Sunday, November 22, 2009

Distinguished Guest Speaker Series – Preschool Edition

I’ve been doing speaking engagements at schools, on occasion, for about 10 years now talking primarily about what I do at my day job.
The art portion, not blogging (nobody wants to hear about that.)

Over the years I’ve had my share of audiences. Generally speaking, Elementary school aged kids are by far the best to present to. You show them some cool art, do a little talking while waving the arms around, tell a few jokes here and there, and 9 out of 10 times they give you a standing ovation like you’re Johnny Depp, or Chewbacca, tossing candy bars and live Ewoks into the audience.
Junior High kids? I don’t know what their deal is. They look all zoned out most of the time. Maybe they can’t wait to get their cell phones back to text the kid they’re sitting next to about “Twilight”, or they’re all on crack from watching too much “Twilight.” I’m not sure.
High school kids are oddly a mixture of the two described above, but they ask stupid questions if you let them like “what kind of car do you drive?”

To which I always answer “A really nice El Camino that can get me to the nearest KFC.”

So imagine my interest when the ‘head governess’ of my daughter’s school asked me if I wanted to speak to the entire Pre-K program? I couldn’t wait.
Now if you know 4-5 year olds then you know they have the attention span of a fly particularly when they’re in groups and have to sit quietly while watching somebody speak and especially if you’re not holding up a book and asking them to tell a Pigeon “NO!”
Or if you’re not a Transformer, Ninja, or Princess.

I dashed through the art, waved my hands around, made some silly jokes, and then asked if anybody had any questions about what I do or what they had just seen.

About 40 kids raised their hands at once.

Some of the “questions” (names changed to protect identities but to describe the kid):

Fancy Nancy – My neighbor’s dog, he bites on his leg EVERY MORNING…and my mom makes pancakes for me! (insert big smile)
Dora – If a bee bites somebody, they can DIE. (insert big smile)
Diego – When I was little, I sawed this show on TV and this robot ate a monkey and then my grandpa buyed me and my sister McDonalds and then...(confused look staring at the ground)
Smurfette – Unicorns and Ponies aren’t really real. (serious look)
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – There’s a tiny mouse on the computer that shakes his booty like this. (gets up and shakes her bottom. All kids laugh)
Handy Manny – I can whistle. (starts to whistle while spraying/spitting on the kids around him)
Princess Sunshine Sparkles Fairy Ballerina Mermaid (aka, my daughter) – Daddy, can I go home early? (serious look)

I said yes and then we drove in the El Camino to the nearest KFC.

Well not really. I don’t own an El Camino.


Kelly said...

Sounds like 'Kindergarten Cop'! lol
PS...Don't let the pigeon drive the bus.

SciFi Dad said...

I've never been asked to speak at my daughter's school. It probably has to do with the incident at "meet the teacher night".

Mac and Cheese said...

So I'm not the only one who feels like he or she is talking to people with concussions when dealing with that age group?

Amrita said...

Wishing you a lovely El Camino and Happy Thanks giving

Bolton said...

Diego must watch Robot Chicken.. I'd tell Princess Sunshine Sparkles Fairy Ballerina Mermaid to stay away from him..

Susan said...

Cute! You never know what those preschoolers will say.

for a different kind of girl said...

It has been my experience that, when speaking about one's career with preschool kids or high school kids, one will always, always get the following question - "So, how much money do you make doing that?"

Sadly, I've never made enough to suitably impress either audience, which is a shocking shame when you realize just how gullible some preschoolers can be.

nonlineargirl said...

I was so with you until I found out you don't have an el camino. Wow, I am so disappointed.

Ben and Bennie said...

God you nailed that perfectly! What is it about artists that we get asked to speak to school kids? Why not the accountant or the garbage collector?

BTW, I'm TOTALLY stealing that El Camino bit.

creative-type dad said...

Ben and Bennie -- I know! Apparently was a close second to the woman from the aquarium.

nonlineargirl -- One of these days, I'll make you proud.

for a different kind of girl -- That's actually the #1 question HS kids ask. I usually say "more than I was making when I was your age." That usually shuts them up.

Beverly said...

Now I want to go speak at a school.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I once spoke at an elementary school for career day and was COMPLETELY overshadowed by two fire fighters, who were dressed in their full gear.

You can't compete with fire fighters.

Otter Thomas said...

Hilarious! I laughed from Chewbaca and the live Ewoks all the way to the end. Kids are great.

creative-type dad said...

Daddy Geek Boy -- Next time you should dress as a Ninja.

Otter - I would pay big money to see live Ewoks thrown into a crowd.