Valentine’s Day is a special day with our first meeting at the Art Club 44

Quite a collection of old time members turned out to welcome him back Bob South and Elena Domotenko, two personalities who contributed greatly to the growth of the Toastmasters movement in Ukraine half a decade ago.


Bob’s story was truly inspiring. He stumbled upon Toastmasters has something to do, an alternative to sitting home and watching TV, and made it the focal point of his life for three years in Ukraine. He progressed quickly as a Toastmaster and assumed about every office that was available. More than that, he was inspired by his constant contact with better educated Ukrainians to complete his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. And, capping it all, he married a fellow Toastmaster and has a son to show for it!  He is here en route to Seattle, where he will retire and enter another career, perhaps teaching.


Olga Pogorelova served as Toastmaster.  Graham Seibert gave a speech entitled “Love and Marriage” in which he traced the rather separate histories of the two concepts until they finally came together in medieval England. Victor Fursov made extremely imaginative use of props that he pulled out of a bag of tricks and then out of his pockets in a speech entitled “Humor and Love.” He had us rolling in the aisles.


Lucy Povaliy asked members to raise toasts to Valentine’s Day. As table topics evaluator Mark Taylor pointed out the problem with her strategy of calling on seasoned Toastmasters. They will take the topic wherever they want! In any case, we had very interesting short talks by Levon Petrosian, Mykola Latansky, Elena Domotenko, club member Kate who was having a birthday, Julia Dmytryshym and Mark Taylor himself.


After the meeting we had an extended lunch with Bob South as he shared his wisdom on how to run Toastmasters organizations at every level from club to region. Graham Seibert took notes, which he has invited other attendees to amend, which should be of interest to every club officer in Ukraine.


President Tania Knyazeva asked how we liked the Art club 44 as a place to meet. So far as I know the feeling was unanimous: we like it! We will move the meeting time to 11:15 to accommodate the club, and we plan to make it our permanent location.

Published in: on February 15, 2009 at 7:03 am  Comments (1)  

Paganini tops Art Talkers February 7 bill

On February 7, we had only one speaker who was an ATM speaker Olga Pogorielova. She told about Niccolo Paganini (October 27, 1782 – May 27, 1840), an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist and composer. Olga brought two musical compositions on CD to supplement her speech. The beginning of her speech was accompanied by Caprice No. 24 in A minor, being one of Paganini’s best known compositions. Olga ended her speech with the words from the lyrics of the song “A road without end” (the Soviet movie “Niccolo Paganini”, 1982), and then people listened to a fragment of this song.

Mark Taylor served as toastmaster. Graham Seibert as Table Topics host recycled an idea from last week’s EBA meeting: explain to a six-year-old where the wind comes from, or why there have to be both boys and girls.

We had several guests: Valentina, Natalia, Kate, Masha, Helena, Pavel, and a special treat, Sasha, the President of Toastmasters Lviv.

This week we met in the library’s cozy back room. There was space enough for everybody, but not much allowance for growth. Next week we intend to meet at Khreshetik 44. Please check back about Thursday for confirmation.

Published in: on February 7, 2009 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dancing and dreaming the last day of January

As the pictures show, Kostya had us waltzing to and from the podium today. Dance is his art. Tania chose Picasso as the subject of her 6th speech from the advanced manual. Picasso had many insights, but one of the most important is that after you have learned technique, reached adulthood and achieved what feels like success, you have to let it go and start again as a child.

Table topics master Olga Pogorielova asked Mark if his dreams ever came true, and, yes they have! Igor dreams in color, Liz finds that dreams offer a kind of parallel existence, Lucy’s dreams are so varied she doesn’t even attempt to control them, and Alla said yes, of course her dreams are influenced by her life’s experience.

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 6:37 am  Leave a Comment