Our attuned President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting by noting that it is Black Maternal Health Week. The Week aims to raise awareness of the disparities in expected outcomes for pregnant women of color, who are 3-4 times more likely to die during maternity or childbirth compared to their white counterparts. Kelsey reminded us that such disparities are at the core of what drives the Black Lives Matter movement as she led us into our usual minute of silence in support of the movement. After a quick reminder about our new club policy on flagging bias, Kelsey turned over the meeting to the Toastmaster of the day, Kerstin Haase.
We had 13-1/2 members in attendance (we see you, Cy!). Kerstin, in celebration of Spring and the upcoming Easter holiday, chose emerge as her word of the day, using as an example the recent speaking competition where our own Amelya Black emerged as champion. She then turned the meeting over to the first speaker of the day, Kelsey Long.
Kelsey gave a reminiscing speech about her time in Sunrise Toastmasters titled, “All in Two Short Years.” Kelsey spoke fondly of her first year as a Toastmaster, crafting messages for an attentive audience, appreciating the diversity and vulnerability of others’ talks, and making friends. In her second year, Kelsey served as the club president, a role she has cherished for its lessons and opportunities to help Sunrise Toastmasters grow and evolve. Kelsey also shared that, due to some exciting changes in their lives, she and her partner will be moving to the west coast in May. Tanuja Reddy served as Kelsey’s evaluator, noting that she spoke with clarity and personal feeling. Tanuja also complimented Kelsey on her conversational speaking style. Finally, Tanuja echoed the sentiments of all members present when she said that she had tears in her eyes but joy in her heart as she heard that Kelsey‘s journey is taking her away from Sunrise Toastmasters but on to exciting new adventures. Although we are happy for her good fortune, her fellow Toastmasters will miss Kelsey’s positive energy and hope she will visit whenever she can.
John Doggett was the second speaker and gave a talk about “Growing Up in America.” John shared stories of growing up with his brothers and sisters on a farm in North Carolina. He painted a picture of a family who worked hard and played even harder, recounting stories about leaping out of the barn onto horses, and playing stunt-people by jumping out of moving cars. Through all the excitement and broken bones, love was a constant. Even now, John describes his busy life as “drinking from a firehose,” but admitted that growing up knowing his siblings always had his back has helped make him the person he is today. John’s evaluator, Anu Parvathaneni, cheered John’s persistence in giving his speech after an admittedly tough week at work. Anu also complimented John on his skill at mixing humor into his speeches and providing such entertaining content.
Amelya Black served as Table Topics Master, and posed questions about one of her loves, camping. Members described their favorite foods cooked over a campfire, preparation for backpacking trips, spending the night in the campground bathroom to keep warm, and passing a strange midnight traveler carrying a pickaxe.
Summer Murphy served as the General Evaluator, and gave a thorough review of the meeting. Maria Leon served as the Timer for the first time this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Angela Marsh served as Grammarian, and noted our grammar faux pas and the word of the day usage as well as some quotes from our speakers that particularly resonated with her.
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, April 22 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speaker 1: Tanuja
Table Topics: Kerstin
Gen. Evaluator: Alvin
Speaker 1 Eval: Norris
Speaker 2 Eval: Angela
Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters and emerge a more confident speaker and a more effective leader!