Friday, August 15, 2014

The Season Begins

I drove from Saint Louis to Kalamazoo yesterday and it was a drive full of reflection. With being on the go so much and having so many entertainment options on an airplane I really haven't had more than two or three hours to simply be and think and on my drive yesterday I had more than enough time.

On my drive I thought of the past 11 months and just how amazing it has been with 140 presentations to 21,538 people. I don't know if I'll ever experience numbers like that again, but I thought back to my October national tour and all the schools I presented at and I then thought of all the schools across Missouri I spoke to including a tour of every school in McDonald county, and I began to think of all the students I met, the questions asked, and the lives impacted.

You see, I don't often realize that anything I do has any impact at all; I simply do it because it needs to be done and that's my job/passion. This isn't me trying to be overly humble as this is a fact and once a presentation is over it was as if that presentation didn't exist. That is, until my drive yesterday that I finally had time to process it all and I was moved to tears as I crossed the Illinois/Indiana border as I thought of the compassion I've seen in students I've presented to which brought me to the realization that the school season has begun.

The start of the school year used to be the worst time of year. For myself it was filled with angst, terror, anxiety, sadness, fear, and I'm sure I left a few emotions out. Needless to say it was bad as my serene schedule of the summer and not having to worry about socializing, the potential for fire drills, and the often taught but never learned concept of prepositional phrases was over. It's odd how time changes things as now as summer comes to a close my season begins and the start of the school year marks another chance to go into one of the toughest presentation arenas and give it my all.

So often I've heard from principals that, "Yeah, these students don't do assemblies very often so if they are disrespectful take no disrespect from it" but I have to be honest and say that I have yet to have a bad experience. As I've stated so often the only word I can use for a school presentation is, "magical."

It won't be long before I have my first presentation in a school and I think back to my very first school presentation in October of 2011 and how I feared it and considered it to be nothing short of, "Aaron vs. 5th graders" but now there's no more important forum for my voice and it won't be long until I get the chance, and the honor, to stand up in front of a multitude of students and proudly proclaim, "I'm Aaron Likens, Autism Ambassador for Easter Seals Midwest and author of the book Finding Kansas which I was able to write from a first hand account of having Asperger's..."

No comments:

Post a Comment