Issuu on Google+


Masters in Action





No  Pain,  Just   Gain! by  Feng  Zimin

No  Pain,  Just  Gain!  A   catchy  theme,  isn't  it?  I   like  this  idea,  a  lot.  And   this  is  not  because  of   the  insinuation  –  if   perceived  that  way  –   that  promotes  idleness  and   procrastination.  Rather,  it  is  a  motto   that  encourages  an  optimistic  point  of   view  on  life. One  amazing  thing  about  the  human   brain  is  that  it  somehow  magically   connects  together  seemingly   unrelated  events  scattered  in  time   and  space  with  some  kind  of  internal   and  underlying  similarity  or  logic.  And   it  just  happened  to  me!   Months  ago,  I  personally  experienced   a  change  in  life.  It  was  a  surprisingly   blissful  joy  followed  by  a  loss  –  quite  a   lesson  that  exposed  things  that  need   attention,  but  that  had  unfortunately   been  neglected  in  the  past.  Pain  at   first,  but  it  soon  became  clear  to  me   that  in  my  case,  such  a  misfortune  was   the  most  effective  way  –  if  not  the   only  way  to  bring  to  my  attention  the   inevitable  leap  that  I  had  to  take   before  I  became  a  better  person.  That   was  the  first  event,  and  this  is  the   second.  During  the  summer  break,  I   got  a  chance  to  talk  to  one  of  our   award-­‐winning  toastmasters,  Rosalia   Felice.  She  told  me  that  she  liked   giving  

speeches  because  she  enjoys  the   feeling  of  steering  the  audiences'   emoWons  and  ideas.  For  the  first  few   ! speeches  she  felt  nervous  and  anxious   like  most  other  people,  but  aYer  a   while,  she  said,  "it  was  just  pure  fun!"   Finally,  a  third  event  in  my  life  that   provoked  change  -­‐  recently  I've  been   reading  MarWn  Seligman's  The   Authen3c  Happiness.  In  this  book  he   claims  that  complete  engagement  in   something  (for  example,  work,  a  hobby   etc…)  results  in  the  true-­‐est  happiness   –  a  state  where  we  are  completely   absorbed  in  the  moment,  to  the  point   that  we  no  longer  feel  the   surroundings  or  even  ourselves! Voilà!  Somehow  my  brain  connected   all  three  events  when  the  newsle`er   called  for  a  theme,  so  here  it  was!  Gain   through  a  step  forward  –  not  through   pain,  and  through  fun  –  rather  than   anxiety,  through  total  devoWon  –  not   the  hurdle  of  a  ‘self’.   No  Pain,  Just  Gain!   ****

What  No  Pain,  Just   Gain  means  to  me

A  note  from  the  Editors

What  does  ‘no  pain,  just  gain’  mean   to  me?  I  have  two  conflicting  views  on  

Hearty  thanks  to  all  contributors  to   this  newsletter.  To  the  writers  and   photographers,  interviewees  and   readers!  Thanks  to  all  new  and  old   McGill  Toastmaster  Club  members,   without  whom  the  encouraging   environment  that  nurtured  this   newsletter  would  not  be  possible.   Read  on  to  find  out  how  Toastmasters   interpreted  ‘No  Pain,  Just  Gain’,  and  all   about  your  adventures  this  Summer   and  Fall.  Enjoy!   Sarah  Ali-­‐Khan  and  Feng  Zimin Editors

by  Eric  Landy

this  motto.  On  the  one  hand,  I  disagree   with  the  statement  wholeheartedly.   Any  lofty  and  ambitious  goal  worth   striving  for  doesn’t  come  without  some   degree  of  sacrifice  or  pain. Every  ounce  of  success  I  have  ever   achieved  has  been  because  I  have  put   in  the  time,  effort,  and  dedication   required  to  realize  it.  That  coupled  with   a  little  bit  of  luck  of  course!  However,   creating  luck  is  often  a  very  painful  and   strenuous  process.  I  think  a  more   realistic  concept  would  be  ‘no  pain,  no   gain’. As  I  write  down  my  thoughts  on  this   subject,  it  is  11:39PM  on  Friday,   September  28.  I  just  got  home  from  the   office  half  an  hour  ago,  after  yet  

another  grueling  and  high-­‐pressured   workweek  filled  with  client  

! 12



demands,  investor  relations  and   disgruntled  employees.  Much  to   my  dismay,  I  was  in  the  office  so   late  on  a  Friday  night  to  prepare   for  a  massive  client  launch   across  the  pond  in  the  United   Kingdom  on  Monday.  Everything   we  do  for  the  client  has  to  be  in   place  –  if  we  don’t  come   through  on  the  deliverables,  we   stand  to  lose  a  contract  and  all   the  credibility  we  have  worked   so  hard  to  attain  for  the  past  3   years.  

On  the  other  hand,  if  I  interpret   that  sentence  from  a  more   optimistic  angle,  I  think  it  could   imply  that  you  gain  from  every   experience  in  life  whether  you   fail,  whether  it's  easy  or  whether   the  circumstances  are  difficult.   It’s  basically  to  say  that  no   matter  what  happens,  just  be   positive,  and  make  the  best  out   of  every  situation.  Everything  in   life  is  about  learning  and   perspective.  If  you  have  a   positive  perspective,  then  really   it  is  ‘no  pain,  just  gain’.   For  example,  I  had  mentioned  to   the  club  that  in  my  previous   business,  everything  went  sour,   and  I  ended  up  losing  a  best   friend  and  the  majority  of  my   life  savings.  For  most  people  

that  would  result  in  a  mindset   like  ‘pain  and  no  gain’!  However,   when  I  reflect  on  the  words  ‘no   pain,  just  gain’,  I  realize  that   subconsciously  that  is  essentially   what  ended  up  happening.  In   retrospect,  there  was  a  lot  of   pain  and  sorrow,  but  over  time  I   learned  to  accept  the  loss,  and   spin  it  into  a  positive   experience. Now,  I  can  analyze  and   appreciate  this  concept  from  the   standpoint  of  being  both  a   realist  and  an  optimist.  As  a   realist,  I  believe  that  nothing   great  comes  easily,  and  that   hard  work  and  pain  will  always   be  encountered  while  on  the   road  to  success.  As  an  optimist,  I   believe  that  we  are  always   learning  and  no  matter  what   trying  circumstances  we  find   ourselves  in,  we  can  always  gain   from  them.  It’s  not  the  outcome,   but  learning  from  the  experience   that  really  counts.   ****


As  an  entrepreneur  everything  is   on  your  shoulders.  Results  are   directly  correlated  to  the  effort   you  put  in.  As  you  go,  the   company  goes.  Obviously,  it’s   painful  for  me  and  my  team  to   be  stuck  in  the  office  so  late  on  a   Friday  night.  Who  wouldn't   rather  spend  that  time  leisurely   with  friends  and  family?  The   point  I'm  trying  to  illustrate  is   that  in  the  short  term  there  is  a   little  bit  of  sacrifice  and  pain,   but  it’s  all  with  the  goal  of  

turning  it  into  long-­‐term  gain.  If  I   didn’t  suffer  and  go  through  the   tough  times  and  keep   tenaciously  persevering,  then  I   wouldn’t  ‘gain’  what  I  wanted  to   achieve.  It  takes  pain  to  gain!

McGill Toastmasters enjoying yet another stimulating meeting - Sept 4th

! 13



The  Pleasure  of  Crea8ng   by  Louise-­‐Véronique  Sico9e

we  do  it  to  evolve,  to  blossom  and  be   connected  to  our  inner  self,  and  to  share  our   essence  with  others. Fortunately,  my  fears  disappeared  quickly,   because  I  discovered  that  the  other  parWcipants   in  the  course  are  rich  in  their  human   experiences,  and  we  are  all  there  together  to   learn  both  from  ourselves,  and  through  each   other.  Primarily,  it  is  important  to  allow  our   creaWvity  to  emerge  without  blockage,  to  open   our  mind,  to  connect  with  our  feelings,  and  to   let  out  all  the  ideas  that  conWnually  crisscross   within  us  -­‐  to  go  with  the  flow! I  don't  know  what  will  be  the  result  of  these  ten   weeks  of  song-­‐wriWng  classes.  Will  I  write  one   or  few  songs?  I  don't  know.  But  for  me,  I   believe,  as  someone  has  already  said:  the   desWnaWon  is  less  important  than  the  trip  itself.   The  joy  of  being  creaWve  is  a  powerful  source  of   well-­‐being!   ****

I  just  have  begun  a  new  course,  it  is  something   challenging,  requiring  imaginaWon,  sensiWvity,   and  creaWvity.  It  is  a  course  about  how  to  write   songs.

McGill  Toastmasters’  Website   v  2.0  rocks!

Before  starWng  this  course,  I  was  anxious  about   it.  AYer  all,  I'm  not  a  musician,  nor  a  singer,  or   an  instrumentalist,  but  instead  only  someone   who  likes  words.  I  was  wondering  if  I  would  be   able  to  take  this  course,  and  feel  confident   doing  it.  It's  so  natural  to  compare  ourselves  to   others,  and  to  feel  less  creaWve.  It's  very  easy  to   become  highly  self-­‐criWcal.  

Our   new   website   is   here!   W ith   a   f resh   style,   new   articles,   pictures,   v ideos,   FB   g roup   and   m ore   coming! We   have   been   working   really   hard   updating   and   improving   everything.   C hanges   m eans   evolution   (as   a   m ember   told   m e   once)   w ith   this   I   would   like   to   thank: •   Always   t here,   m ultitasking   a nd   available   J ohnny   S it,   o ur   Sergeant   at   Arms   for   all   the   h eavy-­‐duty   work   compressing,   uploading   a nd   o rganizing   t he   videos •   M y   t utor,   l eader   a nd   o ur   President   M arzieh   G hiasi   for   managing,  u ploading,  creating  content  and  even  p rogramming!   Is  t here  a nother  skill  that  you  have  n ot  told  u s  about?   : ) •   And   you!   Yes   -­‐   m embers   for   a ll   t he   comments   a nd   s upport. •   And   m e,   h ere   a nd   t here,   a s   your   webmaster!

WriWng  songs  is  something  extremely  personal  -­‐   we  dip  into  our  personal  values,  background,   memories,  emoWons,  and  tastes.  Of  course,  we   want  to  reach  out  and  touch  everyone  with  our   words,  melody  and  message,  but  this  is  not   always  the  case.  What  we  make  might  reach   some  people  more  than  others,  but  this  reality   should  not  prevent  us  from  creaWng,  because  

Thank   you   a ll! Ivan   Murcia McGill  TMs  Webmaster


io Act n i s #er a m # Toa ll i G !

Oc h rc Ma

012 2 r tobe

Love -b - Sep irds t 4th

District 61 Speech Comp - George our hero - March 30th

McGill Speech

18th Comp - Sept


t 4t


ed in a


- Sept



Farew e

ll Julie

- Augu

st 21st

Summer Joint Meeting - July 23rd

Mor e Sep t 4th fun

July 23rd - summer smiles

! 16



Flight  across  the   Rockies by  Elise  Fryml We  made  it,  we  survived,  we  crossed   the  Rockies!    What  an  adventure!   After  breakfasting  on  toast  and  Nutella   (what  better  food  to  eat  before  this   flight?),  we  arrived  at  Springbank   airport,  and  needed  a  flight  briefing   for  mountain  flying.    Thank  goodness   Damien,  my  copilot,  already  has  200   hours  experience  flying  in  the  Alps!    I,   on  the  other  hand,  just  became   increasingly  nervous  as  the  Calgary   Flying  Club  instructor  explained  our   route.    ”You  should  give  a  position   report  over  Canmore  and  Banff,  that   way  if  something  happens  at  least  we���ll   know  your  last  position.”    Eeek!  It’s  just   another  flight,  right?    No  big  deal.     Weather  checked:  hazy,  but  overall   good.    Hazy  conditions  indicate  a  stable   air  mass,  which  is  very  good,  especially   for  first  time  mountain  flying.    Flight   plan  filed  to  Boundary  Bay  airport  in   Vancouver,  via  Kelowna,  right  in  the   beautiful  Okanagan  Valley.    Thorough   aircraft  inspection  (definitely  don’t  want   an  engine  failure  in  the  mountains!),  re-­‐ fuelling,  and  a  quick  last-­‐minute   sandwich,  and  we  were  set  to  go.     Damien  needed  a  sugar  rush,  which  he   satisfied  with  Coke.    I  chose  Haribo  

candy   (duh!).    We  climbed  into  the  plane.     Buckled  up.    I  wanted  to  jump  up  and   down,  both  with  fear  and  excitement. Takeoff  briefing.  Anddd  “Line  up  Runway   34.    Cleared  for  takeoff!”    The  moment   I’d  been  waiting  for  since  trip  planning   started.    The  climax.    Major  adrenaline   rush.    Who  needs  sugar  when  you  have   wings! Elevation  in  Calgary  is  4000  feet,  and  our   planned  cruising  altitude  was  10500  feet.     Legally,  you  can’t  fly  for  more  than  30   minutes  between  10  000  and  13  000   feet.  Our  entire  route  was  planned  at  10   500  feet,  and  we  were  flying  through   valleys.    Hypoxia  was  definitely  a   possibility.    First  symptom:  euphoria.     Well,  I  was   already   suffering  from   excessive   excitement!     Three  hours  of   mountain   flight,  and  we   were   supposed  to   check  each   other  for   hypoxic   symptoms.     And  make  sure   we  stayed   hydrated.    And  

all  this   after  I’d  heard  some  nasty  stories   about  hypoxic  pilots.    Oh  boy. The  controller  vectored  us  through   the  use  of  directional  headings   towards  the  mountains,  which   loomed  larger  and  larger  as  we   slowly  approached.    The  hazy  sky  was   somewhat  disappointing,  as  the   mountains,  though  visible,  were   veiled  behind  a  misty  fog.    On  the   bright  side,  there  was  no  turbulence.     As  we  approached  Canmore,  the   controller  bid  us  a  safe  journey.   Which  actually  means  that  no  one   cared  to  talk  to  us  anymore.  We  were   on  our  own,  so  to  speak,  for  the   entire  journey  through  the  Rockies.     Time  for  another  eeek! Despite  the  haze,  the  Rockies  were  a   breathtaking  and  awe-­‐inspiring  sight.     At  times,  we  were  so  close  I  almost   felt  like  we  could  touch  them.    Snow-­‐ covered  tops,  glaciers,  turquoise   lakes.    The  most  beautiful  sight  I  have   ever  seen.  We  couldn’t  fly  in  the   middle  of  the  valley,  because  of   ascending  and  descending  mountain   currents,  so  I  had  to  be  ready  to  veer   away  from  the  peaks  just  in  case  we   hit  a  current  of  rushing  air. We  tried  to  follow  a  routing  along  the   Trans  Canadian  Highway  through  the  

! 17


valleys.    I  was  piloting,  and  Damien  was   Navigator-­‐in-­‐Chief.    If  you  know  me,  you   know  that  I  get  lost.    A  lot.    But  obviously  I   didn’t  think  that  getting  lost  in  the  Rockies   would  be  a  big  deal.    Didn’t  even  cross  my   mind  actually.    So  that’s  exactly  what   happened.    I  was  trying  to  follow  the  river   and  the  T-­‐Can,  but  was  so  distracted  by  the   Rockies  that  I  forgot  about  the  highway.     There  were  forest  fires  in  sight  as  well  –   spectacular.    Eventually,  I  looked  below.     River,  yes.    Highway,  no.    Oh  no,  not  already.     ”Damien,  umm,  I  think  we’re  lost.    Already”     (in  a  very  timid  voice.)    We  determined  that   we’d  taken  the  wrong  fork,  and  were  in  the   wrong  valley.  Damien  decided  this  would  be   the  perfect  opportunity  to  practice  real   mountain  flying.    I  grabbed  the  camera  as  he   took  the  controls,  and  we  whooshed  past  a   peak.    We  were  banked  so  that  our  wings   wouldn’t  touch  the  peak.    That’s  how  close   we  were.    I  actually  shut  my  eyes  at  one   point  –  what  an  immense  adrenaline  rush! Back  on  track.    Catastrophe  averted.    The   valleys  and  rivers  can  be  quite  confusing  on   the  map.    As  we  continued  our  flight,  the   haze  began  to  lift,  and  the  peaks  were   illuminated  by  sunlight  –  striking,  to  say  the   least.    It  is  the  most  incredible  feeling  to  fly   past  glaciers  and  lakes  that  have  not  been   touched  by  mankind,  that  haven’t  even  been   explored  by  human  beings.    The  peaks  rise   up  to  meet  you,  offering  up  their  surprises  as   if  they  were  a  reward  for  our  hard  work  and   concentration.    As  if  we  were  being  shown  a   hidden  treasure  that  didn’t  belong  to  anyone   yet.    Almost  as  if  the  mountains  were   commanding  our  respect  while  giving  us   theirs.    Beautiful  secrets.    The  vast  immense-­‐ ness  of  the  Rockies,  and  their  breathtaking   splendour  make  them  the  most  gorgeous   sight  I  have  seen  from  an  aircraft.    Indeed,  it   would  not  be  hard  to  get  lost  among  the   seemingly  never-­‐ending,  glistening  peaks. Over  Revelstoke,  it  started  to  rain.    It  seemed   like  there  were  patches  of  virga  (rain  that   falls  but  doesn’t  hit  the  ground).    We  noticed   ice  forming  on  the  wheels,  which  thankfully   dissipated  very  quickly.    Otherwise,  we   would  have  had  to  land  in  Revelstoke.    Cute   town,  but  it’s  still  in  the  middle  of  nowhere.     Another  crisis  averted!    We  flew  on,  noticing   forest  fires  here  and  there  dotting  the  

hillsides.    We  could  even  see  the   flames  in  one  of  them.      

supposed  to  be  talking  to  everyone.     Anyway.

Close  to  Kelowna,  the  weather   started  to  improve,  and  the  valley  is   beaonce  in  the  Okanagan  Valley,  the   sun  was  shining.    The  valley  is   beautifully  coloured  –  it  is  an   agricultural  haven  after  all.    We  called   Kelowna  tower,  and  were  informed   that  we  were  already  within  their   control  zone,  and  that  we  should   have  called  sooner.    Well,  on  our   entire  flight  through  the  Rockies,  no   frequency  wanted  to  talk  to  us.    Even   the  dial-­‐up  remote  communications  

Upon  touchdown  in  Kelowna,  I   called  weather  briefing  services  for   a  weather  update,  and  ended  up   closing  my  flight  plan  because  of   rapidly  deteriorating  weather   conditions.    There  was  a  line  of   thunderstorms  advancing.    Radar   systems  had  picked  up  lightning   along  the  US  border.    Not  a  good   sign.    It  was  4pm  local  time.    We   decided  to  find  some  food  while   waiting  out  the  storm.    A  20  minute   walk  to  the  terminal,  and  we  were  

! 18


eating  pasta  and  brownies.     Yummm. When  I  called  back  1.5  hrs  later,   the  lady  remembered  me.  Still  not   good.    More  waiting.    It  was  now   almost  6pm.    Waited  another  hour   before  calling  back.    Would  we  or   wouldn’t  we  be  arriving  in   Vancouver  that  night? Third  weather  briefing  call.  There   was  a  bubble  in  the  clouds,  and   we  could  head  towards  Hope  and   Vancouver.    It  was  7:15pm.    Pilot   decision-­‐making  time:  we  were   GO  at  7:45pm!  Cloud  ceiling  was   at  9000  feet,  and  our  planned   altitude  was  10  500  feet.    Slight   problem. We  rushed  to  take  off,  as  our  flight   was  estimated  to  be  1.5  hours  to   Vancouver.    Sundown  was  slightly   before  9pm,  but  we  were  flying   west.    Finally,  cleared  for  takeoff.     As  we  were  climbing,  we  noticed   rainbows  to  our  left  as  we  turned   towards  Hope.  The  only  condition:   don’t  wander  off  into  the  wrong   valley  or  get  lost  in  

climb.  As  we   continued,  the   cloud  ceiling   became  more  and   more  visible.    And   it  was  becoming   darker.  The   combination  of   darkness  and   mountainous   terrain  is  stress-­‐ inducing,   especially  since  I   have  zero   experience  in   mountain  flying.     Sunset  in  Calgary  is   around  9:15pm,   what  it  felt  like  pulling  up  so  close  to  a  solid   whereas  sunset  in  Vancouver  is  much   cloud  base.    It  was  the  same  sensation  of  liftoff   earlier,  around  8:30pm.    Somehow,   as  on  takeoff.    The  sky  was  blue  and  pink   this  fact  had  escaped  us.    We  started   ahead  of  us,  the  ever  elusive  sun  was  setting.     off  by  flying  into  the  sun,  but  it   We  were  actually  chasing  the  sun! rapidly  became  darker.  We  were   flying  just  over  scattered  clouds,  and   I  had  the  sensation  of  running  on  cloud,  and   we  could  see  the   not  being  able  to  fall   dark  valleys  like   It  felt  like  I  could  analogize  our  flight  to   through.    As  if  the   chasms  underneath   life.    Like  there  was  a  safety  net,  even   cloud  could  hold  us   us. though  it  was  made  of  thinnest  mesh   up  and  support  us,   and  would  break  at  the  slightest  touch   even  though  hidden   Eventually,  as  the   just  beneath  the   and  swallow  us  up.   clouds   surface  were   became  thicker  and  thicker   mountains  and  valleys  waiting  to  swallow  us   and  formed  a  solid  ceiling   up.    The  same  mountains  that  earlier  had   looming  ahead  of  us,  we   willingly  offered  up  their  hidden  gems  and   climbed  over  the  cloud   secrets.    It  felt  like  there  was  no  way  to  fall   tops.    Burst  of  adrenaline   through.    Running  on  clouds,  but  with  wings.     and  excitement!  Magical.     Invincible?    Not  quite,  just  confident  that   We  were  only  a  couple   everything  would  work  out.    Granted,  maybe   hundred  feet  above  the   that  was  the  hypoxia  taking  over  my  brain.    It   clouds.    You  don’t  realize   felt  like  I  could  analogize  our  flight  to  life.    Like   how  fast  you’re  going  in   there  was  a  safety  net,  even  though  it  was   a  Cessna  172  until  you   made  of  thinnest  mesh  and  would  break  at  the   fly  over  clouds  that  rush   slightest  touch  and  swallow  us  up.    Eerie,  but   by.    It  was  as  if  we  were   incredible.    It  felt  like  we  were  floating  over  top   running  on  clouds.  As  if   of  a  vast  ocean,  blissfully  ignorant  of  what   we  could  just  land  on   lurks  just  beneath  the  surface.    Oh,  the   top  of  the  clouds  and   ramblings  of  a  hypoxic  mind!    Seriously   perch  there.    Like  a   though,  there  can  be  mountain  peaks  buried   sled  being  pulled  over   within  the  clouds,  and  this  reality  is  part  of   smooth  ice.  The  flight   what  makes  night  mountain  flying  so  stressful.     was  incredibly   Although  I  became  more  at  ease  as  we   smooth,  we  could  pull   continued  towards  Vancouver,  Damien  was  the   the  nose  up  and   one  stressing  out.    Which  probably  means  that   climb,  which  I  had  to   I  should  have  been  in  a  total  panic. try  so  I  could  see  

! 19


As  we  approached  Vancouver,  we  knew   that  the  terrain  flattened  out.    The   cloud  cover  did  not  seem  to  have  an   end,  so  Damien  took  over  the  controls   and  pointed  at  a  ‘hole’  in  the  clouds  up   ahead.    We  began  our  descent,  relying   on  approximations  and  instruments.     As  we  descended,  I  had  the  sensation   of  being  plunged  under  water.    We   were  leaving  our  cloud  paradise  and   returning  to  the  underworld.    We   became  completely  immersed  in  cloud.   We  could  not  see  anything  in  front,  to   the  side,  above,  or  below.  It  was  very   easy  to  become  disoriented.     Apparently  we  were  in  the  incipient   stage  of  a  spiral  at  one  point,  and  I   didn’t  even  notice. Emerging  on  the  underside  of  the   cloud,  it  felt  as  if  we  had  discovered   Atlantis.    Lights  were  everywhere   below  us.    Cities  dispersed  over  a  vast   expanse  of  land.    Lights  on  mountains,   illuminating  highways  and  towers.     Absolutely  stunning.    Breathtaking.     There  are  no  words  for  the  pure   ecstasy  I  felt  on  seeing  the  lights  in   Vancouver.


Club a mem nd ber d isti -D

nctio ist ns 20 n e w sr i c t 6 1 , A l e t te p 12 r i l 201 r 2-B - Pre est c highe sident lub ’ s s t Dist level possi o i a c h i e b l e . We f To a s t mn g u i s h ved a met t e for th t lea h e p a s t e r s ’ r ed C l u b

e 10t h s t rsat 9 o f t hree - r e q u i s i c o g n i t i o n( t h e te ight y 1 e a r, s0 g o a l s -, aa n d - ‘Be i nce 2 c 002!) hieved twice at the C l

m e m b t h i s y e a r o c k ’ Aw a ers w i t h i nf o r r e c r u i trd - e a r n e a2m i d onth ng most n perio ew d

CONGRATULATIONS  to  .... Makram  de  Freige  for  achieving  his  Advanced   Communicator  Gold  (ACG) Rosalia  Felice  for  achieving  her  Competent   Communicator  (CC) Marzieh  Ghiasi  for  achieving  her  Competent   Leader  (CL)

Elevation  in  Boundary  Bay:  6  feet.  We   were  still  at  6000  feet.    The  controller   asked  us  to  do  a  360  turn  next  to  the   runway  in  order  to  quickly  lose  altitude   and  level  off  at  1000  feet.    Anddd   touchdown!    Epic.  It  felt  like  success,   like  we  had  attained  our  goal.    Relief,  at   not  getting  lost  or  swallowed  by   mountains.    Ecstasy,  because  we  had   reached  our  target  destination  without   too  many  hurdles.    Incredulity,  that  this   trip  had  actually  worked  out.    Pure   adrenaline,  aided  by  hypoxia.   Once  landed,  we  were  the  only  ones  at   the  airport.    We  began  searching  for  a   hotel,  not  always  the  easiest  task  at   9:30pm.  Eventually,  a  C172  landed  and   parked  nearby.    We  rushed  out  to  see  if   the  pilot  could  help  us  out.    Turns  out,   he  was  an  instructor  at  one  of  the  local   flight  schools.    And  that’s  how  we   found  our  hotel.    Half  an  hour  of  a  taxi   ride  later,  we  were  in  downtown   Vancouver!    Mission  completed. ****

Joint meeting with Outremont Club at HEC Montréal - July 30th

!10 1 4



No  Pain,  Just  Gain  –  a  true  reflec5on   of  my  Toastmasters  a8endance   experience

by  Angela  He,  AC-­‐G,  AL-­‐B I  j oined   Toastmasters   i n   summer  2 003   and   have   been   a   devoted   member   ever   since.   Tuesday   evenings   h ave   b ecome   my   p reset   t ime   for   Toastmasters   meetings.  Even  when  I  was  a  full-­‐time   graduate  student  at  McGill,  with  a  p art-­‐ time  job  at  t he  same  t ime   and  h ad   to   take  care  o f  two  young  children  o n  my   own,   I   b arely   missed   a   meeting.   Why?   -­‐   you  may  ask. The   a nswer   i s   s imple:   No   p ain,   j ust   gain.   W hy   would   I   want   to   m iss   a ny   o f   our   meetings?! Here  a re  the  three  major  gains   t hat   come   f rom   attending   each   week: Self  transformation:   f rom   a   very   s hy,   reserved,   meeting   o bserver   at   t he   very   beginning   to   today’s   confident   s peaker   and   writer,  I  gained  confidence  by   actively   i nvolving  myself   i n  various   roles   at   each   meeting:   by   giving   speeches   o n   a   regular   b asis;   by   w riting   on   a   regular   b asis   for   o ur   c lub   newsletter;   a nd   by   i nteracting   with   others,   a nd   l ending   a   h elping   h and   when  n eeded.  I  took  o n  various   leadership   roles   as   well,   f rom   V P   Public   Relations   to   M entorship   C oordinator,   to   V P   M embership   to   President   a nd   Area   Governor.   Toastmasters   empowered   me   and   I   received   ‘Club   President   o f   the   Year’   f rom   the   D istrict   for   2 008   -­‐   2 009.   I n   o ne   word,   Toastmasters   t ransforms   me   i nto   a   better   p erson   i n   every   way. Talent   discovery:   As   a   club   with   l arge   membership,  we  h ave  p eople  o f  all   ages  and  backgrounds.   We  h ave   students,  as  well  as  p rofessionals.  We   had   a   member   who   s peaks   s even   languages,   and   we   h ad   another   who   aspires   to   be   Prime   M inister   o f   Canada.   It  i s  a mazing  to  find  out  h ow   talented  

your  fellow  Toastmasters  are.  In   past   years,   t here   h ave   b een   t hree   of   my   fellow   Toastmasters   who   f ly   airplanes.  The  most  d ecorated   McGill  female  athlete  i s  also  o ur   beloved   member.   We   h ave   physicist,   a rtist,   fashion   expert,   actor,  a nd  comedian.  I  remember   that   at  one  meeting,  we  h ad  a   round   robin   Table   Topics   s ession   based   o n   t he   q uestion   ‘What   d o   you   want   to   t ransform   y ourself   into?’   –   t he  answers  f rom  each   member  i nspired  me,  and   prompted   me   to   write   a n   a rticle   ( Volume   8,   I ssue   2,   January   2011).   Another   time,   a   Table   Topics   s ession   about   o ur   members’   h obbies   encouraged   me   to   p ick   u p   my   p en   again   for   another   article:   ‘Can   y our   Hobbies  ‘Make  a  S plash?’’(April   2 012,   ‘Masters   i n   Action’).   We   h ave   members  from  all  walks  o f  l ife,  from  all  over  the  world.  Our  club  i s  l ike   a   mini  United  Nations.  G etting  to  k now  each  of  our  members   really   opens   my   eyes,   a nd   i ndeed   enriches   my   l ife   i n   many   ways.  


Unforgettable  m oments:   As   o ur   club’s   u nofficial   p hotographer,   o ne   o f   my   p assions   i s   to   u se   my   camera   to   record   t hose   m emorable   m oments,   of   which   t here   h ave   b een   t housands   t hroughout   t he   years!   L ooking   through  those  p hotos  feels  l ike  walking  d own  m emory  l ane  –   i t   b rings   back   many   cherished   moments,   a nd   b rings   a   b ig   s mile   to   my   face.   O ne   project   I   a m   working   o n   i s   to   take   s ome   p ictures   at   each   meeting,   a nd   make  an  album  at  the  year’s  end  as  my  h oliday  gift  to  my  b eloved  club   and   m embers.  S o  n ext  time,  i f  you  see  m e  with  a  camera,  you  a re   n ot   only   o n   Angela’s   camera,   you   will   b e   a lso   h elping   c reate   M cGill   Toastmasters   C lub   h istory   too.   M ake   s ure   you   s ay:   C heese! Cheers,   to   a   great   c lub   a nd   even   greater   m embers   -­‐   you   m ake   my   journey   s o   enjoyable!   ****

!11 1


Report  from  Mykonos by  Natalie  Fong Hello   Fellow   Toastmasters!   I t’s   b een   quite   a   w hile,   a nd   I   m iss   you   a ll   s o   much.   D ue   to   s ome   p rojects   I ’ve   been   w orking   o n,   I   h ave   n ot   b een   t o   meetings   i n   a   year.   B ut   I ’ve   g ot   s ome   great  experiences  to  share  with  all  of   you   o n   h ow   Toastmasters   h as   transformed   m e   i nside   o ut.   I   recently   a ttended   my   s ister’s   wedding   i n   M ykonos,   G reece   -­‐   a nd   since  I  was  the  Maid  of  Honour,  I  was   asked   to   g ive   a   s peech   ( although   I   did   a lso   v olunteer   t o).   A lthough   having   h ad   experience   i n   g iving   speeches   a t   t he   c lub   m ade   m e   l ess   nervous   t han   I   n ormally   w ould   h ave   been,   I   still   h ad   b utterflies   i n   my   stomach,   e specially   d uring   my   preparation   for   i t.   S ince   I   h ad   n ot   given   a   s peech   i n   s o   l ong,   I   was   worried   I   w ouldn’t   p ull   i t   o ff. Once   I   g ot   my   s peech   w ritten   u p,   I   made   a   s mall   c ue   c ard   w ith   t he   key   points  of  my  speech  highlighted.  And   off   I   w ent   t o   G reece.   T he   d ay   b efore   the   w edding,   I   a sked   my   m other   to   help  me  rehearse  in  our  hotel  room.  I   stood   a cross   f rom   a   m irror   w hile   my   mother   h eld   o nto   my   s cript   to   s ee   how   w ell   I   remembered   i t.   I   p racticed   five   t o   s ix   t imes,   a nd   t owards   t he   end,   I   f inally   g ot   m ore   c omfortable   and   s poke   i n   a   m ore   n atural   tone.   And   f inally   c ame   t he   w edding   d ay.   After   t he   b anquet,   i t   was   f inally   my   turn   to   s hine.   I   was   d etermined   to   make   e veryone   l augh,   o r   c ry   ( well   -­‐   laugh   m ore   -­‐   b ecause   i t   was   m eant   t o   be   a   h umorous   s peech   w ith   a   s light   touch   o f   t ouchy-­‐feeliness.)   L o   a nd   behold,   I   w ent   u p   o n   t he   stage,   a nd   owned   i t!   I   s poke   s o   n aturally,   smiling   t he   w hole   t ime.   W henever   I   spoke   a bout   a   c hildhood   a necdote   about   my   s ister,   I   a dded   a   p ersonal   touch   -­‐   s o   I   d id   n ot   a ctually   h ave   t o   follow   my   s cript   w ord   for   w ord.   I   once   e ven   stopped   t o   a sk   my   s ister  

whether   s he   remembered   w hat   I   was   talking   a bout.   T he   a udience   was   s o   into   my   s peech,   a nd   t hey   a ll   l aughed   and   c heered.   T he   feeling   o f   standing   up   t here   c apturing   e veryone’s   attention   was   i ndescribable.   A nd   guess   w hat?   -­‐   I   h ad   a lmost   zero   crutch   w ords-­‐   o nly   o ne   to   b e   exact!   And   w hen   I   a sked   my   s ister   afterwards   h ow   s he   l iked   my   s peech,   she   s aid   s he   “ loved   i t   -­‐   i t   was   s o   funny!” After   my   s peech,   f riends   a nd   g uests   came   u p   t o   m e   a nd   e nthusiastically   complimented   o n   my   s peech.   I   t hen,   of   c ourse,   b rought   u p   Toastmasters   and   t old   t hem   h ow   g reat   i t   was   to   b e   able   to   p ractice   p ublic   s peaking   w ith   the   c lub   o ver   t he   years.   T his   experience   i nstantly   b oosted   my   confidence   a nd   s howed   e veryone   who   k new   m e   f rom   w hen   I   was   a   s hy   little   k id,   t hat   I   h ad   h ad   a   h uge   breakthrough  (according  to  my  father,   a   former   Toastmaster   a s   w ell). Toastmasters   i ndeed   c hanged   my   l ife.   Thank   you! ****


Your  current  execuDve  team President Marzieh  Ghiasi,  CC,  CL VP  EducaTon Elise  Fryml VP  Leadership Kelly  Barbosa VP  Membership Angela  He,  Mehrnoosh  Azodi VP  Mentorship Anand  Beejan VP  Public  RelaTons Sarah  Ali-­‐Khan,  Feng  Zimin Secretary George  Tabah Sergeant-­‐at-­‐Arms Johnny  Sit,  Gaétane  Ferland,   Johhny  Boghossian Treasurer Lila  Malde,  CTM,  CL,  John   D’Agata,  ATMB Webmaster Ivan  Murcia Immediate  Past  President Saif  Malhem,  CC

!12 1



Thoughts  about   Pain  ....  and  Gain by  Sarah  Ali-­‐Khan I  am  h aving  a  baby  i n  a bout   a   week   –   o r   m aybe   l ess,   i f   t hat   young  gentleman  gets  i t  i n  h is   head   h e   wants   to   come   o ut   a nd   see   t he   s ights   s ooner.   M cGill   Toastmasters   h ave   s een   me   swell   over   t he   l ast   9   m onths.   And   rather   than   l etting   p eople   wonder   i f   I   was   j ust   getting   chubbier  -­‐  p erhaps  h aving   developed   a   s ummer   o bsession   with  p outine  and  Bilboquet  i ce-­‐ cream-­‐  I  ‘announced’  that  I  was   pregnant   a s   my   C C3   s peech.   That   was   a   l ittle   n erve-­‐wracking   as  I   got   kinda  shy  just  b efore   –   but   by   t hen   i t   was   way   too   l ate   to   head   b elieved.   T his   revelation   h as   change   my   mind   about   spilling   the   been   u seful   to   me   i n   many   o ther   beans! areas   o f   my  l ife  –  often  your  t houghts   and   worries  about  s omething  are  far   The   topic   o f   p ain,   a nd   managing   worse   that   the   reality   o f   actually   it,   h as   b een   s omething   I   h ave   doing   i t.   D reading   t he   p roject   you   been   t hinking   a bout   q uite   o ften   need   to   start   i s   a   l ot   h arder   t han   of   l ate.   T he   general   p erception   o f   actually   j ust  d oing  i t.  O nce  you  begin,   birthing   i s   t hat   i t   i s   a   h ighly   you  realize,  h ey  -­‐  i t’s  actually  n ot  that   painful   experience   –   i n   fact   at   t he   bad!   I   t hink   l abour   must   b e   a   b it   l ike   Royal   V ictoria   –   t he   h ospital   that   too... where  I  will  give  b irth  –  90%  o f   women   end   u p   choosing   to   h ave   I   have   always  been  someone  w ho   an  e pidural  i n  order  to  p ass   spends   a   l ot   o f   t ime   ‘in   my   h ead’   -­‐   my   though   l abor  ‘discomfort-­‐free’.  A s   mind  spinning  with  analysis,  mental   an   athlete   (a   runner,   w ho   stopped   abstraction,  dreams  a nd  concerns.   running   4   months   ago   n ow!)   I   But,  over  the  l ast  few  years  -­‐  actually   used   to   p lay   with   p ain   a lmost   as   I   started  d oing  m ore  yoga  -­‐  I ’ve   everyday.  Hard  workouts  o n  the   enjoyed   l earning   h ow   to   d rop   i nto   my   track   are  designed  e ither   to   body,   a nd   take   a   b reak   f rom   my   mind.   extend   your   a erobic   capacity,   o r   This   feels   really   wonderful   p hysically   your  b ody’s  ability  to  p rocess   as   i t   a llows   you  to  d eeply  relax,  b ut   lactic   acid.   Believe   me,   p ushing   even  more  i nterestingly  i t  allows  you   either   o f   these   systems   i s   p ainful!   to   p ay   f ull   attention   to   t he   m oment   To   i mprove   your   p erformance   a s   a   you’re  i n,  and  p articipate  i n  i t  more   distance   runner   you   l earn   to   fully.   H aven’t   you   n oticed,   w hen   transcend  the  pain,  to  recognize   you’re  i n  your  h ead  analyzing  your   that  i t’s   only  an  ephemeral,   every  word,  that  p resenting  a  speech   physical   s ensation.   I f   you   can   is   much   more   d ifficult?   It’s   l ess   train  your  mind  not  to   get   caught   enjoyable,   and   you   appear   l ess   up   i n   i t   –   rather   to   b arely   n otice   i t   spontaneous   a nd   f resh.   O n   t he   o ther   –  you  f ind  you  can  achieve   a  l ot   hand,   when   you   ‘drop   i nto   your   b ody’,   more   than   what   your   l imited   l ittle   place   your   attention   o n   t he   a udience  



masters mcgill toast

Baktygul  Aliev Alexandre  Aubert Diana  Cheptane Armita   Dehmoobadsharifabadi   Mouhyi  Eddine  El  Bouhali Xiaofan  Fu Elise  Fryml Marlon  Kevlar Baraa  Noueihed Alex  Petralia  Sahar  Sajadi  Vivian  Zuo

!13 1



and   turn  o ff  t he  mental   dialogue,   your  speech  comes  alive.  A  l ot   less   p ain,   and   a   l ot   more   gain!   O f   course,   a s   much   a s   I   realize   t his   i s   true,   I  have  to  keep  practicing   i n   all  areas   of  my  l ife…  the   temptation   to   fall   i nto   c ritique   o f   myself,   a nd   t he   s ituation   i s   a lways   there.   As   for   giving   b irth,   I   am   q uite   curious  about  the  whole  p hysical   experience   i tself   –   a nd   I   know   i t   will  b e  a  spiritual  p rocess  as  well.   I   aim   to   stay   very   relaxed,   and   not   think   too  much  at  all.   In   t his   type   of   s uper-­‐relaxed   state   t he   b ooks   say   you   d on’t   feel   a ny   p ain   at   a ll!   So   we’ll   s ee…   I’ll   keep   you   posted!!   No   p ain,   s upposedly…   and   yes,  all  gain  – what   I   a m   m ost   looking   forward   to   i s   the   p recious   prize   I   get   afterwards   –   s eeing   o ur   baby’s   face   for   t he   f irst   t ime!   ****

Fall  Social  Sept   25th:  a  report by  Feng  Zimin The  McGill  Toastmaster  Club’s  Fall  social   event  was  held  on  the  evening  of  Sept   25th,  2012,  in  the  very  room  where   regular  meetings  are  held  -­‐  1559.  More   than  25  members,  and  a  number  of   guests  attended.  Most  of  the  attendees   exchanged  extensively  their  ideas  and   enjoyed  the  group  game  in  the  latter   half.  And  the  present  McGill   Toastmaster  Club  President,  as  well  as   many  members,  highly  praised  this   social  event. At  6pm,  Sept  25th,  the  social  officially   started  as  planned.  Club  members  had   decorated  the  room  with  colourful   balloons,  and  rearranged  it  so  that  there   was  more  space  for  party-­‐goers.   Beverages  and  pizza  were  provided  by   the  club,  while  some  members  also   brought  dishes  of  their  own  choice  –  


including  treats  such  as  salmon,   cheeses,  croissants,  salad,  pancakes,   pies,  etc…   In  the  first  half,  attendees  chatted  with   each  other,  enhancing  their  friendships   and  mutual  understandings.  In  the   second  half,  there  was  a  group  game   which  most  of  the  members  took  part   in.   The  game  was  called  Taboo,  proposed   by  Ex-­‐President  Saif.  Participants  were   divided  into  two  groups  -­‐  ladies  and   men.  The  organizers  then  distributed   small  slips  of  paper  on  which   participants  wrote  nouns  -­‐  one  per  slip.   As  the  game  progresses,  one  team   member  goes  up  front,  randomly  picks  a   piece  of  paper  from  the  reservoir,  and   describes  to  his/her  team  the  noun   written  thereon  -­‐  but  without  direct   reference  to  the  word  itself,  or  it’s   spelling.  The  team  then  try  to  guess  the   noun.  The  number  of  hits  a  team  gets  in  

one  minute  is  the  number  of  points  it   gains  in  a  round.  Teams  take  turns  to   guess…  and  if  they  choose  to  give  up   guessing  a  particular  noun,  they  forfeit   one  point. The  men’s  team  won  with  39:31. After  the  game,  at  8pm,  the  meeting   was  drawn  to  an  end.  Attendees  bid   each  other  farewell,  and  parted  ways   with  joy  and  satisfaction. Since  it  was  held,  this  social  event  has   received  plenty  of  positive  feedback.  A   lot  of  members  spoke  to  the  organizers   about  how  much  they  enjoyed  it  at  the   end  of  the  meeting,  and  some   expressed  their  appreciation  by  email.  It   is  believed  that  this  social  event   provided  members  with  a  great   opportunity  to  get  to  know  one  another   better,  and  to  extend  friendships   between  club  members. ****

Shenanigans at the Fall Social - Sept 25th

!15 1 8



Wondrous  steps by  Marzieh  Ghiasi,  CC  CL,  President  2012

It  must  have  been  my  73rd  lap  or   maybe  the  13th  lap.  I  wasn’t  sure.  I’d   lost  count  aYer  my  3rd  lap,  and  the   only  thing  I  knew  with  full  certainty   was  that  this  was  as  far  as  I  could   go.  Collapsed  on  my  back  there  on   the  ground  on  the  sunny  aYernoon,   feeling  completely  exhausted—  I   saw  a  familiar  shadow  hovering   above  me,  and  felt  the  flat  sole  of  a   shoe  on  my  belly.  Then  I  heard  the   growling  voice  of  the  instructor. “No  pain,  no  gain.  Get  up.” It’s  commonly  held  belief  that   suffering  is  an  inevitable  part  of   achievement:  How  oYen  do  we  hear   of  athletes’  pain  and  subsequent   glory?  Or  scienWsts’   disappointments  and  subsequent   successes?  Perhaps  no  group  has   encompassed  the  We  between  pain   and  gain  more  than  the  tortured   ar3sts  for  whom  suffering  is  the   doorway  to  creaWvity  itself.

Ernest  Hemingway,  an   author  who  most  certainly   wasn’t  known  for  his   cheery  disposiWon,  once   wrote  “ There  is  nothing   to  wriWng.  All  you  do  is   sit  down  at  a  typewriter   and  bleed.”  AYer   reading  his  book  For   Whom  the  Bell  Tolls  I   thought  here  was  a   writer  whose  steps   one  should  strive  to   follow.  So  I  sat  in   front  of  my   keyboard  and   began  to  bleed.   Well,  figuraWvely  anyway,  or  at   least  I  hope  that’s  what  Mr.   Hemingway  meant.  But,  aYer  all  the   hours  of  bleeding  and  emoWonal   bandaging  in  front  of  the  keyboard,  I   was  no  closer  to  producing  a   ‘Hemingway’  sentence  than  when   I’d  begun.  In  fact,  it  had  become   hard  to  construct  any  kind  of   meaningful  sentence…  “Remember…  no  pain,  no  gain.” The  instructor’s  voice  echoed   through  my  mind.  Maybe  he  was   right—I  aYer  all,  that  sunny  day  I   pushed  through  the  pain,  and   running  the  laps  became  easier.  At   that  Wme  achievement  did   necessitate  pain  and  suffering.   But  then  here  was  the  dilemma:  in   buying  into  this  slogan—I  began  to   expect  pain  in  every  step  to  come,  in   every  sentence  to  be  wri`en  or   u`ered.  I  did  not  only  expect  it,  I   clung  to  it  as  though  my  success  

itself   depended   on  it.  No  pain,   no  gain.  Pain,   gain.  Unwi|ngly,   aspiraWons  I’d  held  on  to   dearly  began  to  crumble  under   the  weight  of  these  heavy   expectaWons. In  running,  in  wriWng,  in  speaking—I   began  to  fear  the  next  step,  the  fear  of   success—and  the  failures,  the  pain  and   the  sacrifice  that  would  be  inevitably   accompany  every  step.   But  with  Wme,  voices  become  echoes,   and  echoes  become  murmurs,  and   eventually  you  can’t  hear  anything  at   all. And  so  one  day  this  past  summer,  I   could  no  longer  hear  the  instructor’s   voice.   On  that  sunny  summer  aYernoon  I   began  to  run  again,  leaving  behind  the   heavy  anWcipaWon  that  would  have   burdened  steps  to  come.  With  each   step  I  focused  instead  on  the  millions  of   small  fibers  working  in  wondrous  unison   to  propel  me  forward.  The  next  day,  I   sat  in  front  of  the  keyboard  and  began   to  type.  For  the  first  Wme  in  years,  I  was   not  bleeding  words  from  my  fingerWps;   rather,  I  was  plucking  them  from  my   dreams,  one  by  one.  And  then  it  came,   that  scary  moment  of  standing  front  of   nearly  fiYy  people  who  I  was  supposed  

!16 1



to  entertain  for  two  hours.  But   instead  anWcipaWng  all  the  things   that  could  go  wrong,  that  maybe  I   was  not  ready…  I  began  with  a   smile,  grateful  for  the  opportunity   to  make  somebody  else  think,   maybe  even  laugh,  whether  by   intenWon  or  accident.


There  is  always  that  extra  meter   that  might  suddenly  stretch  to  a   mile…  there  is  always  that  next   sentence  that  might  not  sound   right…  there  is  always  that  ‘funny’   speech  that  no  one  laughs  at…  And   most  certainly,  there  are  always   those  moments  where  physical  or   emoWonal  pain  is  inevitable,  and  we   just  have  to  push  through  them.  But   to  couple  pain  with  gain,  to  view  our   journey  as  a  road  laid  with  hot  coal   is  to  deprive  ourselves  of  its  joys   and  wonders  in  each  step. And  yes,  the  journey  is  not  always   easy,  but  there  is  no  pain  in  doing   that  in  which  we  revel.   It’s  all  gain.   ****

Looking sharp at our August 7th Meeting

!17 1 9



Meet  a  Club  Member  -­‐  Q  &  A   with  Sahar  Sajadi QuesDons  originally  conceived  by  Rosalia   Felice.  Write-­‐ups  by  Sarah  Ali-­‐Khan. Over   t he   l ast   m onths   regulars   a t   M cGill   Toastmasters   meetings  have  had  t he   p leasure   o f   g etting   to   know   Sahar   S ajadi.   S he   h ad   t he   w hole   r oom   entranced   w ith   her   s ensitive   a nd   emotion-­‐provoking   C C1,   i n   w hich   s he   talked   a bout   h er   c hildhood   i n   I ran,   a nd   h er   t houghts   about   h er   l eap   to   C anada   a nd   n ew   l ife   i n   M ontreal.   S he   is   a lso   making   a   h abit   o f   enchanting   u s   with   h er   poignant   m oments   o f   r eflection,   a nd   h er   d elightful   sense   o f   h umour…      

Do you have any nicknames? Sometimes my friends call me ‘Sahari’.   What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I am not patient enough sometimes. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? None  of  them  seems   overrated  to  me! What living person(s) do you most admire? Nelson Mandela, and Aron Ralston. What behavior do you most deplore in others? Being fanatical... arrogant…prejudging... What is your greatest extravagance? Potato chips… I can’t stop eating when I take the first one. What is your most treasured possession? My cute and lovely cat ”Pishooli”. What would you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Waking up early on a Saturday winter morning… and knowing that I am going to freeze all day in a ski resort!   What is your current state of mind? Busy!  

MiniResumé Sahar  studied  general  medicine  at  Kermanshah   University  of  Medical  Sciences  -­‐  one  of  the  top   Medical  Schools  in  Iran  -­‐  and  made  the  move  to   Montréal  in  2008.   Since  then,  she  has  synergized  on  her  biomedical   background  studying  psychology  at  Concordia   (compleWng  all  the  core  undergrad  courses  in  one   year!),  and  is  now  pursuing  a  Masters  degree  in   psychiatry  at  McGill.  Her  research  examines  the  role   of  anxiety  in  decision-­‐making  in  hereditary  breast/ ovarian  cancer  paWents. Impressively,  Sahar  is  tri-­‐lingual  -­‐  speaking  French,  as   well  as  English  and  Persian!   She  loves  books,  books  and  more  books  –  even   curling  up  to  enjoy  one  in  nature…  and  cats.  In   Canada  she  has  also  learned  to  love  working  out  -­‐   something  she  didn’t  do  in  Iran!  YMCA  ahoy!  …  here   Sahar  reveals  some  more  of  her  secrets!  

How would you prefer to die? While I am sleeping at night. It should be very peaceful. Besides you don’t need to worry about waking up early in the morning Who is your favourite hero of fiction? Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s novel ‘Les Miserables’. What is best compliment you’ve ever received? “You  are  very  hard-­‐working!”. What talent would you most like to have? I  wish  I  had  a  good  singing  voice.   Favourite word? ‘Arc-en-ciel’ and ‘Pishika’. I just discovered it means "Cat" in Romanian. I love the pronunciation and I think it is a perfect word for cats :).

!18 10 1



Least favourite word? ‘Exercise’ - the spelling is difficult with all these “s”,”x” and”c”…I don’t know where to put which one   Favourite name? Sofia  and  Sarina.   Do you have a motto? This is one of my favorite quotes: “My country is the world and my religion is to do good”. This is from Thomas Paine, the political theorist. What is the most hurtful thing someone has ever said to you? “You have gained so much weight since last time I saw you”…Some people always say that even if you loose weight!!!   If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Good job Sahar!…You did it!… … Welcome to the heaven and enjoy yourself!...(I hope I can find potato chips in heaven)  ****


Masters in Action McGill Toastmasters Club Newsletter What  /  When? The  McGill  Toastmasters  Club  NewsleYer  Masters  in  AcTon  is  published  several   Tmes/year  in  order  to  help  encourage  and  document  our  club  and  its   members.  Everyone  is  encouraged  to  parTcipate  and  submit  arTcles. We  want  to  hear  from  you! Any  comments  or  suggesTons  for  improvement  are  greatly  appreciated.  You   can  contact  the  newsleYer  editor  at

McGill  Toastmasters  Club 688  Sherbrooke  Street  West Corner  University  Street Room  1559  (15th  floor) Montreal,  Quebec  H3A  3R1 District  61,  Club  #4311

MeeTngs  are  held  every  Tuesday  from  5:30   p.m.  to  8  p.m. Guests  are  most  welcome!  To  aYend  a   meeTng  as  a  guest,  please  RSVP  by  sending   an  email  to  the  VP  Membership  at

Last look: Fall on Mont Royal - our beautiful city

Master in Action, Voume9, Issue 3