Are you Still reading? here is the next digest of Fake It Till You Make!
So, I went on to write my “speech”. I have NEVER in my life worked so hard on an assignment… that even my mother would walk into my room and ask why I am working so hard at this assignment? Mum this is a very important assignment for my marks I would blatantly lie… I don’t remember the weighting of the actual assessment or whether it went towards my HSC mark nor do I remember the topic or the words… All I remember is the fear, the nightmares, the stress building up to the “EVENT”.
I spent hours writing that speech… BUT more importantly… I spent hours PRACTICING and learning that damn speech off by heart… (remember NO VISUAL AIDS) in the mirror. I started with the speech written up on a full page, then on que cards. Mind you we had no home computers back then. I had to hand write all this up.
By the time the day arrived, I knew every single word off by heart. I knew every gesture I was going to do, every step, every hand movement, every eye contact, facial gesture was practiced to a TEE… I CAN NOT SCREW THIS UP!
I knew deep inside if I screw this up there was no return for me… no confidence left… not that I had much of it back then… it would have been the end of me… remember that fear of public speaking over death… well yeah.. I would have gladly taken death over doing that speech…
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!! And no, I don’t mean steak knives…
The dreaded day arrives… fair to say, I didn’t sleep the night before! My bed was soaked… and NO not the way an average 17-year-old boy’s bed is usually soaked… I was in a cold sweat ALL night… ALL day.
At school I was very quiet that day… scared shitless. We all arrive at the auditorium. All the year 12 boys and all the HSC English teachers were there… one of the teachers stands up and says “to make it fair, we will draw the names out of a hat” for the speeches. Sounds fair enough right? Not for Wassim though… I will get to that in a second.
The 1st student gets called up and he had QUE CARDS!!
“BUT MISS” I call out… the assessment task said no visual aids… ‘Yes Wassim’, she replies, ‘that means no overhead projector slide’ (we didn’t have PowerPoint back then) … OHHHH SHIT MIND BLOWN! Just imagine the atomic bomb going off in my head… you bloody idiot Wassim… why didn’t you ask, why didn’t you clarify? Imagine how much less stress I would have had if I did right?
Oh well, what is done is done… and here I am…
I sat there watching my peers give their speeches, every time the teacher would put her hand in that box to pick out a name… my heart would sink, skip a beat… and every time someone else was called I was relieved, yet the anxiety grew. I just want this over; I don’t want to do this… Will this day ever end???
Then the teacher calls out the school captain’s name… an articulate, well spoken charismatic, good looking popular young man… he gets up and delivers an outstanding speech… as expected from him… and then ‘Wassim,’ she calls out… WHAT ME? NOW? AFTER HIM? HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW THAT ACT???
Stay tuned for more next week….