The Year of the Ox


Chloe was our Toastmaster with the theme of “The Year of the Ox.” Chloe introduced her topic with the question of the day, which was: “ What’s your favorite family tradition during the holidays?” Answers ranged from Christmas traditions to Mothers Day activities to a sunrise hike on New Years Day.

Chloe first mentioned how February 12th is the start of the Chinese New Year, based on the Lunar Calendar. The ox is recognized as a symbol of power and 2021 is one birth year of the ox. Other birth years of the ox include: 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, and 2009.

Chloe discussed the calendar for the Chinese New Year, also known as a spring festival, which occurs February 11-16. It kicks off with a NYE reunion dinner held on February 11th, and the spring festival (Gon Xi Fa Cai) officially starts on February 12th. From February 13-15, family members return home and fun and relaxation with family is shared. On February 16th, the markets re-open for business. Chloe shared her own family traditions during this time, which included a huge dinner full of different meats, vegetables, etc., a dice game, and red envelopes (symbolizing good wishes and luck) being gifted where family members could guess the money amount inside. Great job on your first experience as Toastmaster, Chloe!

Miguel was our first speaker of the evening with his speech titled, “ Regulatory Basis (14 CFR 25 Subpart C).” His professional speech was about airplanes/engineering geared toward peers within his workplace. Miguel talked about how 14 CFR 25 Subpart C defines structural requirements needed to comply for Transport Category Aircraft, and Part 25 Subpart C defines the loads and load conditions, factors of safety, and proof of structure needed to meet the CFR requirements. Through PowerPoint slides, Miguel outlined different areas necessary for airplane safety and meeting FAA requirements: limit loads vs. ultimate loads, strength and deformation, proof of structure, and damage (tolerance and fatigue evaluation of structure). Good luck to Miguel in presenting to his company!

Diana was our second speaker of the night. Diana completed her final project (Level 5, Reflect on Your Path) of the Dynamic Leadership pathway. She talked about why she joined Toastmasters, what happened within the club, her learnings, and what’s next for her. First, Diana mentioned she joined Toastmasters to maintain professional skills, increase comfort in presenting to large groups, for self improvement, social interaction, and to help with career/interview coaching as she was starting a new business. She talked about what happened in the 2.5 years she’s been a member of the club, such as being club president, VP of Education and treasurer, as well as the shared roles she took on. During this time she helped revive the club, built relationships and recruited new members, moved locations twice then moved to a virtual format, and finished her pathway. Diana discussed her anticipated and unanticipated learnings, what she would do differently, and what’s next for her. Her speech was relatable and introspective in tone.

Katherine was our Debate Master with a theme-related question: “Should the Chinese New Year become the new international New Year?” Team A argued the Chinese New Year should become the new international New Year, while Team B argued against this idea and that we should maintain the current international New Year. Team A won the debate.

Our word of the day was harbinger, meaning something that foreshadows a future event.

We had 11 attendees, including three guests. Thank you all for participating!