Category Archives: public speaking

Getting a Kick out of Reading


Getting a Kick out of Reading.

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Looking for Myself


As a “human becoming” I often ask myself who I am right now.  The answer differs from day-to-day, even hour to hour.

A lot of people use the term “wearing a different hat” when they talk about the different roles they play.  We all have different hats; some just have more of them.  I remember reading “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” to my classes when I was a teacher.  The hats got more and more ornate as he tried to remove them.  Something like that happens to us.  We take on a role, say the role of teacher.  We then find we aren’t just teaching but we’re also supervising a student teacher, so we have another hat on top of the teacher hat.  But we might have to address a group of educators or parents about something we’re doing with our class, so we wear the hat of public speaker, and so on.

Through writing this blog, which bears my heart to all and sundry, I want to share all aspects of my self with anyone interested.  In this way I remove the hats one at a time until the real me is revealed.  Perhaps I’ll be able to see myself under all these hats.  I’m a human becoming.  I hope to discover just who I am becoming some day.

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Petunia among the Roses: Remembering Doreen Kimura Part 2


“Did you attend SFU for graduate school or your undergraduate years?” the woman asked. 

 

I guess 99% of the attendees at Doreen’s memorial were either professors or had PhDs.  With my measly MA I was definitely a petunia among roses.  And though my tribute was well-received, I managed to give the wrong title of her most famous book.  I know.  I’m sort of dopey.

All the speakers, except her daughter and I, were used to giving lectures, and her daughter is a performer so she was completely at ease, too.  Again, I think I was the only one who read my address.  Everyone else gave their talks from memory.

But the day wasn’t about me.  It was about Doreen, and whatever my shortcomings, they in no way took from the esteem in which she is held.  She was brilliant.  She was funny.  She was dedicated.  She was generous.  All these attributes and more were revealed and expanded upon.

One aspect of her life that people recalled with pleasure was her ability to give successful parties, whether get-togethers for the lab or tasteful dinner parties.  She spent hours and hours preparing everything to perfection.  One story involved a dinner party where one of the guests began to expound on a controversial topic.  Doreen tried to turn the conversation, but at last had to inform her guest that he was becoming “tedious.”  She enjoyed a good argument as much as anyone, but this person was being rude and her other guests were being made to feel uncomfortable.  She had to intervene.

I could never give a party like Doreen did.  I don’t have the stamina it takes to carry out all the preparation involved.  I’d lose interest or get distracted.  I guess that’s why I’ve remained a petunia among roses.

But though Doreen’s friends were all roses, I doubt if anyone of them had the beauty and fragrance that my sister had.

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Writing a Eulogy


My sister passed away, and it will be up to me to give a  eulogy at her memorial service.   I will be praising her for the important role she played in my life.  Twelve years my senior, she was a mentor as well as a sister.

I read what I had prepared to two friends today, and I broke down.  This is not what I wanted.  I hoped I could get through it without even a catch in my voice.  There are some funny stories, so there is balance.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can address the subject of her loss without becoming maudlin?  Your helpful advice would be very welcome.

 

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