Lectern Club: ‘Tempus Fugit’ | 14 October 2022

An event filled with brilliant ideas and captivating speeches, Lectern Club and its aspiring orators has once again left all attendees speechless. This Lectern Club featured “Tempus Fugit”, meaning “time flies”, as the speakers’ prompt. Its vague nature allowed a myriad of topics to be presented within this esteemed event. Lectern Club not only encourages the development of confidence and orating skills in MCM’s sixth formers, but also presents an opportunity to practise the etiquette of formal events. After conversation between guests, appetisers were served, reducing the nerves of the short-speech speakers before their debut. 

The appetisers were followed with a collection of short speeches consisting of; ‘Motion of Time’ by Dominic Ho, ‘Stopwatch’ by Sara Sim, and ‘Like clouds in the sky’ by Tsunemasa Fujiwara. Collectively, the speakers displayed strong orating skills accompanied with authentic ideas. The difficulty with the short speech is its short duration of four to five minutes. This lack of time forces the speakers to be concise, clear-cut and captivating, to ensure they present the judges with a compelling presentation. All speakers presented tremendous skill and dexterity, in the sense that they were able to discuss such a broad host of topics. This was particularly evident in Sara’s case, with her ability to effectively implement a multitude of personal anecdotes about her childhood, whilst simultaneously linking her stories to her thesis. The overarching theme of her discussion was the importance of presence, being mindful that time is scarce, and therefore the importance of taking a moment to reflect on it. This was followed by Dominic Ho’s very literal interpretation of the prompt, focusing on the scientific reasoning behind time scarcity. Lastly, Tsunemasa’s speech focused on the extended metaphor, comparing time to clouds in the sky. He drew comparisons between the disappearance of clouds and the finite amount of disappearing time. 

After a wonderful main course, the long speeches commenced with Caleb Turner as the first speaker with “Lessons from Translations”. Immediately, his speech was engaging due to his radiating confidence and effective use of humour. He started by detailing his discovery that the prompt also means “weather going into exile”. This produced his extremely original take – the evolution of language over time and how this causes meaning to be lost. From this he shared the important conclusion that we should not take everything at face value and that time has a power that can distort perspectives. Angelina Tan then took the stage with her ominous idea that time is everywhere and that time is always the same and we must utilise it. However, her speech contained an inspirational twist in which she recognised that we can control our perception of it as time is relative. Hence the title, “One Day”. Using both her previous argument and this new idea, she asserted the importance of “seizing the day” and that whilst everyone’s days are not the same, we have the power to make it ours. Finally, Elisa See presented “Cancel Culture Policing” in which she tackled topical ideas such as cultural appropriation. However, she maintained that cultural appropriation is not about just taking culture, but using it wrongly without understanding its roots. Throughout the speech she communicated the importance of appreciating the people behind the culture and the beauty of cultural appreciation, and its effect on the language, fashion and culture of today. 

Collectively, the speakers conjured thought provoking, varied and convincing arguments that displayed authenticity and consideration. Whilst all the speakers presented with tremendous skill and commitment, two stood out as being the best; Caleb Turner and Sara Sim. Both speakers won as a result of their ability to present their original ideas, with prodigious gusto and enthusiasm, making their arguments all the more compelling. In summary, this evening acts as a representation of the College’s desire to establish an environment in which pupils are forced to develop their thoughts and ideas outside the school curriculum.

 

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