First Day Speech

‘I want all of you to look to your left,’ the professor recited. The class begrudgingly followed her instruction.

‘Now look to your right.’

         Again, they did as she asked.

         ‘Remember those faces,’ she continued sternly. ‘Because they will most likely be your colleagues one day. This is a filmmaking class, not a law degree, most of you are going to graduate.’

         A smattering of laughter broke out amongst the crowd and the professor allowed herself a small smile.

         ‘Now then,’ she whipped around to face the whiteboard. ‘My name is Professor Imelda Brown…’ she frowned, patting her pockets. ‘Which you’ll just have to remember for yourselves because I left my whiteboard markers in my office.’

         Another quiet chuckle filled the room.

         ‘Anyway,’ Professor Brown went on. ‘Who can tell me why we’re here?’

         ‘To make movies?’ piped up a confident voice from the middle-back.

         ‘Totally wrong,’ she shut him down with a point of her finger and a shake of her head. ‘We’re here to learn video production.’

         ‘Isn’t that the same thing?’ came the voice from the back.

         ‘I am not here to teach you filmmaking,’ Imelda rolled her eyes. ‘You have other teachers, and classes and, frankly, U-Toobe. No, I’m here to help you succeed in corporate video production.’

         A murmuring went up amongst the students, as if she’d just said a rude word. She rolled her eyes again.

         ‘Be practical, people. If you’d like to actually work – and survive – doing what you love, this is how you get there. Hell, in twenty years you could be standing in front of a room full of students preaching the magic of working for a quality video animation company near Melbourne.’

         A small laugh from them let her know that she’d gotten them at least a little bit back on side.

         ‘Alright,’ she said. ‘Open your books to page 105. If, for some reason, you don’t have a textbook, you’d better hope one of the people you looked at earlier thought you were cute. And yes,’ she nodded. ‘I know I just made it weird for you. Bring your textbook next time.’