It happened.

It happened. The thing that my Education teachers said happens to them. Something I just scoffed at.

You see last week I had to give a presentation in my Aging Adult class. It's a class full of people who want to be therapists, social workers, counselors, professors, there is even a grad student or two in there. Not a soul in there but me who regularly talks about reading levels, what to do with the kid who picks his nose and eats it, or the little girl who tattles. But that's also what I like about this class. Or so I thought.

It was my turn to get up and give my 5 minute talk. I walked up and felt great. I love public speaking. Or so I thought. I brought up my powerpoint, took a deep breath, like I always do before I begin, and looked out into my audience and-froze. My tongue felt like it went down my throat my mind went blank-totally and completely blank. The eyes staring at me were not 5 or even 11. Their hands were not bothering their neighbor. I didn't have to say "Are we ready to learn?" I didn't have to hear about 45 pets before I began.

No, these eyes were adults. They were not looking at me with admiration and excitement. These eyes weren't the pool of innocence that I feel the kindergartners I work with have. This same innocence that gives me comfort. I got through my talk, but I left feeling so embarrassed. Could everyone tell how nervous I was, Lord I hope not. Could they here the break in my voice as I read poetry? Could they tell that my lungs didn't want to work so taking a breath was laborious?

My professors always say they are nervous in front of us college kids. That teaching us is light-years different because of our age. I never really understood. Until it happened to me.

Here's to public speaking to 5-11 year olds forever!


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