The Big, Public Speech

Tell us about a time you were being carefully watched, or a time you were stuck somewhere you didn’t like.  How was everyone else acting? What did you do?



"All year round, all four years, and it just so happened my junior year they decided that they wanted to pick one female from each Chicago High School to award the Willie White Foundation as Athlete of the Year, and I just so happened to be chosen. So I was super excited, because I was like man’ I’m da bomb’ an athlete, everyone wanted to check me out. I’m like Number One out of the whole school, and I was new to the school so I was just like really, really, really so excited.

So, it was like a really big event where we had to go to the Marriott Hotel downtown and get up in these like beautiful gowns. And they said ok, you have to do this little bit of a speech about like who you are, what you do, and what you wanna be when you get out of high school. And I’m like, piece of cake. Like, wrote this speech down, I’m like five minutes of fame here I come, and I thought it would just be, you know, a bunch of girls from high school, our teachers supporting us…and you know…that was about it.

So, like I...I, get there, I get there in my dress…umm…my brother and my auntie were there supporting me, and they say, ok well, we need everybody to line up. But, well while we were up front taking pictures, it was like over a thousand people. And then there were camera crews, ABC, NBC, like all in with Chicago. So then, that’s when the sweat kicked in, and I realized this was not an high school activity anymore. So…umm…at that point I was like, ok breathe easy, breathe easy you know your speech, right? Right?

Wait, do you know your speech? You have been practicing for the past three weeks. Now you learned your speech right? No, I don’t know my speech. So now we all line up, and we have these handsome Air Force/Navy guys just in their uniforms basically to like hold our hands up the stairs, and all this good stuff is goin’ on. So, the more I’m linin’ up the more I can hear my heart like thump, thump! I don’t think it was beating twice, I think it was just beatin’ once. I was so…umm…that’s what it felt like. I was so nervous, and the more I was getting’ close to the stage, and the more I forgot my speech, and the more I couldn’t read my index cards. And then I saw the curtain go back a little bit and it was like lights everywhere, and then I swear I was like oh my god I am sweating.

And then I swear I was the third person from getting on stage, and I wanted to cry because I was so nervous. And I was like, I cannot do this, Ok I do not want to do this. Ok, I had so much doubt, but the gentlemen who was helping me up the stairs said don’t think about it, just picture everybody naked. I was like, ewww my brother's out there!"