I still remember the excitement I felt as a child, fidgeting in my seat in the school’s multipurpose room, eagerly awaiting the start of an assembly. Who would our special guest be? A mesmerizing magician? A juggling clown? An Olympic athlete or world traveler?

Five decades later, I feel a similar anticipation when I walk into a school auditorium, but now I’m honored to be the special guest. I take that role seriously. I try my best to motivate, educate and entertain my young audience, hoping each child will walk out of that room with a smile on his or her face, feeling inspired and empowered.

Later, when a parent asks, “So what did you learn at school today?” I hope that child will light up and say, “That I can be anything I set my mind to be!” Maybe even an author.

Barbara Odanaka

Children’s book author, literacy advocate, over-the-hill skateboarder, ex Los Angeles Times.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store