Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to school

After an unsatisfying two and a half hours of sleep, I got up, worked a bit, showered, and headed off to a local high school.

Yup.  A high school.

I had to arrive early to make sure I could get a parking place and a visitor's badge.  I haven't been back to a high school since my kids left theirs, so this was an odd trip.

I was there as a guest speaker at two consecutive ninth-grade Business and Finance classes.  When I'd agreed to speak, I'd failed to ask the hours, so of course I landed the very first classes of the day.

It was an interesting experience.  I was supposed to tell a short version of my life story, with a strong focus on what made me the person I am today--a topic I definitely had to clean up--and my background in business.  I tried to be completely honest with the kids, the way I would have wanted a guest speaker to be when I was their age.  I answered all their questions honestly, and though I (mostly) kept my language clean and (mostly) my focus off the abuse I suffered, I tried not to talk around any subject of interest to them.

A lot of folks gripe at me for never posting pictures of these things, so here, courtesy of Gina, is the photo of me talking in which I look least like Jabba the Hutt. (Click on it to see a larger image.)

Frightening, isn't it, that this is the best photo of me talking to the students?

The kids all stayed awake and seemed interested, were more polite than I would have been, and asked the occasional odd question, which I appreciate.

One question I was supposed to answer in the course of my initial remarks but which I forgot both times to address was, "What do you consider the biggest motivators of your success?" The students didn't forget, though, and when the first class raised it, I answered honestly and without thought or hesitation,
My mother, and my anger.  
Not money, or recognition, or success, or my team, or any of the many other factors that absolutely do motivate me.  No, what came to mind was Mom and rage.  

I explained a little about my answer, but not much.  What I found interesting was that I'd never really considered that question, and my answer felt true.

So, I went to school to talk, and along the way I of course learned a little something. 

I hope the students did, too.

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