Fast Forward/Rewind – December 3, 2021

Our perceptive President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting with an observation about the difference between trial outcomes for the recent killing of Ahmaud Arbery compared to the similar killing of Trayvon Martin nine years ago. Kelsey affirmed that, while justice is better than nothing, it is not the ultimate goal. As a society we should still be working toward all people being able to live their lives in peace, and for there to be no more of these trials for senseless killings of black Americans. Kelsey then led us into our usual minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement before turning the meeting over to this week’s Toastmaster, Norris Bass.

Norris chose “celebration” as his word of the day, and shared with us that, having recently lost his mom, Norris was glad his family had chosen a “celebration of life” ceremony for her rather than a traditional funeral. We had ten members in attendance, and Norris had everyone introduce themselves and share with the group a recent celebration they enjoyed. Talking about large family gatherings, anniversaries, friends, and small steps taken after an extended illness, all of our members expressed joy and gratefulness for the celebrations in which they have had the opportunity to participate. After introductions, Norris turned the meeting over to our first speaker of the day, Karen Rhodes.

Karen presented a Level 4 project from the Visionary Communications pathway on Communicating Change. Her speech, titled “Less List, More Bliss” encouraged Karen’s extended family to adopt a change in their Christmas gift exchange traditions. Karen suggested eliminating the gift list tool with specific Amazon links, and instead to buy local, make an effort to get to know family members well enough to figure out what gift might suit them, or simply to give something you love and hope they will love it too. Karen’s talk focused on the possible benefits of the change ranging from individual personal growth to alleviation of the global supply chain crisis. Her evaluator, Summer Murphy noted that Karen skillfully accomplished to goal of the project, and made the talk relatable by addressing it to an extended family. Summer also noted that Karen did a great job of organizing her speech and making it easy for the audience to follow her points.

Our second speaker, Tim Murphy, gave a Level 3 elective presentation on Connecting with Storytelling from the Motivational Strategies pathway. In his talk titled “On the Basketball Court – ‘You Got to Box Out'”, Tim related a story from his middle school and high school years playing basketball. Tim used an analogy about “boxing out,” a legal move on the basketball court to prevent opponents from getting access to the ball. Off the court, Tim was boxed out by economics from playing on the team as a senior, having to quit the team to earn money. He shared with us his realization that many of the talented members of the opposing middle school team from “the other side of the tracks” were boxed out of the opportunity to even play on the high school team because of economics, academics, biased rules, etc. His evaluator, John Doggett, applauded Tim’s outstanding story telling abilities, noting that he was animated, engaging and had great movement. John also observed that Tim’s points were well made by bringing his story full circle.

Dave Burr served as Table Topics Master, and focused his questions on a celebration of great literature. Members shared stories of their favorite books, (a discussion which continued after the meeting) and each of us left with several book titles to add to our reading list.

Savannah Murphy served as the General Evaluator, and gave a thorough review of the meeting. Kelsey Long was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Nereida Sutton, stepping in as Grammarian, noted that speakers are still working on not using filler words.

Please note that we will not meet on December 24 or December 31. Sunrise Toastmasters will host an Open House meeting on January 7. Please invite friends and family and former members and guests to join us on Zoom on that date during our regular meeting time. The Open House will have one prepared speech and an extended Table Topics session to give as many people as possible a chance to speak.

The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, December 10 EST on Zoom. 
The roles for that meeting are as follows:

Toastmaster: Summer
Speakers: (1) Norris, (2) Amelya
Table Topics: Anu
Gen. Evaluator: Tim
Evaluators: (1) Nereida, (2) Dave
Timer: Open (go here to sign up)
Grammarian: Alvin

Each week at Sunrise Toastmasters is a celebration of the joy of effective communication and the sharing of ideas.