Posted by: thediygeochemist | April 10, 2010

looking back #5: old business

One of the things I used to do in my past life was speak at homeschool conferences. Today, two posts from when I was in my heyday.

* * *

March 20, 2007:

The Ultimate Display of Ego

Last night I listened to a recording of myself speaking. I admit that I like doing this, even though I don’t do it often. I sit there and listen to myself and think how good I am. 🙂

Actually, what I was listening to was a workshop I haven’t done for a year, but will be doing again next month. I was listening to it partly as a refresher, and partly to see if I could tweak it to make it better. But I enjoyed listening to myself nonetheless.

It’s funny that I don’t particularly like myself as a person, but when it comes to writing and speaking, I think I’m the cat’s meow.

* * *

August 20, 2007

First of all, let me say that all of my sessions went really, really well. There was a minor snafu, in that they forgot to put my kids’ workshop in the schedule (despite the fact that I reminded them of this in advance)–but it was slotted in, and posters were put up, and I had decent attendance.

I made money at this conference. (Not from book sales–having the Speaker Bookstore moved into the vendor hall was not good for me, or for any speakers, from what Pam said. I made money from the speaker fee.) That was good.

No, here were the two reasons I needed to go:

(1) In my class on teaching with the Socratic Method, there was this woman who really didn’t need to be there. She seemed to have an innate sense of how to respond to questions. Afterward, she asked if I’d done that workshop before.

“Why, yes,” I said. “Three years ago.”

“I thought so,” she replied. “I couldn’t go, so I bought the tape. And I’ve been using the ideas ever since. It’s been wonderful.”


(2) There was a guy in the speaker lounge, the husband of one of the staff members, who gave me a kind of strange look every time I came in. Finally, he said: “Didn’t you teach a class on how to teach science oh, say, three or four years ago?”


“Yeah. I went to that. It totally changed the way I did science. My daughter’s really got into science during the last couple of years, and I credit that to you.”


Sometimes I just need to hear that I’ve changed people’s lives. Making money is nice, but making a difference? Absolutely crucial. That’s why I started the science thing in the first place.

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