Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mar. 24th, 2015 Theme: Quotes To Live By

What's another word for thesaurus? ~~ Steven Wright

Welcome to the fourth March meeting blog. On this day, we had 3 guests gracing our meeting room.  

Pauline was our toastmaster and conducted a streamlined and fully featured meeting.  She quoted the literalist Steven Wright: Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”
The GAT(e)  team was: Anisha as Grammarian (Resilient), Dave P. as the Ah Counter, Jim as the Timer.
Grace was our first speaker of the afternoon. She completed the 1st project (The Icebreaker) of the Competent Communicator Manual within 6 minutes. Her speech title was "Talking About Myself".

Grace offered her history and journey of her life so far. In China, she was a Computer Guide for a hospital serving the staff and also maintained the Software System for 11,000 users. She met the man who was to be her husband there. He not only swept her off her feet, but swept her to the United States within two months of being married. She had to start to learn English. 

Grace is a helper and offers positive feelings to others. With these motivators, she trained and became a realtor.

Jean was her evaluator. Jean liked that Grace showed a big smile, friendliness and warmth. Prior to the onset of her speech, she showed great poise in waiting for the Timer to start the timing. Reenacting dialog between Grace and her husband to be was a highlight of this talk. Jean suggested that she slow down her speaking pace for greater audience comprehension and impact of her words.

Our second speaker, Kimberley, also completed her first speech, from the Competent Communicators Manual (The Icebreaker) within 6 minutes. The name of her speech was "Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone". Kimberley was born in a small town near Quebec, Ontario in Canada. Binoculars were a standard product used to find out the latest neighborhood goings-on.

She describes her mother as enduring narcolepsy and was a striking teacher of unconventional uses of household products: Toilet papering a house or the precise amount of dish soap to introduce to a town fountain.

Her dad was an Entrepreneur who traveled regularly and unfortunately passed away last summer.

In her mid-twenties, she moved to Vancouver, B.C. and spent some time surviving climbing rock faces. This was followed by a stint as a Sea Kayak Guide. In one anecdote, she described her Kayak partner Steve, as a man with odd reactions. A Bear sighting put him to sleep, yet walking on and crunching a shell frightened him into wakefulness.

Later, she used a Hydrophone to simulate whale sounds to other whales. A Baby Orca was curious and came to her, followed by a male Orca, who looked her in the eye and splashed her with his tail.

She is now happily living (perhaps more sedately) in Seattle.

Linda was her evaluator. Linda liked that Kimberley talked so openly about her background and threaded it with humor. There was comprehension and suspense while describing the Orca incident and the actual sound effect of a crunched shell was very effective. She liked that Kimberley seeks out adventures to have, grappling with nature. She suggested that a longer conclusion was needed, perhaps involving her dad’s journeys to tie back to her opening description of her family.

Linda won the best Evaluator award today.

Our third speaker, David A, completed the 6th speech from the Competent Communicators Manual (Use Vocal Variety) within 8 minutes. The name of his speech was "Have You Had A Pete Carroll Moment Lately?". David started out recreating the Seahawks superbowl cliffhanger atmosphere to bring out that we all could make use of a “Do Over Rule” to neutralize catastrophic mistakes.

His daughter was a soccer player and injured her lower back late last year. She was a model patient: wore a lower back brace to help mend the stress fracture there and took part in physical therapy. At a suitable time, she was weaned from the brace and the physical therapy. While she was given permission to go back into sports, her doctor suggested a sport whose season is just commencing, rather than one that is already in full swing.

She joined her team to play a semi-final soccer game (Dave was the Team Coach). She played OK but had limited stamina. The team won. So she played also in the Final game and while completing a penalty kick, she re-injured herself in her lower back (but ultimately, much less seriously).

Dave was aghast at what happened and was overwhelmed with remorse.

Dave A. was voted best Speaker.

Naser was his evaluator. He felt completely involved in the speech. The sports descriptions were very realistic. There was great vocal variety. He suggested that Dave provide dramatic pauses as in: “In the blink of an eye” – pause –  “it was over”.

Amritha was the Table Topics Master today. She prepared in advance several printed questions that volunteers were asked to come up and answer. 

Sue F. responded to “What makes a person beautiful?” : Talk, respect, offering feedback, and choosing to meet a lot of people for finding beauty.

Anisha responded to “If you want to offer a message to many people, what would it be?”: push yourself beyond your comfort to grow; learn when to fight, flee or freeze.

Barb responded to “What life lesson did you learn the hard way?”: Her first husband was unsuitable by popular acclaim, but she married him anyway to prove that everyone was wrong. 

Barb was voted best Table Topics Speaker

Our humorist was Sue F, who told a story about an employee seeking a recommendation from his supervisor and how the supervisor’s letter could be interpreted both favorably and unfavorably.

Attendees were:  Linda, Lynne, Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb, Dave P., Anisha, Preston, Pauline, Kimberley, Grace, Dave A., Alice, Jessica, Naser, Kathy, Amritha, along with guests: Chizuko Y., Hao W. and Sue F. Chizuko Y. joined our club today.  Our membership total is now at 27.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [Speak in print or comment] ~~~~~


  1. Once again a terrific blog with amazing detail.

  2. Robert, your concentration during the meeting is so focused. You really know how to pay attention and you remember so much. Thanks for helping me relive such a wonderful and fun meeting.

  3. It was a fully packed meeting; Pauline did a great job making sure everything fit and that we finished on time. Grace and Kimberly's Ice Breaker speeches were well done and Dave really moved me with the story of his daughter. And thank you, Robert, for all the detail you include to help recall the great meeting.