Today was one of the longest days of my life. I woke up around 5:30 AM this morning with a sore throat and a stuffy nose, and immediately remembered that today was the School Board meeting, where I would have to speak on behalf of the UChicago cohort to the School Board.
Twelve hours later, I was at Lovonya Dejean Middle School, grim-faced and ready. After talking briefly with the assembled ILCers and learning that the UChicago cohort would unfortunately be going up last, the meeting began. I don't remember much about the meeting, since I was rehearsing my speech in my head the whole time, all the while thinking about how I would mess up in front of everyone at the meeting, and everyone watching the School Board meeting from home.
|I ponder my existence while the cohort looks on.|
I stood at the podium, for a moment not knowing at all what to say. I turned to look at my cohort one last time, and they all shot me encouraging smiles.
Unfortunately, due to the combination of nervousness, a huge burst of adrenaline, and a terrible memory, I don't quite remember what I talked about. But I do remember speaking from the heart.
After an eternity of uncertainty, my cohort and I walked back to our seats. I was instantly flooded with relief. I had survived! And no one had thrown any food at me! After Don recognized all the contributors to the ILC, we headed into the gym to take photos.
|The combined 2015 ILC, including the students, parents, and chaperones, in all of its grandeur.|
I'm sitting in the front row, the third person from the left.
I am very glad that this whole ordeal is over, although I don't regret taking the speech. This was a very rewarding experience overall, and brings us another step closer to the trip itself. I am very excited for this, but I think that I'm done with public speaking for a while...