I have such a busy week ahead of me. It doesn't happen but once a quarter when I have my "regular duties" with Compass added in. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the Compass Team. May be too much at times? I get teased a lot during sessions because I'm such a "dig-it". Can I help I believe in educating one's self, especially in the spouse's part of active duty military? My team picks on me and says they're going to have buttons made to wear that say, "RUN! There's Hope and she'll make you take Compass!" It's all good and I take it with the love it's intended.
We have a FULL class this session. Fifteen new ladies are coming to participate. That's a little overwhelming if I really stop and think about it. See, I am also a Mentor. I stand in front of everyone and talk about certain subjects and share information. My first section is an hour long and I have no trouble whatsoever filling that time. I also do another section that is around 45 minutes to an hour the next day. We are in dire need of more ladies who are willing to be mentors. The team is stretched like it is and we have two who are going to be new Mom's soon. Many ladies will decline being mentors because they are afraid to get up in front of people to speak.
Ah, public speaking. Let's talk about that subject a moment, shall we?
I took a public speaking course in high school (it was a night time college credit course) that scarred me for life. I am normal and have the jitters that come with getting up in front of people. After five minutes or so, I'm comfortable and am able to carry on with little or no problem.
About that scar deal. I did a speech during the first part of my class and felt I did pretty good. Imagine my surprise when I got my grade back and it was a C (!!!) because of my articulation. Huh? As a high school senior from a small school, I really didn't know what articulation was. Add in the fact that the professor was a Yankee from Boston...we had a bit of a translation problem going on. She gladly/eagerly/meanly brought to my attention that my Southern accent was horrendous. I countered with her Boston accent wasn't any better and that I wanted to give her cold medicine she sounded so nasal. She jabbed at the paper with my grade on it and showed where I was having problems. "This", "that", and "there" were "Dis", "Dat", and "Dere".
Oh. I never really noticed because it was a natural sound that was normal in the area I was from.
Here came the paranoia. I found myself concentrating so hard on pronouncing my words correctly. She wasn't easy on me at all, but I ended up with a high "B" in that class. I can't tell you today if I ended up liking her or tolerating her. My memory seems to have shut that part down. I just know that woman may have ended up helping me, but I wish it had been in a better way.
Now, when I stand up to speak in front of people, I try very hard to make sure my articulation is as good as it can be. Sure, I slip some times when I get animated with my talking. Hopefully, my hands moving will distract those who would otherwise be offended by my ar-tick-you-lay-shun. Hopefully, my desire to educate these women will surpass my Southern accent. I sometimes find myself apologizing when I catch myself not properly pronouncing words right. I'd wager that a majority of them don't even notice when I do it, but it draws attention to anything else I might say. I can't win, can I?
Because this group is so big, I know my anxiety might be a tad higher, but after five minutes or so.....I'll be good. I hope. I am going to try very hard not to apologize when I hear myself pronounce a word wrong. It is a habit that has followed me for almost 20 years, so it may be hard to break. I am not ashamed of my Southern accent and contrary to popular belief/myth, having one doesn't automatically qualify me for redneck status. Redneck status is EARNED, Internets. That's a post for another day.
Now dis girl here is gonna ketch up on some lawndry afore she hits the week wide open. I'll be shore to check in with you because with dat many people? Dere's bound to be something funny or intrestin' to share.