Vicki, Toastmaster of the Evening, reminded us that we were only two days form the winter solstice, the shortest day in the year. Although humans don’t hibernate at this time, the stress of darkness, rain, and cold may make us crave “psychological hibernation”, she told us.

Amelie, giving the toast, agreed. “How do you feel at this time of year?” she asked, suggesting that hibernation is the way for us to restore inner peace.

Connal warned us that his joke had been told to him by his eleven-year-old son – but the idea of how losing a pencil leads to almost-certain death raised laughter!

It was our pleasure to see Florence again. Hoping to work on public speaking and communication skills, she gamely undertook one of the evening’s table topics.

Volunteers needed – organizers and participants.
January 23 – Club Contest
February 24 – Area Contest
Save the dates!

Cave – noun or verb, alternatively cave in

It was a pleasure to welcome Yannis, our newest member, into the club. Paula (in the absence of Anaelle) conducted the ceremony and Siobhan is looking forward to mentoring him.


  • VINCENT explained that humans need to hibernate because it allows time for reflection, thinking both back over one’s life as well as forward to a better future.
  • FLORENCE would choose two things to bring to her hibernation cave. The first would be a blanket, warm and comforting. The second would be a book so she could enjoy herself and carry on learning.
  • SUZANNE was drawn to the idea of being a bear in hibernation but realized that a reindeer visits beautiful places – so she would have to be both!
  • YANNIS, architect and vegetarian, would build himelf a kitchen in his hibernation cave where he could conserve his fresh food at a constant temperature.
  • PATRICK was unhesitant in choosing a buddy to take with him into hibernation: who better than God to help him use the time to tranform himself and do things better?
  • SIOBHAN chose a bear as her spirit animal. The animal’s strength and silence, as well as its ability to eat healthily, are attributes she would choose for herself!
  • AMELIE introduced us to the idea of chrononutrition, the perfect diet before going into hibernation, and, she assured us, the only diet that actually works!


  • Amine’s “Vulnerability”, was such a model of professionalism that it was hard to believe it was his Icebreaker, according to Siobhan. The speech was well constructed and delivered with natural use of gesture, clarity of diction, and tonal variety. Although there were some fractional pauses between sections, this was “a small price to pay” for a speech delivered entirely without notes – bravo!
  • Evaluating Jessica’s “How to Achieve your Health and Wellness Goals”, Vincent first noted that she had achieved her objective to deliver a persuasive speech with a call to action. He particularly enjoyed the clear structure of her speech, her command of the room, and her use of interesting expressions – a reference to Batman or picturing a battle “between you and your shoes.” Next he suggested that she could slow down and work to make transitions smoother.
  • Commenting on Alex’s “Function in Search of Form”, Tricia commended his choice of topic, organization, and use of slides. Although the speech ran over time, she had enjoyed it so much she had thought it was under time. Trica particularly praised Alex’s use of a word game analogy to harness audience interest at the beginning and his ending with the title. She concluded by admitting that she was unsure how the speech could be improved other than respecting the time limit – high praise from so experienced an evaluator!
  • Laura was described by Patrick as “a great speaker… really engaging… [with a] great sense of humor.” He noted particularly her use of body and gesture, the clear lessons she drew, and her explanation of how she applied what she had learned to her own life. Although he suggested that there might have been more about her rather than about her mentor, he concluded that the best advice he could give was that she should “Just continue like that!”

Josep’s evaluation was a fivefold celebration of the club –

  1. The spirit of the club was summarized by Amine hoping to give as much back to the group as the members give to him, and demonstrated by people who covered members’ absences – Josep, Paula, and Martin.
  2. Noting that Patrick was a first-time evaluator, Josep explained that this illustrated typical TMP activity: what we do here is not what we already know, he said, but a continual process of trying out new things in order to learn and improve.
  3. Zoom had been successful. Josep noted that help had been provided if people had difficulty getting a link. He praised Alex for using the break to check that his screenshare would work. Notably, he thanked Patrick for the time he spends, arriving early and leaving late, to set up the equipment.
  4. The club is supported by many ‘backstage’ people, whose work Josep wanted to highlight. He thanked Connal for his untiring effort as Treasurer, Paula for her time spent on the programing, and Siobhan for her meeting reports.
  5. The final celebration was visible: our club banner now displays a new ribbon, a third “Home of the Area Director”, thanks to Vicki. Our Past President ‘s promotion helps to maintain our reputation in Paris and beyond!

Club fund money is used to pay TMI dues. It also buys ribbons, Christmas presents for the restaurant staff, voting papers, Zoom equipment, and more. Recently it was also used to subsidize the special Christmas meal so members only had to pay the regular price. However, at the December 20 th meeting, the club had to pay for six meals… (Did you know that we have to pay for no-shows?) Please make sure that you update the sign-up sheets on the TMP website. Thank you!

Goodbye! – Au Revoir!
Sadly, this was Larry’s last night with us as he is moving to Lausanne. We’ll miss him! Hopefully he will continue to attend virtually. Wishing you all the very best in your move, Larry.

Time is your sidekick – Jessica
Hip librarian – Laura
Hoochie koochie – Suzanne
Psychological hibernation – Vicki
The art of being uncomfortable – Amine
The privilege and challenge – Patrick

Table topics – Amelie
Speech – Laura
Evaluation – Tricia

The next meeting is January 9 th .
See you then!



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