Before you watch this video please read below.
As I was leaving the Woodsmen Show after the first day I heard something that caught my attention. I looked over to see what the sound was and found a man who was dressed in unusual clothing and talking to a small crowd. I was very interested to hear what he had to say so I convinced my parents to check out his station before leaving.
As I approached this man, whose name I later found out is Van Wagner, I noticed that he has a gift for the spoken word. He was giving a presentation on “Log Raft Era Logging” in Pennsylvania.
He was purely captivating. He had passion for what he was speaking about and it showed through his fluid gestures and confident, strong voice. He made excellent eye contact with the audience and made it impossible for his listeners to look away. Not only was he a fantastic presenter, but he was very knowledgeable about his topic. Now, I realize I sound like a college professor critiquing a student’s performance on an oral presentation, but I can’t help but share with you how amazing this man was at getting his point across in an interesting and enthusiastic way.
Another detail that caught my attention was that he said he is also a teacher at Lewisburg High School where he teaches Environmental Science. That was it; he’s a teacher! Now I understood why he had such eloquent oratory skills (not that every instructor possesses such talent). But, I knew immediately that the reason this speaker set himself apart from the rest in my mind was that I recognized a quality in Mr. Wagner that I highly admire: appetite for knowledge and an inextinguishable desire to share his information and passions with everyone he meets. I would love to see his enthusiasm in action in his classroom. I envy the students who were lucky enough to have him in high school.
After he had finished his speech, he brought out his guitar. That’s right; he is also a very talented musician. He sang a song following the theme of his presentation. Unfortunately, it dawned on me after he had already started his tune that I should catch this on video tape. Located above is the video I captured of Van Wagner and his lovely musical styling. I will take a moment to apologize for the poor video quality. I’m sorry because a) I couldn’t stand still b)there were chainsaws buzzing and other musicians singing nearby and c)you can see other viewers walking through the film. Again, I hope you can forgive my lack of video skills.
Anyway, after he completed his song, and broke a string on his guitar, I approached Wagner with a few others in hopes of exchanging a few thoughts with him. And, just when I thought the man couldn’t get any more flawless, he pleasantly surprised me with his humble and kind personality. I asked him what grade he teaches (this was before I knew he was a high school teacher) and he was more than happy to answer all of my questions. Even though we only conversed for mere minutes, I’m glad I was fortunate enough to meet him. He had such a warm disposition and his passion was infectious. If you’d like to learn more about Van Wagner, or possibly purchase his music, you can follow the link below. I know you’ll enjoy him as much as I did.