Club 7 Members at DiMilles

What Did I Miss: 11/12/2020

Last night we gathered at DiMille’s and had an in-person meeting for the first time in 7 months. We had pizza, table topics, and fun talking to each other in person. Over Zoom (the meeting was broadcast live) we even had a guest hang out throughout the meeting and even participated in table topics.

Vice President of Membership Sureal Sparx led the meeting and his word of the week was “Glory.” Club Alumni, Monica Feliz and Lynette Benitez were in attendance. Lynette even rejoined the club (welcome back!).

Sureal gave everyone two table topics questions and the first one, for everyone was, “How are you feeling and where are you feeling it.” Answers ranged from “normal everywhere” to “a lot of love in my heart.” From there, he employed a wheel of names which he would spin and then you would choose even or odd and a random number generator selected your question from a list of 364.

When Should you reveal a secret you promised not to reveal? Yesica Vazquez answered that you should reveal it if it compromises your integrity or may compromise you in the future.

What is the best decision you ever made? According to Area 14 Director Corinna Koehler, starting her bachelor’s degree because she met amazing people and it was f#$%ing fun.

What could society do without? Eric Linder showed his dark side by revealing that society could do with less….oxygen! Too many people are breathing and he feels like there are a lot of people who shouldn’t be breathing his precious oxygen.

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from them? Vice President of Public Relations Tomo Osako revealed that she was drunk as she sang Christoph and Eric’s praises as her mentors. Eric even had her to his house once and…he was a perfect gentleman.

As Tomo answered, a car honked its horn and Corinna admonished it with: “shhhhhhhh!” Did it work? The car stopped honking so you tell me.

How much money per month is enough to live comfortably? Kalina Cardoso took us through her thought process because she’s comfortable in a one studio apartment. But to live in her dream house on oceanfront property, send daughter to school, and ski more, 20K per month is the magic number.

Who is the strongest person you know? Chris Hammell (ahem…that’s the author of this blog) told us about his father’s struggle with trigeminal neuralgia and heart attack.

If life is so short, why do we do things we don’t like and like things we don’t do? (say that 8 times fast) Vice President of Education Christoph Kubitza explained that he had pressure from society and his parents who told Christoph what to study in college. He crossed the Atlantic so he could break away and do what felt good. His advice: Do what you love (Unless you like depriving people of oxygen, Eric Linder!).

In one year from today, how will your life be different? Lynette Benitez is excited. She’s going to places like Puerto Rico, Florida, and Washington DC to have adventures all over the world. But at this moment she is working on her physical and mental health and trying to live in the moment.

What has life taught you recently? Club Secretary Kris Manske talked about Essentialism which is a book she’s reading that teaches you to tear down what you don’t need. A company went from 5 day, 40 hour work week then stripped out things like meetings and found they could work 4 days, 32 hours a week and accomplish the same amount of work.

What makes you smile? For Bob Dietrich: Foot rubs. He doesn’t have a foot fetish (the gentleman doth protest too much methinks). Massages make him smile. Foot rubs can be sensual and not sensual but can they be both at the same time? Bob puzzled his way through these questions which will haunt and give me the giggles for some time.

What is the best part of being you? Monica Feliz is a lifelong learner who loves learning every day and having experiences with new people. She’s also happy being an optimist.

Where do you spend most of your time while you’re away? Dave Zarella described a work environment before computers then moving to a tiny amber screen on a word processor. Now his computer is so powerful he can do anything with it. He spends most of his time tied to a computer.

What things in life should always be free? Club President Jon Berman as socialist leanings now. It used to be, when we wanted to eat, we could hunt and when we needed shelter, we could find it or build it. Today, if you have no money, you don’t have access to food or shelter. Luxuries are the only things that shouldn’t be free (Oxygen isn’t a luxury, Eric!).

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? Sergeant-at-Arms Jeremy Johnson wouldn’t change a thing. Everything he’s done and everything he’s been through has made him the man he is. He tries not to make the same mistakes but otherwise, those mistakes have brought him to DiMille’s to answer that question.

What are the primary components of a happy life? For Immediate Past President Alberto Alvarado, finding your closest five friends is important. Hopefully one of them will be your soulmate. And if you find a job you enjoy, you will never work a day in your life. His advice: live with child-like enthusiasm (He said as I wondered if my Star Wars Stormtrooper action figures (not dolls) would be waiting in my mailbox when I got home so I could pose them (they were)).

Who would you like to forgive? Club Treasurer and District 5 Club Growth Director Joyce Persichilli told us about her ex-husband. They married when they were young but he was [redacted in case Joyce wants to run for office one day]. Joyce took home the prize for Best Table Topics Speaker but it would not be the only award she left with (that expert level foreshadowing).  

Then we received a Grammarian’s report from Lynette, an Ah Counter report from Christoph, and a Timer’s report from Tomo.

Sureal closed the meeting by telling us to believe in the system and believe in each other. Then Jon opened for Club Business and there were a number of exciting and stirring bits of business.

Alberto started by presenting Club Treasurer and District 5 Club Growth Director Joyce Persichilli with flowers and the Grab the Gavel award for being a great mentor while he served in the district and always helping to guide him as our Club President. It moved her to tears and was a great way to start Club Business (in my own opinion).

Not to be outdone, current Club President Jon Berman popped up and answered the challenge by awarding a trophy to Alberto for serving two consecutive terms as Club President while shattering the record for educational awards.

Christoph reminded us that Officer elections are coming up and encouraged us all to think about helping the club stay on track and offering support to incoming club officers as well as training from the members who are currently serving in those roles.

Sureal announced that Bob won the Area 13 Humorous Speech contest and will compete at the division level in March next year. Chris Hammell competed also and secured last place. He’s not bitter but if the winner and runner up are…say…deprived of oxygen (this is a hint for Eric Linder) then Chris would have no choice but to go (oh no, did I just join the dark side?).

Christoph announced that we lead the district in 8 DCP goals and we are third highest in educational awards (15). Eric first emailed us about this impressive accomplishment last Monday.

Yesica acknowledged and thanked her division from last year, including Jon and Sureal, for all of their hard work.

CLUB 7 CALENDAR

11/14: On November 14 at 8:30am, Area 23 Director, Matt Corrales, has organized a speech contest so feel free to log in and watch as amazing speakers deliver great speeches and support Matt: https://d5tm.org/event/northern-division-online-area-contests-area-18-23/

11/26: Thanksgiving – no meeting

12/3: On December 3rd, we are having a “Spin the Role” meeting where all roles will be decided at the meeting. Will you be a speaker, a grammarian, Toastmaster? Instead of a grab bag, we’ll be using the magic of random computer magic to choose the roles.

I hope you’re all doing well,

Chris Hammell, DTM

What Did I Miss: 10/29/2020

Last night we our Vice President of Membership, Sureal Sparx, led the meeting as our Toastmaster. His theme was “Slow Down To Speed Up” and the word of the week was “calm.” And Surreal taught us, and the many guests, some of the secrets of being calm.

In her Pledge & Inspiration, Club Secretary Kris Manske, explained that her internet connection has been stable and dependable throughout the pandemic…until she had a very important presentation. In the interest of Halloween tomorrow, I’m going to purposely leave that on a cliffhanger. You’re welcome.

Antonio Garcia led Table Topics by using the word of the week, “calm” to ask questions about what the calmest place, music, or person is. Chris Hammell won the Best Table Topics Speaker ribbon by talking about the calmest person he knows, his father.

In the manual speeches Gregory Pitts, took home the Best Speaker ribbon for delivering a speech about choosing your priorities. After choosing work for so long, he’s shifted to family and he’s moving back to New York to be closer to the people he loves the most.

In 1976, Club Vice President of Education, Christoph Kubitza stumbled in on leadership when he convinced his fellow Rugby players to assemble for practice. As his life experience grew (French military service, Toastmasters), so did his leadership skills. That’s right, Christoph was in the military. (Because Halloween is tomorrow…) That would explain the sudden, unexplained disappearances in your neighborhood.

Area 14 Director, Corinna Koehler, talks to us about the different mentors (her mother, her friend, Mike, and our very own Christoph) in her life and their different styles. She then talks about her own experience mentoring at Club 7.

Our first time General Evaluator, Manny Thosy, did a great job running that section and evaluating the meeting. (And again, because it’s Halloween…) During his evaluation of the meeting, Christoph appeared behind him. I tried to scream, “Christoph is RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!!”, but I forgot to take myself off of mute and Manny has been missing since last night….

Also, there is one more contest being run by one of our members, Matt Corrales.

November 14 @ 8:30am: Matt Corrales, Area 23 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/northern-division-online-area-contests-area-18-23/)

Club 7 hopes you have a glorious and safe Halloween.

Chris Hammell, DTM

What Did I Miss: 10/15/2020

Last night, we held a very successful Open House with 15 guests including Guest Speaker Eric Gillman, past members Amin Iman, and Alexandre Jacquet, and the Art Institute’s Bernie Nofel. For those who don’t know, Bernie used to bring each of his student groups in for one Toastmasters meeting to see what it was all about and we can’t wait until we can welcome him and his students back in person.

Club President Jon Berman, was our Toastmaster of the Evening for this event. His theme was Opportunity and his word of the week was Venture.

Vice President of Membership Sureal Sparx led Table Topics by telling the audience to use the following in their answers: Where are you, who are you with, and describe your sensations and what you smell. Then he showed each participant a photo. Guest Ricardo described being at a store picking fruits & vegetables to cook with his family. Guest, and Club 7 alumni, Amin Iman described going to the San Francisco fish market with his cousin. Guest Irene described a baking class in which she melted sugar with a blowtorch on top of crème brule. Guest Jess described watching a Chargers game in Pacific Beach with her friend. Best Table Topics Speaker, Guest Bernie Nofel, described (and rhymed) a tall tale about his background in mercantilism and the world’s leading importer and exporter in Timbuktu.

Chris Hammell (hey, that’s me) shined a spotlight on the Toastmasters Accredited Speaker Program (and revealed the results of a survey some members of Club 7 completed for research on this topic).

Jacob Hilt spoke about leadership lessons from the military and being an adaptable leader.

Best Manual Speaker went to Guest Speaker Eric Gillman, who took his sales and Zoom expertise to share 3 Zoom Do’s and 3 Zoom Don’ts (which would have been useful before my speech that night (*blush*)).

Vice President of Education Christoph Kubitza led a well-prepared evaluation team. Vice President of Public Relations Tomo Osako delivered a funny, specific, and supportive evaluation of Guest Speaker and Toastmasters Hardhat’s Club Member, Eric Gillman’s speech. In telling him that he should say what he’s going to say then remind people of what he said at the end because, “people are dumb,” she secured the Best Evaluator win for the evening.

Next week our Club Treasurer, and District 5 Club Growth Director, Joyce Persichilli, will be your Toastmaster of the Evening.

And, as a reminder, Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella and International Speech Champ, Bob Dietrich are going to the Area 9 Contest to represent us TOMORROW, October 17thBookmark this page, https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/ , and stay tuned for more information.

Also, there are several other contests being run by our members who are serving the district as Area Directors and they could use our help. Please reach out to any of them if you are free on the following days.

October 24 @10am: Corinna Koehler, Area 14 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-12-14/)

November 14 @ 8:30am: Matt Corrales, Area 23 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/northern-division-online-area-contests-area-18-23/)

I hope you’re all doing well,

Chris Hammell, DTM

What Did I Miss: 10/1/2020

Self-care was the theme of my meeting this week. I saw an opening on the agenda and I couldn’t resist jumping in. My word of the week was cope because I hope that everyone is doing just that. I also hope that if you haven’t been attending club meetings, you consider making us part of your self-care. We enjoy seeing everyone each week.

What some may not realize about the timer role is that, as the Toastmaster of the Evening, the timer is only person you talk to. Everyone else you introduce but you’re interacting with the timer and they become your most important tool for running the meeting. Manny Thosy made for an excellent partner-in-crime and even kept me from making a mistake.

What can I say about Joyce Persichilli, our Table Topics Master? She was in charge of every Toastmasters club in San Diego County and a few in Arizona. She took the theme and asked members and guests questions about self-care. Member, Corinna Koehler and Guest, Christina tied for best table topics speaker.

There was also a tie for best manual Speaker. Both delivering their Icebreakers, Gregory Pitts and Budd Barmeyer split the votes for best speaker.

Gregory Pitts’ spoke about gaining a lot of success in various endeavors but not feeling proficient in anyone thing. With the help of the book, Essentialism, he is eliminating things that take his time away from the things he wants to rigorously pursue.

Budd Barmeyer, talked about how he enjoys serving people and hearing their stories. He has found his calling in helping and developing others while traveling the world and enjoying the positive energy of others.

Kris Manske gave us an inside look at a mentor-protégé relationship via her two cats, Orange and Velcro. While Orange was a reluctant mentor at first, she rose to the occasion and Velcro learned many valuable skills like mirroring and the assuming the ‘cat loaf’ position. While Kris insists the speech was mostly to show cute cat pictures, it also reminds us that we should have more cats.

Christoph Kubitza led a well-prepared evaluation team which included, Ben Nitti who would be voted into membership later that night. Eric Linder won the Best Evaluator vote for his evaluation of Budd Barmeyer’s speech.

And because I want everyone to have them, here are the links I provided with the theme and word of the week in case anyone needs them or knows anyone who could use them:

Theme: Self-Care (https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-5-step-guide-self-care-for-busy-people.html)

Word of the Week: Cope/Coping/Coped (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html)

And, as a reminder, Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella and International Speech Champ, Bob Dietrich are going to the Area 9 Contest to represent us Saturday, October 17thBookmark this page, https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/ , and stay tuned for more information.

Also, there several other contests being run by our members who are serving the district as Area Directors and they could use our help. Please reach out to any of them if you are free on the following days.

October 10 @10am: Sureal Sparx, Area 1 & 6 Contest (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-areas-1-6/)

October 17 @9:30am: Elaine Dusetzina, Area 9 Director – Bob Dietrich and Dave Zarella are competing here (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/)

October 24 @10am: Corinna Koehler, Area 14 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-12-14/)

November 14 @ 8:30am: Matt Corrales, Area 23 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/northern-division-online-area-contests-area-18-23/)

I hope you’re all doing well,

Chris Hammell, DTM

What Did I Miss: 9/10/2020

Last night, I was late to the party. What can I say? I still had a great time.

Christoph Kubitza led our first post-contest meeting with a full agenda and many guests.

According to Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella’s General Evaluator report, I missed a lot of great things. I missed Kalina Cardoso’s Table Topics session and Kris Manske’s Pledge and Inspiration which got a positive nod. I also missed Jeremy Johnson’s opening as our Presiding Officer.

For Table Topics, guest, Sam Lance ran away with the ribbon as the other contestants chased him (okay, that didn’t really happen in a Zoom meeting but if it were a physical meeting, you guys would have freaked and looked for video of the event).

I came late during Joyce Joyce Persichilli’s speech. From what I gathered from the final two minutes of her speech and International Speech Champ, Jon Berman’s evaluation, she reflected on enjoying the simple pleasures despite the pandemic including using Zoom to connect with family (unless they are very young…then it’s like herding cats).

Corinna Koehler led a talk about all of the ‘unnecessary knowledge’ she has. Do you know why you get a bit of fabric along with the button for a button-up shirt? Do you know what the ‘57’ on a bottle of Heinz Ketchup is for? Then you should have been there. I can’t unlearn any of this – THERE IS NO SPOON…I’m sorry…I can see the Matrix.

Best Speaker of the Evening, Sureal Sparx, spoke about the importance of understanding your audience. Do you know what questions to ask? Do you know how to speak in a way that is familiar to them? Then you should have been there (did I copy and paste this from Corinna’s summary?…maybe, but you can’t prove it). The next time you talk to an audience and their eyes glaze over, you’ll wish you had been here.

And what about Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella’s evaluations team? International Speech Champ, Jon Berman’s evaluation of Joyce Joyce Persichilli’s speech earned him the Best Evaluator ribbon. Meanwhile, Bob Dietrich, Manny Thosy, Antonio Garcia, and club Alumni and all-around-good-guy, Dusstin Coyote did a great job delivering their evaluations.

I hope you can all make the meeting next week as first-time Toastmaster, Manny Thosy will be leading.

Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella and International Speech Champ, Jon Berman are going to the Area Contest to represent us Saturday, October 17thBookmark this page, https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/ , and stay tuned for more information.

I hope you’re all doing well,

Chris Hammell, DTM