Barbara Goes Back to High School

A few weeks ago the phone rang. “Do you want to go with me to Baldwin High School’s career day and talk about diving?” Teri asked. My first thought was, “high school kids, are you crazy? How about some cute second or third graders?” My second thought was, “what are we going to tell a bunch of teenagers who live in Maui about the ocean and diving that they don’t already know?” I asked Teri what she wanted me to talk about. “Talk about leading dives, assisting with classes and working on the boat.” I can do that, so I said I was in.

We brought along Wally, the scooter and a scooter video.

The class assignment was to listen to our talk and write ten career options they heard us mention. Next to each career they were to write one comment about that job. Before class started, the teacher told us to talk for about 20 minutes, then give the students a chance to ask questions and write notes. “You won’t hold their attention much longer than that” she said.

When the bell rang the teacher introduced Teri, who then introduced me. “This is Barbara and she’s a Divemaster.” I suddenly heard this low murmur, “oooohhhhh”. “Wow!” I thought, “I’m in high school (how many years later, I don’t want to say) and…finally…I’m cool!” I wasn’t prepared for their response and I gotta say, it was GREAT! Then we showed off the scooter & played the video, which was a huge hit. (Nice job, Rachel!) We talked about careers in and out of the water for over an hour while 30+ sets of eyes were glued to us and hanging on every word. Students were mesmerized by Teri’s encounter with the whale shark and my day on the boat helping with the entangled whale. The students were engaged, asked great questions and were genuinely interested in what we had to say. They asked about sharks (of course), what was the hardest part and easiest part of our jobs and yes, how much money they could make as a dive professional.

Wally the Scooter with Wally the Dog

I was surprised to learn Maui teenagers were hearing about ways to make money in the water for the first time! Several students loved the idea that they could start their training – open water certification, advanced, rescue, CPR/first aid – all before they turned 18.

My day back in high school wasn’t nearly as frightening as I imagined. It turned out to be quite fun! It was exciting to know I played a part in opening the eyes and minds of future divers, researchers, photographers, editors; the list goes on and on…just ask any of the students who attended career day!

Aloha, Barbara