I recently was asked to be a guest at an elementary school job fair. I said yes, so I showed up alongside a pediatrician, a dentist, and a couple of police officers. I was there as an author (I’ve written 2 children’s books) and to be totally honest, I was pretty nervous! And not because of the cops or the dentist. I obey all laws and I floss*!
Talking in front of large groups frightens me, even if the large group is small people. 🙂 I started off by introducing myself and then getting the spotlight off of me and on them. I’d ask them to share what they’d write about and that led to some funny comments and great ideas. Lots of ninjas, sports, unicorns, princesses, even one about being a Chinese teacher (this student was not Chinese so I thought that was funny/cute).
It was all going so well! Hey, one boy even asked his teacher if my job was a wrestler because he thought my muscles were big. Helps to wear a tight shirt every once in a while, kiddo! The downside to wearing a tight shirt is clear, though; sweaty armpits. Yeah, I said it. This shirt I had was tight under my arms, I just hope the kids couldn’t see it getting damp all up in there haha.
That was pretty much the worst of it– oh, except when one student asked a question and I repeated it louder for the rest of the class, “She asked about–” then a couple of boys chime in, “He, not she…”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s a he, not a she,” they replied.
OK, yeah, that was the worst of it. Or was it when one young girl asked if I brush my teeth? It wouldn’t mean that much, except that she was sitting on the front row!
In all seriousness, the kids were great. Every he and every she, all of them made me laugh, had good questions, and were interested in my two books. I shared a little about each and I just hope they felt encouraged to keep writing and keep coming up with great ideas for stories to tell. As quickly as the event started, it was over.
Way to go, champ! I walked out to my car thinking I came off pretty cool. Then I glanced over to another area of the parking lot where those cops were surrounded by all the kids; police lights flashing, sirens howling. Dang it, I’m so not cool. I bet those cops brush their teeth, too.
-Out of the Wilderness
*when I remember to