This all started with a story I have told a hundred times. It’s a story that isn’t technically true - the punchline of the story anyway, the rest is pretty accurate and the underlying verisimilitude is undeniable. It goes like this. I pubed late. A verb I believe I made up. I was a late bloomer. An adolescent whose body believed that puberty can hold off until long after I receive my driver’s licenses. While other boy’s brains are pumping out copious amounts of hormones, I was being pulled over three times a week for driving while looking twelve. All of this made my sophomore year of high school less than euphoric. My classmates were spending locker room time checking their pectoral outgrowth, and I was caulking and stapling my towel around my body. This can lead to bullying, unless you have the tools to never let any situation of conflict progress to that stage. This book is a wonderful tool. People don’t realize that teaching your children to have a thick skin and a real sense of humor about themselves and others is a powerful vaccine against a lifetime of hurt and anxiety. It’s never good to be mean. It’s never good to try and hurt someone emotionally, but what a great start if it’s not possible to be hurt that way. What a great way to start to help others when you can see past the drama, past the surface level pettiness, and know that no words will change you. With great humor and incredible storytelling, I'll Be in the Locker: Zen and the Art of Empathy will make you laugh, think, and maybe even throw a fist of triumph in the air. This book also has the perfect prose stories for any forensic speech team from grades 6-12. Plus, can be adapted as a play or monologue. High Schools will find that reading I'll Be in the Locker: Zen and the Art of Empathy will help open up discussions on not only bullying and empathy, but maturity and the use of humor.
So many great speech pieces. The Freak Gauntlet was a national torchbearer winner.