Spirited Speech Masters and Dan Rex honoring MD Anderson and Shibu Varghese

Sally Voted Division Director of the Year

District Director Kathy Kest and Sally

Our Immediate Past President and current Vice President of Education Sally was recently voted Division Director of the Year for District 56! This is a HUGE honor and might not have been possible if Sally hadn’t decided to make the push to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster educational award. We’re very fortunate to count Sally among our leadership (and membership)! Her attitude toward service is both an asset and an inspiration to us all. Thank you and congratulations, Sally!

2019.08.15 Weekly Window

Karl served as Toastmaster at this week’s meeting, providing a warm introduction full of personality and a bit of perspective on what it’s like to turn 50 years old, a monumental event he’s celebrating with a 30+ mile run this weekend. Happy fiftieth, Karl!

This week, members were treated to two wonderful speeches from Asad and Sally. Asad delivered a research-based presentation about the Process Communication Model, focused around reframing communication from the viewpoint of the recipient (the person being spoken to) instead of the viewpoint of the speaker. Sally gave her final speech within level 5 of the Team Collaboration Pathway, sharing with us some of her experiences over the course of all five levels of progress. Congratulations on your path completion, Sally!

  • Best Speaker: Sally
  • Best Evaluator: Loni
  • Word(s) of the Day: ardent / argent

Grammar: Subjunctive Mood

In the English language, mood refers to the quality of a verb that conveys the writer’s (or speaker’s) attitude toward a subject. It can also be referred to as mode or modality. There are three major moods:

  • The indicative mood is used to make factual or declarative statements, such as “I leave at noon” or to pose questions, such as “Are you arriving soon?”
  • The imperative mood is used to express a request or issue a command, such as “Drive me to the store.”
  • The subjunctive mood is used to express a wish, hypothetical, doubt, or anything contrary to fact; such as “I wish I were a little bit taller.”

The past subjunctive mood is sometimes referred to as the “were-subjunctive” and is most easily recognizable as using the word “were,” usually in combination with “if” or “though.” Observe the difference between “was” (indicative) and “were” (subjunctive) in the following sentence:

[Her eye] was prominent, and showed a great deal of the white, and looked as steadily, as unwinkingly, at you as if it were a steel ball soldered in her head.

Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, 1849

And here’s a great video from Learn English with Papa Teach Me that teaches about the subjunctive mood in a fun and entertaining way:

Want more? Click here to read more about the major and minor moods in the English language!

08.08.2019 Weekly Window

During this week’s meeting Jonathan delivered a speech entitled “Flustered” in which he spoke about dealing with life when things don’t go according to plan. Asad spoke about how to achieve happiness, emphasizing the importance of developing human connections through active listening and “tell me more.”

Maxine served as Table Topics Master this week, prompting volunteers to finish the story beginning with “I have bats in my attic…” Karl convincingly constructed an entire ecosystem of interdependent organisms that must also be living in his attic to sustain an apex predator like the common bat, while Joann gave a dramatic performance in response to her terror that the bats in her attic might be the kind that feast upon blood.

  • Best Speaker: Asad
  • Best Table Topic: Joann
  • Best Evaluator: Loni
  • Word of the Day: alacrity

Completing Projects and Levels in Pathways

VPE Corner written on a chalkboard

We have started a new Toastmasters year (July-June) with new officers and a new set of goals for the year.  This year, I am serving as the Vice President of Education, and we have all of our members working with Pathways.  My personal goal is to help everyone understand Pathways better and to enable everyone to get around in the system.  Many people, including myself, have challenges with the Base Camp system.  Today, I want to share the “process” for completing a project in a Pathways “Level.”

Process for Completing a Project

  1. Launch your project in Base Camp by clicking the Launch button.
  2. Read every page in the project.
    1. Review the Project Checklist and read Your Assignment.
    2. Complete the Self-Evaluation at the beginning.
  3. Every project has one or more speeches associated with it.
  4. Select a date and sign up for your speech on our chapter’s web site! Be sure to fill in the Path and Project information.
  5. Print your project-specific evaluation form and bring it to the meeting.
  6. I would recommend that you also download and save the Print My Project and any other documentation from the project for future reference.
  7. After your speech:  SAVE YOUR EVALUATION FORM!
    You may scan and upload documents into the My Feedback section.
  8. Complete your Self-Evaluation at the end and submit to complete your project.

Process for Completing a Level

  1. Once you have completed all the projects in a level, click on the Level Completion project to send a request to the VPE to approve.
  2. In addition, please fill out the Pathways Level Completion Verification (PDF), (also downloadable from the Downloads section of this website).
  3. Print, fill out, and scan this document along with copies of all your evaluations.
  4. Send to the VPE to validate your approval.

Starting in September, I hope to do a series of speeches on “Getting Started” in Toastmasters as well as Pathways.  Look forward to more information in the VPE Corner, hopefully monthly at a minimum!