April 22nd, 2013 – Going Green

On Monday 22nd, we had the greenest meeting ever! We succeeded on Going Green! We had organic lemons from a local orchard, we learnt that not any toilet is a green one, and we went serious on going paperless –we didn’t even have agendas! And we had a great meeting!

On the occasion of International Mother Earth Day on April 22nd, during the Invocation and Pledge, Karina Gaete Llanos reminded us that this date is to promote harmony with nature as it’s threatened from climate change, natural resource exploitation, and other man-made activities. “When we threaten the planet, we undermine our only home –and our future survival”, Karina concluded.

The board:

  • Welcomed Dawer, Babette and Latrece as new members –and Cayenne, Steven, Jack and Ron as guests.
  • Prompted us that dues are due and membership fee should be paid without further delay.
  • Reminded us that:
    • If we have a meeting role, attendance should be confirmed.
    • If we are unable to fulfill the role, it is our responsibility to find us a replacement.
  • Reported that, after her surgery, Dona Tooley’s is recovering at home. We send Dona plenty of good thoughts!

Vaishali Sahay was our off-the-cuff Toastmaster. Vaishali conducted the group outstandingly and cheered up the meeting filling it with positivism and a sparkling sense of humor. Vaishali was voted Best Program Manager and her efforts were recognized with the Enthusiasm award. Congratulations, Vaishali!

Betty Nebelsky (DTM), the grammarian, introduced the Word of the Day: imperative—an adjective meaning very important, urgent, not to be avoided or evaded. Imperative made an impact on the speakers as many of them made use of it during their speeches. Well-done speakers and grammarian!

We also heard some unique and sparkling expressions:

  • “It’s imperative to buy the right toilet,” James Noh said.
  • “Keep the smoking down,” Jamel Wong stated.
  • “I am not allowed to drive, so I don’t pollute,” Dawer asserted.

“Is going green a trend or the norm?” “Is global impact built on local action? How?” “If you go green, how and when did you make that change?” With these questions and many more the first-timer Table Topics Master, Mavera Mir, excelled on the preparation and control of this section of the meeting. The Best Table Topics Speaker ribbon went to Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas (ACG). Congratulations, Shelley!

During Mentor’s Moment, Anne Marie Knudsen pointed out two actions to enhance our Toastmasters experience:

  • Speak louder. Speak in way your voice reaches every member of the audience and we all get absorbed by your story.
  • Identify yourself. Your handwritten feedback is precious for any speaker –but any speaker would love to comprehend your writing and to know the sender. Please, write your notes with an understandable lettering and identify yourself.

Thank you, Anne Marie for your always-practical considerations.

We had the pleasure to hear three vibrant speeches:

  • Maryam Solhjou shared speech entitled “Pathways To Well-Being”: a researched topic on Martin Seligman’s –the founder of positive psychology—findings on what contributes to healthy states of mind. Maryam showed us how Seligman points to practices that truly give life meaning –going beyond the conventional pleasure seeking form of happiness. Maryam was voted Most Improved speaker.
  • Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas (ACG) spoke about “Poetry.” Shelley told us about how she discovered her passion for poetry, her first poetic writings, how poetry awakens our senses, and she concluded by reciting passages of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  All in all, a striking journey through rhyme and recitation.
  • Steve Weltman presented “The Criticality Of Being Engaged”—an inspirational speech to motivate the audience to improve personally and spiritually. Steve brought the audience in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, built the audience’s enthusiasm, proposed a change and appealed to the audience to adopt this change. Steve won the Best Speaker ribbon.

After the speeches, the General Evaluator –Ivone Duffin (DTM)—introduced the evaluators Grace Weltman (DTM), Caragh O’Brien and Laura Wratschko. Ivone highlighted:

  • The absence of agendas for the meeting.
  • The members’ readiness to fulfill meeting roles off-the-cuff and make the gathering successfully happen.

Grace highlighted the suitability of starting the speech with a question to catch the audience’s attention, the excellent organization of Maryam’s speech, her constant eye contact with the audience, and the strength of the conclusion. The suggestions for improvement pointed out to introducing some statistics data, and avoiding the use of notes to enable body, arms and hand natural movement.

Caragh complimented Shelley for not using notes, her reciting skills, and her outstanding explanation of what poetry means to her. The evaluator could only find compliments for such a great speaker as Shelley is. Caragh suggested perfecting the speech by telling us how to write poetry.

Laura pointed out Steve’s’ remarkable cleverness to inspire and motivate the audience in high values, calling for a change on our personal actions. The evaluator suggested the speaker to be more direct by avoiding comments that do not add content to such an enthuse speech. Laura was voted Best Evaluator. Congratulations!

Next Monday, April 29th, we shall talk about Technology Icons. The meeting will be at the regular venue: at Coco’s Restaurant from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Come on in and join us! It’s always fun!

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