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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kents Hill School Presentation

Had a repeat "performance" at Kents Hill School (about 2 hours north of my house in Maine) on Thursday, October 22nd. I was excited about going back because I really enjoyed the campus - it's a private school with under 300 students and a wonderful teacher to student ratio. Honestly, if I won the lottery, I'd send Chris' kids to this school for some quality education.

I had asked Chris Gibson, the Tech guy from Kents Hill who booked me, if I could bring Phoebe. She's still been depressed about Bandit dying and it turns out the Kents Hill school mascot is a Husky! He said yes, but she'd have to stay in the car for my student talk. Cool beans!

So Phoebe and I left home at 730 am, listened to Jonathan Kellerman's latest book "Evidence" and arrived at Kents Hill at 930 am. Walked w/Chris to the new auditorium to set up my laptop and we chatted for a bit before students came in.

At a little after 10 am, I began my talk. I start with cyberbullying, online predators (I show a short video of a teen girl who ran off w/a 56-year-old man she met online), then get into the social networking sites, especially Facebook.

And that's when I show them what I found when they approved my alter ego as a friend. Photos of them drinking alcohol, giving the finger, and other fun stuff.

This is what I found:

66 students were asked to be a friend of my alter ego
40 approved my alter ego as a friend within ONE day
10 asked who I was, but 7 still approved me
7 asked to add me as a friend (on their own without a request) for a total of 69
65% were boys; 35% girls
32% listed their cell phone number - 75% of those were boys
9 boys also listed their home phone
55% listed their AIM screen name
63% listed an email address (sometimes two)
4 boys listed their home address
7 boys and 1 girl listed where they work

It's so hard to get through their heads sometimes that what they post online does NOT go away, even if they delete it. If they make a mistake now and remove it, it most likely can and will be found and used against them.

The only question I got at the end was "Who is your alter ego?" Like I'm gonna tell them! No other questions. You could tell they were thinking about how many of their 900 or so "friends" they really did know and if they had posted something they should remove quickly.

Chris was pleased - yay! We walked to my car to get Phoebe, walked her around to let her go pee, then went to the library to see if any students came by to talk privately with me. One girl came up to pet Phoebe and did talk a bit - she was very sweet. I gave her a Girl Force book (http://www.mygirlforce.com). More students came by to pet Phoebe and talk. One boy just totally opened up and basically told me a lot about his life. I swear, Phoebe gets people to open up. I am seriously thinking of getting her trained to be a therapy dog!

After the library, we got in the car to drive to the dining hall and I left Phoebe in the car while we ate lunch with some staff, then went into an adjoining room for a Technology Committee meeting with more staff. One student showed up for that meeting and he asked some great questions. So did the staff. I was encouraged because they were asking and really listening!

Chris and I walked to the school bookstore, where they let me pick out a sweatshirt with the Kents Hill Huskies logo on it. I ended up getting a fleece-lined gray zip up hoodie. Warm and cozy!

Phoebe and I left for home at about 130 pm and I was happy with the day. Long, but fruitful, I think!!!!

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