Speech Disorder

I’m feeling rather good about myself today, and I just poured myself a superfluous afternoon cup of coffee (as opposed to the absolutely “fluous” cup I have in the mornings), so I thought I’d drop some lines about life.

Life is good right now.  The reason is that the “Director’s Seminar” finally happened yesterday and so today its memory is already working its way into the dark, soggy recesses of my memory.  The Directors Seminar is a one-time (hopefully) event in which 20 or so directors (principals) from schools in the area come to our Sofievka School #1 and learn about director things.  They are also given a short presentation by Emma on the education system in America.  And, finally, they are treated to a little introduction to Peace Corps and an example of a Peace Corps-style lesson on leadership.  That part is given by me in my best-possible Russian.

Director's Seminar

The seminar was not actually all that scary, and our presentations went great and were well received.  However, as tends to be the case with me, the anticipation of the event was the most unpleasant part.  I’m not usually nervous when I’m giving a talk (even in Russian) – just every moment leading up to it.

Let’s say I learn that I will be giving a speech in a month.  For the first 2 weeks, that speech is just a constant nagging feeling telling me that I should prepare.  After 2 weeks, that feeling wedges itself into my frontal lobe and I begin to think about speech.  By week 3, I’ll usually have the speech written and the feeling becomes an urgent need to rehearse.  On the morning of the feeling plunges into my stomach and I have to force myself to eat breakfast.  The feeling stays there (and breakfast stays too, thankfully) until about T-minus 10 minutes.  From then on through the speech itself – assuming I am well prepared – I feel just fine.  If I don’t like my speech or am underprepared, then I’m pretty much sick until the whole thing is done.  Oh, yeah, and if the speech is in Russian then move everything back about a week so I have more time to rehearse.

I tell you all that to explain why I’m so glad the Director’s Seminar is over.  The seminar itself went well and I got a lot of compliments on my presentation.  But what I haven’t told you is that the seminar had been pushed back twice from its original date.  The end result being that I was stuck in my “urgent need to rehearse” phase for almost a month.  Not fun.

So, you ask, why do I agree to do these sorts of things?  I don’t know.  Maybe I keep thinking I’ll get used to it.  Maybe I just like the survival high I get when it’s all over.