Monday, May 29, 2017

Our Last Performance

If you are reading this, you are helping me organize my thoughts because today, I have to write a speech.  It's a simple, informal speech that will be given in front of a small group of educators in workday attire about a not-so-simple man.  Out of my comfort zone, I enrolled in my first speech class my 2nd semester of college.  Maybe this, in part, is one of the reasons why.

The story begins over 10 years ago, when I dressed myself in a pink and white pinstriped suit, something of course I purchased to wear when I lived in Atlanta.  It was not the small town kind of outfit.  As my name was called to head back to the interview, my heart began to race.  I was led out of the office, through the mail room, and down a short hall only to enter an overwhelming room filled with other administrators, teachers, and the department head.  The people in the room quickly worked to make me feel at ease.  I don't remember much about the interview questions, other than "Ms. Cameron, do you know what a Buckyball is?".  And even though I was a recently graduated Chemist, I did not.  Nor do I remember much about the interview itself, other than the willingness of the gentleman in the khaki shorts and white t-shirt (it was summer break) to make me laugh.  Little did I know then, that gentleman would become a huge part of my life...a co-worker, a confidant, a mentor, and a friend.

I don't mind so much giving speeches.  I mind less, writing them.  This speech, however, is different. This speech is about that gentleman that ended up across the hall.  Mr. Johns fulfilled his destiny of becoming an inspirational teacher.  He taught his students biology, physics, chemistry, environmental science, and physical science with the stories he told.  He prepared them for college and he prepared them for life with the life lessons he proclaimed.  Most importantly, he taught his students "how to fish" because he believed "If you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day.  But if you teach the man to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime."

Mr. Johns did all of this while being an exceptional entertainer and performer.  At the beginning of the school year, he asked me to do one more performance with him and I was honored to accept the challenge.  Check out the "Farewell Tour" by the "Real Goners" performed during the intermission near the end of the 2017 Dodge County High School Talent Show.

Although this may have been Our Last Performance together, the performances nor the memories created will never be forgotten.  Words cannot describe how much Mr. Johns will be missed.  But, that is what I will try to do in the speech, which will be titled, "What We Will Miss the Most."  We will honor him and his career in Our Last Performance to him.  To my readers, "thank you" for helping me organize my thoughts and direction of a very difficult speech (and for not criticizing my grammar).  To Mr. Johns, "thank you" for being you.  Happy retirement!  

Update-The Speech 
What We Will Miss the Most