Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oral Interpretation

The last nine weeks have led to this day.

This afternoon I will join 19 fourth and fifth graders from our elementary gathering with students from all over the area in the 36th annual Festival of Oral Interpretation for grades 4-8. These young kids have chosen to participate in a group during their short lunch period each week to select, memorize, and emote their selection.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer as their coach. 

Last year my oldest daughter's teacher told me that my daughter needed to preform. She said the school had some sort of group, she wasn't sure what, but the kids memorized something and went to a festival where they were judged. She told me I had to find out what that was and have my daughter join.

So, I decided I would find out what it was and I would volunteer my heart out.

You guys. 

I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved giving myself over to these kids.

I did speech and debate in high school. My favorite out of Lincoln-Douglas, Oxford debates, and solitary speeches was the Oratory category. I loved it. Of course at university I was a broadcast journalism major. I dig speaking and interacting with audiences. There's something about writing your own words, expressing them, and capturing the audience as you pour out your soul.

We had 21 kids to start with. Two dropped out. Not all the kids are naturally outgoing. Most of them were nervous, unsure, and had never attempted anything like this before. It was fun showing them how by just using your voice, your eyes, your body language, the audience can be mesmerized.

I'm extremely proud of these kids. They chose to walk outside of their comfort zone to do something most adults are too terrified to do. They've worked hard, they've been teachable, and they will rock the socks off those judges today. 


Man. There's something intoxicating about working with kids, and all their potential, and watching that grow, and shine. I think this is one of many reasons I prefer kids to most adults. Kids are eager to learn, willing to change, and open and honest with the world. They're not afraid to be vulnerable, yet. Having the chance to be amongst these kids reminds me always to revel in each new day.

My darling daughter memorized one of our favorite picture books, Big Sister, Little Sister by Leuyen Pham. This is a video I recorded of her last night. Watching this makes me smile each time, my daughter is a natural.

Do you volunteer too? What do you love about it? I also teach, in both my girls' classes art of the masters, help out each week. I am grateful for the chance to be there, to get to know the kids, and to serve.


Here's the video from the Oral Interpretation Festival. We find out the points tomorrow!

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