ScOOPS! ~ Readings

Thank you to all who attended my recent reading at The Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown.   I was touched once again by the thoughtful questions and conversations the audience inspired.

There was one especially interesting question about how nonjudgmental I sounded in many of the dialogues, asking if there were times I felt judgmental and whether that interfered with my work.  I pointed out that I am judgmental—we all are—but that when I’m trying to serve people, my judgment is irrelevant and pretty easy to ignore.  But I think we all got to ask ourselves about the role of judgment in our communications, and I believe that’s always important to think about.

Another participant asked about parental involvement.  Many people assume parents will be angry or feel threatened if an outsider works with their teen on such private issues, but my experience was the opposite: I found that parents were overwhelmingly thankful to have me available to help try to ensure that their teen makes it through those important years without a baby in tow or a broken heart or an STD.  Parents want what’s best for the kids they love, and are aware of both the obstacles and the fact that the stakes are high when it comes to communicating about sexuality.

Questions also came up about what local school districts are currently doing about sex education, and that gave me the opportunity to make sure that everyone is aware that many Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) have begun doing outreach to high schools.  (CPCs are organizations that pose as counseling centers, but whose mission is to talk pregnant women out of terminating pregnancies).  I stressed the importance of communities being aware of what guests are going into classrooms, as many of these organizations are teaching teens that sex is shameful and bad, and giving information that has no basis in science.

I treasure the way various audiences have welcomed me and participated in these important conversations. I firmly believe that the more people think about and discuss these issues, the better off we’ll all be.

My next scheduled reading is at The Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta on Saturday, September 8 at 2:00. I hope to see you there!