Meeting report

15 October 2018

Helen Peate

"The One Woman Who Changed the Course of Science" was the title of  Sarah Guy's inspiring speech. Understandably Marie Curie is her hero. Sarah is  completing an MSc working with polonium, the first radioactive element discovered by Marie Curie in 1898.  Curie was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize - in Physics - and later in Chemistry - and the only person to ever receive two Nobel Prizes in two different subjects. She opened the door to many scientific discoveries, including Rutherford's "splitting of the atom" and cancer research, but died as a result of radiation poisoning. She and her husband and fellow scientist Pierre are buried in the Pantheon in Paris, Marie being the only female so honoured.

David Clarkson gave a valuable presentation on "Handling Questions and Answers" in conferences and public meetings, using the acronym LARA. L = Listen - to hear the main point of the question;  A = Acknowledge the questioner and the question;  R = Repeat or rephrase the question;  A = Answer, eyeballing all audience. When finished say "Does that answer your question?" or "are there any other questions, then go back to your main message as your last statement. 

Holding a beautiful Joe Malone box, Wendy Christie as Table Topics Master challenged us to describe or tell a story relating to the mystery object inside without exposing it. For Simon it evoked childhood memories of treasures collected on the beach. Lloyd went into abstract ideas on people and places. David talked generally about the significance of shape, feel and texture. Mark described hiking up a river in Waipara and confronting a wild tusked animal. Michelle ran up a hill with no fear snakes then ran down fast chased by a wild boar. Helen described the horror of her daughter's teeth extraction without adequate pain killers. Tania went back to quieter, less hurried times outside in the bush and her special pets.  Sarah retold her mother's fairy? tale about a boy grabbed by a dragon and taken away until he behaved better. Nicola spent her childhood on a farm and collected sheep skulls and rocks on the beach and in the swamp. The object in the box turned out to be a fossilised dinosaur's tooth Wendy had bought a a museum.

Courage was the subject of Wendy's reading as bard. It concerned the woman writer's version of courage - defined as whole-heartedness rather than heroics. Telling and humorous stories concerning children and school mothers emphasised the point.

Mark introduced Toastmaster Helen and Michelle introduced Sarah.  Oxana gave her first speech evaluation and gave Sarah thoughtful feedback. Nicola evaluated table topics, Simon was timer and Lloyd general evaluator.









There is no meeting next Monday - Labour day.

 Monday 29 October meeting: Toastmaster Mark,  Maria giving a speech and more roles to be filled in on Easyspeak.

Wednesday 31 October: Area Humorous and Table Topics Contests at Barrington Bowling Club 270 Barrington St. Time 7.00pm. Contestants briefing 6.45pm. Our contestants, Michael, Adrienne, Michelle and hopefully Josh. Do come and support them.