Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Guest Speaker

Remember in my last post I'd said that there's a first time for everything in life?


Today was my first time ever being a guest speaker of something.


Five years ago, during the month of September in the grand old year of 2005, I was invited to participate in this school club called "Book Blast." It was for grade nines and it was essentially a reading club. It was the first (and last) club I ever joined in my high school years. I was shorter back then. I had short hair. I hadn't yet realized I'd needed glasses. I had this thing with wearing a white turtleneck underneath all my shirts, its long sleeves and 'neck' protruding out of them.
It was kind of weird looking like that.


I remember the group photo of us taken with Chris Day, one of the correspondents on CJOH news, who'd been our major guest speaker of the day. It's in my grade nine yearbook. In fact I uploaded a cropped version of that photo including only me onto Flickr, looking exactly like I described myself above. The club ended in late September with a visit to Chapters in Pinecrest.


I write this prologue to build up to the fact that I was a guest speaker at the same club, today, at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School.


It's five years later. It's April 2010. The librarian who'd ran the club at Merivale was now restarting the club at the new Barrhaven middle/high school hybrid, and being a good friend of theirs they'd invited me to be this week's guest speaker.


It was different. It was Wednesday, not Tuesday, it was the school's lunchtime instead of it being after school, and I was sitting in front of a bunch of younger students at tables arranged in a bright sunny open-concept library. When I was in the club when I was 14, we'd been reading this book called "Truth and Lies," in a darker, more closed in library seminar room, and they were now today reading something called "Egghead," in a much brighter open place.


It was great being in this position. I talked about myself, and at my friend the librarian's suggestion I talked a bit about AS. Then we read a couple of chapters with me reading it aloud. It was just like the old days when I was a young teen.


My intention was to take a couple of photos like we did back in the old days but that unfortunately did not come to fruition.


Afterwards I ended up meeting with some teacher friends I'd known back in high school. After I'd graduated, many teachers I'd known as friends had left, and many had come down here to Barrhaven. It's another cool thing about being here: That school is a four minute bike ride from my own house, and I can easily meet up with any of those teachers whenever. Today for instance I ended up having a conversation with E. Mochizuki in their cafeteria as it was their lunchtime, another one with D. Elliot, another close friend, and it ended with me watching J. Graham coach high jumping. I'm expecting some old photos from him.


All in all it was a good experience. I'll be going back there on Friday to witness the rugby coaching - I know K. Mellow will be there. Oh, and there's also Fred's lunch at Merivale that day...can't miss that. I've got the best of both schools, in a way. I don't go to either of them, yet I do. It's where the only people I call friends are.


Justin C.

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