May 14, 2013 I HAVE TO MAKE A SPEECH AND I’M SO NERVOUS!! OMG, I’m TOTALLY freaking out! I have to give a speech in front of the WHOLE school! I’m HORRIBLE at public speaking….even when it’s kind of private! Every year on Thanksgiving we go around the table and say the things we’re grateful for. Whenever it’s my turn and everyone looks at me, I start sweating like a pig on a trampoline! I just HATE that feeling of everyone staring at me. When I was really little, my mom would actually say, “It’s Nikki’s turn to tell us what she’s grateful for. She’s shy, so no one look at her while she talks!” And that was even MORE embarrassing, because then everyone KNEW I was freaking out about the whole thing. She may as well have said, “Nikki’s wearing the My Little Pony underwear I bought her but she thinks they’re babyish, so pretend I didn’t just tell you all RIGHT in front of her!” But back to this whole speech thing! You’re probably wondering why I have to give one in the first place. No, I didn’t win an award or get voted class president super late in the school year. My school’s having a speech contest…an optional one, meaning I didn’t have to take part. But my school is also having an art contest, and I’ve been SUPER IMPATIENT waiting for them to put the sign up sheet up! So today when I heard a couple of kids muttering in the hallway, “Blah blah blah sign up sheet,” I was psyched! I thought they were talking about the art contest, and I couldn’t wait to get my name on there! The list was already pretty full, so I immediately moved my eyes to the bottom and signed up. I just didn’t think to double check that it was the right list!! Later on, I saw my math teacher in the hallway and she said, “Miss Maxwell. I was impressed to see your name on the speech contest sign-up sheet! I’m actually one of the judges. I can’t wait to hear your elocution!” So I said, “Thanks, I’m…wait, what? No, you must be confused! I’m participating in the ART contest! That speech thing is definitely not for me!” She looked at me like I just spit in her face and kicked her in the shins. Seriously, she looked TOTALLY hurt! So I said, “I mean, I think it’s a really, really, really good thing for some people.” (Three reallys…further proof that I shouldn’t be in a speech-writing contest!) Then she said, “Well Miss Maxwell, I have to say you’re missing out on a wonderful opportunity to broaden your horizons. And, honestly, I’m surprised. Based on how much time you spend writing in that journal of yours, I assumed you had a love for the English language that paralleled mine.” I shrugged my shoulders and made a “Gee, I’m sorry you’re disappointed face,” and then I started to walk away. Right then she said, “What a shame. Well, if you change your mind, let me know. I’m giving everyone who participates extra credit in my class.” I didn’t expect that at all! I mean, public speaking has absolutely nothing to do with math! Still, I didn’t want to point out the obvious and change her mind, because I REALLY need that extra credit. So instead I just blurted out, “You know what? I changed my mind. Count me in!” I figured five minutes of sweating and spazzing out in front of the whole school is much better than a week of being grounded when my parents see my horrible report card! But now I kind of want to change my mind again. I HATE giving speeches!!