My School Talk 7 JAN 2011

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

Sigfr��r V�gmundr J�rkellsson

Wolves Ov Odin