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Sunset Toastmasters

Meeting Reports

December 15, 2005

By George Washington

We gathered for our second December meeting—and our last meeting of 2005—with an appropriate theme: “Out with the old, in with the new.” Toastmaster Thomas Jefferson introduced today’s functionaries: John Hancock, who stepped into the role of Table Topics Master; Paul Revere, who made his debut as Timer and observed that explaining that role is more difficult than performing it (after doing the job, I wonder if he still thinks so!); Dolly Madison as Grammarian, who, among her other duties, would be looking for use of the Word of the Day, “supplant”; and Amelia Earhart as General Evaluator. Finally, Dolly, wearing two hats today, told us a very punny joke—she is obviously spending way too much time listening to Patrick Henry!

George Washington gave today’s prepared speech; in “December Dilemma,” he talked about what the holiday of Chanukah is, and more importantly, what the holiday of Chanukah is not. He gave several examples of how the materialism that runs rampant at Christmastime also affects Chanukah, and gave us some suggestions on what we can do about it.

As noted before, John “supplanted” another member as Table Topics Master. His questions ranged from how we sweep away the old in our lives as the year ends, to recycling, to our obsession with the newest and best consumer products. Coretta Scott King fielded that question, telling us convincingly that she is not caught up in the consumer frenzy, that old things that still work are fine with her! She was convincing enough to walk away with the Best Table Topics ribbon. Way to go, Coretta!

Amelia led the Evaluation portion of our meeting. She first called upon Betsy Ross, who was her usual positive self when evaluating George’s speech, but she also gave several excellent suggestions on how George could improve this speech. We then got reports from Paul as Timer and Dolly as Grammarian, who reported widespread use of “supplant” as well as several excellent uses of language.

Betsy’s excellent evaluation merited her the Outstanding Participant award, as well as a suggestion that she compete in the next Evaluation Contest (her response was, well, lukewarm, but September is a long way off!) In keeping with our theme of “Out with the old, in with the new,” it was only fitting that the last Thought of the Day for 2005 be given by our newest member, Ulysses Grant:

“We do not have the power to change others. We have responsibility only for ourselves. Nagging occurs when we try to control someone else’s problem. Consequences shift the need to change to the shoulders of the only person who can fix the problem.”

Happy holidays, everyone! See you next year!

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