And it’s not from me!
Actually, I’m really excited about this opportunity. I had the idea several weeks ago to try and find guest speakers from various cultures that would align with units of literature that our senior English course is studying. The first one was virtually a no-brainer for me: looking at the literature of Latin America would provide a wealth of opportunities to find speakers with experience in these countries so that my students could have a first-hand account of these places.
So I sent an E-mail asking for potential speakers to the chair of the modern languages department of my alma mater, and (somewhat to my surprise) I received an E-mail back saying that the information had been forwarded on to someone who was interested, even naming the individual and their majors. I was ecstatic, to say the least.
Well, my excitement faded as the days passed and I had no E-mails from this individual. I contemplated sending them an E-mail but thought better of it. If they want to come, they’ll contact me, right?
Right, but apparently I had forgotten that there are other media to contact me besides E-mail – including the phone in my room that I so rarely ever use. And the voicemail which I had never checked before today.
Lo and behold, there’s a message…from my prospective speaker. So I call him back immediately and get through, and we talk it out a little. He’s got another person interested in coming as well to present together, and he tells me that he’ll get back to me within the next day to see about Thursday (2 days from now) or the following Tuesday.
Tonight, I get an E-mail confirming Thursday, and I follow up again to get some details about the nature of the presentation, what they’ll want as far as technology, and some logistical details (since they’re traveling 40 miles to get to our little school in Podunk, The Middle of Nowhere). And now I feel great.
My excitement is really multi-layered: 1) It’s a day where I don’t have to teach but instead get to learn along with my students, 2) this is a connection to the real world – someone who has really been to these countries and *gasp!* lived in the culture, and 3) one of the speakers is actually an education major, so I get to give a teaching candidate a chance to showcase his own professional knowledge. It’s a win-win-win-ad infinitum (I am probably missing some of the other great aspects of this) idea, really.
If this works, then my next project is to work on speakers to talk about Africa, the Middle East/India, and East Asia. I have an idea for India (a former English professor of mine), but the others are way up in the air for me. All I can hope for is to follow some of the limited networks I have, and hope that I find some interest like I have here.