Yesterday I spent my entire day "teaching" high schoolers about life, my life and potentially theirs. This was my 12th year doing this and I look forward to it each year. Because I give out samples of my wife's Flan and I assume because I have been doing it for so many years they put me in the schools auditorium and bring in tons of students for each of the 4 periods. Makes a L O N G day and having to give the same hour talk 4 times in a row gets a tad confusing. During my last speach I had to ask one of my assigned helpers, Katelyn, if I had already covered a particular point. Anyway for the previous 2 years I ended my talk on my cancer experience and of course plug the HPV
vaccination. I was surprised this year when before my first speach a teacher from last year came up to me and asked me if I was going to talk about HPV
again. I cautiously said yes and was relieved when she thanked me and told me that her students talked about HPV
for days after last years talk.
I was surprised this am when I read our newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, that a writer must have sat in for one of my talks and out of our entire county and all our schools (elementary, middle and high) and all the volunteers he choose to lead off his article with me.
Times Staff Writer Curtis Kruegar
At the Great American Teach-In on Thursday, students learned about making flan, becoming a certified public accountant and surviving cancer. And all that came from just one speaker.
David Hastings, a CPA who with his wife owns Gulfport's Habana Cafe, showed students at Boca Ciega High School how to caramelize sugar for flan, and explained how he works out food costs at the restaurant.
Then he turned to his personal story about surviving oral cancer. Doctors traced his condition to the human papillomavirus, said Hastings, who urged the youths to fight the disease by getting vaccinated against HPV
. The virus, long known to cause cervical cancer, is increasingly connected with other cancers as well.
"I thought that it was very moving," senior Nora Parketny said of Hastings' cancer survival story.
Across Pinellas County on Thursday, guest speakers from all walks of life did their best to open students' eyes to jobs and hobbies they might want to pursue — and much more.
My wife is a littled miffed that he didn't comment on her Flan.....