Toastmasters Groningen at the Spring Division C Conference

Four of us made our way together by train to get there before the ten a.m. registration / start time.

Let me emphasize how FAR it is from all the way up north to all the way down… to the middle of the Netherlands.

Two.

Whole.

Hours.

Okay, it’s not that far.

But some of us got up at four thirty even though we set the alarm for five thirty cause we were SO FREAKING EXCITED!

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And Then I Lost

Yesterday was the third round of this year’s International Speech Contest, the Division C Contest.

I did my best. I was overtime. And then I wasn’t. And I almost started crying. The audience laughed a lot. Both men and women told me they cried afterwards. There were some amazing speeches tho. And I wasn’t in the top three.

This is my speech.

I’m flying along at forty thousand feet. I’m dressed in layers. I’m in the window seat. I’ve settled in for a long seven hour SLEEP.

Then I hear those magical words, “Chicken or Pasta”.

I’m WIDE AWAKE.

Chicken or pasta.

Do I want the healthier chicken or the TEMPTING pasta?

Easy, right?

Chicken or pasta is a simple question. Other questions can be a bit more complicated.

What should I study? What will my career be? Will I date that guy? Will I marry that girl? Do I rent or buy a house? Do I want children?

Contest Chair and fellow decision makers, if you have focus – if you know your way forward, making difficult decisions can be easier.

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In The Midst Of A Job Change And

No, I’m not leaving Red Hat.

But.

I am changing departments and slightly changing responsibilities and while I’m not quite ready for THAT post, I’m totally ready to ramble on about this that and the other. Specifically, I’m LEAVIN’ ON A JET PLANE.

To scoot over to Boston for a team all hands meeting.

For two days.

I’ve never flown so much in such a short time and THEN, of course, the speech competition is this Saturday.

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I’m Competing Next Saturday In A Speech Contest

whenever i start working on this particular speech. this speech that i’m doing for a series of contests. this speech that won THAT club contest and that may or may not win the next level of the toastmasters international speech contests, my stomach starts flipping.

the fuck.

OUT.

one of the things that happened while i was competing, in both the international speech AND the evaluator contests, is that i was flipping. the fuck. OUT. and that meant that my stomach was doing that butterfly thing. and that i was sweating ALL OVER. and i found it very difficult to focus. at all. i was shaking almost the ENTIRE NIGHT. even after awards were given and representation confirmed, i was high for hours. and then i crashed for DAYS. because this contest? well, it was similar to how i felt when i used to audition ALL THE TIME. back when i danced.

y’know, professionally.

not with a pole so much as scraping by in that weird modern contemporary way with lots of white make up and silky kimonos and excruciatingly slow movement. there were some auditions that were more stressful and somehow OVERWHELMING then others.

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WANTED: An RDO TripleO Speaker for CentOS Dojo at FOSDEM

Rich Bowen, RDO Community Liaison Extraordinaire, is looking for someone to give a demo / deep dive / tech talk:

I’ve been asked by the folks planning the CentOS Dojo at FOSDEM for a howto-style talk about deploying OpenStack on CentOS. This is for a fairly technical audience who will know probably know a lot about CentOS, but perhaps not much about OpenStack.

I know that this is really really late, but if you’re going to be in Brussels on Friday, February 3rd, and you’re not already presenting something at the CentOS Dojo, and you’re willing and able, I’d really like to hear from you (offlist) so that we can make this happen.

If you’re keen and available, quick, quick, like a bunny, comment here or email Rich directly via rbowen [at] redhat [dot] com.

Let’s Get Personal

I am unexpectedly DELIGHTED to speak at Red Hat’s Open Voice Toastmasters club TOMORROW.

No big deal.

And cause it’s no big deal, no problem, no worries, I’m totally going to do project two, Let’s Get Personal, of the advanced manual Storytelling.

::PANIC::

Now part of me is REALLY TEMPTED to talk about the pole dancing class I took four weeks ago where I was SHOWING OFF WAY TOO MUCH and, like the forty year old I am, THREW OUT MY HIP and haven’t been able to walk right EVER SINCE.

But another part of me thinks, “Rain, this is YOUR JOB.”

So I’m going to go the safe route and talk about the not so safe experience of leaping out of a plane. Because this is their first impression of me.

And I’m feeling a little scared.

Except that’s exactly the point, to get personal, like I do here, when I remember to write. And, if I’m honest, since I’m scared, I should do it anyway.

Cause that’s how I roll.

So.

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And How Many Tech Talks? And Conferences? And ATC CODES?!?

Way back in may 2015, I did my first tech talks evar at [PyGrunn] and [DjangoCon US] “Leveraging Procedural Knowledge”

TWO talks and TWO conferences!

And then I switched jobs within Red Hat to join engineering, where I am now a Developer Evangelist which means I code AND talk. Which is what #ALLTHETALKS have been for ever since…

Except, no, I’m just now remembering one other.

And, wait, another.

So I’ve been doing MOSTLY TripleO things, but also other things.

You’ll see.

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How Many Escape Rooms Was That?

how many rooms have i escaped out of?

erm… a lot.

how many have i *done*?

more than a lot.

the escape hunt, here in groningen, has three different rooms and we pretty much did all three plus the one of goldberg escape. then goldberg added another one, which is five.

and the escape hunt flipped two of their rooms and we did the new one. and then the other new one. and then i brought toastmasters groningen board members to do the other new one again – cause team building and i’m president.

so that’s eight.

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