Come find me!

Midwestern Tour, July 2016: complete

No appearances currently scheduled.

Bring me to your town!

Would you like to hear me speak or read?  Want me to do a workshop?  Take a look at the topics here (for personal topics) or here (for corporate and organizational topics) and then get in touch using the form below!  Keynotes are about $3000 plus expenses, shorter or longer talks and workshops are available.  Requests for reductions of fees will be considered on a case by case basis.



There’s a girl rising to her feet.

She sits in the third row in the middle, and she

twists her hips as she winds her way out of the awkward schoolroom desk.

Her hands are shaking and her eyes

never come off the floor.

She’s clutching a too-thick stack of notecards.

She always gets A’s.

She won’t get an A this time.

Not even for effort, although she’s worked harder on this than she has on anything she’s ever done in school,

except maybe the leaf identification project from second grade.

She’s reached the front, despite herself, and pivots on weak knees to face the class.

Voice almost too soft to hear, she reads from the cards, not bothering to try to look up, just wanting it over.

She dreads jeers and catcalls, but what comes next is almost worse:

they applaud.

Not because she was good, she knows that.

Not because she was quick or witty or funny or interesting or confident or projected well.

They applaud out of sympathy, out of pity, finding a dusty graciousness that seventh graders rarely unearth.

But this travesty has moved even them.

She is grateful only

that no one mentions it again.