Clay was typing for the Communications Mentors’ Network, a group that supports communication skills for everyone. The class was meeting in the campus library on an overcast afternoon.
We showed up on time, despite a ridiculous afternoon traffic jam, loaded like donkeys with a camera, a Flip cam, his iPad, snacks, a notebook. The class wasn’t ready for us, so Clay spent some time with his iPad, while we waited. He seemed relaxed ahead of his big moment.
After about 10 minutes, the teacher came out to usher us in. (This was the same teacher that got our whole journey with typing started two years ago. I’ll never forget her saying, “He just changed the whole plan” after he surprised all of us by typing his first time out.) Clay took a seat at the head table with his Mom and another guy, who sported a typing device attached to his wheel chair. A woman joined a little later through a video feed.
The students went around the room introducing themselves. Then it was Clay’s turn.
“so nice to see all of you. my name is clay,” he typed.
Then came a longer message:
“so happy to be here sad at we are not typing at school, frustrated. task is impossible to deal with. too tough.”
Then it was time for a walk around the room while the other visitors talked.
After a few minutes, the little guy settled down in the back to type another, less frustrated, message.
After the other two were done speaking through their devices, Clay went back to the head table to deliver his second message.
“thank you for your patience. I am clay, I am 16 years old and go to Council Rock North. awesome to be here. I type well with my mom. She asks me lots of questions. she loves me very much. we feel honored to be here. we are festinated with the stars.”
He stood up after that, making it clear it was time to leave. We stopped on the way out to sign the paperwork. Clay is a paid speaker, after all.
On the way back to the car we took a quick tour of the campus, including a pretty cool looking castle.
Then, home for a hard-earned rest.
Did the typing king have any other thoughts to share afterwards?
“so stupendous to be spveaking at arcadia. we are so excited that we were asked to speak.”
“Do you feel any different about yourself since the presentation?”
“yes so proud that we were asked.”
A smart kid who desperately wants a chance to show it. So glad I got to see him in action this time.