On Sunday, I went to another Texas Czech Heritage Center, which is situated in La Grange, a small town (even though Wikipedia calls that “a city”), to give my presentation and here is my little review. First of all, I would like to apologize for not having more pictures to share with you, but I am seriously missing a professional photographer on my roads. As well as a hairdresser and a make-up artist. I think I will hire these people pretty soon as my mission here is getting more serious :-).
I wasn’t quite nervous until I saw the room where I was supposed to talk: a huge fancy room with a high ceiling, beautiful chandelier and quite a few round tables. To put it simply: very festive. Alice, good luck, I said to myself. Meanwhile, the first people were straggling in. “I recognize you from the picture I saw in the newspaper.” one man told me. We opened a conversation for a little while and I learned he had come from Houston just to listen to me. Houston is actually around ninety minutes of driving from La Grange, so I feel indeed very honored that he decided to come.
There were more people coming in and I had to get ready before the start of my presentation. They put a small microphone on me, which made me more nervous. I don’t like using microphones, do you? The hall was now full and I couldn’t actually see any free seat. People did come to see me, which is still a bit unbelievable to me. Sometimes I don’t know if this whole isn’t just a dream. Apparently not.
After the short introduction of me that was made by Retta Slavík Chandler – the director of this center, I was about to speak. One long breath before I start speaking. I was just hoping the microphone would not record the beats of my heart. I was nervous. After few sentences, I calmed down, though. The very first sentences are always crucial to get to know my public. As usually, I started with some jokes to see what their reactions were. They laughed. Good. We could go on.
Anyway, I was speaking briefly about my story, and then I shared with my listeners some interesting points of my thesis – pretty much the same I already did in Temple few days before. Some of the people were indeed attentive because they were putting down some notes. How important I felt at that moment! 🙂 All in all, we made it to the end, I heard applause and I could relieve. Or but at least for few seconds. There are always some questions at the end, which might be a tricky part of my presentations, because, of course, I don’t know everything. For example, one lady asked me where the first Czech immigrants took yeast to make kolache. Such a good question, but I really didn’t know. Fortunately, another lady said they had taken it from the Germans. My favorite question, though, was the one with my last name. They wanted to know what it means. My father would like that question as well. Luňák is a hawk. So you can call me Alice Hawk. Pretty cool, I know 🙂
Looking back I have to say I enjoyed every minute of speaking there. Yes, I was nervous, but when people came to me after to say It was wonderful, thank you, please do come to see us here soon, or I will definitely read your thesis, I realize my work is not useless and it is the best feeling ever.