It was our next to the last meeting of 2020 and everybody seemed to be in a great mood. This was either because we all really enjoy getting together on Thursday nights during the pandemic or, it could be, that we’re just happy we’ll soon be saying goodbye to a long, difficult year. At any rate, the group really came to play. Sam Nazarian was our Toastmaster and he skillfully led the group through the Agenda which included two speeches, two evaluations and Table Topics!
Our first speaker was Rafael Macho delivering his long-awaited speech about making bread. It definitely was worth the wait. Rafael’s speech had a great message and left us literally, hungry for more. Note to self: to achieve maximum impact for a speech about bread making with great visuals including a video with the delicious sound of a finger thumping on a well-baked crust, schedule it to be delivered just before everyone sits down to eat dinner.
Karan Bavandi was up next with a speech entitled The Square of Attention. He made us more aware of how we perceive the world and why, something I’m still thinking about, today. Karan is fast becoming our resident philosopher.
Speeches were followed by perceptive, constructive and supportive evaluations by Evan Pawelk and Jaclyn Lineback. I believe it was their first time in the role but they pulled it off like seasoned pros and our speakers gained insight and are now better for it.
Then, Alex Schams stepped in to pinch-hit as Table Topics Master. At the last minute, he was able to craft a few pointed, personal questions and, as usual, we learned a few things.
Armando Yee – Once again, the adventurous Armando took us on one of his exotic trips. This time it was Christmas in Mexico. Calling on Armando is always great because each time it’s like tuning into another show on the Travel Channel.
Shar McBee – Shar had great news for us all after a challenging time in 2020. According to her astrological calculations, we are in store for 20 to 30 years of good luck. There will be a paucity of bad vibes and the future will be full of blue sky, green lights and wonderfulness. We need to call on Shar more often.
Alex Bello – Holidays in the Bello household were big deal and a chance for his dad to channel his inner Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. There were times when the Xmas lights on the Bello house could actually, be seen from outer space.
Len Kung – The best gift Len has ever given was a pair of fingerless gloves to a co-worker. It was great listening to Len describe this poor person, shivering in front of her computer screen like some character out of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. It was Len to the rescue giving this person what her heart (and hands apparently) desired; fingerless gloves! To this day, warm and toasty, her hands glide across the keyboard like the lead ballerina in The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Sometimes, you get it exactly right!
Then TTM, Alex Schams, did what could be called a Table Topics bank shot. He called on Li Xin to ask a question and Li, in turn, asked Blake Samuelle to name her favorite person in the club. A difficult situation to say the least but Blake came up with the perfect solution which was to compliment the person who writes up all this stuff. Well played, Blake!
- Toastmaster – Alex Schams
- Table Topics Master – Karan Bavandi
- Speaker #1 – Sam Nazarian
- Speaker #2 – Blake Samuelle
- Chief Evaluator – Luis Hurtado
- Evaluator #1 – Shar McBee
- Evaluator #2 – Li Xin
- Timer – Armando Yee
- Grammarian – Alex Bello
- Ah Counter – Kenzi Rose
- Thought for the Day – Joelle Johnson
- Joke Master – Rafael Macho
Our leadership team for the first half of 2021 is beginning to take shape. Here is the list, so far. The Treasurer position is a “maybe” at this point and we still need a Vice President of Membership but, other than that, it looks like an all-star team. Let me know if you would like to help us make Silicon Speech the best club in D1 in 2021! We’ll find a spot for you.
- President – Alex Schams
- Vice President of Education – Steve Evans
- Vice President of Public Relations – Luis Hurtado
- Vice President of Membership – This could be you!
- Treasurer – A maybe at this point.
- Secretary – Len Kung
- Sgt. at Arms – Li Xin