“One word Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”
— Sophocles —
I want to take you back to 1993 when I attended “Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology”, I was enrolled in the Business Administration program, first I want to introduce you to one Professor and explain how he came to help me conquer my Fear and Anxiety, well for a short time anyway.
I will try to make this as short and descriptive as possible, I took a number of courses, one of which was “Social Studies”, we were a class of fifty students, the first class we were all just chatting with each other, waiting for the professor to arrive, once he entered the room we all just took random seats. The classroom was set up with five rows of ten seats per row of tables. The professor first introduced himself, after which he then said; now I want to get all your names so when I point at you, I want you to just say your first name only, and don”t speak until I point at you. Knowing that he started on his far right, after he pointed at the student in that chair, she said her name after which he just stood there with his eyes rolling around in his head. After about twenty seconds he pointed at the second student to her right and did the same thing, eyes rolling around in his head and kept going until he reached the end of the first row of ten students.
At this point we were all starting to look at each other strangely, I for one was beginning to ask myself, is this guy for real? Then he moved to the second row and pointed at the student immediately behind the tenth student, and did the same thing, now moving to the left, he just stood there in the same spot, not moving and never saying a word, until he reached the very last student in the back row, number fifty.
Then he finally spoke and said Okay let me see now if I got this right, starting at the very last student in the back row he said his name, and continued moving to the right, pointing at each student as he went saying their name until he reached the first student he started with.
We were all in a state of shock because he got all fifty names “RIGHT”, after he finished he said , once you finish this course, each and everyone of you will be able to do that. You know what the funnest thing is about that story is? I don’t remember his name. 🙂
Now lets move on to my English class, which again had fifty students but not the same students. About half way through the first semester, the English professor gave us an assignment, a oral presentation to be exact. The presentation had to include, a topic of our choice, the assistance of a fellow classmate, it had to be presented with visual effects such as slides with a projector, the student was required to do their presentation in front of the class, the presentation had to be at least thirty minutes long and no more or less than two thousand words. The professor also said she would be posting a schedule with the date and time for each student to do their presentation and she would sit in the back of the class to observe for grading.
Just the thought of getting up in front of fifty other students, having all eyes peeled on me caused me great anxiety, so much that it interfered with my other studies. When I was three days away from my turn to do the presentation, I still had not picked a topic and now very desperate and thinking about just giving up, a classmate whom I hung out with at college suggested I go see the Social Studies professor or guidance counselor. I decided to go to the social studies professor’s office after class that day, told him my dilemma and he said I can help you if you want, just do what I say, I agreed.
He told me to close my eyes and listen to his voice, then he said now picture the “Michelin Tire man” then he said once you can see him, in your mind push him away, making him smaller until he disappears, it took a while to visualize him but eventually I did, then the next thing I remember is him saying now open your eyes, and you can go now.
I am not sure what he did and he never did tell me, but I felt different somehow and the anxiety was gone, so to make a long story short, the college just recently received a new computer program called “RightWriter”, I believe it’s similar to what we now know as “Grammar and Spell Check”, it was more complicated back then, it wasn’t just clicking an icon, it involved a series of commands, but because no one in the college actually knew how to use it yet, it wasn’t being used.
I now had three days left so I decided to study the manuals that came with the program, and learnt how to use it which also had a compliment of slides.
In closing, When the day arrived to do my oral presentation I proceeded with great confidence and scored 98% leading to a request from the Campus Director to volunteer some time to visit all the other classes and teach them how to use the program, I accepted. Follow this link I’m not sure if this is the same program but it looks to be.
Article originally posted July 24, 2014 The New Bullying Prevention by Terry.K
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