Awards & Accomplishments – Toastmasters Meeting 6/6/12

Aloha DBA TMs,

Despite a challenging agenda of three speakers, Toastmaster Laron Tamaye kept this past week’s meeting on track. The theme was “Awards and Accomplishments,” and he asked us to brag a little about the things we were most proud of, professional or personal. Some of us mentioned work-related matters, educational achievements, fitness or health-related accomplishments, or our children. “Good job!” everyone!

Edgar Allen Poe was a famous 19th century American author and poet. Our first speaker, Harvey Rackmil, read with great dramatic effect “The Raven,” Poe’s dark narrative poem. With the opening phrase, “Once upon a midnight dreary…” we were plunged into the twisted convolutions of the mind of someone driven mad because his lover “Lenore” had passed away. Grief-stricken, the man is haunted by a black raven, whose only spoken word, “Nevermore,” conveniently rhymes with his lover’s name. This was no bedtime story for young children!

The mood was lightened by our second speaker, Brian Takahashi, who delivered a humorous speech despite the subject matter, a mysterious stomach pain that eventually landed him in the hospital for diagnosis. Brian’s patience was tested by his wait to see a specialist, the admitting process, the X-ray prep and scan, and waiting for some kind of palliative relief. Obviously he must be feeling better, as he made us laugh throughout his speech, asking us to chime in at appropriate times by saying “Are You Kidding?” He made creative use of a balloon pump as a visual aid—you had to be there!

Hieu Pham, our third speaker, wowed us by delivering an “off-the-cuff” impromptu speech from an advanced manual. She had given Norman Hirohata-Goto, her evaluator, a list of five diverse topics ahead of time. When it was her turn to speak, Norman told her his chosen topic was “Buddhism.” Hieu said that Buddhism is a philosophy rather than a religion, about living in the present moment. Appreciate what you have now, she said, be happy and peaceful and share that feeling with others. She had the opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama speak on his recent visit here. When he was questioned about other people not being peaceful, he said that if you are peaceful inside, it doesn’t matter that others are not. You don’t own your body, he said, but you do own your own happiness. Hieu said that Buddhists also believe in karma, that if you are good and kind in your present life, you will have a better one when you are reincarnated.

Mahalo to Argosy University for graciously hosting our meeting that day.

I am the Toastmaster for this week’s meeting and have chosen “Good Advice” as this week’s theme. Do you have anything you’d like to share about what you’ve learned (so far)?

See you this week!


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