When Push Comes to Shove Us


The Fabric of Floyd: TEDx in Floyd, Virginia  April 27

Crunch time. Very structured crunch time–number of minutes, format, four cameras shooting simultaneously, most all aspects of this multiple-local-speaker event are guided by the TED requirements. And that’s probably a good thing for quality control and branding of  their name.

But it is not what I’m used to or comfortable with. I’ll use the iPad in as unobtrusive a manner as possible to stay as close as possible to my text. I’ll not pace or shift my weight back and forth. I’ll not go too fast or too slow. And I’ll keep my place and my pace and stick the landing. Or not.

I wince when I tell you: you can watch it happen real-time (at least that’s my understanding) at the “watch the live stream” link found on the Floyd TEDx website. Or you can resurrect it after the fact and pick out bits and pieces.

In typical type-cast fashion, Fred will be FIRST: at about 12:15 EDT I’m thinking. Then, no matter the outcome, I’m graduated and can be a spectator for the rest of the day. Event ends at 6 pm. Whew!

[TED rules restricts guests to max of 100 and only staff, participants and one guest per participant-speaker.]

I should mention that this production has had its genesis and considerable input and shaping by the students at Blue Mountain School, to which we owe teacher Hari a great debt of gratitude for all the hard work. May it bear fruit for many seasons around our region and the world!

My bit is called “The Nature of this Place” and I may dribble it out later in installments on the blog, or package it with spoken text, or put it together as a pdf with images. Or none of the above. We’ll see what the future holds–besides mowing the grass and pulling weeds for the next five months.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Please put your presentation in your blog so I can read it. We are in our RV, so the Internet isn’t too available. I’ll be glad when this stage fright inducing experience is behind you!

  2. You done good, Fred! Even though the sound was not the greatest on the video capture, I also enjoyed the presentation by Raymond Atkins. Is the entire event posted? I liked the way the speakers were scheduled – a very nice mix. Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this event happen.