The last meeting for our outgoing VPE Alexander brought lots of surprises and improvisation. Especially since we were on a “special agenda” with a total of no less than six table-topic speeches. Alexander himself led through the evening with a theme of “resurrection and renewal” fitting the Easter Holidays, which he also incorporated into the table topics. The first prepared speech was given by Bikash. As his Icebreaker speech, he not only explained how his becoming an engineer was preordained from birth so strongly that he succeeded in becoming one even though he studied at the best place for doing everything BUT study, but went on to win best prepared speech of the evening – way to go! As the first table topic speech, Oliver speculated on what the traditional color of Easter eggs was and how they came to be so colorful nowadays. Alexander then revealed that they originally were red as a reminder of the blood of Christ.
Wenrong explained some key differences between German and Chinese culture in the second prepared speech. In the following table topics, our guest Farzana sought for an explanation of the origin of the Easter Bunny and added some parallels from her own culture.
The last prepared speech by Christian was from an advanced manual. Christian presented us a laudation for a colleague in which he used the metaphor of fire to illustrate warmth, energy and enlightenment that his colleague had shown. In the following table topics, Pieter was asked what the story of the resurrection meant to him. He suggested that even though we may sometimes reach points where we cannot know what’s ahead of us or see no way to go on, we should never give up.
Evaluations were introduced by Jazzmin, who was general evaluator for the evening. Yinqi praised Bikash’s speech and, referencing a quote from it, suggested that he had the abilities to “aim high” as a speaker. In the ensuing table topics speech, our guest Bea was asked by Alexander to explain some pastry he brought and what its connection to the occasion is. He later revealed it is called “kozunak”, a Bulgarian speciality for the Easter Holidays.
Pieter evaluated Wenrong’s speech, relating it to his own meeting Chinese people. Jazzmin had just handed the floor back to Alexander for the next table topics speech when he called her back for the speech to tell us about her time in Cape Town.
The last evaluation was given by JP, who praised Christian’s use of a metaphorical framework and opening and closing the speech with famous quotes. He, too, had barely returned to his seat when he had to come back and, as the last table topics speech of the evening, had to tell us about the meaning of the light of resurrection. It was all worth it, though, given that he was awarded both best evaluation AND best table topics speech of the evening.
Finally, our president Martin Sturm presented a farewell gift to Alexander, who in turn distributed the kozunak under those attending.
All in all, it was a very rejuvenating meeting. For the club, with an Icebreaker winning best prepared speech, but especially so for Alexander, who has lots of changes coming to his life in the coming days. We wish him all the best and good luck in Oxford!