As part of the annual teach-in today, I gave a presentation on highway safety to five different classes of high school students. And I learned a lesson.
The teacher told me that if the students are quiet during the talk that they are paying attention. Their silence had me worried until she told me this. I was also able to work in my weight gain as a lesson to them.
A few years ago another car came into my lane on the expressway and we collided, his car's left rear to my car's right front. Although the damage was relatively minor, the next day I fell out of bed with back cramps. It seems I have a permanent lower back injury as a result of this crash. It's something I've mentioned here in passing a couple of times.
I told the students of this situation and how the injury has made me curtail my aerobics, leading to a 40 pound weight gain. All because I was doing nothing wrong but ended up incapacitated because of another person's careless driving.
It made a good object lesson -- drivers doing everything properly are still at the mercy of those who drive while stupid.
After a talk I showed a 15-minute video I produced titled "Marker Memories
Part 1: A Journey to Understanding that personalizes the roadside memorials we see where someone has died in a traffic crash.
If you'd like to watch it, the link is:
This was an all volunteer effort so we don't benefit from people watching. No "pay per click" or anything so please feel free passing along the link, especially to those people with driving age children. Perhaps we can save a life and not have to suffer the loss of a relative in a crash as I did.
The students surprised me by applauding after each presentation and by asking pointed questions about the making of the video, highway safety in general, and my experience in law enforcement.
But it was their silence during my talk that had me wondering if I was addressing a bunch of robots.
All in all, perhaps a life or two will be saved from this volunteering effort. We can only hope.
But I can also say that I'm not used to standing or talking all day. My feet are swollen and my voice raspy.
But, as the late great James Brown said, "I feel good."