Table Topics Thursday: Topic 17

This Thursday’s Table Topics question is: Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts?

I would say that it’s usually better to know the truth and I’m not sure that how much it hurts is necessarily a factor for when it’s better and when it’s not.

Beyond the truths that are just none of my business, there are truths that it probably wouldn’t help me to know.

For instance, if someone had said unkind things about me once or twice, I understand that nobody is perfect and everyone can be mean and unthinking from time to time, but if occasional gossiping or venting is not a sign of anything more serious, I don’t see the benefit of knowing about it.

Granted, that answer took a whole High School, “Mean Girls” turn but I’m sure there are other instances where an unpleasant truth is not necessary for me to know.

So, what do you think? Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts?


Table Topics Thursday: Topic 16

The topic for this Table Topics Thursday is: What do you want to be remembered for?

I would like to be remembered less for anything I’ve done and more for the type of person I am.

Keeping in mind what I’ve previously mentioned about what I believe to be the limits of self-knowledge, I would hope to be remembered for being smart and funny but more so for being a genuinely kind and helpful person.

Above all, I hope people I love will find happiness remembering me.

I think the very touching Cure song, “Treasure” says it best:

She whispers
“please remember me
When I am gone from here”
She whispers
“please remember me
But not with tears…
Remember I was always true
Remember that I always tried
Remember I loved only you
Remember me and smile…
For it’s better to forget
Than to remember me
And cry”

“remember I was always true
Remember that I always tried
Remember I loved only you
Remember me and smile…
For it’s better to forget
Than to remember me
And cry… “

Of course, I wouldn’t mind being known as the world’s greatest public speaker and a legendary Toastmaster.

Table Topics Thursday: Topic 15

This Thursday’s Table Topic is: List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

Picking three could be a challenge.  But let’s start with the easy one.

My first choice would have to be Ireland.  This is where my mother’s people came from and I’ve always heard great things about it.  I’ve heard that it’s an absolutely beautiful country and I’ve always been proud of my Irish heritage.  I’d love to go there and connect to it.  I might even do some genealogical research during my visit.  I’ve also always loved the sound of a brogue and wouldn’t mind visiting a Toastmasters club there and listen to them speak.

Since the other half of my matrilineal heritage is from England, I wouldn’t mind visiting there since I’d be in the area any way.  I’d do all the touristy things and visit all the historical landmarks.

Not to be too Eurocentric, but for my third visit, I’d probably choose Germany.  While I do have a small bit of German heritage, this trip would be less for genealogy, and more just for sight-seeing.

Now, for full disclosure, I must admit that I’m not much for traveling; I’ve never left the country and the farthest from the East Coast I’ve gone is to St. Louis, so these trips aren’t likely.

But if I did travel, these would probably be the places I’d like to go.

So now it’s your turn: List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.


Table Topics Thursday: Topic 14

This Thursday’s Table Topics Question is: Would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains?

I realize that this is similar to a previous topic (or at least lends itself to a similar answer).

Last time, I had a hard time choosing between and, given that I enjoy where I live now (closer to beach than mountain), I would choose beach.

I’m going to pull the old “nice place to visit…” cliché now.  I’ve visited the mountains before and enjoyed it.  However, I do enjoy living in a beach town.  Never mind that I almost never actually visit the beach.

Maybe it’s just the idea of the beach.  I enjoy the salt smell of the sea.  I like the sound of gulls.

So, to live, I would choose the sea.

So, what about you: Would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains?

Table Topics Thursday Topic 13

This Thursday’s Table Topics question is: What’s your favorite book and movie?

The question is book and movie, so it calls for two answers (unless it’s a book and the movie made of it, maybe).

I’m not sure I really have a current favorite of either.  I’ve seen a lot of movies that I really loved and many books that I’ve enjoyed immensely.

I’ll start with movies.  For a very long time my favorite movie was Heathers.

It was definitely a period piece with Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.  It was an 80s dark comedy about teenage angst, popularity and rebellion, simultaneously making fun of all these things.

Like many of my favorite things, it is also eminently quotable:

[writing in diary] Betty Finn was a true friend and I sold her out for a bunch of Swatch dogs and Diet Coke heads.

– Winona Ryder’s Character “Veronica Sawyer”

As for books, I don’t have one favorite, but my taste tend to run towards horror fiction or fantasy.  I’m a big fan of Clive Barker and Stephen King and have even dabbled in some Dean Koontz.  Right now, I’m reading The Colour of Magic from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.  I went through my classics phase, reading Dracula and Frankenstein; and my Eldritch Horror phase reading the works of H.P. Lovecraft and related authors.  I’ve also started reading through the Wizard of Oz books.

I read before bed every night, so I’ve always got something keyed up on the Kindle app on my Android phone.

So, what about you: What’s your favorite book and movie?

Table Topics Thursday Topic 12

This week’s Table Topics Thursday question is: If you could choose another name what would you choose?

Honestly, I’m quite happy with Dan.  Of course, my full first name is Daniel and I’ve been called Danny from time to time as well.

I’m not fond of being called Daniel and find Danny only somewhat acceptable.  So, I settled on Dan.  This is how I introduce myself to people and I make my preference clear when asked.

Of course, if I had to choose a name other than some variation of my real name, that opens up a ton of possibilities.

I could go silly with Abercrombie, or Eustace. No offense intended to any Abercrombies or Eustaces out there.

I could go for something strong-sounding like Rex, or Butch, or Max (I do like the terminal x)

But, in the end, I like Dan.  I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

So, what about you?  If you could choose another name what would you choose?

Table Topics Thursday: Topic 11

This Thursday’s Table Topics question is: Who has inspired you as a mentor and why?

When I presented Mentoring, from the Successful Club Series, I used the following example from my past to personalize the benefits of mentoring for the audience.

When I started work in the job I had before my current one, I felt very much out of my depth.  It was my first real programming job and I didn’t know whether I had the skills or experience required.  Added to the fact that my pay took a quite sizable jump at the new job made me even more worried about not measuring up.

However, in my first week, one of my new teammates took me very much under his wing.  He was extraordinarily supportive and helpful.

I was given a task to do and when he looked over what I had done, he praised me in terms that I remember fondly to this day.  He called me: Alpha Geek.

With his support, praise and tutelage, I was able to quickly overcome my insecurities and grow in both skill and confidence.  I hope that I’ve been able to pay it forward and help someone else to grow and develop.

Now it’s your turn: Who has inspired you as a mentor and why?

Table Topics Thursday: Topic 10

This Thursday’s Table Topics Question is: What do you complain about more than anything else?

Let me preface my answer by saying that I really don’t see myself as much of a complainer.

That being said, I have my moments.

I’m not sure that there’s any one thing that I tend to complain about more than anything else.

I suppose I have the usual complaints from time to time: traffic, the weather, work.

I think recently, what I’ve been complaining about the most would be my new cubicle at work.

There’s been a reorganization at work recently and, as part of it, I was moved to a new cubicle.

The problem is, the cubicle is about half the size of my old one and, even though it’s only about 15 to 20 feet away from my old cube, it’s also about 15 to 20 degrees warmer.

I don’t know what it is, but it’s like I’ve moved to a different climactic zone.

It’s gotten to the point that I’ve had to request a power strip just so I can get myself a little fan to keep me cool.

So now it’s your turn: What do you complain about more than anything else?

Table Topics Thursday Topic 9

This Thursday’s Topic is: If you could have any view from your back porch, what would it be?

I’m finding this one especially difficult for some reason.

I think the reason is that each of my immediate responses feel clichéd.

Whether it’s a beach view…

or a view of the woods…

or the mountains…

It all seems kind of trite.

That’s not to say that I would mind any of these views, but none of them really speak to me as especially wondrous and I’m sure there are more meaningful answers that wouldn’t feel so overused, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

If I had to choose, I would probably opt for the beach view.  I wouldn’t choose the mountains because I’m not particularly fond of heights and I would avoid the woods because I’ve been in cabins in the woods and the bugs were horrible.

I love the sights and smells of the beach and I’d love to be near it, as long as I didn’t need to walk on the sand too much.

So…maybe you’ve got a better answer.  Let me know: If you could have any view from your back porch, what would it be?

Table Topics Thursday Topic 8

This Thursday’s Table Topics question is: What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

I’ve got several goals I would like to accomplish this year.  Surprise, surprise, they’re all Toastmasters-related.

I will list them in order of likelihood and then I’ll choose one.

  1. Achieve Competent Communicator by June 30
  2. Achieve Advanced Leader Bronze by June 30
  3. Lead my club to President’s Distinguished Club status by June 30
  4. Be chosen to serve as Area 13 Governor for the 2011-2012 Toastmaster year
  5. Increase attendance at my club meetings

To achieve Competent Communicator, I need to complete the ten speech projects from the Competent Communicator manual.  I’ve presented nine and have the tenth one scheduled for April 27.  Barring unforeseen calamity, I will achieve this goal.

To achieve Advanced Leader Bronze , I need to complete the following requirements:

  • Achieved the Competent Leader award
  • Achieved Competent Communicator award
  • Serve at least six months as a club officer (president, vice president education, vice president membership, vice president public relations, secretary, treasurer or sergeant at arms) and participate in the preparation of a Club Success Plan while serving in this office
  • While serving in the above office, participate in a district-sponsored club officer training program
  • Conducted any two presentations from The Successful Club Series and/or The Leadership Excellence Series

I achieved Competent Leader last year.  I’ve been President of my club since July 1 of last year and lead the preparation of the Club Success Plan.  I’ve attended both the Summer and Winter training sessions this year.  I conducted the Mentoring presentation earlier this year and completed the Moments of Truth presentation yesterday.  This leaves only the Competent Communicator left to complete, which I discussed above.

To achieved President’s Distinguished Club status, our club needs to earn nine out of ten points in the Distinguished Club Program.  As of today, we have six points and have our plan in place to earn the other three.

Being chosen Area 13 Governor is out of my hands but I’ve been asked twice if I’d be interested in serving.

The last goal is the one I’ve been struggling with the most.  The other club officers and I have been very concerned for a long time about dismally low meeting attendance.  We’ve been trying many different approaches to increase attendance and still we struggle.  Yesterday’s Moments of Truth presentation has given us a few more ideas to try and we’re also looking into whether moving the meetings to a different day might be helpful.

This last goal is the one I would most like to achieve because it’s been my biggest source of frustration this year.

So, what about you?  What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

The Tabley Award winner for the last table topics question is: Dave Folstad!  Congratulations Dave!

The question was: What are the redeeming qualities of the person you most dislike?

Dave’s answer was:

The redeeming qualities of the person I most dislike are actually many. She is very private and really the things that she does and don’t do are really not immense. My reaction to those things is really a over reaction. In the big or the small scheme of life; I should not be bothered so much by her.

Now’s your chance to win a Tabley!  Answer today’s question in comments.  Good luck!

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