As a part of being in charge of making fun activities for the freshman Journalism/TV Production class at my school, today I moderated a pretend debate on the issue of homework and whether there should be homework every night, a topic they and I could relate to easily. After 10 or so minutes of prep time, they let their ideas free and voiced them against each others’.
While the activity ended up being one of those classic, way too loud classroom arguments between two groups of kids trying to one up the other, what happened afterwards gave me some, quite frankly, frustrating food for thought.
Right after I finished up with the freshmen, it was lunchtime. I sat down next to a girl I like and her friends, and I swear; I couldn’t come up with anything interesting to say! I said a few obnoxious comments about the sodium content in my Ramen noodle soup, accompanied by an outburst of pretend joy when a friend of mine passed by me and gave me his sandwich, which he didn’t plan on eating.
But that’s about it.
It’s incredible to think, in retrospect, how I could have thought myself capable of leading a classroom session whose focus is eloquence and substantiation in public speaking when I couldn’t even come up with something remotely fascinating to say to a person right in front of me at lunchtime.
In fact, a few days ago, I did a full-on lecture about Internet journalism for more than half an hour to the freshmen, and managed to keep most of them remotely interested for the duration of the damn thing – and yet, I can’t manage to come up with something cool in front of one person?
But what’s even more elusive is just what it is that keeps me from having the Gift of Gab at the most inopportune time possible. I mean, I guess it’s cause I’m nervous (not shy, certainly) or worried about what my impression will be, but could I possibly be that nervous so as to lose my otherwise natural ability to dole out remotely interesting things to say?
What a mess.