Saturday, May 05, 2007

you want me to what?

A little while ago, the other GSA advisor was approached by one of my former students to present a session on homophobia at a Western conference they were hosting in town. Originally, my partner in crime had agreed to do it solo - apparently she does the conference thing fairly regularly. Then, slowly - and without my forcing I might add! - she realised we should get our youth involved. Yay! Then she wanted me to present as well. What? I've done the small group session at a conference before, but never the lone person at the front of a huge room. The thought was intimidating to say the least. I mean, sure they are just teenagers, but there was going to be one hundred of them!

By the time we had gotten the youth presenters committed, we only had a week before the conference. So in a very focused planning session over a noon hour, we banged out what we wanted to do. Working with other advisor was interesting as when I work with youth I tend to get them to do everything (Totally a cop out for me, but also the way it should be. Convenient eh?) and other advisor loves to talk cause she doesn't want anything she thinks is important to get missed. Watching her brain acclimatise itself to giving over responsibility was really interesting. Not that she was overly resistant to it or anything, it just made me realise how much work needs to be done in changing the way adults think of working with youth. Her brain just wasn't used to thinking "the kids can do that, and that, and that..."

The conference itself was awesome. The kids did a great job, I didn't talk too fast and just may have pulled off sounding articulate, and other advisor's love of talking came in handy when we had a few extra minutes to fill. The kids in attendance, for the most part, asked intelligent questions and participated as well as could be expected after a full day of conferencing. The reason we were asked to come was very recently one of the youth in Saskatoon's Jewish community came out and they were looking raise awareness and tolerance. I thought this was so fabulous on the part of the organisers - opinions on homosexuality in the Jewish faith are mixed so for them to step up and be over the top accepting is really wonderful.

I'm guessing now that word is out there that we do public presentations there will be more requests, but I'm all for some revisions and letting the kids run it all!

1 comment:

bag marla said...

Man, I totally miss doing stuff like that. I need start doing more presentations so I can make young people do all the work. Those are the best presentations ever!