Earlier this month, Roger and I boarded a flight with our two teenagers for a family trip to Ireland. Once in Dublin we met up with my husband’s father and sister. We were three generations ranging in age from 14 to 81 (at any point in time, you can bet that someone had to stop for something).
Last week I got be the commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2017 at the school where I teach.
Even though the audience was smaller than the adoption agency groups I usually present to, I got about ten thousand times more nervous this time. The people in the audience here know me. Afterwards, some in the audience will still see me, even after the mic drop.
photo credit: SweetiePhoto.com
Another reason for my high anxiety was that I’d taken on a new class this school year: Public Speaking. I’d just taught my students everything I know about the subject, and they would be primed to figure out where I was succeeding (eye contact! confidence! preparation!) and where I was falling short (ummmmms, y’knows, boring).
Facts Are Now in Your Hand Even if Not Your Head
Public Speaking & Debate was requested by my social studies students a year ago as an extension of discussions we hold at the end of each year’s History classes in a current events unit. The teens enjoy delving, dialoging, debating. They wanted an entire course on it.
So this year I created a class for them. Only it turned into so much more than just about giving speeches and debating.
I haven’t had reason to think much about adoption and college applications — yet — but an article in AdoptionToday magazine by college consultant and adoptive mother Debbie Schwartz made me think a little bit ahead.
Evan struggled as he decided how to respond to the section regarding ethnicity and race. For those students who joined their families through adoption, like Evan, these questions often reveal deeper questions about identity that can be difficult for students and families to process. [pdf]