This was said to me and Erik last week at the Zone Oratorical Competition as we waited for the judges to determine the winners.
The speaker was a woman I do not know, who had cornered me the previous afternoon at a music festival (where Grace's school band got a gold medal) to tell me that she had been at the high school speech competition the previous week, and that she thought Erik had the most interesting, most entertaining speech there, and she couldn't understand why he hadn't placed and gone on to the next level.
Obviously a part of the organizing committee for the oratorical competitions, she was now also present for the Zone level....the winners of which will go on to the Provincial level in May....and had just listened to both Anna and Grace (who had placed 1st and 3rd respectively in their school contests) speak.
Erik's speech the week previous had been a rather tongue-in-cheek approach to the subject: How My Passions Impact The World. He was funny and self-deprecating as he spoke about his love for environmentally hostile big trucks, and his ideas for making them more environmentally friendly. It was his first public speaking, and the boy was a hit with his classmates, but not, alas, the judges.
At the zone level (same subject) Anna spoke eloquently and earnestly about her passion for peace and education. Grace brought a certain dramatic flair to get speech about her plans for developing a climate changing machine that could deflect the sun's rays to help mitigate global warming. All three speeches were very representative of the speakers themselves, and the authenticity shone through. I was impressed. And apparently, so was this lovely woman.
And we do have interesting dinner conversations (or car ride conversations, which are equally good for encouraging discourse). Geo-engineering was our most recent one. But literature, philosophy, politics, education, scientific discovery, and mathematical debate are often on the table with the stuffed chicken breast and spinach salad.
And sometimes the conversation is a lot less highbrow too: alternate endings for movies, debating the leadership style of Darth Vader, coming up with funny t-shirt slogans, and my "favourite"....the seemingly endless debate over the benefits of fart-proof underwear. Yes. Well...
But I hadn't really thought about it until this lady mentioned it.
It makes me happy to think that this is part of the fabric of our lives.
Grace came in 3rd in the Zone Competition....she was the youngest participant, and it was a great showing for her first contest. Anna won. She will be off to the Provincials again. This will be her third time making it that far, and we couldn't be more proud of her. Of all three of them, actually.
Maybe....just maybe...dinner conversations had something to do with it.