People carry stories inside of them. Time tales revolve around from the past and the present and the future like a merry-go-round. Isn’t it amazing how once one steps on board that ride, one can instantaneously travel back in time in their mind, and whip immediately to the present moment, and then … find oneself … imagining a potential future? We all have stories and virtual realities ready to play with a “word,” a “sound,” “smells,” and “tastes,” and “feelings.” Some stories replay in our lives in new ways later on. Here is one of my rides on the Merry-go-Round of Memories.
Around this time every year, Dick Carpenter and I get together for a sandwich and soup at McMenamins, a popular food place in Portland. We talk about the past year, activities that our families are involved in now, and our plans for the upcoming year.
Dick and I shared many volunteer hours in TV studios when he was the producer for a show called “Voice for Kids,” I hosted in Beaverton TVCA (now TVTV). The show was on for about 12 years. Dick and I met at TV Toastmasters, and participated in the learning and production of many shows over time. The Toastmaster organization focused on helping people learn how to communicate in the public and television media, although some people were more interested in how to work with cameras, microphones, and equipment, and techniques to create a message in video format for TV.
On our meeting this year he asked me if I would join him for his talk show on Portland Community Media.
Dick leaned forward and asked, “So, I wonder if you’d be interested in joining me on another show?”
“Hmmmm,” I replied. “What topic are you talking about?”
Dick replied, “Oh, you know, community, politics, and other such interesting topics. Remember the shows we did with the kids? They were something, weren’t they? People like hearing about how kids doing good things. You sure did good things with them back then.”
I replied, “Yes, I loved watching kids learn how to express themselves and talk about what matters to them.”
Dick rubbed his chin and smiled as he said, “Did you know that those past shows are still playing now on various cable access stations?”
I smiled, remembering stories I heard in that past … wondering how those same young adults would feel watching themselves on those shows of when they were kids.
Once, a college student emailed me and asked me if I remembered them. They explained how their experience on the show that they were in changed their life. The experience taught them that it was okay to be themselves, and to have the confidence to pursue a college degree in communication. Wandering around in my mind I felt warm inside with this memory.
“We are filming on Wednesday evening,” Dick said. “Are you available around seven?”
I came back to the present moment. “Oh, yes,” I didn’t know how long I had been visiting that past memory, but it seemed a long time. “Yes! Sure. I’d be happy to join you on your show, Dick.” I pulled out my calendar, and looked through my upcoming week … My future.
As I flipped through my upcoming schedule, I time travelled again … to over a decade to the times when I went into the classrooms and worked with children on confidence building skills in speaking. Shy 10 and 11-year-old students turned into vibrant, talkative tour guides of their imagination. Kids told stories of their vacations; their dreams in becoming a basketball player; family hardships and how they overcame those challenges in life; and they participated in fun games on the show with questions, such as, “You were stranded on an island and just now were rescued. Tell how us your successful story of how you survived!”
Dick was speaking to me again, saying, “Wednesday in the evening at Portland Community Media. Cat, are you here? You know the place, right? Over by Nike,”
I hadn’t heard Dick speaking, because I was still hanging around in the stories in my mind. “Ok,” he asked me again.
“Oh, yes. Of course,” I smiled coming back from my memories.
We left the restaurant and I continued through the next few days, wandering in the stories of the past, wondering about the young people I met along the way. You never know how a person will come into your life … and the difference you can make by being present when needed.
On the day of the talk show, Rebecca Hufford joined me to talk with Dick. She is my colleague in putting together our new Video book on “Coaching Kids,” which is a video, book and cd set for teachers, parents and coaches to benefit in communicating with youth. We’ve been working on this project for almost a year now and it is due to be released in February, 2014.
Rebecca and I met a few hours before the show and prepared for what we would talk about with Dick on the Independent Producers Show at PCM. We headed to the studio, arrived, and were set up with microphones. Before you knew it, the show started and continued beautifully. We talked about communicating with kids and how teachers and coaches could support youth by listening to them. Coaching youth is a powerful way for everyone to learn how to work through their challenges, perceptions, and make SMART plans. I have heard it said that, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Adults, parents, and teachers can learn powerful, inspirational coaching techniques to open better understanding and communication. Dick asked lots of questions. We ended on a high note. The time had whizzed by, and then the director said, “That’s a rap, folks!” It was finished.
Rebecca and I left the studio, and headed back to our cars. Feeling the winter breeze, I shivered, and the freezing chill instantly brought me to the present! My mind was now focused on now and figuring out how to drive home.
It’s interesting how we have our every day-time travels. We talk to people in the present, we think about the past … traveling back in time in our heads, and then we envision events that could happen in the future. Our minds walk back and forth in time to who we were, to who we are now, and to who we want to become.
Where are you in time today? Past. Present. Future.
If you want to learn more about the “Coaching Kids video book, contact us. Call 503-525-0595.