Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, March 14, 2011 5:39 am

Going over like the proverbial lead balloon

Filed under: Fun,Y'all go read this — Lex @ 5:39 am

Each year I have to lead two of Hooper’s Cub Scout den meetings. And each year I dread it.

To get an idea of why, read my friend Ed Williams’s account of leading a merit-badge session this past weekend. Ed is both literally and metaphorically an Eagle Scout, and if anyone knows from “Be prepared,” he does. And yet:

And I’m falling flat, reliving a nightmare since college, the one where I’ve failed to attend class for an entire semester, or cracked a book, and now it’s final exams. God, that dream gives me the willies. And still it comes back, even into my 50s?

Only now, I’m the teacher, standing before a whole class room full of … me. …


It’s 8:25 a.m. We break at noon. I’m looking at three-plus hours to fill.

I’m the teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Anyone? Anyone?” …


I ask about first names. “Christian, where does your first name come from?”

“My Mom named me for a Disney character.”

“Which one?”

“I don’t know.”

I get a lot of that this day. Anyone? Anyone?

“Gage, that’s an interesting first name. Where does it come from?”

“My Mom named me for a character in ‘Pet Sematery,'” he says.

And on break, I Google to see that, indeed, there is a demonic, back-from-the-grave, character in Stephen King’s thriller novel named Gage who goes on a killing rampage.

This leaves me disturbed. But everyone else is loosening up.

Nonetheless, little progress toward a merit badge.

In the past 30 years I’ve done presentations, given speeches and moderated dialogues in front of political bodies, committees of professors, boards of trustees and some of the most talented journalists in the world. And in no case, none, did I ever feel as nervous and unprepared as I did in front of the kids.



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