Mr. Bluestone’s Class, seventh grade
The first time I had to speak publicly was in seventh grade in front of my science teacher, Mr. Bluestone and the class. I remember I did it on the TWA 747 and I practiced for hours and hours, for days, weeks. My dad, who worked at TWA at the time, brought home a 747 model jet for me to use. I practiced my speech on my dad endlessly and he was patient and kind.
I remember being in the class, Mr. Bluestone first asked for volunteers and he said, if no one wanted to volunteer he would just pick randomly. The classroom was absolutely quiet, albeit the sound of us all breathing nervously.
All of a sudden, my hand shot up and I decided to volunteer and “get it over with” basically my philosophy in life now as a grown-up.
I went to the front of the class and to the podium, I had practiced so much that the information was like that of a soothing lullaby sung by a mother to her newborn. I finished my presentation, showed my TWA model and finished speaking. There was silence in the room until Mr. Bluestone stood up and said to the class:” well, well, well.” Now, I was frightened. He continued to say that “by being first I had set the bar really high and that other presentations would be compared to mine.” I got an A plus and it gave me the confidence throughout my life to know I can do it; know your material really, really well, find your confidence and strength and speak. Jump at the chance to go first, you can do it and you can do it really, really well.
Dedicated to Mr. Stuart or Stewart Bluestone, wherever you are.