Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ways to Continue Learning in the Golden Years

I anxiously awaited the Toastmasters meeting today. I hadn't volunteered to present this week so I could relax and enjoy the meeting.

When the 3 speeches and 3 evaluations concluded, the Table Topics master got her opportunity to stump several unsuspecting participants by forcing them to think quickly on their feet in response to her question or circumstance.

I imagined myself eloquently and silently answering "world record" questions posed that day to other members:
Being in a pit with the most rattlesnakes
Pulling the heaviest object
Escaping from handcuffs underwater in record time

"Susan," I heard with a jolt. "How were you able to make the most parachute jumps in a single day?"

Immediately I had an outer body experience.

I was witnessing the person painfully struggling to formulate an answer, hoping and praying that the upcoming speaker wasn't me.

"I was going on a safari," I began, "When I stopped at a 7-11 for a Red Bull and scuba gear, readying myself to observe and test-drive a camel."

Within moments I was beyond salvation. My story was getting more and more outlandish with no end in sight. I had flashbacks to stumbling my way through oral reports in high school over forty years ago.

I tried to will myself back into the security of my bed this morning fantasizing about the upcoming meeting. Going to the dentist (or being in a pit filled with rattlesnakes) held more appeal than the predicament I found myself in.

Toastmasters is delightful, educational, and entertaining. It can also be a major lesson in humility.


Rinkly Rimes said...

Is a 70 Something allowed to comment? I enjoyed Toastmasters for many years, even becoming so exalted that I was in the Finals in Sydney one year. (Yes, I'm Australian)As I became older, though, the fact that all the convenient meetings were held at night caused problems, and I now belong to a non-Toastmasters group just called The Speakers' Club, which meets at lunch time. I'm enjoying that too.
My blog, which is still struggling to get a toe-hold is 'Rinkly Rimes'. I write a daily journal in verse.
Try me.
Brenda Bryant

50something said...

As a 70 something, you are indeed a 50 something and more than welcome to comment on my blog. My Toastmasters meets at 7 a.m. so if you ever find yourself in California, I shall guide you to our meeting--and even indulge in coffee and snacks with you!
As you can see I am pathetic in my table topics--but I can only get better, right?
I shall view your blog to see what those "down under" can do in verse. But I already suspect it will be quite clever.

Ann K. Levine, Esq. said...

Ways to Continue Learning in the Golden Years