Okay. So I mentioned this briefly in an earlier post, but I had a nice treat in March when I was featured front page of Grand Rapids Press' Sunday Home & Garden section. Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood did a great piece and I'm very grateful for that. But to be honest, I was very nervous about it. I mean I was REALLY nervous. I knew I had to do it, but I wasn't sure what to expect from the article.
Click this link to view the GR Press article.
It turned out to be a really good thing. And one result of that article was that I was asked to be the guest presenter for the Hudsonville Fair's Ladies' Day. Now that is something I'm very excited about! I know, I know. Most people would be excited about a newspaper article but nervous about public speaking. But if I ever was scared about public speaking, I was cured after an incident in my college days:
While taking an Anatomy and Physiology class, I spent a lot of time pouring through the pages of my textbook. Though not particularly good at science, I was fascinated with what I was reading (God has designed some awesome machinery ) and was acing the course. As a matter of fact, I was setting the curve with my closest peer earning a mere B. It didn't take long for the others to catch on and to begin giving me "looks". I don't know which was worse, the looks of contempt for messing up the curve or the looks of ridicule for being such a dork. I wanted to shout to them "I'm not a dork, I don't even like science!" (but we all know that would only have been half true).
ANYWAY, we were given the assignment of presenting an oral report on a medical condition chosen from the prof's list. As I waited my turn, I heard a lot of "Oh, I chose diabetes because my aunt has that" or "my neighbor has scoliosis so I picked that", etc. As luck would have it, I was the last one randomly chosen to come forward. There were only 3 left, none of which I had ever heard of before. Naturally, I picked the one with the funniest sounding name.
We were given plenty of time to complete the assignment, but as usual, being the procrasinator that I am, I waited until just before it was due to begin. I was home for the weekend and pulled out the trusty World Book and to my horrors discovered that it is a disease of the male genitalia. There was NO WAY I could give that report! But I couldn't go to my prof and let on that I waited until the last to do it. Or should I just drop the class!?
I was sick to my stomach. But decided I HAD to do it. And I had to say some of those words that I had never even verbalized before. Hey, doctors did it all the time! (What if I had decided to be a doctor, I reasoned.) Writing the report was no biggie. But now I had to figure out how I could possibly say THOSE words OUT LOUD. Back at school, I began "Operation Word Desensitization" by practicing on some of the guys in my dorm. "How's your @#$%^&* , Joe?". "Nice @#$%^&* we're having today, Mike." "Did you guys have some of that delicious
@#$%^&* for lunch today?" Oh, sure, I got some looks, but I was ready!
When the time of my report finally came, I walked confidently up to the front of my classroom. I launched into my report, spouting out @#$%^&* here and @#$%^&* there as needed, without even flinching. Out of the corners of my eyes I could see my peers -- including cute college guys -- giving each other knowing looks and snickering. But I made it through. And when I was done, I looked them all in the eye and announced that when I chose that particular malady, I had NO idea what it was. And that had I known, I NEVER would have chosen it. At that, the class dared to all burst out laughining and I saw a big grin break out across my professor's face.
So THAT'S why I no longer have a fear of public speaking and am excited to share my junk passion at this year's Hudsonville Fair. Me? A public speaker?.....You Bet Your Sweet
@#$%^&* I am!
Oh, you wanted to know how I did on my report?.............I got an A.