I don't do a lot of speaking engagements (I find it difficult to squeeze them into my schedule) but I do the occasional career day at a middle school or high school, and I have been the guest speaker at several different university classes. I primarily do them because I find it fascinating that I'm asked when I was a terrible student in high school (I had a 2.5 GPA) and only went to college for one semester (and failed every class I had). It's amazing that they let someone as stupid and uneducated as I am in the door.
It's kind of weird to stand up in front of a group of strangers and talk about myself for an extended period of time. I think other people are far more interesting than I am. I don't get nervous, but I do find it a little uncomfortable to make the assumption that anyone would give a rat's ass about the work I do or about my life and hearing about it for an hour. In my daily routine, I tend to focus on what I haven't accomplished and think very little about what I have. I think it is a bit presumptuous that anyone would care or have interest in what I'm about.
The experience was fine. The students were very polite and miraculously I didn't put them to sleep.
I found it interesting that even though Ironwood Ridge isn't an old high school, that it wasn't more computerized. I made the assumption that all of the kids would be walking around with iPads and laptops and that it wouldn't be much like my high school experience was. Things haven't changed that much in 30 years (that's how long ago I graduated, there's a hint at my age). I found it exciting that hanging next to the classroom door was a hand crank pencil sharpener... the exact same type we had at my high school in Nebraska.
I didn't check under any desks but I'll bet there was gum stuck there.
I asked for a picture with the kids in the class but the school administration wouldn't allow me to post it publicly or put it on the TV show. So, I took a picture of the outside. It's a gamble to post this but I'm pretty confident I won't get sued.
|Ironwood Ridge High School
looking through my car window
as I was leaving.