Friday, May 2, 2008

The Bee Degree

Last week Hayden’s class had a guest speaker…actually three guest speakers visited the class to talk about BEES. It was his very own GrandDad. Earlier that week when Hayden's teacher, Ms. Annie was prepping the class for the big event, she mentioned that Hayden’s Grandfather was coming to visit. I was told how Hayden just sat there shaking his head and disagreeing with her repeating that he doesn’t even have a Grandfather. Never clarifying that he does have a GrandDad that would in fact be speaking on the subject. Technicality.

GrandDad, along with Mr. Lee and Mr. Alan showed up in full bee gear to talk about bees and honey and everything in bee-tween.

Of course, GrandDad didn’t show up empty handed. He convinced his friends to drive to Paris, Texas at 5 a.m. that morning to get some bee coloring books and honey candy and bee story books and bee notepads for the teachers. And of course, Mimi believed GrandDad when he left that morning at 5 a.m and told her he was just “going to breakfast with his friends” ….quite early for a 10 a.m. presentation time.

Needless to say, the kids loved it. The teachers loved it. Classes were trailing in during the presentation, not wanting to miss out after seeing all of the commotion going on in Room 17. Their favorite part without a doubt was trying to find the queen bee in the observation hive. It was amazing how many kids "found" the queen, even though the bee keepers weren’t quite sure she was actually in there.
Finally at the end of the presentation, Mr. Lee opened it up for questions. Hands shot up everywhere. Surprisingly, only one or two kids in a room of about 60 didn’t have a question.
Why do they sting people?
Do they not like people?
Does it hurt when they sting?
Do they eat their honey?
Do they get happy when they sting people?

I couldn’t help but notice how different the atmosphere was compared to the large Finance staff meeting I attended earlier that week. The CEO was speaking, and after a 30 minute presentation, he opened it up for questions. The room went silent. Everyone knew what everyone else was thinking.

Someone else PLEASE ask a question.

The 20 seconds of silence felt like an eternity until finally, the CFO stood up and asked a question that “someone had emailed him prior to the meeting.” That took up just enough time for the rest of the group to come up with a few worthy questions. When I say the rest of the group, I am referring to the same 10 people that always ask questions. And for the record, that doesn’t include me. Or Kellie.

It’s obvious that something changes between preschool and professionalism. The saying around the office goes, “there is no such thing as a stupid question….only stupid people.” It’s that mentality that holds us back. But at age four, everything is new, and everything is expected to be new. From bees to dinosaurs to astronauts…there reallyis no such thing as a stupid question.

And speaking of astronauts, Hayden just told me he “wants to go back to NASA because it was a totally awesome location.”

Ahh, to be four again.

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