New Castle News

News Bloggers

May 24, 2013

Gary Church: Speaking to Neshannock students lands me in principal’s office

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.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: When the family’s away, this bachelor will ... work?

    It was inevitable. I knew it was coming and the situation was unavoidable. Over the course of the last few weeks I have been preparing myself for this moment and it has finally come.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results