New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
When the phone rings, and the caller says, "Gary, Tim Kolodziej," I start bracing myself for another exciting adventure.
On this particular occasion, he wanted me to speak at Neshannock High School, for Career Day.
He said it would be a cinch. Just tell them what you do at the New Castle News.
I figured that would take me about two minutes.
I became a concerned citizen.
It just so happens that I have some friends in high places.
I contacted Mohawk guidance counselor Amy Lutz for some guidance.
She gave me six questions that I should talk on.
I was nervous.
On the day of the speech, nothing went as planned.
I was supposed to speak at 11:30 a.m.
At 10:20, I got a call from The News wanting me to take a photo of a train derailment in Mahoningtown.
This put me a little behind, but I arrived at Neshannock at 11:20, only to find that my talk wasn't until 11:45.
Tim told me to go to the office and two girls would escort me to where I was supposed to go.
There was only one guy there who escorted me.
Since I was so early, they had to do something with me until it was my time to talk.
You'll never guess where they put me.
I got put in the hot seat in the principal’s office.
That brought back some memories. I spent a lot of time in the principal’s office when I was in school.
The chair I sat in must have been for smaller students. When I got up, it came with me.
That was a little embarrassing.
While in the principal’s office, I learned I was speaking to seventh- and eighth-graders.
I assumed I was going to talk to seniors.
Now that really got me nervous. I have never spoken to young people before.
I think I have found my calling in life, explaining journalism to junior high students.
When I was done, one girl gave me a standing ovation. It was either that or she really had to go to the bathroom.
I guess at Neshannock, you are not allowed to close the door.
Because I might have said a few things that they found humorous, the laughter was quite loud for the whole 27 minutes.
Explaining the Black Whale to Neshannock junior high students is quite a treat.
When I walked out of the classroom, guess who was standing outside the door?
None other than the principal. I looked down the hall and several teachers were outside their door, glaring my way.
I got out of there as quick as my body could move. I just knew the principal had that, "You're getting detention" look in her eye.
The students I spoke to were a perfect audience.
I would have to say of all the mass throngs I have spoken to over the years, this group was my favorite one of all.
One student actually asked me to be her Facebook friend.
How can you top that?
Now I guess I'll just sit back and wait for the next call to Adventureland.