Well, it's just two days before I am to present "The Life of Thomas Paine" to 100 children at the Philadelphia Academy Charter School. There is a lot of work to be done in preparation of the assembly. I have a stock supply of Colonial themed items to gather and count. All the children will be getting an assembly souvenir.
Thomas Paine assemblies provide me with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I just love interacting with children and the children I have met so far have been delighted to learn all about Thomas Paine.
I've written a few articles about my experience in presenting this program, but I've not been able to produce a DVD of it until now. Thanks to Brian and Kelly from The Rational Response Squad, the presentation will be recorded. They are meeting me at the school on Monday with their cameras ready to go.
I look forward to working with Kelly and Brian because they will finally be able to see me doing what I love best -- reaching young minds and talking about a hero of mine.
I should get back to work because this assembly is going to be better than the others that I've delivered. I created a PowerPoint so that the children will be even more entertained. The life story of Thomas Paine is exciting, compelling, sometimes sad and sometimes scary. This is why the children are so caught up in my presentation.
I have learned that an audience can be engaged on many different levels if the speaker can reach out with visuals, an emotional story and stir auditory senses. I will have colonial music, PowerPoint slides and, of course, the compelling story of Thomas Paine to use on Monday. We (Kelly, Brian and I) will let you know what the audience reaction was like.
Oh, I also plan to visit with Alton Lemon on Monday after a quick bite to eat with Kelly and Brian. He was the plaintiff in the important 1971 U. S. Supreme Court decision that established the three-pronged "Lemon Test" which is the standard for deciding Establishment Clause disputes (church-state separation cases). Alton is in a Germantown nursing home and I fear his life is soon coming to an end.
Another friend of mine who was a plaintiff in a 1961 U. S. Supreme Court case died recently. Roy Torcaso visited me often -- when he could drive. He provided me with a lot of encouragement throughout the years. I miss him. Everyone interested in separation of church and state issues should know about "Lemon v. Kurtzman" and "Torcaso v. Watkins."
Back to work...