[Note: This blog is part of a continuing series that gives a first impression of the minutes for the Spokesmen’s Club meetings .]
Today was an interesting counterpoint to the previous meeting as far as I was concerned. Rather than arriving late because the roads were socked in with fog and because traffic was bad, the president and I were on time. In fact, we were thirty minutes or so early. After waiting for a while, and discussing who would not be there because of work matters for some of the graduate members of club, and our usual timekeeper being in the hospital, we wondered if the keeper of the keys would arrive at all. Since none of us had his phone number, we rather doggedly looked it up, only to find that he was not answering his phone. After leaving a message, we (and by that, I mean mostly I, but with help from a few others) got his wife’s number and we got in touch with her, only to find out that the keeper of the keys had totally forgotten that we had club and was a bit late, which meant that the setting up was a bit hurried as well.
Once club began officially, the secretary gave his usual thorough notes (and received praise from the president for it) and the treasurer promised to hunt down the nine members who had not paid any dues yet for the year. Our business for ladies’ brunch was tabled for the next meeting, scheduled one month from today, because we lacked quorum to discuss business this meeting. After this our topicsmaster, who was doing it for the first time, gave a well-balanced topics session that included questions on the Super Bowl (including a question on do-overs and another on the commercials). There was also a question about the relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, a question on the problems of claims of a scientific consensus, one on Romans 12:1 and how to be a living sacrifice (which apparently only one member of club remembered anything from our pastor’s sermon on that during his series on Romans) and a brief attempt at getting a response to a question on what makes for a good job, a bad job, and the worst job. After this the acting director (one of our local elders) discussed the topics and gave some suggestions about how to maintain proper formality in addressing people as well as club and standing up to respond to questions when called by the topicsmaster.
After the break, where there were far more snacks than any of us was willing or able to eat, the abbreviated speaking portion of club took place. The first speaker gave an instruct speech (undergraduate #8) on how to read better , which received comments for speaking a bit too quickly at the start. The second speaker spoke on being a rogue gentleman, and won the award for most improved speaker, even though his evaluator did not think he fully mastered the elements of a complete speech (undergradute #7), a judgment in which the acting director later concurred. The third speaker spoke gave a persuade speech (graduate #2) on the need to be grateful for our blessings as an American, even though his evaluator thought the speech also blended elements of a human interest speech and that the speaker should revisit the assignment later on (perhaps in the open assignment – Graduate #9). The fourth and final speaker (instead of the usual five, because of the high attrition for today’s meeting, some massive communication problems, and our unwillingness to give an impromptu speech to a new member of club who had only given one speech so far) gave a speak with purpose (undergraduate #2) speech on his job as an instrument technician, which received a great deal of praise for being without notes (he was one of only two speakers to do so) and for speaking on a subject of personal expertise. After this the acting director spoke about the four speeches, blending praise and recommendations for improvement, and then the secretary read out the assignments for our next meeting, scheduled for March 8th and club was dismissed.
 See, for example: