one liners in my back pocket.

I am surprised by how willing everyone was to take the survey. On UM’s campus it is nearly impossible to get survey participation without giving away some free swag, pizza and your kidney. I wonder what the difference is that makes these Texans so willing to give their time.


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