It was just an innocent mistake. I was visiting the Indiana FFA Center during one of their leadership camps for chapter officers on a Saturday afternoon recently. Some of our local kids were there, and I wanted to see what the camp was all about.
One of the sessions was on acting and dressing like a professional. I hated to admit it when I heard the topic, but I figured I might learn as much as the kids did. In some ways, I did. The number one lesson learned was to stay alert and pay attention!
The session was taught by Emmy Kratz, 2009-2010 state officer, and Morgan Dawson, 2010-2011 state FFA president. I was talking to an advisor in the back of the room, per usual, when suddenly the seas split, and what seemed like at least two-thirds of the kids went one way, and the rest went another. I decided I would follow the big group.
Once inside the doors I slipped into a corner. Emmy began her presentation. Before she got very far, I looked around the room, and realized that the best I could tell, I was the only male there. In fact, as far as I could see, I was the only person of either sex older than 23. I really slunk down in my corner and sat on the floor, as far out of sight as possible. I guess I should have been listening when they said 'Girls go with Emmy, boys with Morgan.' Missed that part!
Soon they were talking about which purse to wear to match the occasion. Actually, I paid attention. Just three weeks before on a Saturday, I took my dairy foods judging team, six girls, to Purdue. They all stuffed their cell phones into a bag that looked like a purse, and handed it to me. Naturally, since it belonged to an eighth grade girl, it was pink. I got many compliments on my choice of purses the rest of the day!
I got a little nervous when they started talking about underwear. Fortunately, they stopped at "it's a good idea to wear pantyhose." Sorry, Emmy, I think I'll pass.
The bit on mascara was interesting, though. I was ready to try some, because what I heard was that it would keep you awake and alert. Getting sleepy driving is one of my issues. Alas, later one of the girls explained to me that it just makes you look alert because your eyelashes are longer. It really might make you sleepier because it's heavy on your eyelids. Scratch that idea. And if none of this part makes any sense, that's ok, I really know zip about mascara anyway, even though I have three daughters and a wife.
I did learn one useful thing however. Emmy asked them which side you put your name tag on at a meeting. I always put mine on the left- I'm lazy and right-handed- reach up and slap it on the left side. Emmy says it should be on the right side. That way when you shake hands with someone, they can read your name tag, because you shake with your right hand. Maybe that's why people look cross-eyed sometimes when I shake their hands. I'll probably use that tip, except when I'm trying to be incognito and really don't want them to know who I am anyway.
All in all, I survived. I certainly wasn't the first one out the door. I let the girls charge out before I raised my head. I don't even think Emmy realized I was there. She'll know now! If you know her, be sure to tell her you learned about name tags from her on the Indiana Prairie Farmer Website.