Minutes for 1-9-06
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Meeting Minutes from 1/9/06
Greetings Roosevelt Island Toastmasters,
Doris Chernik, our Vice President for Education and Toastmaster for the evening, called the meeting of 1/9/06 to order at 8:00 PM. Marlene Flom, Word Master for the evening, challenged us to use the discerning word "perspicacious" in our presentations, and quite a few (but not all) speakers did so during the Table Topics session, which was lead by Uchi Udensi. Many parts of the world have been affected by natural disasters during the past few months, so Uche's selection of "Giving" as a theme for the session
seemed especially appropriate. Table Topics participants included Malcolm Cohen, myself (Woody Deas), Al Short, and Maria, a guest and native of Taiwan who attended the meeting along with her husband. Felicia also brought along a guest. Malcolm cited examples of the traditional fundraising drives in the corporate sector that many of us have probably made contributions to. I added to the discussion with additional comments concerning corporate philanthropy, infrastructure, and the encouragement of volunteerism that Marlene, Sue, and Doris later commented on as well. Maria made us aware that "giving" is more universal than is apparent at first impression.
Uchi had been impressed by the spirit of giving during recent times in the fund-raising efforts of recent times in the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquakes in Indonesia, Pakistan, and other countries in that part of the world. He also mentioned getting up and going to work, but there is an emerging trend to telecommute rather than travel. Al Short's insightful comments supported earlier commentary, and added that it seems that the more industrialized societies are often better able to respond in such instances because they possess the technological resources to do so. Al also mentioned the example of several Roosevelt Island Toastmasters, who are actively involved in the activities of Orphans International, the organization founded by Club President Jim Luce, who was not in attendance this evening because he is out of town on OI business. And our Treasurer, Robert Gray, has recently been in the U.S. Gulf Coast region where Hurricane Katrina inundated many coastal properties. Maria's proverbial comments related to practices in her native culture, and that it is better to give than to recieve. What the Table Topics session did was make us more aware that "giving" is pretty much a universal sentiment when people have the resources to do so.
Luigi Cavandoli presented Speech #8 (Visual Aids) with his usually excellent skills using a painting of David with the Head of Goliath by the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio as his primary visual aid. I can't think of a more visually stimulating work of art than that. He was evaluated by Malcolm Cohen. Al Short completed Speech #5 (Your Body Speaks) which was evaluated by Jill Burk. His content was also interesting, and his command of facts that included the concept of "lunar power" left me for one wanting to know more. Anna Doumnova,presented Speech #4 (How to Say It) and was evaluated by Arlene Stock. She was voted best speaker for the evening. The works of the world famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was her topic. Pushkin is considered by many to be the Shakespeare of his culture, and perhaps he would have been as great as William Shakespeare if he hadn't been killed in a duel at age 37, leaving the world
wanting for the great works he probably would have created during a longer life. Anna mentioned his early death and also the impact of his poetry on her as a youngster and on Russian society, and she treated the audience with a recital in both English and Russian (her mother tongue) that was as touching as it was beautifully executed. Sue Brown, the General Evaluator for the evening, had praise for her, and Anna's presentation was the highlight of the evening. Jolly good show Anna.
The next meeting is scheduled for Feb 13, 2006. Doris will notify all of us in advance.