Monday, October 10, 2011

Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest

I have belonged to one of the many Toastmasters in San Diego since July 2010. I joined with a friend because she and I were going to take a speech class the following semester. Neither of us were comfortable doing public speaking but both of us waned to keep our grades up (she was transferring to SDSU and I wanted to know I could if I chose to).

What started as going as class prep has turned into something I do every Thursday night. At the beginning of August, one of the members encouraged me to compete in the humorous speech contest and, at first, I refused. Then I though of something I could talk about – action figure collecting.

I competed within my club and won that night. Six weeks later, on Oct 2nd, I was competing with the winners in my area and won that competition also.

Now, on the 22nd of this month, with my family and some of the club members in attendance, I compete in the Eastern Division. I’m only a few more competitions away from the International competition. I probably won’t make it that far but I’m still happy with what I’ve done and the super-small trophy that came with it.

Once I’m eliminated from the competition, I’ll post my speech on the blog.
My super-small trophy. It's awesome.

Sean Maher Comes Out

I didn’t see it coming which is okay since I have poorly developed ‘gay-dar’ (does anyone else use that anymore?). He says in an interview in Entertainment Weekly online that even his Firefly/Serenity cast-mates didn’t know.

His coming out may have consequences for him personally (all positive hopefully), for me it doesn’t change anything. I’m still a huge Firefly/Serenity fan. I’ve still enjoyed meeting him and getting his autograph a few times.

But I’m glad he came out. As most of us geeks know, it’s hard to act like something you’re not (like acting like you aren’t into comics for example) just because you’re worried about other people’s reaction to it. Of course Sean Maher had his career at stake so I completely understand not coming out before but I think that he’ll continue booking jobs and the fans will keep showing up wherever he goes.

Taped-Up Peace Sign: Adventures in Volleyball

This post is going to be a little different from most of my posts because I’m not going to talk about nerd culture (*gasp*).

I’m taking ‘Introduction to Vollyball at a community college near my apartment (I need it for a GE credit). There’s a girl in my class named Rania. Rania is a tiny girl probably still in her teens. In the first classes we had together, when the ball came near her she was timid and got out of the ball’s way. In the next few weeks she would go after the ball grudgingly, sometimes with success.

But last Tuesday, Rania showed up for class with the fingers you use to give the ‘peace sign’ taped up – just the two fingers on each hand. Rania was a different player – she went after the ball each time it came near her and had a lot of success controlling the ball.

We all noticed. We had to because every time she contributed to getting a point for the team or getting it over the net she would flash the peace sign at us with both hands. It was hilarious. By taping up 4 fingers she had transformed herself into a confident and enthusiastic player.

That made me think of the expression, “You have to fake it until you make it.” All that means is that if you act like a CEO, you will shape your life to gain the confidence and the skills to become one. It also reminds me that the reason you wear a suit to an interview is because how you dress impacts how other people view you but, more importantly, it also impacts how you feel about yourself.

I don’t know what my version of taping fingers up is in life but I know that Rania’s attitude had me going after everything that came near me too.

Thanks for giving me something to think about Rania (not that you’ll ever read this).