Yesterday, I was a guest speaker at ABC Day 2012, an annual event at the Explore Charter School in Flatbush, Brooklyn. It’s an opportunity for the students to meet with authors, illustrators, poets, songwriters and other creative types. I gave three presentations to kids in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades, talking about about my art, but the students were also interested in my advertising career.
The kids were impressive. One correctly identified a British Mark IV tank in one of my illustrations. And Jahmir, my student chaperone for the day, is quite the overachiever. In between modeling gigs, he tested into LaGuardia and Stuyvesant, but opted for Dalton after receiving a full scholarship. When I started to tell my wife his story she said she read about him in the New York Times.
I don’t know how teachers do it. I had to be “on” all the time. It only takes is a second or two of dead air and the kids start to drift. One morning left me exhausted. Still I think I’d do it again.