— yeah. I know about that. I never made it through a piano recital. Passed out in church when I was 12 or so giving the invocation. Landed on the floor. I wrote all about it here in this post from that time when I was famous in 2019. I still suffer from stage fright, but now I know it won’t kill me — it hasn’t killed me yet and at this point?
In my long career teaching I was speaking in front of the public all the time, but it was (after the first day) not the same as standing up in front of people and divesting myself. It was an interactive thing, and I had a certain authority by definition of being in the front of the room behind the lectern and my name being in the university catalog next to the course title.
Still, last December when I did a reading from the China book at the local museum I was nervous. I didn’t stay nervous long. Friends arrived early to help me set up (who knew?) and the atmosphere was relaxed; everyone there was there because they were interested. It was wonderful.
I learned over the years to have my props organized — whether it was a Powerpoint show, handouts, a little boombox to play an old cassette tape — whatever it was. That wasn’t always possible in the classroom because who knows WHICH of the college TVs is going to be wheeled into your classroom, but over time TVs were installed in almost every classroom. Then it was a matter of having the right cable from your lap top. BEFORE that moment, though, before ownership of my own laptop, it was checking out a laptop from the office. In time, there were computers in most classrooms, too. It was fun being in the rushing current of those techie changes in teaching. I did learn that when mechanical things go wrong, the situation is more difficult to redeem, and a sense of humor goes a long way.
I would like to read from my little poetry book, but I don’t think I’ll do anything to organize that. It would just be sweet to do. Tea, cookies, half a dozen sonnets. Yesterday I decided that a small project like my book, that has some illustrations, was a good opportunity for me to wrestle with Amazon’s new software for building a Kindle book, and I got Shit, Fear, and Beauty up on Kindle.
In other news, Teddy and I took a ramble yesterday out at the Refuge in 40 mph winds. People are still coming to see the cranes who are long gone by now. In wind like that, almost nothing is flying, but a few ducks did take to the air to escape a red tail hawk who was hunting very, very low to the ground. The wind is kind of a drag, but I figure if I can’t participate in everything my world is doing (within reason) I’m not really here.
The featured photo is a note from a speech meet in which I competed in high school. It is the times when I was scheduled for a round. I didn’t want to be terrified of public speaking so I joined speech club and competed in Oral Interpretation of Humor my junior year and Original Oratory my senior year. I took second place in state for my speech in Original Oratory. It was an enormous thing for me. My speech was about protecting the Earth from human destruction. ❤