Lectern Club | The road less travelled……..

On the 11th of November 2022 a group of Sixth Form pupils enjoyed the hospitality of the Master and Mrs Stevens at the Master’s Lodge. It was the second Lectern Club of the year and also the second one to be hosted in the Master’s Lodge instead of at the Prep Art Cafe due to the easing of Covid restrictions. The change of scenery made even the most experienced speakers nervous. However, all speakers rose to the challenge to deliver speeches with quality and with their utmost passion. The theme, “The road less travelled”, evoked emotive and thoughtful speeches, many of which kept the audience thoroughly entertained through the night. There were three speeches in the two categories: short speeches lasting 4-5 minutes and long speeches lasting 7-8 mins.

The first short speech of the evening was delivered by Jasmine, with her speech titled, ‘Comparison: The Thief of Joy’. Jasmine spoke with great enthusiasm about not comparing your own personal experiences and events to anyone else, linking this to her own personal experiences of moving from country to country and shared how this affected her during her childhood.

Linda was next to speak for the short speech category with her speech, ‘Reconciliation is Bravery’. She explored the less travelled road of acceptance of oneself and reflection. Through her eloquence and conviction, she provoked questions in the audience about accepting this different road instead of disregarding it, leaving them reflecting for themselves.

Zeynep was the last short speech of the evening. She spoke with great tenacity about war, and the atrocious paths people are persuaded to go down during wars. She started by using examples of persuasive, yet cruel and grim leaders convincing civilians to commit the most barbaric and heinous acts, and shared an anecdote about an individual during the Turkish war for independence. Zeynep eventually left the audience shocked when she revealed that it was in fact a personal anecdote about her great grandfather.

After indulging in a delicious barramundi dish paired with potatoes and vegetables, we dove straight into the long speeches. First up was Tina, with her speech titled, ‘Fools’ paradise’. With a personal anecdote comparing her experience in the Chinese Gaokao education and her life in MCM now, Tina dwelled on how our lives should not be influenced or dictated by others, but rather how we should craft our own pathway that defines what we ourselves deem as happiness.

Next, Amelia lightened the mood with her speech titled ‘Rocky Road: desert or dessert’. In a relaxed, yet confident manner, Amelia touched on the very relatable and current topic – university. Through the inclusion of multiple anecdotes, as well as humorously referring to people in the audience, she emphasised how it is alright to stray away from societal expectations and that we do, indeed, have freedom in the choice of deciding between university or a different path.

Sora wrapped up the night with his impactful speech ‘Brothers Travel Together’. Since the annual Movember event was ongoing, Sora cleverly spoke about the issue of men’s mental health. Through his emotive voice, Sora recounted a painful and meaningful anecdote of his which not only added a personal touch to his speech, but also shedded light on the normality of vulnerability in men. He described a road of the past that is thick with greenery, or perhaps a road full of stigmas against men’s mental health, but eventually highlighted the importance of shaping the pavement for a new mindset in society, one that normalises the discussion of men’s mental health.

After a prolonged discussion between the Master and Mrs Stevens along with the two guest judges, Caleb and Sara, feedback was given to the speakers over a chocolate cake dessert before announcing the winners – Zeynep and Sora – who were delighted to be awarded with the highly acclaimed prize of Lindt chocolates. We look forward to their attendance at the next long-awaited Lectern Club.

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