I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 12 years old. Which may make this story even funnier! The summer after my freshman year in college, I decided to attend summer school at Panhandle State University in Goodwill, Oklahoma! If one could overlook the heat it was a good summer. I enrolled in history, botany and speech.
The speech class was taught by large, stern, individual named Dr. Underwood. I was not much of a public speaker back then. It took starting a family for me to realize the power that public speaking holds for me. (The ability to have a captive audience who wants to listen to what I have to say!) Anyway, I was assigned my first speech, it was on Martin Luther King Jr. and I survived it. At that point in my life, I still didn’t love public speaking. However, I knew I had done a great job on it. So, with that speech, my public speaking confidence soared.
For the next speech, I was assigned the topic of “Youth in Asia”. Well, let me tell you, this was right up my alley. Several years before, I had spent a month in Japan. I attended a Japanese high school. I knew tons about “Youth in Asia”. I skipped to the library, and started digging through some reference materials. Footnotes and index cards were generated to support everything I wanted to talk about. Then, on the day of the speech, there I was, confidently telling Dr Underwood, and a college class of my peers all about “Youth in Asia”. It was a hit. I was amazing.
I was surprised, when I was asked to stay after class for a minute. This was unusual, as Dr. Underwood usually provided our feedback to us on paper. I waited patiently for the other students to file out. When the classroom cleared, he gently told me, that the assigned topic had actually been, . . . . “Euthanasia”! Thank goodness I hadn’t circulated pictures of me in my kimono!