Did you ever meet one that disappointed you because the way they were in real life is much different than what you expected? Have you ever met a celebrity in person that you really liked the way they were in real life?
One year at our Council for Exceptional Children national conference, Patch Adams was our keynote speaker. I remember watching the movie starring Robin Williams. I thought it was a great movie and was impressed with the character. But to think that I was going to finally meet this person in real life was so exciting. Imagine my surprise when I found out that he was an arrogant, belligerent man. He was not friendly and had no intention of being friendly. Our teacher of the year told him that her kids admired him and read his book and asked if he would take a picture with her. He told her no but if she wanted to pay for it, he might be willing. He was not joking and we were all in shock at his behavior. He asked the group why anyone thought they could take a picture of him without paying him for it. I was flabbergasted! Needless to say, I left the room, and was not impressed with him at all. In fact, his keynote address left me cold.
A few years later at another national conference, I met Henry Winkler (the Fonz on Happy Days) and he was awesome! He was the keynote speaker at my conference and suddenly got bit by the shy bug and couldn’t go up to meet him. He honed in on me, walked to me, and said that I looked like I needed a hug so he hugged me! We also saw him at the hotel bar and he acted just like an ordinary person talking to different people like you and I would. I liked him even more because of this. When he gave his speech, you could tell that it was heartfelt and real. He was a sincere person who seemed to truly care about what he was saying and how people received it.
This made such a big impression on me. It made me realize that my students see me in the same light. If I come across like Patch Adams, they will write me off and not care about anything I have to say. If I am like Henry Winkler, and show how much I truly care and that I am a real person like them, the students will be more receptive and willing to hear what I have to say.
Have you had an experience like one of these? If so, please share!