In 2008, as a freshman SAU student, I was required to take a speech class. Now, in 2015, I am teaching a freshman class on public speaking. Wow, how the tables have turned. In just seven years!
I cannot believe the day is here. I am so nervous and so calm at the same time – is that possible?
Truth be told, the anticipation is killing me. I’m ready for the first day to pass and meet all my students. I’ll have a total of 60 because I’m teaching three different labs, twice a week. Tomorrow is the easy day, set for introductions and familiarity of our class policies.
As this day has approached, I haven’t been able to think of anything but my own speech class (in 2008). I went into the class absolutely not wanting to be there. I’ve grown up having to be up on a stage, but I’ve always had a problem speaking myself. I’ve never liked it and have tended to get very stressed by the motion of even introducing myself in front of others.
However, even though I hated being in a speech class, I will never forget my last speech. My professor, Mary Darling, allowed us to pick a story from Tony Campolo’s book and then share it with the classroom. I remember standing up and beginning my speech. As per usually, I was rushing through everything, until I got the end (the climax of my story) and realized I need to cool it. The door of our classroom was open and there were students outside, which made things worst. However, I remember getting to the end, to the most important part of my story and feeling time pause, because I had everyone’s attention.
I felt like I was holding both my audience in the classroom and those sitting outside of the classroom in the palm of my hand. And you know what? I will never be able to shake how cool it was to captivate my audience like I did with that story.
Even if I didn’t process it that day, I realize now, that without that class I never would have had that exact moment.
All to say, I hope I can be a Mary Darling to my students tomorrow. I hope that starting tomorrow, I will be able to teach them well, and help them learn that just because something scares us, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
Wish me luck!