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The Smartest Age

“As we get older, we get wiser. At what age are we the smartest?” That’s the question that was asked of contestants at a Toastmasters Table Topics competition I attended recently. In a Table Topics contest, participants are given the question, and must immediately give a one- to two-minute response. The purpose of Table Topics, in competition and at regular Toastmasters meetings, is to help people learn to think on their feet, organize their thoughts quickly, and give a confident, intelligent-sounding response to spur-of-the-moment questions. [...]

By |November 15th, 2022|Columns, Toastmasters, Values|Comments Off on The Smartest Age

Together Again!

I spent the weekend in Duluth – Georgia, not Minnesota – attending a Toastmasters District Conference. It was our first live conference since Spring of 2019, and it felt wonderful to be there again, live and in person. Numerous safety measures were in place, including mask and social distancing rules and recommendations, and a requirement for proof of a negative COVID test taken 24 hours before the start of the Conference. A testing station was set up near the registration table at the hotel, for [...]

By |April 25th, 2022|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Making a Difference, Toastmasters, Values|Comments Off on Together Again!

A Reason to Celebrate

For those of you who aren’t aware of this, April is National Poetry Month. I know this because a friend of mine is a poet and celebrates it every year, and also because Georgia Writers Museum always has poetry-related events during April, whether it’s an open mic night for poetry readings, a “Meet the Author” event featuring published poets, or a contest for students asking them to write a poem – or submit their favorite poem, along with a paragraph explaining why it’s their favorite. [...]

By |April 3rd, 2022|Columns, Toastmasters, Writing|2 Comments

Lost and Found

“What have you lost that you’d most like to find?” That was the question at a Toastmasters Table Topics contest I recently attended, via Zoom, at the club in Minnesota I belonged to when I first joined Toastmasters. “Table Topics” is a part of every Toastmasters meeting, and it’s designed to help members learn to think on their feet and organize their thoughts quickly by responding – for one to two minutes – to an open-ended question. In a Table Topics competition, the contestants are [...]

By |March 27th, 2022|Columns, Family, Gifts and Talents, Toastmasters, Values|4 Comments

Who would you be?

Our last Toastmasters meeting had a theme of “Trick-or-Treat.” As the Table Topics Master at the meeting, I decided to have a costume party as the focus of my questions. The purpose of Table Topics is to help people learn to think on their feet and organize their thoughts quickly. The Table Topics Master will ask an open-ended, no-right-or-wrong-answer type of question, and then call on a member to respond. They have to talk for one to two minutes, and responses can range from serious [...]

By |November 1st, 2021|Columns, Holidays, Toastmasters, Values|Comments Off on Who would you be?

Extra protection

Many years ago, I had surgery for breast cancer, followed by a year of monthly chemotherapy treatments. After each one, I went home and spent the rest of the day in bed, nauseous and exhausted. I was tired and a bit queasy for most of the week, then I’d have three weeks off until it was time to do it all again. One of the things I remember about that time is how eagerly I kept counting down the number of treatments I had left. [...]

By |March 28th, 2021|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters, Uganda|Comments Off on Extra protection

Holidays Around the World

There are many words we could use to describe the year 2020, and “surreal” is probably one of the kindest. The same can be said for how we’ll be celebrating Christmas this year. Like many people, my husband and I will be staying home for the holidays, rather than going home for the holidays to celebrate with family members who live in other parts of the country. It’s not our preference, of course, but we keep reminding ourselves that by staying safe at home this [...]

By |December 20th, 2020|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Toastmasters, Travel|Comments Off on Holidays Around the World

Celebrating Around the World

North and South America. Asia, Africa, and Australia. Europe. The Middle East. The Caribbean. No, I’m not studying for a geography test, or memorizing different areas of the world in case I ever become a contestant on “Jeopardy!” and that’s one of the categories. I’m just thinking of some of the people I spent a few hours with this week, and marveling at all the different places they’re from. A number of them are people I’ve met as I “traveled the world” from home via [...]

By |December 4th, 2020|Columns, Holidays, Toastmasters|Comments Off on Celebrating Around the World

An Organized Mind?

There are people who consider me to be a very organized person. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. Actually, it’s not that I don’t consider myself to be organized. In some ways I am. If you mention something I wrote about in a long-ago column or blog, I can usually go back through my files and find a copy of it within a matter of minutes. Or if you ask me for the recipe for something I brought to a picnic or party – back [...]

By |October 24th, 2020|Columns, Organizing, Toastmasters|Comments Off on An Organized Mind?

If you could go back….

If you could go back in time and change one event in history, what would it be? That question – or something similar – is the basis for countless movies, television shows, philosophical discussions, and theories about the space-time continuum. It was also the question at an online Table Topics contest I recently attended. In a Toastmasters Table Topics competition, contestants are asked a question – generally an open-ended, there’s-no-wrong-answer question. They have to respond immediately, and speak for one to two minutes on the [...]

By |September 26th, 2020|Accountability, Columns, Toastmasters, Values|2 Comments