Wherein I Pass On My Legacy

17 Sep

Holy crap it’s a Lollipop Tuesday.

I know this might strike you as stroke-worthy, given my more-than-brief leave of absence, but here I am on a Tuesday, regaling you with adventures of the once-hermity Jackie.

Still hermity, but forced into new and often social situations, thus making me less hermity over time. That’s the goal anyway. You can read all about it up top where it says “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” I like appropriately-labeled headers.

Onward!

This week I responded to a posting searching for mentors. It was a 90-minute workshop after which I would supposedly be qualified to influence the young and malleable minds of the next generation with my half-baked understanding of adulthood (struggle, cry, call home, struggle, find distraction, struggle, cry, call home). I didn’t really want to sit in a workshop on an otherwise perfect Thursday evening and I didn’t really want to be forced to be nice to children who aren’t somehow related to me, but my feelings don’t get a seat at the table for Lollipop Tuesdays so I strapped on my big girl boots and told myself it’d all be okay in two hours.

I brought Dave, as I tend to do from time to time. He thought beer would make things better so we stopped off for a pint before the workshop. I just happened to have some points to redeem for free beer from rocking the National Bike Challenge at a local bike-themed café (real thing, sweartojeebus), and though I don’t typically care for beer, I care for it more than I care for children.

After swishing the last of my pumpkin-themed-something-or-other down the gullet, it occurred to me that showing up to a mentoring workshop with alcohol on my breath probably wasn’t the best choice. But I’m not really me when I’m doing these adventures. If folks want the real Jackie, she’s at home playing video games with a belly full of Swedish Fish and food-induced regret. They’re getting blog Jackie. Blog Jackie has balls. And drinks beer before working with children.

Actually there were no children to be found. Well, there was one but it was still a fetus and sleeping in the womb of the instructor. She was a perfectly friendly looking woman but she looked young and fragile – perhaps younger than I. There was a lot of judging going on internally for me.

Image

This is how I hoped my future would look post-mentor workshop. This is not an accurate representation of my experience.

Perhaps I’m getting closer to a true understanding of old and crotchety (as has been my hunch for several years). Now that I’m old enough to enter into situations where people younger than I are trying to teach me things, I have a lot of feedback. Mostly negative. And mostly centering on confusion as to what these young whippersnappers could possibly have to teach me if I’m older and wiser and even I don’t know what the hell is going on.

I’m ready for retirement, a porch, and a big pitcher of ice tea.

So there I was, squashed up against a bunch of other folks who want to invest in the future of the world and grumpily analyzing a poor pregnant woman on her presentation skills.

Seriously though, she was pretty bad. She started off by reviewing the plan for the evening (here’s what public schools require to graduate, here are resources, here’s how to navigate conversations, etc) and then swiftly noted that she was by no means an expert. At which point everyone in the room proceeded to treat her like an expert.

It was painful to watch, mostly because her discomfort and degree of BSing her way through an answer was made obvious by the fine upstanding citizen sitting in front of me who happened to be on some sort of education committee. We walked through an enormous book that was outlined like a football play-by-play on how to graduate high school, we role played some mentor/mentee scenarios, and then everyone got a t-shirt and a pin.

You might think I’m skipping the part where we were assigned a mentee but I’m not. That didn’t happen. In fact, when I signed in, the sheet asked me for the name and age of my mentee and I left it blank. Was I supposed to have found a child? Because I hadn’t. I could go attain one, I suppose, but I don’t think last-moment desperation kidnapping would have helped the beer on the breath thing.

We got feedback forms afterward asking if we had any comments. I had a lot. I tried to ignore the things that make my eye twitch, like the images not being aligned for each PowerPoint slide, revealing that they were copying and pasting their template instead of actually creating one, or even the fact that the person training us didn’t really know anything about her subject. I even overlooked that they emphasized kids dropping out of school due to low grades too much and didn’t talk about them getting pregnant, being abused, not being able to eat, being bullied, or a host of other real issues that plague students who slip through the cracks. My feedback was simply that if you’re going to train people to be mentors, you should follow the training up with providing them with a list of organizations that can assign them a mentee.

Crazy, I know.

Of course, if I’d gotten the t-shirt before I filled out the form and not after, I’d also ask them why it is that everyone who orders crappy t-shirts only orders them in XL and larger, but I missed the boat on that one.

So here I am, a fully qualified coach. I have a pin and everything. It confirms that I read a book and then sat in a workshop where I had a PowerPoint explained to me that summarized key points from said book. Now I need to go find myself some children to influence. If you know of any, feel free to send them my way so that I can mold their minds. I’m hoping to connect mostly via email so I don’t actually have to go anywhere or do anything. That would be ideal.

Hey, you know what’s crazy? The next time you read a Lollipop Tuesday, it will be because I’ve completed a 10K. That’s right: it’s September and way back in the beginning of the year I committed to doing running a 10K this month. In two weeks, I’ll meet my fate and I’ll either live to tell you about it or Dave will ghost write the experience for me. “Jackie’s Death by 10K” it will be titled and appropriately also be the last Lollipop Tuesday in the books. Forever.

Just promise me something: if I don’t live to pass on my story, promise me you’ll tell the next generation about proper use of PowerPoint templates, how to effectively run a workshop, and how to anticipate appropriate sizing choices for bulk clothing orders.

These are areas of impact that I feel my presence will be truly felt in the next generation.

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15 Responses to “Wherein I Pass On My Legacy”

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge September 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Powerpoints presentations…only overly large T-shirts that swamp everyone….running from area….(oh, not as fast as or as far as a Jackie 10K…but clearing the building…)
    Moldy minds bound to be available somewhere….I mean, you’re certified!

    Like

    • Jackie September 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      For the record, “Jackie 10K” doesn’t yet exist and even if she does, she shall be slow. Slowwwwww. 🙂

      Like

  2. Jill Foer Hirsch September 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    I have a very low threshold when it comes to “speakers” who read PowerPoint slides to me. As to expertise, I find that if I happen to know more about something than everyone else in the room–even if I still don’t know much about it–I am suddenly the expert. Worry not, I abuse this human nature flaw as often as possible.

    Like

    • Jackie September 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

      I can’t stand having someone walk me through a book or read aloud slides I can glance at and take in. I do, however, adore attending lectures where I actually learn things. It’s shame there aren’t more of those 😉

      Like

  3. momma September 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Jackie’s certified alright……..certified crazy to torture herself with sitting through that presentation, it seems like it to me. Maybe she should have been teaching that class. They probably would have learned something of worth then.

    Like

    • Jackie September 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Look at you going all mama bear on my post 😉 Thanks momma.

      Like

  4. adventuresinlowvision September 18, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Wow, that class sounds like a mess. At the very least, did you enjoy the pumpkin beer?

    Like

    • Jackie September 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I did, actually! Because she rimmed it in a lot of sugar and spice and syrup. 😉

      Like

  5. silkpurseproductions September 19, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    I have never been a fan of PowerPoint presentations but just the other day I found something that has me hooked on watching them. (I know! Totally bizarre to just watch random presentations.) It is called “PechaKucha”. Just the word is fun, although the first couple of times I said it my husband would follow it with a “Bless you, do you want a tissue?”. http://www.pechakucha.org/

    Like

    • Jackie September 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      oooooh can’t wait to check it out. I’ve been playing with Prezi lately (also an alternative) but I’m down for anything at all that’s a good replacement for tired old PowerPoint. Thanks!

      Like

  6. Shakti Ghosal September 22, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    That is a great intention ain’t it to be able to leave such well thought out legacies for future generations to judge you by.

    Great post even though its a bit crazy.

    Shakti

    Like

    • Jackie September 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      I think that if I can pull out quotes for promotion, I’ll use yours for a glowing review: “Great, though it’s a bit crazy”. 😉 thanks

      Like

  7. lifeconfusions September 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    This was sweet, light and funny.
    And the whole lay out of your blog is different and unique, I really liked it. Good luck ! 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie September 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Hey, thanks!

      Like

      • lifeconfusions September 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

        No need, i like it when people do the same for me, so the pleasure was all mine 🙂

        Like

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