Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Tuesday, I got to see Obama's speech live...well on TV.  The grade three teacher was showing it in her classroom and she let me bring the fifth graders I was teaching in when Obama began to speak!  Despite the fact that the students were young, probably too young to be aware of exactly how historical this moment was, all eyeballs were focused on the dynamic man capturing the attention of a nation and a classroom on the TV!  If he is one thing, Obama is a great speaker and I can appreciate his talent.  I too have given several speeches over the course of my 32 years.  None of them to a crowd quite like Obama spoke to and none of them quite so full of inspiration and passion, but all of them just as nerve racking and practiced as his. 
I was in 4-H for 12 years and every one of those 12 years I had to compete in the club speech contest.  My mom made sure that I did not go on stage taht very first time, at the tender age of 9 without confidence.  She helped me prepare in every way.  She was even my speech writer.  By "writer," I mean she sat with me until she magically took the random, exciting ideas from my head and helped me turn them into a speech!  She sat and watched me frist practice reading, then memorize my speech. She supervised me transferring my speech from full scap paper onto cue cards.  She helped me find appropriate gestures to compliment my speech and she helped me remember to SLOW DOWN as I spoke!  By the time mom was done with me, I had that speech memorized inside and out.  I knew I could get up on that stage and deliver it like a seasoned pro...and I did, if I do say so myself. :) No doubt I was nervous but as the words began to roll off my tongue and as I settled into my place in the spotlight, I discoverd that I quite liked having the attention of an entire room full of people and I loved when I could make them laugh.  I was a peewee that first year, which meant I couldn't proceed to the next level of speaking, but for years after that I did.                                                                                             Though on stage my speaking was fairly polished, there was a nervous ritual that preceeded every speech I ever gave.  A couple of small coughs always followed the announcement of my name, three bi sniffs came as I got up out of my seat in the audience and the trip down the isle towards the stage, always included me picking a wedgie.  This was my version of the pre-game ritual and it had proven to be lucky!                                                                                                  Over the years I have forced out my share of nervous coughs, sniffed until my nose bled, picked a hundred wedgies and though I know I have entertained more than one audience, I have never influenced a country like Obama did Monday during his big speech.  I wonder what his "pre-game" ritual involves?  Do you think he picks his undies out of his crack before addressing the nation?

1 comment:

Seeker said...

Thanks, Jen... now all I an imagine is Obama in his 'roos.