Jacqueline standing on a red carpet circle on stage in front of big letters saying TEDx Couer d'Alene

Kids can't be taught, but they love to learn

My TEDx Couer d'Alene talk

This is the first post in a 5-part series about my TEDx experience. I also wrote about preparing my talk, what I wore, the pervasive schooling mindset, and going to college as a homeschooled student.

Walking onstage

The spotlight was bright, but not so bright that I couldn't see the faces in the auditorium. It was quiet. My skirt swirled around my ankles as I stepped into the red carpet circle. The plush fuzz squished under my snow boots.

Nick, one of the event's organizers, asked me to introduce myself. He followed with a question, which I was told functioned as a sound check for my voice.

“What was one of the most challenging things about preparing your talk?”

I looked out at the audience. Were there a hundred people? Two hundred? Not all the seats were full. I smiled and said, “Well, honestly? One of the hardest things was picking out my outfit for today.”

The audience laughed. Score.

Jacqueline speaking on stage at TEDx Couer d'Alene 2020
Here I am, on stage!

Take a deep breath and...

This was my first TEDx talk. It was January 2020 and I had to shovel a foot of snow off my driveway before leaving my house that morning. I'd spent the past two weeks mumbling under my breath while my kids played, memorizing line after line.

I'd also spent literal hours trying on clothes (while my three-year-old jumped on the bed trying on my scarves), attempting to determine what combination of colors and styles best balanced me as "professional, MIT grad" and me as "weird homeschooler."

It was the first time I'd been on a proper stage in quite some time. (Academic presentations barely count, though I've given a fair number in the past few years... Most are in conference rooms with audiences of 10–40, and it's just fine to read off my detailed notes. Not really stage fright material.) I found myself remembering things about posture, gaze, and gesture that I'd learned doing theater as a kid. I wondered if I should have invested in some makeup.

Nick exited the stage, not pursued by a bear.

Silence.

I took a deep breath. Looked at the carpet. Looked up at the audience.

“I studied social robots in grad school at MIT...”

Jacqueline on stage at TEDx Couer d'Alene 2020
Staying in the red carpet circle.

Kids can't be taught, but they love to learn

Here's the video:

I think it turned out well! Please share!



Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.
a set of gears on the left and a lightbulb surrounded by puzzle pieces and question marks on the right

How I Prepared For My First TEDx Talk

How do you give a TEDx talk? Here's how I picked a topic I was passionate about, wrote the speech, refined it, practiced, and memorized it.

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About

We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.


Connect:

whoo@deliberateowl.com

Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.