Shying away

09 Jul

In the past two days I have discovered that I’m not half as intimidated by people as I thought I was.


Now I generally give off this cocky confident persona, not purposely, I just happen to have good posture, so it comes out that way. In any case, I’m incredibly curious about people, and terribly shy with them too, or so I thought.


I attended a two-day convention on literacy. The first day’s speaker was Ellin Oliver Keene; the second day, Georgia Heard. You probably never heard of them, but they are literacy rock stars. I was fascinated, inspired, I can’t wait to  get back into the classroom and implement all that I learned (Yes, I know that I sound like an over-enthusiastic nerd).


So on the first day, we had an hour break for lunch. The organizer of the convention, who also was my professor for three courses comes over to me urgently and says.


“2yng2tch, this is great opportunity to ask Ellin all your questions, pick her brains; take your lunch and go eat with her.”


I had no questions to ask her, I had nothing, but awed reverence. What was I supposed to say to her, “you’re really cool?” So I stood there dumbly and said,




My professor was insistent, “Take your lunch, and go talk to her!”


I made another dumb face.


“Take your lunch and talk to her, I can’t have her eating by herself!”


So that was it, it wasn’t about me asking questions, but me keeping her company, even worse. Flattering that she thought I’d be good person to keep her company, thanks, but no thanks. And in contrast to what my mind was telling me, like the good girl I was brought up to be, I took my wilting peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sat down next to Ellin.


I made up a question.


She gave me answer.


We spoke for the next half hour.




She’s is such a sweet person, brilliant and articulate, but so unpretentious about her position.


But, the thing is I spoke to her, and it wasn’t just shop. We had a conversation, and I wasn’t shy. Then I spoke to other teachers there. And today, Georgia Heard signed my book, and we spoke for a bit. It was really great, and stimulating.


So apparently I can talk to people, just not the people I need to impress in my personal life…





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Posted by on July 9, 2008 in Uncategorized


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