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Showing posts from 2018

Ten Years

I was in Target trying to do some Christmas shopping a few days ago when this man appeared. 
The first time I saw him, he was asking a sales associate for a video game. The associate pointed out there is a newer game that had just come out (I think assuming if the request for the first game had been made, the recipient might also be happy to get the second) and the man looked, then somewhat gruffly declined, saying he’d better stick to what the text said.
The next time I saw him, he was on his phone. He wasn’t so loud as to be rude, but he was loud enough that it was obvious he simply didn’t care that others could hear him. He was talking to someone about that person’s recent trip to Chicago and kept asking if they had done certain things. “Did you have lunch in the Walnut Room at Marshall Field’s?”
As I listened to him, it began to dawn on me that this could have been my dad. Buying gifts his grandchildren sent text requests for, talking to me on the phone as he walked through a store. …

Tell me a Story

(This is the speech I gave to my students on the last day of the semester,
Spring 2018.)

Over the weekend, I attended several "end of year" events and banquets at the high school. At one of them, the teacher read the words of the famous "Wear Sunscreen" essay that has become rather a cultural icon in terms of graduation speeches.

"Your choices are half chance," she read. And immediately, I thought of the best job I've ever had- the one I have right now, the one I got by chance.

Or was it? Because when I think back, there is a pretty sturdy chain of people and events that leads to me teaching Speech at Bradley. I don't think I can quite pinpoint its origin either. It's tempting to say that it all began the day I decided the best way to get over my fear of public speaking would be to try out for the speech team in high school. (Oh, how I miss the naive bravery of youth.)

But recently as I was looking through my Facebook feed, I found a post from…