On Thursday this week it is international Women's week. My daughter's school, which is a grade 5-8 French immersion school, put on an event today which brought in a variety of women to talk about their careers. The teacher's involved put in a phenomenal amount of work organizing the event. They had over 30 speakers and likely over 300 kids to schedule into time slots to view the speakers of their choice, in a similar fashion to how concurrent sessions are run at conferences.
I volunteered and subsequently was asked to be one of the speakers. I was terrified. I teach adults, not kids and middle school is well known for being the toughest audience possible. The video above is what I did for my presentation. I didn't feel they would be terribly interested in hearing much about my job teaching research methods and writing (given my own students are often not terribly interested in hearing about research methods and writing), so I created a presentation to talk about how difficult it can be to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.
And the kids were great. I talked about what it is like to try and figure out a career when you decide that what you really want to do with your life simply isn't realistic or viable. This is exactly what I had to do in my early 20's when I figured I could never be a writer.
And what made me most proud was that my own daughter wanted to come and see her mother speak.
If you watch, please enjoy the presentation. To keep it short, there is no voice over so feel free to ask any questions you want.