ROTC to the rescue

GRIN # 298

Lord, am I getting lazy–blogging this late in the day. Blogging late is better than drinking early, I guess. Speaking of which, is it beer-thirty yet?

Anyway, yesterday was a crazy day. I prepared all day for three back-to-back workshops at my alma mater, Cary High School, on how to craft a unique college essay.

I had everything planned out–a great video clip from Steve Hartman, one of my favorite journalists. Remember him on the CBS Evening News? He used to do this segment called “Everybody has as a Story,” where he picked a random state and person and found a unique nugget about their life.  He set the tone for my presentation.

I had slides, too. Transparencies with do’s and don’ts. Tips from directors of admissions at local colleges and universities. I was ready. But I was nervous. Terribly so. Nauseous, even. I couldn’t figure it out. I knew this stuff.

I arrived at the school 45 minutes early. And then I realized why I’d been nervous. I would have technical difficulties. Of course. Jerry must have subliminally anticipated it because he put my video both on disk and my laptop. What I failed to recognize was that I needed a technology manager, a conductor, if you will. I will need this throughout my life, I’m certain.

My video was on my laptop but I couldn’t figure out how to hook that up so it would play through the projector and onto a big screen. My back-up DVD didn’t work either. The DVD player worked but the sound was too quiet. Oh, and my overhead projector was AWOL. Nothing. Was. Going. To. Work.

Well, $##$%%^^! Fine. I could talk off the cuff for 90 minutes, right?

Oh, God.

Right then an ROTC student named Trenton stopped by to see if I was okay. (I hope I wasn’t sobbing). The ROTC students were there to help presenters. When I saw that boy, I clutched his arm in a death grip and blubbed that nothing was working and what was I going to do?!!

Being a kid, he figured out the laptop issue in a snap, giving me a giant picture on the screen and even found speakers so I had fantastic sound.

But the projector itself was prone to hot flashes and after it hummed for a while, it shut down completely. And it was just ten minutes ’til showtime.

“TRENTON!” I yelled. “What are we going to do?!” I’m sure he was thinking, “WE?” but he was too polite to say so.

Trenton found a fan for the menopausal projector. And then he ran and grabbed an overhead from another room for my slides.

At that moment, I loved him. He was saving my presentation.

During the first session, Trenton hovered outside the room to be sure my Hartman clip would work. Sure enough, I had trouble cueing the video, and he set it up for me. And returned to do it for the two other sessions.

What a great kid. There are actually a lot of great kids out there.

And, I didn’t think it possible, but I love the military now more than ever.


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