In true Gavelier fashion, a handful of members of the University of Colombo Gavel Club set out to conquer the rainforests of Kanneliya on the 24th of August, with enthusiasm at a boiling point, enough to tip the scales from mediocre to slightly mad. What followed the boarding of our Read more…
Recently we added few new members to our WhatsApp chat and the activity in the group spiked up. Although it was a minor annoyance to see 65+ unread messages in the group everytime you open the app, I was happy that the newcomers have made themselves at home.
But has the Gavel Chat always stayed the same? what happened through the years? I went to find out.
There’s this neat trick of emailing your WhatsApp chats to yourself. You go to any group or a personal chat and you will notice in the settings to email the chat. From that you will get a text file containing the messages, the time it was sent and the sender. (more…)
Smedley’s Toastmasters club organized a monthly meet up called Speakers Corner. It happened in August 2015 and Shaik shared a post about it on our Gavel Page. The cool thing about is – we get to see Mr. Dhananjaya Hettiarachchi. For those of you who don’t know him – he was the World Champion of Public Speaking in 2014. He’s like rock star in Toastmasters – and we were part of his fan club. Basically you have to pay to see him speak and now we can do it for free. We managed to take a photograph with him and also took his autograph. That was awesome! stast Anyway I was talking about this with Shaik and what he said was, “Why don’t we have a weekly meet up like this organized from our Gavel Club?”. I hope there are no copyright violations because we copied this idea from Smedley’s. A whole idea behind it was to have an informal gathering where people engage in discussion over various topics. We started talking about how we hate Mathematics, some of the best moments in our lives, our passions, on love etc. We had people from different age groups coming and its amazing the stuff they have to share with us. Also we did our prepared speeches because Best Speaker 2015 was coming up – the audience was good and they did a good evaluation. It’s an amazing feeling sitting under the shade of a tree at Independence Square. In case it rained we continued it at the pavilion in race course: which was even better because you can get the whole amphitheater effect. When we started sharing pictures of our gathering so many people were interested in joining us. So in future we hope to get many Gavel Clubs and Toastmasters Clubs involved. The more the merrier!
Last year Farha called me up one day and said, “Hey, so we’re hoping to start a gavel club in our uni and the University of Kelaniya is helping us out. We’re having our first meeting tomorrow. Would you like to come?” I had not heard of a gavel club before so I asked her what it was about, to which she replied, “Well it’s a club that helps develop public speaking and leadership skills’. I told her I have a fear of public speaking and she said, “That’s exactly why you should come.” I have great admiration for people who are able to stand in front of a crowd, be very much at ease and communicate their ideas effectively. Going for that meeting would’ve given me a platform to develop my skills but I didn’t go. I wasn’t asked to deliver a speech, I was simply asked to attend a meeting and yet I turned down that opportunity the first time it came my way. However, Farha and a few other friends eventually convinced me to go for the gavel club meetings and here I am today, a happy gavelier! It didn’t take me too long to realize that public speaking in itself was not what I feared. I was uncomfortable with the thought of being judged by people for the mistakes I would make when delivering a speech. But the more I thought along those lines, the more I felt that it was merely an excuse. I figured that the real problem was my unwillingness to step out of my comfort zone. Most of us are more comfortable being part of an audience than being IN FRONT OF one. What you may not realize is that you are never going to grow if you continue staying in the same place. All it takes is a little courage (and sometimes an extra nudge from a friend) to step out of your comfort zone. This is not to say that I have completely overcome my fear of public speaking. It’s not something that happens overnight. It takes time, all you need is the will to change. Nelson Mandela once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” So I encourage you all to think about it what it is that you’re afraid of. We all have fears, and let me tell you this, you’re not going to overcome them in an instant. But, it won’t take forever either. It’s time to make a change. Embrace the challenges that come your way. Let your mistakes be lessons for life. And don’t think twice about stepping out of your comfort zone.
During my primary education, I performed well in studies. I got good results in scholarship exam in Grade five and also in ordinary levels. I selected Maths stream for my advanced level. But I couldn’t perform well in the term exams and my class teacher told my father that, your son doesn’t have enough potential to capture the lessons. I faced my first attempt in Advanced level exam. After the exam, I knew that I didn’t write the exam well and I decided to try again. The second attempt also I was unable to get a better result. After the second attempt, I was trying to take the third attempt. Until then my father didn’t believe much in Horoscope. He is very kind to me. Because I am the eldest and only son in my family. Because of that my parents and my family had so much expectations. In studies they believed that I would perform well. But unfortunately in the previous two attempts my results were bad. During the period that I was trying to do the third attempt, one of our neighbours told my father that, there is an astrologist, if you see him you could know about your son’s Horoscope. After that we had gone there to meet him. He predicted that, in that particular year it was not good for me and if I try to the years after, I would get better results. Then my father admitted me for trying to the next year. Finally I sat for the third attempt, in the fourth year and got a better results rather than the first two attempts and got selected for a best university in Srilanka. But the thing was, if I did my third attempt in the previous year, I could not have been selected for the university. Because that year most of the students had been affected by the Z scores. As there were two syllabuses and students had two different Z scores so some students were affected by that system. From my personal experience, I think there is something apart from our energy. That would be the God or someone will call it as luck. After so much effort, I was selected to the University. And now I am enjoying the university life with my fantastic friends in a nice environment. by Thangavadivel Nirusan