Speech Day is quickly approaching at Phoenie’s school and Phoenie has been practicing every day. He is only in Grade 1, yet he has memorized his entire speech and communicates with passion and with such strong reflection in his voice. As I was driving him to school this morning, he sat in the back seat, reciting stories about Lola, his dog. It was word perfect and articulated with perfection, right down to the timing of the jokes.
There’s a buzz in the air as all the students of Sudbury Christian Academy are preparing to present their speeches in front of the entire school – which consists of about sixty students. The standard is high and the pressure is on. I was sitting in the lobby of the school, minding my own business, when an Grade 8 class nervously filed by, heading to the auditorium for a practice run. They reminded me of a group of lambs heading to the slaughter. One of the boys looked at me with horror on his face and asked, “Did YOU have to do speeches when you were young?” Although I was caught off guard with such a candid question from a stranger, the teacher in me managed to respond with a resounding and enthusiastic “YES”! I think he was quite shocked that speech making actually happened way back in the Stone Age.
When Phoenie and I were driving home this afternoon, I asked him something about Lola, making the grave mistake of referring to the dog as a “he“. Phoenie piped up from the back seat and quickly retorted with, “Nana, didn’t you listen to my speech? I made it really clear that Lola is a “she”.
I had to laugh. My bad. But it didn’t end there.
“Nana, don’t laugh. Making speeches prepares me to talk to girls.”
Whoa… This boy takes these speeches a little too seriously.