Posted by: unlikelygrad | May 8, 2010

looking back #9: more old business

More stuff from the days when I spoke at homeschool conferences. If these two posts don’t give you a feeling for a person I am, nothing will.

* * *

January 23, 2006

I sit here, surrounded by scraps of paper and markers, working on the visuals for one of my conference presentations. I will be giving my friends a sneak preview in a few days, hoping for constructive criticism. This is not the first time I’ve done this, nor will it be the last. (I still have 2 more presentations to finish before March.) And each time I prepare for a conference, I’m struck with feelings of inadequacy.

All of these people–these new homeschool parents, or the experienced ones who are still afraid of science–are going to come to my class, thinking that I know everything about teaching science. That I am the Paragon of Science Education. I wrote a book about it, right? Yet I don’t feel like that. I feel like a charlatan, a fraud, who’s spouting silly ideas in the vain hopes that they are true. They work for me, and they worked for my parents (on their children and students), but are they really right? What if people find out I’m nervous and self-conscious? Will they shout out to the world that I’m a hoax?

As I said, I’ve done this before. Three conferences in the last 2 years. And each time I walk out of the room after a presentation, I’m filled with satisfaction. I feel like a success. My audience sees the logic in the way I explain things. They give me glowing reviews and other positive feedback. But until I make it to the point of actually wrapping up a workshop, there’s nothing but anxiety and self-doubt.

I signed up to do presentations for TEENAGERS this time. They’ll see right through me. I’m doomed.

* * *

January 26, 2006

Dry run of conference presentation went very, very well. What a relief.

It was very hard to keep a straight face since my audience consisted my four best friends. One of the lines is, “Let me introduce you to four homeschool moms of my acquaintance…” Needless to say, we all busted up laughing.

The moms in my talk are actually sock puppets. They’re the stars of the show, if you ask me. They were designed to be four archetypal homeschool parents–representing four different philosophies–but ended up being based on Real People in some cases. It’s kinda hard to keep a sock puppet talking, not to mention keep a straight face, when its real-life analog is sitting on the couch in front of you.

One presentation down, two left to go. Must hurry up and write. *sigh*

Thanks for everything, ladies!


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