Whatever Wednesday". This came out of the current misdirection I'm experiencing in my life. But something happened tonight. I went to my son's school presentation for their Civil War projects. I watched an auditorium filled with 11 and 12 year olds who were all struggling to present their projects in a way that would interest the audience for the evening... the parents.
For the most part they did a wonderful job with their presentations. Some where clearly very comfortable talking with the adults and communicating what they had learned, while others choose to let their projects stand for themselves and stand quietly by. It was easy to see which kids became passionate by what they learned and those that did it because they had to. I went around and asked the same question of all the students I talked with... "what did you learn from the project that surprised you?" Some where able to readily answer it and other struggled with it. My goal wasn't to embarrass anyone, but I was looking to see if there was a kid there that felt so strongly about their projects that they wanted to share it all.
So, here's what I picked up tonight:
1. A project worth doing is worth doing well. This isn't a new phrase in our house, but it's adaptable according to the subject. Usually, it's homework of any sort. Know your subject, be able to relate to the subject and be a present it in a way that doesn't overload, but does entice the audience.
2. Be passionate about something. There were kids there that covered the battles and there were kids that covered the life of soldiers during the war. There were representions of uniforms, food and even an incredible life-sized Gatlin Gun (non working, of course). But probably the most interesting was Henry, who presented his project on the medicines used to treat the wounded after the battles. He gave great detail about chloroform and a rousing rendition of "I Will Survive" that had been adapted to the point of view of an amputee soldier. He must have sung it 10 times while we were there. But there was definitely a passion behind his performance. Whether it was for the performing or the subject, I'm not sure.
3. Sometimes when you are lost you just need to muddle through until you can find your focus again. This little life lesson came from my own son who despite a deluge of interesting facts about Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at Gettysburg, still struggled to find something to be passionate on his own about the topic. Maybe he gets his focus from his mother, God help the boy. He's going to have to find his way to muddle through just as I did, and still do at times.
So, I've given you my tips for Whatever Wednesday on making things work when they just don't want to... Got any tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them.
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