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Class Speech

November 7, 2007

Well, if you didn’t already know, I’m a high school teacher in Thailand.  In any case, we are working on speeches in my English classes.  So, I wrote one for them so that they could have a good example (hopefully) of some of the elements of a speech.  The first speech we’re working on is more of an informal biographical speech.  Basically, you just get up and talk about yourself, but I’ve asked them to do it in a creative way. 

So I wanted to post the speech that I wrote for them.  Be warned though, this was quickly done so it hasn’t really been double checked for errors and how “good” it really is.  It was also written for tenth graders whose first language is Thai.  Therfore, there is purposful redundancy and a simple message.  But it has an evangelistic flavor to it, and thankfully I work in a school where that is okay.  Anyway, here it is:

“The Cool Speech”  

I haven’t always been this cool.  No, not in all.  In fact, for a few years of my life, I was quite the nerd.  Or the loser.  Or the loner.  Nope, my journey to being cool has been a long, hard road.  It started when I was young.  But my journey begins probably where yours does too—middle school.  If you’ve ever struggled to be cool like I have, then it’s probably here you began, and so it is here that I will begin my story… 

I went to a private middle school and high school.  This school had a lot of “cool” people.  Do you know the ones that I’m talking about?  They were rich.  They had the coolest clothes.  They hung out in groups (that I wasn’t apart of by the way).  I mean they were cool!  I wanted to be like them so badly.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t rich.  I wasn’t in the group.  I was the kid with the dorky glasses.  I also had awful hair.  And I certainly wore the wrong clothes.  One time, one of the “cool” girls noticed that my jeans were from a cheap store, and she told me how uncool that was.  Yep, I was pretty uncool.  But that would change.   

High school is where I began to find out how to be “cool.”  Because in high school I became a baseball player.  I was pretty good too.  In fact, at one point I was named as one of the top 25 or so best players in my state for private school ball.  People knew who I was.  I was cool.  Of course, people only knew me as a baseball player.  It became my life and my identity.  They didn’t see the real me.  What was cool to them was that I was a good baseball player.  But one day I got hurt.  And I knew that baseball would not last much longer (it only lasted one more year).  The thing that made me cool was gone.  I was back to where I started—searching for how to be cool again. 

Even though baseball had been my identity (and my way to be cool) all throughout high school, amazingly enough I reinvented myself in college.  Music was my avenue to becoming cool again.  I started a band and we began to play on a weekly basis.  Now don’t get me wrong, we were not rock stars.  As a matter of fact, we did Christian music at a college ministry—kind of like church.  We weren’t trying to be famous, but that didn’t matter.  We were cool!  We played in front of two to five hundred people every week.  People who I didn’t know, knew me.  But that too ended.  I graduated and had to move away from college and my band.  The second thing that I had found my identity in was gone.  I still have music, but my identity as “that guy in the band” was no more.   

So here I am.  And you know, I’ve leaned some things about being cool.  I’ve learned that I’m actually not very cool at all, and that’s okay.  I don’t think being rich makes you cool.  I don’t think having the right clothes makes you cool.  I don’t think having the right friends, or playing the right sports, or being in a band can really make you cool.  I don’t even think being beautiful can make you cool.  We try so hard to be someone so people will like us and think we’re cool.  We need a better identity than that.  We need something more.  What I’ve found hasn’t made me cool, but it’s made me secure and whole and at peace with who I am as I am.  It’s my relationship with Jesus.  Because when I’m with Him everything He is—I am.  All his goodness.  All his love. All his kindness.  All his security.  I may not be cool.  In fact, I know I’m not.  But I think Jesus is cool, and I’m okay with Him being cool for me…

These are events that really happened in my life and a few words should be said about each.  When I was playing baseball or in the band, I wasn’t really thinking how cool I was.  This is more of a look of hindsight.  I realize that I invested a great deal of my selfhood in those “things.”  I still do that in some ways.  I do put a lot of stock in clothes.  I like to dress a certain way, because it creates a certain look, and it gives me a certain identity.  When I was in the band (it was actually praise and worship) I think that my motives were sincere and my heart in the right place.  But, when I look back, I see how much pleasure it brought me to be “on stage.”

So, I would say the last paragraph of the speech is still becoming true in my life.  I’m realizing (ever so slowly sometimes) that the only identity worth having is one in Christ.  I still want to be a certain way and look a certain way and be known for certain things.  But deep down, I really do know those things don’t matter.  Christ is becoming and will be all in all.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. catrina permalink
    November 22, 2007 5:47

    hey fagggetttt your a f****g loser dude hahahhahahahhaha

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