Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Let's Talk About TED: An Incredible Experience! Part 2

JENN McKINLAY:  Here's what I loved most about participating in the TEDx talks. The other speakers. They were simply incredible. Because they were all so inspirational to me, it was very difficult to pick just a few to share but we'd be here forever if I chose everyone. So, here's a sampling. 


Dr. Sian Proctor: She spoke about Imposter Syndrome and how she fought it to become a hockey player, a candidate for NASA, and an analog astronaut, who lives in simulated space environments for months and weeks at a time. She convinced me that if a person can dream it they can do it.


Misty Hyman: Olympic Gold Medalist in the 200-meter butterfly in the 2000 Sydney games. Misty had us on the edge of our seats talking about that perfect swim, but she also had us equally riveted as she talked about embracing the shifts in life, bringing the old you into the new as she moved on from competitive swimming to entrepreneurship and motherhood.

Queen and Hakeem: These two amazing individuals are visual anthropologists. Combining their activism with their art, they have a mission is to demystify preconceived notions about Indigenous and underserved communities around the globe. Using augmented reality, their interactive art displays give viewers a glimpse into the real lives of Indigenous people and they encourage the youth of today to get their passports and go see the world. 
On a personal note, these two were my support system during my rehearsal and final as they sat off to the side in the front row. I could see them smile at me in encouragement and laugh at my jokes, making my own TED talk so much easier. I adore them.


Catherine Lockmiller: What an incredible speaker. She posed the question, using her own personal journey, what if we weren't assigned a gender designation at birth? What if we were allowed to form our own personalities without the assignment of an M or F on our birth certificates, which with all their preconceptions determine so much more of our lives than we realize? It was one of the most thought provoking discussions of the day. 


Michelle Dumay: This mama broke my heart, put it back together, broke it again, and then glued it back together one more time. She is living a life of advocacy for her daughter, who was born with a rare brain abnormality, and in doing so she had to answer the call that challenged a lifetime of beliefs. Hers is a compelling story that left us all in tears but filled with hope.

THE WHOLE CREW!

Other speakers included:

Erin Maxson: The Dog in Me: How in rescuing a dog she saved herself -- and a lot more dogs.

Larry Sandigo: The Voice of Immigrant Children: An immigration lawyer, who has tried find the balance between being the voice of immigrant children and helping them find their own voices.

Beatriz Mendoza: Boys Club: A young Hispanic engineer, she talked about being the lone ethnic female in a world of guys and how it can change for girls in the future.

Cricket Aldridge: She Speaks for the Bees: A fear of Africanized honeybees led Cricket to becoming a beekeeper and now she's trying to save the world one hive at a time.

Sue Berliner: If Chocolate Could Talk: She explained to us why chocolate really is the food of the gods. Plus, she brought samples.

Danielle Delgado: Breaking the Glass Ceiling Despite Not Being Tall Enough to Reach It: She was a twelve year old entrepreneur and is now a seventeen year old college student. This young woman is unstoppable.

Russell Horning: Maximizing Your Healthcare Experience: We all agreed, we want Russell as our healthcare provider. He gave concise tips for getting the best care out of your healthcare practitioner.

Shawn Bradford: Thank You Divorce! She talked to us about her divorce leading her to a journey of self-discovery with a surprise twist at the end. 

As you can see, it was quite the amazing cast of speakers and an experience I won't forget anytime soon.

Special thanks to the TEDx South Mountain Community Library Committee for the hours and hours of work they put in to making this such a spectacular event.
The TED Committee

So, Reds and Readers, if you were tapped to give a TED (Technology - Entertainment - Design) talk and share an "idea worth spreading", what would you talk about?

57 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an amazing group, Jenn . . . I’d love to hear all of their speeches.

    If I were to share an “idea worth spreading,” perhaps I’d talk about the importance of science and math education for girls . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  3. All those topics sound amazing! Can't wait to watch the videos.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an exciting, challenging experience, and how wonderful that the spirit of TEDx is built around sharing--ideas, encouragement, and community. It could have been a competitive thing, but it sounds like it wasn't. Nobody was there to say, "I'm the best speaker, with the only good ideas." Instead, as a community of good speakers, you nurtured each other so you could all achieve your personal best.

    I suppose, if I had to look at my life and come up with an idea worth sharing, I'd talk about intentional life (re)building. My husband's death was a cataclysmic event in my life, but he was the only one who died. I was astounded at the societal pressure to stick a tidy little "widow" sticker on my forehead and relegate me to a shelf where I would honor my husband's memory for the rest of my days, and never bother anyone else again. Maybe they'd let me down on weekends, if I wanted to arrange flowers for the church, but . . .

    I was forty-eight years old, and I wasn't done yet. But I had to choose, every day, how I wanted to live the rest of my life, and then I had to fight for those choices. It forced me to focus on the rebuilding process, instead of just letting life happen to me. To do that, I had to believe in myself in ways I hadn't articulated before. Now I'm betting that other people could do the same, even without the cataclysmic loss, and shape their own lives by making their own hard, well-reasoned choices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be in the front row for that talk, Gigi. Your riveting description alone has me wanting to hear more.

      My husband was widowed at age 27. He did not have anything close to that kind of experience. He had his own private hell, but no one tried to put him in a box for the rest of his life.

      Delete
    2. Gigi: I'm so there for your talk! That is such an important topic and one that I know would resonate with many, including a friend of mine who was widowed not quite two years ago. It's astounding to me that, in 2018, we continue to relegate women into those boxed roles...

      Delete
    3. I think it's societal sexism, Karen. Your husband didn't have the same experience because society doesn't define a man's life by his relationship to a woman, but it still defines a woman's place in society by her relationship with a man.

      And thank you, all, for your votes of confidence.

      Delete
    4. Sounds like a memoir you should be writing, Gigi...:)

      Delete
    5. Gigi, I vote for the memoir AND a speaking tour to go with it. And you are so right about those boxes.

      Delete
    6. Gigi, I'm just chiming in to repeat what has already been well-said. I'm going to specifically double down on Ingrid's comment, "sounds like a memoir you should be writing."

      Delete
    7. I'm with Karen in the front row for this one!

      Delete
    8. A memoir, yes, but not until she finished the novel in progress!!!

      Delete
    9. This is perfect for a TED talk Gigi with an accompanying memoir!

      Delete
    10. I, too, think your talk would be an important and interesting one, Gigi.

      Delete
  5. Jenn, sorry to say I have nothing that I could do that would be TED talk worthy. But I am glad you enjoyed your experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The one thing I learned, Jay, is that everyone has a story even if it's like the visual anthropologists who are telling other people's stories for them.

      Delete
    2. I just don't see anything I'm interested in as being interesting enough to others.

      Delete
  6. Maybe a couple of topics. The importance of teaching children life skills, including money management. How to teach a child to read, why it's important, and what an impact it has on children to know their parents read for pleasure, and to see them doing so.

    Jay, I bet you could speak on a variety of topics. Aren't you a coach? You have no doubt made many observations about life through your interactions with kids, parents, athletes, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had me at the reading one, Karen!

      Delete
    2. Karen, I was a coach. I haven't done it in almost 7 years. My information about what I learned then is out of date at best. And honestly, its part of my past. I don't really care to try to do some kind of talk about it.

      I'm more interested in what I'm doing now with the various writing projects I do.

      Delete
  7. I cannot even imagine what I might talk about but I do know I would want to make people laugh - intentionally!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Holy cow, Jenn, that is quite the lineup of speakers. Now I truly cannot wait for the video to be available online.

    As for speaking on a topic, I think I would choose something related to communication. Possibly the importance of good listening (a vital skill for good relationships, but a skill rarely taught to any of us). Or the value of writing as a tool for self-discovery by everyone, even if you don't think you're a writer. Something along those lines...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The listening one - so important! I'm still working on being an active listener.

      Delete
  9. What wonderful and rarefied air you get to inhabit, Jenn. I look forward to your talk, which I'm presuming we'll get a link to soon. I haven't listened to many TED talks, but everyone has been inspirational, and I'm going to tuck a few each week into my schedule.

    What would I talk about? The things I know most about are birth and death. Yikes, that sounds way more impressive that it is. What I mean is that those are the places where I'm most comfortable, where I usually know the right things to do and say and how to go about solving the problems that arise. What I don't know is how to handle the present situation in my domestic life. Julie's company is going through an enormous downsizing, and she has the choice of taking a voluntary early retirement or waiting to see what heads will roll. This hasn't been unanticipated, but the reality of it is very difficult. I have no idea what to do other than listen, and I certainly can't affect any outcome. Yikes. So you've inspired me to do a little research and see if I can find some TED talks on this subject. Thanks darlin'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think people understand death very well. These days it's mostly tucked away in a hospital somewhere, and you can choose to visit or not. It's not like it was 150 years ago, when death happened at home, and children grew up around it, seeing the stages, helping as needed. You could be an invaluable guide there, Ann. We all have to deal with it sooner or later. It would be nice to have a bracing, no-nonsense guide along that path.

      Delete
    2. As for Julie's situation, if there's a nice buyout, I'd say take the early retirement. My aunt faced the same situation, took the buyout, and never looked back. Enjoy more of your time together. Travel. Read. Cook. If she needs a regular work schedule, there are tons of interesting volunteer opportunities, from mentoring kids to fostering dogs to cleaning trash out of the river. It all needs to be done, if she's of a mind to do it.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Gigi. She’ll be fine. Just in shock at the moment. Xox

      Delete
    4. Ann, I'd love to hear your talk on death and birth, especially since you've witnessed so very much of it.

      I've been present for only a single death, my much-loved maternal grandmother, but it affected me so profoundly that it has completely changed my viewpoint on death, dying, and the meaning of life. Talking to various doctors and spiritual advisors has only reinforced those sea changes, too.

      Best of luck to you and Julie. Have faith that all will work out well, my dear.

      Delete
    5. Ann - life transitions are so hard. If you find a good one, do share! And I'd love to hear you talk on life and death.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for a peek at that fascinating, talented bunch Jenn (including you!). It's such a lovely reminder that there are people in the world doing amazing work for the good of all of humanity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how I felt, too, Ingrid. All of these amazing people live in my community - who knew? Such an eye opener.

      Delete
  11. 'There are prophets among us.' Who said that? These TED talks are like pinpricks of light in an ever-increasing wilderness, showing us the way to live a good life--and by 'way', I mean in the sense of a path. These voices light us along a path of true humanity--how we choose to speak, act, do, make a choice--all of it can help transform us, those around us, and the world into a more compassionate, healthy place to live our lives.

    Gigi, through personal trauma and transformation. Jay--whether he sees it in himself or not--a light for kids who so often desperately need an encouraging adult. Ann, whose path led her to embrace both the beginning and the end of life with fierce determination to help--all of us has an opportunity to live a TED-worthy life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an amazing community, and now you are a member too! I would be very interested in how the experience affects you going forward. Can you detect shifts in your perspective, your decision making process, you're understanding of yourself and your goals? The great thing about TED is that nobody gets out untouched, not those who listen or those who share. Can't wait to see these talks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sense of community, trial by fire, that I felt with the other speakers was incredible. Hakeem and I were joking the that we all needed to get together for dinner - every week! LOL.

      Delete
  13. Thanks for introducing us to these fascinating thinkers! Hmmmm. Coming up with a topic and shaping it into a thought bubble isn't as easy as it sounds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't I know it! But I'm betting you could do a smashing talk on mystery writing.

      Delete
  14. What an amazing group! I'd watch all these videos.

    I don't know if there's any ideas in my life that other people haven't covered...usually much better than I could.

    Mary/Liz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary - I felt that way, too, but I think everyone has their own unique spin.

      Delete
  15. Incredible! And inspirational and thought-provoking… It makes me feel like the standing and cheering! So great! And the experience is so much bigger than can be imagined, I bet… yay Jen and yay for you all !

    ReplyDelete
  16. Incredible! I would talk about how technology helped and hindered progress for deaf and hard of hearing people. This is a wonderful repetorie of speakers!

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana, I would love to hear that. I had a visit with my ENT yesterday. Her son is hearing impaired, a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. At 14, he's making straight As in school. I'm always so interested to get updates on his progress.

      Delete
    2. That would be a fascinating talk. I have a few hearing impaired people in my life and I am sure they would be interested as would I.

      Delete
    3. Debs, I have two cochlear implants and I find them very helpful. Though I still am not comfortable talking on the phone. I avoid talking on the phone LOL. I am accustomed to looking at the person when I talk. It throws me off when someone is talking and is not looking at me. My brain already is wired to be visual. For me the cochlear implants help with the support of voice lessons and auditory training exercises. The CI by itself would not work. It is like having a car by itself without driving lessons.

      Jenn, I agree.

      Speaking of technology, even deaf people who do NOT have cochlear implants can benefit from technology like text on the smartphone, computer and internet. Sometimes technology is a disadvantage if you have to make voice calls on the computer or watch YouTube without captions.

      Closed captions on tv and rear window captioning in movie theaters are beneficial.

      thank you,
      Diana

      Delete
    4. As I think you know, Diana, I'm deaf in one ear, so find the closed captions so helpful!

      Delete
  17. Happy birthday, Hank!!

    Jenn, I am so impressed with your group of speakers. Flora said it best--TED really does give us bright points of light. So creative and inspirational. I'd also love to know, as Lyda asked, how your experience affects you going forward.

    I've been told several times that I should give a TED talk about my journey from dropping out of high school to published novelist. Getting that in the time limit would be a fun challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a perfect TED talk, Debs. For me, so far, I am filled with relief that it's done but I'm also sort of missing it. It became such a part of my daily routine to do a run through. It definitely made me more mindful as a speaker that I'm not just spewing words but also providing content and context.

      Delete
  18. What a lot of interesting and diverse people are in this group! I can't wait until all these talks are available, especially yours, Jenn. You've really got me more interested in TED talks in general. I have a question about the time limit. Is it always twelve minutes?

    I'm guessing if I ever gave a TED talk, it would have to do with the importance of reading, starting with reading with your children and how it gives them such a great base for not only reading, but for life.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jenn, I've been listening to TED Radio hour for as long as I can remember, and have always loved hearing part of the speakers' talks plus context. Getting the whole backstory, however, has been amazing! I always thought the speakers where super-well-known experts (super well known to someone. Not me.) but it's fascinating to read about all other TEDx participants and realize how MANY people have an eye-openiing/inspirational/educational story to tell.

    ReplyDelete