I made the choice to drive down to NC during my kids’ Spring Break week to spend some much-needed time with my family and to come full-circle by speaking to my old Middle School in Monroe, NC.
Because the books I have recently self-published were originally written when I was sitting in the courtyard during recess at Piedmont Middle School, Monroe, NC. This was my way of bringing my journey full-circle. The amazing thing is that my nephew now attends Piedmont Middle as a seventh grader… the same grade I was in when my written journey began. How totally amazing!
I was also lucky enough to have a connection at Porter Ridge Middle School, a school I have never visited before. What a blessing! I ended up giving two days of my trip to visiting Porter Ridge – the first day to give a writing talk series, and the second day to speak about art and answer questions. I also gave an impromptu caricature demonstration, at the end of my last talk.
Overall, I gave about 12 30-45 minute talks, speaking to well-over 600 students – in three days. What a marathon run!
Sometimes you just have to test yourself to see what your limits and capabilities are. That’s perhaps one reason I did this as well. Speaking to Middle School aged kids was very different from the wide-eyed audience that welcomed me at Sunview Elementary. I was fortunate, though. I was so engaged in what I was speaking about, there were very few students who nodded off… and there was the occasional snicker in the group, which I was happy to realize didn’t phase me in the least. I proved to myself that I am SO over that level of self-consciousness that used to paralyze me as a kid and young adult.
Again, sometimes I just have to push myself into something to test how much I’ve truly grown.
I’m so happy to have tested myself in this way, and to hopefully reach at least a few kids who are dealing with the same things I dealt with as a teen. It’s the hardest time of life to get through, I think.
What a blessing! I’m grateful to have had that opportunity, and grateful to have some time to recuperate – I pushed myself so far, I ended up making myself sick with a bad cold (ugh!) – well, at least I know my physical limits now as well! 🙂
Below you’ll find a series of clips from my writing pep talk day at Porter Ridge MS.