It's the real deal. Oooh yes!

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The Right of Way (a speech written by me)

This is a speech that I wrote for my Toastmasters club I go to every Thursday morning. This is Project 3 in the Competent Communication Manual-Get to the Point. It’s about 5-7 minutes (there will be pauses and room for gestures). I hope whoever reads this walks away with some knowledge and a different point of view. Enjoy :]

Picture yourself standing at the crosswalk. You’re an innocent pedestrian just trying to catch the bus to come home. The light shows the picture of the little man walking, you take a step onto the street. To your left, a driver in a two ton automobile is texting someone on their cell phone as they stomp on the gas peddle turning to their right. You look up and fear sweeps over you. A million thoughts race through your head at that moment. What’s going to happen? Will they stop or just keep going? Will I see my family again? Will I make this out alive? You want to brace yourself for the hit, but everything is going so fast. The two ton vehicle hits you, you fall to the ground. Two things can happen from there. You can either make it out alive, or you never get back up again.

Good morning Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters, and most welcomed guests. I would like for everyone to be honest with me and raise their hand if they are guilty of texting while driving. Did you know, that the time it takes for you to write a five second text message, you have just driven the length of one football field. One whole football field. With 5 seconds of what I like to call “blind driving”, an innocent victim, someone’s friend, sister, brother, spouse, parent, child, could have been hit all because you looked away from the road for 5 seconds. “Well I have fast reflexes, I can stop the brakes in enough time.” No you can’t. While texting or talking on your cell phone, a driver’s reaction time is equivalent to a 70 year olds reaction time. Your “catlike” reflexes fly right out the window when you use a cellular device. An innocent woman waiting at the bus stop, not thinking she could be hit by a car, was not only hit, but was killed by a distracted driver.

Cell phones aren’t the only cause for distracted drivers. Impatience sits comfortably in the passenger seat. My father on his way home from work to see his family and to enjoy his two days off, became a victim of an impatient driver. It was at the intersection of 27th avenue and Glendale. The light at the crosswalk gave my father the right of way to walk. The green light gave the impatient driver with the lead foot the right of way. My father looked just in time and knew he was going to be hit. Instead of just standing there, he braced himself for what was coming and rolled with the hit. The driver continued to drive as my father stood up and yelled “What the heck.” The hit of the car weakened him and he fell to the ground. The driver came back because he knew what he did was wrong. The ambulance came, strapped my father up, and took him to the hospital. That’s when my mother got the dreadful text message from my dad saying he was in the hospital because he was hit by a car. Can you imagine how that must have felt for my mother? To know that her husband, the love of her life, was in the hospital and there was nothing she could do. My dad, the man who was always so careful when it came to crossing the street, was a victim to impatient driving. My father wasn’t the only one who became a victim. A grandmother and her small grandson were crossing the street this past Sunday when they were hit by car. They were sent to the hospital where they struggled for their lives. From the years 2000-2009, over 688,000 pedestrians were injured by a driver and their vehicles. That’s about 1 person, whether they are crossing the street legally or illegally, being hit by a car every 7 minutes. Just think, by the time I’m done with this speech, one pedestrian will be injured. Not everyone is that lucky, though. In the same decade, over 47,000 pedestrians have died. That’s equivalent to a jumbo jet filled with passengers crashing about every month. Think about it, 47,000 people who won’t see another birthday or Christmas. 47,000 people who won’t see their children grow up and become successful adults. All their dreams and wishes, gone, because of a careless driver. I am very fortunate that the damage my father went through was mild to compare to others. But that grandmother that was hit on Sunday, won’t be able to see her grandson graduate high school, go on to college, start a family. All because that driver behind that two ton vehicle had to be careless.

I am terrified to walk down the street now. There have been many close calls with drivers who were too busy on their phones or in a rush. As a pedestrian, I don’t feel like I have the right of way to cross the street anymore. I have to let the impatient driver or the texter go first because I would rather miss the bus going to my friend’s house than never seeing my friends again. That’s just not right. I should be crossing first and the driver should wait the 30 seconds for me to cross the street. A solution? Resist the urge to check that text message or answer that incoming call. If it’s important now, it will be important later. Wait the 30 seconds for the pedestrian to pass, it will take longer to get over the guilt of hitting one. Remember, we the pedestrians, have the right of way. To live.

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/ˈʃɪvəlri/ Show Spelled[shiv-uhl-ree] Show IPA
noun, plural -ries for 6.
the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.
the rules and customs of medieval knighthood.
the medieval system or institution of knighthood.
a group of knights.
gallant warriors or gentlemen
Chivalry. At once this species was abundant. But over the years, chivalry has been facing what so many other species are going through; extinction. Yes chivalry may not be dead (because there are still those who practice it) but it is an endangered species. We live in a society where every man is for themselves. The rest of us are left behind in the dust, the good guys who finish last. But there is still hope! If everyone (ladies and gents) follow these simple steps, chivalry can once again thrive as it used to.
Opening a door. Something so simple yet so many people don’t even take the few seconds to do this simple gesture. I am not even kidding, when I went to the store with my little sister (note: She was in her stroller) I had to struggle with opening the door while everyone else just walked on by. Whatever happened to men opening the door for women. Something that takes not even 30 seconds of your time can last for a long time on a person. And ladies, let’s practice chivalry as well. Help a sister and a brother out; open that door.
Enough said. Now I don’t expect someone to give up their seat if I’m just standing by myself on the bus (although there are those who do and it’s very appreciated). But if you are sitting on the bus and you see a passenger with a bunch of bags in their hands, give them your seat. If you see a lady, or a man, with children or pregnant, give them and the small children a seat. If you see an elderly person getting on, please give them a seat. Don’t worry, you’ll get a seat eventually because everyone gets off the bus eventually. But if you are so set against giving up a seat on the bus, just sit all the way at the back of the bus. Most pregnant ladies, people with small children, and the elderly sit at the front the bus because it’s more convenient for us.
Bad picture I know but it fits what I’m about to say right now. Someone drops a bus card, a wallet, a phone, some money. Sadly people would just sit there and say nothing. Even worse, they take it! Let’s be courteous and retrieve the fallen items back to their owner. Or at least say “Hey! You dropped your stuff!”
Last but not least, just show a little kindness. Nobody expects you to take the coat off your back and lay it down on mud. Anyone can just walk around it. But if we don’t notice a mud patch, or if someone peed on a seat (it happens), please inform the person to NOT sit on it.
Show a little chivalry ladies and gentlemen. The world can be a better place.

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Pride: It’s not really a bad thing

Pride; it’s one of the seven deadly sins. Now I can understand that because some people take pride to a whole different level. They let it get to them. But there’s no shame in proud of yourself or for others. Just don’t get too carried away.

There are many things that I’m very proud of. The first thing that I comes to mind is my 3rd hour toastmasters class. I have watched them grow into the speakers they are today. The improved so much and I’m just amazed that I was there to help them. I was there each step of the way. I think about how great they are now that the semester is coming to an end. There will be the class speech contest and then the big speak off in December. After that, it will be all over. But they learned so much and I can’t wait to see them go into the Senior DECA class and watch them become better speakers. I will never forget them. They were my first babies and they were so good to me even though this was my first class. I cannot wait to continue being a Toastmaster for DECA for years to come.

I have to also include my sister in this. She’s an amazing little baby but there’s something that really sticks out to me that makes me very proud. She has great taste in music. She loves listening to Phantom of the Opera and Chicago. She also loves nice classical music and Disney songs. She dances to it and it’s just so adorable. She will have great musicality (or however you spell it) when she’s older and I can see her going far in the future of music and hopefully dance.

I am very proud of my friends. They are all following their dreams and making descions for themselves like adults they are. I will admit, some choices they make I don’t agree with, but that’s what they want to do and I admire for sticking to what they believe in and what they want to do. I am very blessed to have all my friends in my life.

Now I don’t want to sound like a bragger or anything, but I am proud of myself. I see many girls my age dropping out or getting pregnant. I know I’m not going to college right now, but I am going in January to accomplish what I want to do. Yes it’s just a community college, but at least I’m getting a higher level of education. I don’t have a job but I am actively looking for one and with the experience that I have, I know I can get one again. But I was a toastmaster for the 3rd hour at my old high school;right after I graduated! And I’d like to think that I do a pretty good job.

I am proud of the people in my life, what they accomplish, and what I have accomplished. Am I commiting a sin? I don’t think I am. I don’t think there’s any harm in being proud of something that you did or for others. It’s not really a bad thing.