Thursday, November 04, 2010

TMI Thursday: My Maya Angelou Experience

Name a famous living poet. Sure, the title of the post now has you thinking of Maya Angelou, but she’s probably the first person that came to mind anyway. Dr. Angelou is likely best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She also served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, received 3 Grammy Awards, and upon his request, Angelou composed a poem to read at President Clinton’s first inauguration. So when Angelou came to speak at my college, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. As amazing a life Dr. Angelou has led (seriously, check out her impressive biography), she is equally as eloquent and energetic as a speaker. And I’m sure that I’m the only person who has ever fallen asleep during one of her speeches.

As I mentioned, I saw Angelou speak when I was in college. I had a paper due on the same day as her speech, and like many of my college and graduate school assignments, I stayed up all-night completing the paper. Between classes, my on-campus job, and working on the paper, I didn’t have a chance to sleep during the day. Therefore, I attended Angelou’s speech without sleeping for nearly 34 hours. After running around all day, Angelou’s speech was really the first opportunity I had to just sit. It probably didn’t help that except for the stage, the speech was held in a dark room.

Angelou was terrific. She had the crowd following her every word. She was very funny. So funny that I found myself pretending to laugh along with the rest of the audience when the laughter awakened me from my constant dozing off. While I remember her being an amazing speaker, I can't remember anything about her speech. The fact that I went in and out of consciousness is likely the reason why.

If Dr. Angelou happens to read this, I apologize for falling asleep during your speech. If it makes you feel any better, I think I did well on the paper.

Update: I just learned that Dr. Angelou is speaking at the Warner Theatre in DC on Thursday, November 11th. Is this an opportunity to repent?

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