Speaking to the Cartwrights!
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
I thought I had them when the kid in the second row almost dislocated his arm while waving it into the air wanting to ask a question. I realized I didn't when I extended the mike to him and he sheepishly says, "I forgot what I was going to ask"
It was my second big crowd speaker's bureau engagement since returning from the Olympics. The first was in front an entire school, JK to Grade Six at Bruce Public School in Toronto, then the biggest group I had ever spoken to, now seemed like a warmup for the JK to grade eight students at Cartwright Central Public School in Blackstock.
Showing pictures is fun and the large group was a lot of fun to show pictures to. I like to dream that my pictures might inspire a future Olympian.
The showing at the "smaller" school helped me prepare for the larger school.
I learned to keep the message simple. I showed them a camera on a 500 mm f/4 lens, which was my workhorse at the games. I stuck to three main stories about athletes, Kristi Richards who despite a wipeout in her final run got up and finished the run to the delight of the fans, Joannie Rochette , who lost her mother and skated to a bronze medal and Jasey Jay Anderson, snowboarder who gave up a MacDonald's sponsorship because he would rather sell kids blue berries than french fries. Three athletes that all parents should do back flips for of their child adopted them as an idol!
Of course, I showed them a lot of back flips!
What made the show at Cartwright Central unique for me had to be what the grade fours did afterwards.
As I show pictures in the gym you can hear how excited the kids are when they see the pictures. After the showing at Bruce Public School I learned to keep my words to a minimum and let the kids enjoy the pictures.
I always wonder what the kids take from the pictures and the chat. The Grade Fives gave that look into what stuck with them. After the presentation they drew a picture based on my photographs. This was pretty cool, to see what inspired them!
Here are the pictures they drew!
(FYI, If the pictures look a little mushy in a couple places, I did remove the names from the pictures)
"Good Job" seemed like Hockey pictures were the big favourite, although one young student in the question and answer was upset that I did not have any pictures from the women's hockey games. Sorry, I did not get the chance to photograph any!
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