Sunday, July 08, 2007

Public Embarrassment No. 235

During my last year in the rare five year program at Cedarville I had the pleasure of taking a cake class called History of Rock Music or Modern Music or something like that. Maybe it was just History of music because I'm pretty sure they covered more than rock n roll and Cedarville would never allow a class called History of Rock n Roll. I think it was the first time the class was offered. Anyway, my thinking was that a class where all you did was listen and talk about music seemed like the perfect class to boost my grade point average up to the Mendoza line. Also, the professor once toured as the trumpet player for Three Dog Night. That clearly put him in the top five professors at Cedarville.

It was a great class except for one thing. The final project you had the option to either write a paper or give a speech. Because I'm a master at public speaking *cough* I decided to do a speech. Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking. We had our choice of any subject to choose from. I chose to give a speech on the history of the rock band Journey. Yes, go back and read that last sentence. Are we finished laughing? Good. Let us proceed. I had recently bought the Journey box set. I'll wait again. The problem is this isn't the embarrassing part. Let me remind you I was still in my infancy in learning about music. In that box set was a booklet detailing the history of Journey. I was thinking this was perfect. I just change some words around and I can just recite the bullet points of this booklet.

The night before my presentation I wrote out my notes, and practiced my speech in the mirror. I pictured exactly how the classroom was set up and rehearsed and rehearsed. I would say I was pretty confident that I was going to nail this speech. As you can tell it all went horribly wrong. Most would point that it all went wrong when I decided to do a speech or when I chose Journey as my subject. At that moment though it all went wrong when I walked into class and saw the classroom was completely rearranged. It was no longer as I pictured it in my head while practicing. That was the moment I really started sweating. The second thing that went wrong was the speech I had to follow. Before me a student's speech was on how to line dance. What the hell? First off, why didn't I think of something that easy? Half of her speech time was taken up with teaching us the electric slide. Why didn't I think of doing a speech on something like the running man or the New Kids Dance? Second, how can I follow up a class participation speech with just me talking about Journey and playing a few songs? I was so screwed. Then the CD player didn't work right. Then my eyes were blurring. Then I just kept my eyes on my paper and read straight from that. I refused to make eye contact with anyone in the class. Realizing how bad I was tanking, I decided to try to save it. To pull this awful display out of the gutter and rescue it. On the last few lines I decided to say it like I meant it, like I believed it. The last line went something along the lines of blah and blah "shows that Journey belongs in the annals of rock and roll." Unfortunately, what came out of mouth was, "shows that Journey belongs in the anals of rock and roll." Yeah. Brilliant. I then scurried to my chair and hung my head. Eric and Adam, who had the pleasure of being in the class, still take joy in reminding me of public embarrassment No. 235.

4 comments:

Adam said...

Brad,
Don't be too hard on yourself. I did a paper on Garth Brooks.

Your speech was great though and sits firmly within my Top 5 events at Cedarville.

Adam

sound/fury said...

What's wrong with Journey?

Bradford said...

There is nothing wrong with Journey. I still listen to the box set. It's just to do a speech on an influential band in music history perhaps Journey isn't the best choice.

Jenny said...

Brad! You are cracking me up! I can so relate to this ...I swear I still have dreams about me losing my breathe during a college speech...and the look of horror on everyone's face.
Jenny Williamson