Headlines for Tuesday:


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AX@1500-1700 Q1 Attend lecture in BA1230 from 2005.11.15 (mie1407f)
BX@1800-2000 Q2 Attend Toast IT at Metro Hall, 55 John St., 3rd floor - Toronto from 2005.11.15


1. Speech #7: One in a Million

Categories: toast#5 -- Permalink
Today I gave my Toastmasters speech #7 (Research Your Topic): "One in a Million." I talked about what made Olympic athletes and prima ballerinas and chess champions one in a million: luck, work, and love. Luck--being in the right place at the right time, having the right opportunities and the right teachers--is something, but it's not everything. I shared the results of research that show it takes around 10 years to become an expert in something: 10,000 hours of work, which is just three hours a day. That's the work part. And love--love is what gets you through that. Love is what makes you push yourself past the comfort zone. Love is what makes those three hours a day just fly by. So if you want to be exceptional, just remember: 10 years, 10,000 hours, is just 3 hours a day--and your ten years can start today.

Throughout the explanation of luck, work, and love, I wove in stories about my childhood: gymnastics lessons, piano practice, chess... and computers, of course. =) (They laughed when I told them my only souvenirs from gymnastics were posture, poise, and a flat head from falling on the floor too many times.)

I wanted to talk about my parents, but even after I dropped a lot of material from the speech, I still clocked in at nine minutes--well over the 5-7 minute goal. Then again, even our timer didn't realize how much time had already passed. <grin> I guess it was a good speech, then.

The audience liked how I used simple statistics, research, and personal experience to support a story. =) I got plenty of wonderful feedback from the Toastmasters! It's always fun to perform in front of such a supportive and helpful audience.

Not bad for a speech I'd _just_ finished sketching in class that afternoon... I had most of it in my speech ideas notebook, but I hadn't settled on the specific examples until today.

Much fun. I'm looking forward to doing speech #8, which will help me get comfortable with visual aids. I've already got something planned for that one! I don't think I'll be able to finish my CTM by the end of the year--not with the end of term coming up!--but it should be pretty smooth sailing, thanks to my well-stocked idea book.


2. Flash fiction: Damsel in Distress

Categories: ShortStories#44 -- Permalink
- In response to flashxer prompt: "He was a real cliche. Top of the heap. Strong as steel, a go getter who let no grass grow under his feet, an overachiever who kept his nose to the grindstone and never looked a gift horse in the mouth."


He fought his way past the thorny briars and slew the ferocious dragon--all without getting a spot on his gleaming armor. He climbed to the highest room in the highest tower, took off his helmet, and woke the sleeping princess with a gentle (but manly) kiss.

She snapped awake. "ARRRRRRRRRRRGH! Can't anyone get any rest around here?!"

"But... but... Weren't you a damsel in distress?"

"A damsel in _STRESS._ Which is why I was resting, until you very rudely came along and woke me up."

"I'm sorry! It's just that I saw a dragon, and dragons usually guard beautiful princesses and..."

"What did you do to my dragon?!" She ran to the window and saw the bloody carcass. "Pookie! You killed Pookie! Don't you know how hard it is to raise dragons? Every time I manage to train one to sit and beg, some dumb oaf comes along and kills it!"

"I'm sorry--I really am--forgive my--"

"And you chopped down my rose garden!"

"I'm really sorry about that, but I had to rescue--"

"I have HAD it with people who ASSUME that princesses need RESCUING more than they need their BEAUTY SLEEP! OUT!" She bashed him with a pillow. "OUT! I don't want to see you ever again!"

"Okay! I'm sorry!" He backed down the flight of stairs, cowering behind his shield as the princess pillow-whacked him all the way to the ground floor.

"AND STAY OUT!" she yelled as he galloped off into the sunset. She bolted the door, trudged upstairs, and started writing a letter.

Dear Dragons-R-Us...

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