Thursday, May 26, 2011

City Council Challenge

City Council meetings are familiar to me. I watch them every Tuesday night the meeting is held as my mother wishes to know the issues and the progress of our city events, and I get reviews from my father who is a member of the City Council. Yet, the difference this time, I was going to talk.

I have been to these meeting for Hercules Teen Youth Council, but those words were scripted and divided among the many other participants in the group. I did not have as much worry because the words were short and there were only ten people in the audience, mostly parents, and I did not have as much pressure then. The words I spoke on Tuesday night were my own, words that I could form to vocalize what I wanted others to understand about the opportunity of the ILC program, and I could ruin that form with an incoherent design created from my own spontaneous words and possibly my note card.

That night, as compared to other nights, I represented myself, but also how my parents who raised me. I went up to speak what I was doing, my achievements that my community and school helped to shape—I was not just accompanying my father to one of “his” meetings.
 Before the meeting Yeuming told us that these meetings did not have a large attendance, apart from the parents and the few that watch the meeting from the cable channel. Despite the assurance, getting up in front of a camera and the four City Council members is still a daunting task. I was being judged by myself and the rest of the room.

Usually when I speak in front of a classroom I always have a note card with instructions on how I will organize my speech, despite the preparation when I was finished speaking the note card was not more than a wad of crumpled paper. I don’t understand how Kelly and Beilul, who prepared their speeches before hand, were able to calmly read their speech without being conscious of the awkward pause each time they looked down at the paper for the next line to read.
 After everyone had spoken, we stopped the entire meeting, and took it off air, just to take a few pictures—I guess the ILC is an honor of the community that must come first. I am proud that our community is so accepting of the ILC to the point that we are incorporated into the meetings, that we can—if students hear our speeches—inspire other students to take the challenge and apply for the ILC for the years to come.

1 comment:

  1. Erinn,

    I can only imagine the nervousness you felt. It's tough enough not being used to public speaking but coming before an elected body, doing so on TV and then having your own father be one of the members of the Council--that's a toughie.

    You pulled it off, though. No stumbling for words, no cascades of sweat rolling off of your brow and no upchucking on TV. You did your family and the community proud, Erinn.


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