“It’s Impromptu Friday!”

The fifth hour Speech class was silent, except the faint “woo” slipping from a student’s lips. The Speech teacher, Ms. Lisa Garrelts, encourages students to not worry about their “likes and ums this week and just about their body language. Garrelts quizzes her students on different types of nonverbal communication; kinesics is what your body is doing while you are giving a speech, and paralanguage is not what you say but how you say it.

Garrelts explains that telling a story is a great way to avoid word fillers... whether the story is true or not. Using emotion is crucial when you are talking up in front of a group of people. If you don’t believe in what you are saying, no one else will.

While Garrelts is giving instructions, some of the faces look distracted. There are a number of football jerseys around the room, so the lack of focus can be imaginable. Some stomachs are growling as lunch is just around the corner.

“Let’s go,” Garrelts said.

She asks if there is are any brave takers. Her students hesitate for a beat, then one student raises his hand and makes his way to the front of the class. His question is, “Who is your favorite Disney Villain?” After taking a few minutes to decide he starts out by saying “Olaf is the devil.” Not a very popular opinion. His reasoning behind this is when Anna and Kristoff first meet the snowman, he sings about being somewhere hot, like the beach. I noticed that the student was rocking back and forth making it obvious he was nervous or not sure what to say next.

“What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?” was the question as the next student took her place front and center. She described a garden at St. Ansgar just off of the football field when she was in 6th grade. There were flowers and statues placed all around the landscape. She and her friend were trying to find slugs during a football game in the garden. The two girls had the “brilliant” idea for one of the girls to tilt the statue while the other looked for slugs. Soon the inevitable happened: the statue fell. And that’s where the sixty seconds cut her off.

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