Sunday, November 17, 2013

NOLA, Part the First

Damn you, New Orleans time. It is late, and I am tired, but to my body it is an hour earlier. No time like the present to start thinking about the TEDYouth conference, I suppose.

Yes. I did cry. Softly, to myself, and filled with pride. MAN. That kid gets me.

The whole conference was incredible. Speakers from Sonny Lee, who talked about the use of the n-word ("Replace it with the word 'slave,'" he said. "How does it sound now when you call your friends that word?"), to McKenna Pope, a 14-year-old who petitioned the makers of the Easy-Bake oven to include less girly marketing techniques (and succeeded), to Cole Plante, 15-year-old DJ who has worked with ridiculous numbers of famous people, to Cam Perron, another 15-year-old who started a pension plan for former Negro League baseball players to Jonathan Mannion, legendary hip-hop photographer (for little-known folks like Jay-Z, Luda, DMX, Eminem, Aaliyah, Notorious B.I.G, and others) to Suzanne Simard who talked about mother trees and their "social networks."

That's just a few of the speakers.

Sicily CRUSHED IT. Perspective: the child has NEVER spoken in public like this before, not even a little speech. A few things in a classroom years ago, but that's it. More perspective: the other speakers knew for months in advance that they would be speaking and rehearsed their speeches via Skype with the producers multiple times before they came to New Orleans. Sicily found out seven days before the conference that she would be speaking and showed the producers in the hotel lobby the night before the speakers' rehearsal (with people walking around and staring at her).


Next speaking engagement on the calendar is the Tiny House Conference in Charlotte in April 2014, but who knows? Once her talk is online, we will see where that takes her.

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