Meeting Minutes – 09.17.2020

It was a night of great speeches, dazzling visuals and spot-on extemporaneous speaking. Yours truly was the Toastmaster not only managing the meeting but also personally demonstrating the importance of pre-reading intro copy.

Karan Bavandi and Kenzi Rose kicked off the night with jokes and a Thought for the Day, respectively, then Lauren Clayton was up first with a speech entitled, “It’s a Good Idea Never to Eat This Again”. What was the mysterious, forbidden food referred to in the title? It turned out to be the common banana, the Devil’s fruit, according to Lauren with an unscrupulous past and questionable nutritional benefits to this day. The visuals were terrific and Lauren was very persuasive leaving us all with the impression that it’s time to chuck the Chiquitas!

Luis Hurtado was next beginning his presentation with a hypnotic set of visuals which put us immediately under his spell as we explored the fascinating world of fractals. A fractal is an object which possesses self-similarity at all scales. This is a topic which needs to be explained by someone who knows their way around such things and we were lucky to have a graphic designer as our guide. To simplify the concept, take a close, a really close look at the Romanesco broccoli the next time you’re at Ralphs and if that doesn’t reveal all, watch Luis’ presentation on this week’s video.

Once again, the speeches were followed by insightful and constructive evaluations by Len Kung and Sam Nazarian (how do they do it week after week) and then it was time to practice our extemporaneous speaking.

Armando Yee was Table Topics Master and Chief Inquisitor asking the questions and eliciting interesting and revealing answers from our members. For instance, we learned that Sam Nazarian has a thing for South America. When you finally make the trip, Sam, stay clear of the bananas (see paragraph 2). We learned that Blake Samuelle always wanted to be an astronaut but when that didn’t work out, she became the next best thing (some would say something better) and that is a special effects expert in the movie biz! We learned that it was a stay in Venice, (the one down the street) that set Karan Bavandi on his journey toward enlightenment. New member Rafael Macho told us about enjoying life in the suburban wonderland known as The Valley. And, finally, Shar McBee conjured up a blast from the past, a great movie called “Chariots of Fire” which put us all in the mood for a slo-mo run along the beach to the Santa Monica Pier.

Now, here’s the list for next week:
  • Toastmaster – Blake Samuelle
  • Table Topics Master – Steve Evans
  • Speaker #1 – Rafael Macho
  • Speaker #2 – Li Xin
  • Chief Evaluator – Luis Hurtado
  • Evaluator #1 – Karan Bavandi
  • Evaluator #2 – Shar McBee
  • Timer – Armando Yee
  • Grammarian – Lauren Clayton
  • Ah Counter – Kenzi Rose
  • Thought for the Day – Karan Bavandi
  • Joke Master – Len Kung
Steve Evans
Secretary / VP Education