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My School Talk 7 JAN 2011

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On January 7th , 2011, I was asked to give a talk to the kids of the Yasmel Villegas Middle School in City of Riverside, Ca. It was for 5 periods, 2 to 4 classes per period. The time I had to speak out of a 50 minute period was about 40 minutes .

I went in full kit as the talk was about Vikings. To set the mood, I started the talk by telling the kids they were just getting up at 03:30 to start their daily chores {to much groaning} because, you all have a triad by age 12 right, and I asked them if they think they ate before they did their chores? Most said no. I continued on, telling them that as they went outside to their village/school, they saw men dressed as I am, taking their cattle, burning their friends houses, friends and parents dead all around. Then some men that spoke a language that they don't understand started to rounding them up and bringing them to me. Now that they were sitting on the floor in front of me, I passed my Dane Ax over their heads and yelled " Thrall ", I asked them if they knew what I just did? I told them that I had just made them all slaves and they were not going to eat, or have a drink til I get them on my ship in a day or more, and then I'll feed them a small piece of salted fish after that. Some still grumbled, then it was to sell them 1, 2, or 3 thousand miles from home. Most just sat with their mouths open.

I explained that this is how most people met Vikings back in the 800's and I wanted to let them know that life was very different then, it is now. I continued on with, "Why do you think these people would come to your village/school and do such a thing. I led in to how life was back in the home lands and how desperate the Viking peoples were to sail so far away and commit 2-3 years of their lives to help their families. I kept a time line of parts of the world and how Vikings settled differing lands and brought the western world out of the dark ages. I explained what the Danelaw was and how it made the world the way it is now. Trade with Russia and the first king of Russia was a Viking. I told them that I or my children are now living in their town and we my now be related in some way. I explained where the blond and red hair comes from, the kids loved to hear that part. How Normandy got its name, and just how far the trade network had reached .

I tied up my lecture with 1066 and a bit of the Crusades, the teachers had not covered that part yet and I only mentioned it. All through the talk, I would take questions from the kids and there were some very interesting and thoughtful questions and telling them that I was part of the Wolfs Ov Odin, a chapter in the Vikings of North America

All in all, I had a great time and I'm still getting letters from the kids asking questions. Each class had 40 kids and 3 periods of 4 classes and 3 of 2 classes, roughly 640 kids I talked to. By the way, it was the teachers that wanted my talk to be a gory as possible, they wanted the kids to see just how lucky they are to be living today.

Steve Mata

Sigfrøðr Vígmundr Jórkellsson

Wolves Ov Odin

Last Updated on Monday, 08 August 2011 10:35  

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