I've been one of the faculty advisors to the UAB Lecture Series Committee for seven or eight years and I have never seen as excited a response from the students on the committee to any suggestion for a speaker as we got when someone mentioned that Jon Heder and Aaron Ruell might be available. I was the only one of the advisors who had actually seen the film or had any idea how much of an underground hit it had become. I spoke in favor of it, and between that and the obvious excitement of the students, we were able to make it happen. I presume this is why Lura (staff person for the committee) asked me to be the MC for the event.
I picked up the DVD on Friday, and we watched it again last night. I enjoyed it more than I did the first time, because I knew what I was getting into. The first time, the emotional resonance brought back enough of what I so often felt in my early high school days as to make watching some of the scenes positively painful. I assume that's why it's become so successful with people for whom those years are not far in the past -- or not in the past at all. In my own case, there are many days and many circumstances when I feel that they're not in the past at all. This one, for example.
We're expecting somewhere between three and five thousand people to the arena tomorrow night. Heder & Ruell will talk for ten or fifteen minutes and the rest of it will be question & answer, and my job will be to introduce them and then to keep the flow going for the next hour or so. I'm petrified. Just before we start, I will be feeling exactly like Pedro did before he went out to give his speech. The difference between Pedro and me is that I know that as soon as I start, the nerves will vanish and I'll do just fine. There's a lot to be said for getting older.