Thursday, January 08, 2015

B&T’s Big Bang

by Gege Sugue

So, is this meeting about the postulated birth of the universe approximately 13.8 billion years ago? When at some point, the universe expanded from a single point and has not stopped expanding since?

Uhm, not quite. I do not have enough geek in me to thematically and visually interpret a topic that mentions big terms like particle accelerators, high energy regimes, quark-gluon plasma, cosmic microwave background radiation, the homogenous and isotropic filling of the universe with an incredibly high energy density and huge temperatures and pressures. Uhm, yeah, whatever.  

And really, I dare not compare the evolution of our club to cosmic evolution. Even though B&T TMC and its members have evolved tremendously through the years. But still.

Neither is tonight’s theme our way of honoring the South Korean hip-hop boy band, Big Bang. I haven’t really heard of them until I had to Google images for this meeting, and their pictures greatly outnumbered the images for the TV show and the scientific theory. I guess they’re famous.

They’re celebrated, not just in Korea, but also in Japan and Taiwan. They were also declared the Best Worldwide Act at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards. Their album also charted in USA’s Billboard 200. Wow. Supernovae they’re not. Their fame does not seem to be waning. Just last year, they were listed as second on Forbes Korea’s Top 10 celebrities of 2014.

But then again, all this has nothing to do with B&T and tonight’s meeting. Except we’ve just slightly expanded our knowledge of world music; we’re artistic and well-rounded people, after all.  All we really have in common with the band is that we were born in the early part of this century. B&T officially started as a Toastmasters club in 2005, and Big Bang debuted in 2006.

What’s left is the CBS sitcom hit featuring Sheldon, Penny, and a bunch of geeks whose academic brilliance far outweighs their social skills. On its 8th season, the show continues to entertain audiences, satisfy critics, and reap awards. Thanks to its endearing cast of characters, most of whom are bound by their love of science yet each one stands out as a unique personality, with a different background, contributing something special to the group.  

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that our club enjoys a similar kind of diversity. Some of us are brilliant, some are weird, some are funny, and some are all of the above. Some characters in the show and in our club are endearing; some, annoying. Some have great people skills; some, socially awkward. Some are geeks; some want to be geeks. Different people with different talents and specialties, quirks and idiosyncrasies. And it is this mix that makes the club tick. Each member brings in something different—unique passions, different skill sets, alternate perspectives--allowing us to excel in different ways. And this diversity is also what makes it fun and interesting to be a Toastie.

But tonight is not about the show. The Big Bang partly refers to how we start 2015 with our first meeting celebrating our evolution, our 9-year progression. Tonight will be an extension of our Christmas party as we award some special people in the club.

It has been a big bang year for B&T. Midway through the term, we have already achieved 6 out of 10 points, elevating us to Distinguished Club Status. We’ve consistently maintained charter strength membership; currently we have 34 active members.  Galactic!  

Accelerated particles from B&T have also orbited outside the club to show off their luminosity—High energy toasties Dondi de Joya and Sheila dela Cruz shone bright in the area and division speech contests, newbies with cosmic talents Howie Cruz and Fran Jose blazed through the Rookie contest, Gege Sugue and District Trainer Jeeves de Veyra shared important matters in district training events, and Area 16 Governor Joko Magalong has achieved (Almost) President’s Distinguished Area status. Stellar!

The Big Bang that scientists believe to have signaled the birth of the universe has not quite ended yet. The universe continues to evolve. The term is not yet over. Much work needs to be done. And our club will continue to move on to greater heights, from achievement to achievement.

But really, every B&T meeting is a big bang—a collision of fun and learning!

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