Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rik's Blog, 80's Edition: Random 80's memory

It was spring of 1986, I was a freshman at Alvirne High School. I had a class called Communications that was supposed to teach us how to communicate in various venues such as speech giving, debating, interviews, etc. My teacher was a strict, old, school-marm type woman named Mrs. Pryor who dressed like it was 1886 and used to say stuff like "why are you tardy?" when you would come in late.

On this particular day, our assignment was to split up into groups and give an informational speech on a major current event - the US bombing of Libya. We broke up into our groups with our newspapers - since we were supposed to cite sources - and prepared our speeches. We had a nerdy little guy in our group named Jason Weatherbee and he and I were talking about the bombing as we wrote our notes and he was telling me some of the stuff he had heard in the news and such and one of the things he told me was that he'd heard that, although France had refused to allow the Americans to fly over their country on their way to Libya, they were actually secretly in favor of the bombing action.

So one by one we got up and gave our news speeches and eventually it came to be my turn. I got up and started droning on and on about stuff I'd read, but I was having trouble trying to fill my alloted time. So I figured I'd impress the class and Mrs. Pryor (and get a higher grade) by giving them some "inside information". Here's how it went:

Me: The news is reporting that a lot of countries in Europe were against the bombing but I've just learned that even though France said they were against it and would not let the US jets fly over their country, they were secretly in favor of it and supported the action...

Mrs. Pryor: That is quite an astonishing assertion. Would you please provide us with a source for your information?

Me: Jason Weatherbee told me.

Needless to say, Mrs. Pryor was not impressed. But hey, I was 14, how was I supposed to know that Jason Weatherbee was not an acceptable source?! I think I ended up with a C...and a severe tongue lashing from Mrs. Pryor.

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