Friday, May 25, 2007

Switching to Decaf

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I'm about 48 hours away from being a nervous, twitchy wreck like Tweek.

On Wednesday I might have to give a speech during a charity luncheon. Usually when I have to prepare for speaking in public I think up of a small list of bullet points, memorize them and try to speak naturally with them in mind.

Right now, however, I got nothing. Not a single thing.

The last time I had to give a speech was during a December luncheon for the same charity sponsoring the event on Wednesday- the
Physically Challenged Irish and American Youth Team. They are a little-known but fantastic organization that assists disabled youth in the U.S. and Ireland, and they were instrumental in helping pay my undergrad tuition as well as standing by me during my time off from grad school.

During the December luncheon at the apartment of the
Irish Consulate General to New York I had memorized a humorous quote by James Joyce that I hoped would break the ice. Via a marvelous stroke of luck, he had another quote by Joyce hang in his living room and that was where I would speak. Hence, I had two great quotes by the same author to work with and it all worked out marvelously.

Unfortunately, at this time I'm not too sure what to speak about and I don't want to rely on luck to bail me out.

Also, I don't wish to repeat content from previous speeches. Hence, no more quotes or retelling of my travails with my physical disability. I won't repeat the discourse I made where I urged people not to see the disabled with pity but rather as individuals with the potential to improve society. No talk on how the song/Liverpool chant
"You'll Never Walk Alone" applies to the charity.


Actually, there are only two semi-ideas that are stirring around in my mind:
  1. Linking my Latin American background to Ireland. With that option the only two things that I could link to could be the Battle of Boyaca where Irish troops fought alongside Simon Bolivar's independence forces or the music of Mexican brother-sister duo (by way of Dublin) Rodrigo y Gabriela.
  2. Framing the speech around the recent completion of a U.N. treaty for people with disabilities. I believe during one of the working group sessions I attended the E.U. was represented by Ireland.
All I know is that I got to figure something out soon and commit it to memory. The last thing I can afford to do is pull the entire speech out of thin air or be too nervous and blank out.

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