Author Talk for Career Day at Chase Collegiate

chase picture career day

Photo by Mat Calabro

On November 1st, I went back to my old high school, Chase Collegiate for Career Day. First time back on campus in 18 years. Yes, I graduated at 9. Amazing right? ūüėČ

Many thanks to Mat Calabro, the Director of Alumni Relations, for everything he did to make that day a success!

The¬†Chase Collegiate Alumni Association¬†put together a top-notch day, pulling from a variety of backgrounds. Michele is a physician’s assistant, Karen is a lawyer, Bob’s a politician, Jim’s a finance guy, Ian is tech-brilliant, and I’m author-gal.

We met at the Alumni House on the corner of campus. In a corner I never ever ventured to in my days at the school.

chase career1

Photo by Mat Calabro

The campus has changed so much over the years. Bigger buildings, better technology. Larger classes.

All good stuff.

But that meant we had to get up in front of 160 students and 20 teachers and introduce ourselves.

chase career 7

Photo by Mat Calabro

The largest group I’ve ever spoken in front of to date. Luckily, my oldest friend, Ant, ¬†has a sister at Chase. She was in the front row and gave me a wave. Thanks Lexie!

I brought my notes, but I didn’t look at them once. Yay!

Afterwards, Mat whisked us over to the upper school building for our breakout sessions. On route, I saw Mr. Colligan, my American History teacher and gave him a quick hug.

Each of the alumni taught 3 back-to-back sessions on our career path.

My classroom had a smartboard (first time using one, but hopefully not the last).

Christian volunteered his laptop so my Powerpoint could get up and running. Thanks Christian!

My first session was packed. Mr. Schwoerke stayed to give moral support. It was so so great to have him there. He was my favorite math teacher.

The students asked insightful and smart questions and kept me on my toes for our 15 minute Q&A. It was fun to share my experiences and see how interested they were in writing and publishing.

I gave out some freebies–bookmarks, business cards, Hugh Bob and The Hustle stickers. Pens for asking questions and one swag bag per session to the student with the birthday nearest to mine–yes, authors can be that self-absorbed.

chase career8

Photo by Mat Calabro

The second session went faster and by the time I finished the third session, I was so enjoying the Q&A that I wanted to go a few more rounds.

Mat came and gathered all the alumni for lunch. I ran into Mr. Behan in the hall. He was my Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus teacher–which were some of my favorite subjects. I was a total nerd back then. Karen and I got to walk to lunch with him. So great to catch up!

I had lunch with him and Dr. Bingham, the Latin professor.

The dining hall has changed a bit–no more student servers and a giant salad bar. But the same sturdy round wooden tables and chairs remain.

After the students left, I got to hang out with Karen,  Ian, and Mat. It was nice to get to know them.

I’m always in my Kour cave writing or promoting lately so it’s rare to just sit and chat with people.

It was an amazing day and I am really grateful that I could be a part of it. Many thanks to Mat and Chase Collegiate for inviting me!

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