Meeting on 13/01/2016


We had quite interesting very first meeting of this year. The session was opened by our regular member Daulet who congratulated everyone with New Year. After completing the formal introduction of the volunteers and everybody who came to the meeting, the prepared speakers presented their projects.




Elizabeth gave her ice breaker speech called “What Makes You a Stronger Person”. She started her speech saying that it was common that everyone faced difficulties. The differences were in their approaches to handle those tough situations. One can play safe and ignore what that experience was going to teach him/her, whereas another one could learn a lesson and become stronger, self-sufficient and positive. Elizabeth showed the benefits that we could get from a hardship, such as new opportunities, appreciation of the good things and development of our personalities. Elizabeth gave the perfect examples of persevering people: J.K. Rowling, Tomas Edison, and Walt Disney. They took many attempts and failed several times before they succeeded. Elizabeth suggested not to give up and said that challenges could help us to become better.

IMG_0343Sholpan also delivered her first speech with a title “Trip through the Atlantic Ocean”. She shared about the crucial experience she had crossing the Atlantic Ocean during her practice. That trip helped her to determine whether she could to be a mariner or not. It was delightful to see how Sholpan was telling about that trip and her profession. This experience was full of adventure and some little troubles. Also Sholpan described the beauty of the ocean and its inhabitants. It was very interesting to know the peculiarities of such uncommon job. Sholpan was very enthusiastic about her amazing experience and occupation. In conclusion she advised to love what we do and enjoy life.

IMG_0345Next prepared speaker was our regular member Assel who conveyed her fifth project “Some Wise Stories”. She presented two stories that might help to change one’s attitude and serve as New Year resolutions.  The first one was about an Indian water bearer who had two pots. One was perfect and whole, while another one had a crack. The second one was ashamed because of its disadvantage and apologized for that. The wise water bearer showed flowers to the pot that he planted on one side of a road where that pot was spilling water. So he took the advantage of the pot’s crack and decorated the master’s house with those flowers. The parable taught us that everyone was unique and differed with their disadvantages. She encouraged us to accept ourselves and take the advantages of our weak points. The second story was about the son who wanted to buy an hour of his father’s time borrowing 25 dollars from him and adding the same amount of his own money. Assel asked us to add two resolutions to our lists. They were to accept and love ourselves, and spend more time with our families.

Aliya, Begzod and Andrey evaluated the prepared speeches. They outlined the strong points of every speech and gave suggestions for improvement according to the task of the projects. Thanks to our evaluators who help prepared speakers to grow and develop further!

I led the Table Topics session about Oprah Winfrey’s biography. She an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. I decided to choose her biography because she is one of the people who motivates me with her interviews and talk shows. Her initial name was Orpah, but due to the mispronunciation of her name as Oprah, she was renamed later on. In my opinion, the meaning of her initial name has had some influence on her life. The first question was about the influence of people’s names on their lives. Akbar explained the meaning of his name, which was “The Great”. That was also one of the names of Allah. Many people told his parents that it could be difficult for a child to have that name. However, Akbar outlined that it was not his case. He added that there was some influence of the names on people’s lives but it all depended on their attitudes and priorities. Arailym also shared about the meaning of her name reasoning out why she was named like that. She said that the meaning of her name was “sunset”. Being the last child in her family she became like sunset for her parents when she was born.

IMG_0366Oprah was impressed by the book “The Color Purple” as it exactly reflected her life. The following question was about the book that mostly influenced and changed somebody. Ernur said that “An American Tragedy” written by Theodore Dreiser impressed him very much. He suggested his relatives to read it in order to understand what kind of difficulties young people might have. Also that book inspired him to organize a reading contest to his family members. The challenge lasted a year and around 10 people participated. The surprising fact was that eight of them were not keen on reading books at all. So they were interested by the prize – IPhone 6. As a result Ernur’s accomplishment was 34 books, but his younger brother read 35 books. So he won the contest and got the prize. Ernur concluded that many people read more than 10 books by the end of the year and now he could see the change in those people.

Considering biographies of famous people on Table Topics Session helps to reveal their secrets of success and use them to achieve your own. Our heroine became wealthy due to her strong desire to fulfill her dreams, persistence, belief and purposefulness. Additionally a human factor comes first for her. She says that success is not final. Everything is changeable in this fast growing world. So according to Oprah “What is real and what is lasting is who you are and what gift you meant to bring to this world and nobody can take away that from you”.

IMG_0374The winners of the meeting were Sholpan and Ernur. Congratulations guys!

Thanks our volunteers Zhadra, Gaukhar and Ilyas who fulfilled responsibly the roles of Ah-Counter, Grammarian and Timer correspondingly. Also I would like to thank Tom for being the General Evaluator and Daulet for performing the role of the Toastmaster. Thanks everyone who participated during the meeting and Farin for bringing us such delicious cakes!



Thanks Tom who kindly provided the photos of the meeting.



Posted on: 17.01.2016, by : Aisha Maukembayeva

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