Before the meeting began we had a spontaneous informal pre-meeting when Mario explained why the Neuchâtel club members receive emails from the EPFL club of Lausanne. We are registered there as members and therefore get their biweekly reminders of their meetings. Alexis and Caroline should check if they can log on the EPFL-site on EasySpeak. Both Helene and Mario are working on solving the log-in problems.
We had to rearrange some roles as Doramys did not show, and in the end filled all the roles. Roswitha opened the meeting, as Helene was absent, and announced that Doramys had signed up as a member. In her absence she was rewarded with a warm applause.
Sam was the Toastmaster of the Evening for the first time. He did a great job and guided us through a fantastic meeting. Caroline definitely broke the ice when she told us what she had learned by being a daughter, a granddaughter, a wife, an ex-wife, and a mother. She gave a structured speech without using notes; she acted a lot and held eye contact with the audience. It was extraordinary! Kathrin had done a lot of research for her speech about gender equity. She told us about her personal experience of being a minority in leaders’ teams during her professional life. Then she presented facts why companies are usually better off when they have women on their boards, and how our society might benefit from the big number of well-trained women. SHE did not see a happy end to that story. But her evaluator Cathriona suggested that Kathrin’s idea of women becoming entrepreneurs could be the happy end. Both evaluators (Andreea for Caroline and Cathriona for Kathrin) did a great job pointing out the strong points of the speeches and carefully giving advice for improvement.
As there were no club businesses to deal with Mario told us about his and Helene’s visit to an EPFL meeting. It was an interesting experience and he recommends to all of us to go to a meeting in Lausanne.
Alexis was the table topics master and this was a complete … catastrophe! Why? Because he chose this as his or our subject. Kathrin explained good criteria for catastrophes; Andreea denied that good intentions turn into catastrophes; Caroline explained why she thinks that the “butterfly effect” exists; Mario could not think of any super-natural catastrophe while Roswitha’s inability of knowing the future prevents her from seeing all the catastrophes she escaped. In the end we learned from Alexis that catastrophe means more or less nothing but “the end” and Kathrin explained that it is very rare that the end of a book or a movie is NOT a catastrophe.
The meeting ended with the reports on time (everyone was perfectly on time) and filling words by Roswitha, the grammarian’s report by Caroline and an excellent general evaluation by Mario.
The discussion on catastrophes and other former table topics like Sam’s cheap desert continued during the apero.
The next meeting will be on the 6th July. Please, make sure that you announce your attendance on EasySpeak and take a role.
Roswitha, 15th June 2015