imgresAttention class! Last week’s Vox meeting gave Rosie the opportunity to send club members back to their schooldays, with an imaginative topics session that had us all addressing a class of six year olds while attempting to answer some moral conundrums. Not an easy task!

First up was Lionel, drawn out of the hat with impartial inevitability, to attempt an explaination as to why it is that those who tell the truth get punished, while liars escape censure. Lionel certainly rose to the occasion, setting a good example by suggesting that we should tell the truth all the time.

A series of unlucky victims.. ahem confident public speakers happy to be put on the spot.. attempted to find a suitable tone to discuss why it is that TV licence payers rather than politicians are sent to jail (Jenny); why innocent people often go to prison (Fiona) and why the rich often don’t go (Andrea) – by which time the class was wondering about our topicsmaster’s interest in the Irish penal system! However, invaluable lessons were learnt, Michelle reminding us that solicitors are not all evil (but ‘unsung heroes’? Jury’s out on that one heh heh..) while Tony reduced the classroom to undignified sniggering with his cracking impression of Charlie Creevy wielding the political whip in the Dail. Well, we had been instructed to act like children!

Throughout proceedings Vox members had a go at trying to pronounce, and use correctly, grammarian James’ word of the day which was chosen from the suitably political stomping ground of Yes Minister – propinquinty. If it’s going to be a word used by Sir Humphrey Appleby it might as well be a humdinger! My dictionary gives it a number of meanings around the themes of ‘immediacy’ and ‘nearness’ – none of which applied to my own random use of it during topics!

The first half finished with a beautifully performed monologue from The Devil’s Advocate by Anna Marie, bringing home the many links between drama and the wondrous art of toastmastering.

Stuart was first up after the break with a tale of Dublin life, professional satisfaction and plans for the future. Silvia gave us a call to action with the popular message – ‘life is short, find a lover and enjoy!’ Deirdre gave a masterclass in handshaking, ably demonstrated with lovely assistant Andrea. The ‘wet fish’ seemed to get a lot of recognition in the room! Jenny was up last with a fascinating introduction to the hithero hidden world of Irish public documentation – a sample slide showed us instructions Gardai gave out to people when the telephone was new with instructions on dialling 999.

So what has Vox taught me this week? Australian politicians are not expert handshakers and marrying a rich man or woman is the only way to avoid a certain jail term. As always I’ve a useful hoard of life lessons to take away with me.. see you all next week class!

Merrilyn Campbell, guest blogger

Pure Class, 29 January 2014