On Thursday I had my first Wyoming Humanities Council presentation. I was invited to talk to a high school class in Hanna, Wyoming. This town is fairly small. If I recall, it had just under 900 people. I knew it existed, but I'd never been there. My spouse has visited it often because he goes hunting in the area.
The road into town is a two-lane windy highway with lots of hills. Sagebrush-covered landscape surrounds you on either side. To the south is Elk Mountain. After heading away from I-80 for about 12 miles, you see the buildings glittering in the distance. The high school is one of the first buildings in town.
As is typical of Wyoming, the wind was howling as I climbed out of the truck and made my way to the school. I had to press a bell and wait for someone to let me in. After checking in at the front desk and getting my visitor badge, the teacher took me to her classroom and I prepared for the presentation.
The kids entered full of energy. And I mean full of it. Voices were raised, excitement was in the air. The vast majority of the kids had gotten releases to get out of other classes so they could see my presentation. There were probably about 20 total, along with a few teachers who decided to wander in.
I was a little nervous at first. It's always nerve wracking to have to stand in front of people and talk. Thankfully, I'm not that shy and I really enjoy talking about my passions. It didn't take long for me to stop shaking.
There were a few technical issues with the presentation. One video from YouTube wouldn't play, one of my DVD clips wouldn't play, and the kids were a little boisterous, getting in trouble a couple of times for not paying attention. But we worked it out, and I was able to talk through the videos that wouldn't play. I need to tweak my last question at the end so it ends up being more of a discussion, but on the whole, it was a great experience. I really had a great time being there, and I hope the kids learned something exciting.
My fingers are crossed I get the chance to do my presentation again!