On March 23 of this year I had the anxiety-producing yet ultimately rewarding experience of speaking to eighth grade students at Bridgewater Raritan Middle School as part of their Career Day program. I was substituting for Dee, who usually presents at these events. Almost immediately I regretted my offer to cover about a thousand times.
Of course, I knew in my heart I would love the experience of getting back in front of an audience. Speaking to large groups (or singing to them) wasn’t new for me but the thought of speaking to kids as opposed to groups of lawyers was downright scary. How do kids think? What do they think? Apparently, they’re just people like any others, though perhaps a bit more amazing.
I didn’t quite expect the journey in planning my talk to be what it was. I had no idea what I was going to talk about. I worked for 25 years in the corporate world and then was “soylent greened”. (For those of you who do not get the reference, check out the movie Soylent Green with Charleton Heston. It’s a classic for anyone over 30. No spoilers here). I’ve been trying to figure out what and who I am forever. Yes, Virginia, the process continues throughout your life. I don’t think it gets wrapped in a pretty bow anytime soon. At least it didn’t for me.
Anyway, I bit and scratched my way through my life story, as told to me, by me. And it was deliciously revealing to see the signposts that had been there since I was a wee lass; I would always come back to the animals.
The kids were great. My rescue pup Phineas was the star of the show. The kids loved him and he soaked up the attention like an old pro. Funny thing, his costume for this past Halloween was Mr. Spock, and true to form, he served as an ambassador representing puppy mill survivors. (those of you who are Star Trek geeks should make that connection).
Kids are asserting their power and presence in many ways lately. This is a great time to expose them to the realities of what companion animals (and all animals) have to endure. I am hoping they will want to take up the banner for animal rights and animal welfare and continue the great work being done by so many, including HarneesLife, of course!