- hello Denise Friedel
- Username: winegoddess55
- In response to: "What do you do on the side?" I blog, yet find myself running out of topics and ideas for continued blogging. If I could find a solution to this problem, I would be full of so much blogger happiness!
- winegoddess55's latest answers
- On Being in the Spotlight
If only being born and raised on a farm out in the middle of nowhere could provide a girl with some social skills......
As I entered grade seven at the age of 11-soon-to-be-12 years, our class was given the assignment of writing a speech to be presented to the class. The best speeches were chosen, and eventually, the top speakers out of each class were to do their speeches in front of the whole school in the auditorium.
Certainly this wouldn't have been a challenge if I had gone to this school since grade one (kindergarten hadn't been invented yet). Unfortunately, my school experience was limited to "the little red school house" out in the rurals of small town Ontario, Canada. That is, until I hit grade six, when we (my brothers and sisters and I) began to attend the brand spanking new public school that had been built in town.
Oh, the delight and fun of running out the driveway and waiting for a big yellow school bus every morning! No more walking to school uphill both ways! Finally, a modern place where we could practice our social skills and learn sophistication and academics!
Well, initially anyway. Yes, the novelty wore off quickly and we had to get down to business and do real school work. Such as writing speeches.
So the topic I chose to discuss was "sleep." A big subject for an eleven year old, but I did my research and learned all sorts of cool stuff, such as the different phases of sleep, REM, and more. (Don't quite remember it all now.)
Anyway, my teacher seemed to believe that I had done a fine job of delivering my speech to the class, and therefore should be one of those "honoured" to speak in the gym. In front of, oh, about five hundred people.
Was I fazed? You bet! I was terrified! I had that speech all printed out on little cue cards that I held in my little (sweating) hands, hoping that I would not actually pass out during the event.
On the day, I recall wearing a pretty, lilac coloured dress, but it was not a new dress like the town girls wore. No, in our large family, hand-me-downs were the norm, and this dress had been someone elses.
I felt so awkward, as well as completely, overwhelmingly, horrified at what I had to do! I had never been prepared to hold a social conversation in private, let alone in public! I was used to running out to the barn to do chores! Climbing trees! Playing hide and seek! Could I pull off this bluff?
I was sweating bullets.
Several of the speeches had already been presented that day; suddenly it was my turn; my name had been called, There would be no backing out.
Incredibly, I only lost my place once with the cue cards and in fact, had memorized it so well that it went off not too badly (other than I was mortified).
I'll never forget the relief I felt as I left that stage. There is no doubt in my mind that any public speaking skills I could have developed later in life were ruined right there. Today I believe it's called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!
But no matter. The important thing is, I came in second place. My jaw surely dropped in disbelief when the judges announced the winners! I had placed ahead of the smartest girl in my class! I still wonder if the judges had simply felt sorry for me, or did they really recognize some talent? Guess I'll never know the answer to that.
Sadly, since that fateful day, the stage holds no interest for me. As great as it felt to be viewed as "a good speaker," I have never been (and will never be) on stage again. Lesson learned.