4.15.2010

Career Day At My Mother-In-Law's School

It's been a little while since I mentioned that I was speaking as an "Author" at my Mother-In-Law's Elementary School's "Career Day," and a few folks have asked for an update. I meant to post this sooner, but hey, I'm an "Author" which means I'm "busy" (which actually means Just Cause 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction just came out on XBox 360 and I'm a slacker).

So, my day started with Andrea (who came as an "Animal Welfare Professional") and I being greeted by the guidance counselor, who was a really nice guy. He walked us out to the "bus lanes" where all the tables were set up. 

First was the fire truck, loaded with hoses, ladders, cool fire guys and a dalmation (not pictured): 








Then, the exterminator who had a truck with an angry mouse in the shape of a fumigator:



Then, the narcotics agent and his K-9, Rambo (who also isn't pictured - by the time I got to taking pictures, Rambo was sick of being acosted by kids and had to be put away):



Then, the Power guy and his power truck which was loud and obnoxious:



Then, my awesome wife and our blind-yet-adorable dog, Ray Charles. She also had the Atlanta Humane Society PuppyCam playing on the laptop:



Then came my table, chock full of NOTHING COMPELLING TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS WHATSOEVER: 


Yeah... Drug and fire and blind dogs, big ass powerful trucks, and me with my stupid laptop bag and a can of Red Bull.

I was absolutely no competition whatsoever. 

The kids wanted to know what it took to be a writer. My answer: Caffeine, and lots of it. I was tempted to also bring a bottle of bourbon and a bottle of aspirin, the TRUE tools of a writer, but the school wouldn't have that. 

The kids were mostly interested in the laptop and my tattoos:


They were asking questions and starting to get into my little spiel about how the internet makes everything possible, and how if they want to be writers or singers or actors or anything ever, all they have to do is do it and put it out on the net, and how no one can ever hold them back except themselves... Until this asshole cranked up his stupid lift truck and started offering rides to the semi-hot teachers:




I really couldn't compete with either the noise or the spectacle of the kids' teachers going up in the bucket. But once he knocked it off, I got back to yammering to the chilluns about doing anything they want and not being afraid to be creative, even if everyone in their lives tries to shut them down.

Some of the teachers even approved of my message, except one who got PISSED at me for not lying to one little girl when she asked "Do you have to go to college to be a writer?" I told her "Absolutley not. I didn't. All it takes is a willingness to be heard and the time spent writing things down." This old bat of a teacher started chastising me behind my back to another teacher, until I called her out. "You went to college?" I asked.

She nodded.

"What for?" I asked.

"English Lit," She responded snidely.

"And when we're done here, I'm going to go play video games and sell books, while you wipe noses and force kids to line up alphabetically and eat shitty cafeteria food... So who got the better end of the deal?"

She shut up. 

Anyway, the kids were really fantastic. Two of them, Shay and Jacob, even draw comics and showed me their work. They were SMART little guys, with fully-fledged universes and some really great humor in their 4th Grade level drawings. They have a future, and I told them so. I even gave them a brand new Moleskine sketchbook I'd just received the night before and planned to fill with scribbles of my own.

They're somewhere in the picture below: 


Overall, it was a fun little experience, if for no other reason than I finally got to tell a teacher that, why yes, I actually DO have a future.