Claire’s Farewell Speech
Claire’s Farewell Speech
the 32nd President
It’s time to farewell as a President, and this speech is my final task. After this speech, it’s the terminal point of my lead. Or I may say, tonight only one thing would end— that is, my lead. NTU Toastmasters would keep going on, and it would be better and better. I would stay, but as a different role from being a President.
When starting to write the Farewell Speech, first I asked myself: What I wish this speech to be? What I hope to convey, to give, through my last speech as a President?
To me, this Farewell Speech is for everyone in NTU Toastmasters, to see what we had, what we had harvested, here(in our heart), during this semester.
It is for my dear officers, who had gone through so much with me, to have a final destination that marks the fulfillment of the 32nd Officers Team. My Farewell Speech cannot be compared with any other Farewell Speeches before me, because every of them is unique. Every of them symbolized their own generation. And every generation has its style, its glory, its difficulties, and its own story which belongs to that certain generation. This speech is for all of you, right here, right now. For all of you that had written the story together with me.
Last semester, on December 21st, 2012, I delivered my Campaign Speech. 6 months later, tonight, June 7th, 2013, I deliver my Farewell Speech. 6 months, it’s a contradictory amount of time. It was long, regarding to the working load as a President. It was surprisingly short, for it amazingly contains all the glorious memories and growth— The growth of me, and my officers.
If the Campaign Speech was the whistle that marked the beginning of an expedition called ‘’Leading NTU Toastmasters’’, then the Farewell Speech is the time that I finally get to the destination, head held high, cheering with hurray and treasures behold. So, what happened during this journey? What is the same, what is different? What is discovered, what is given up, and what remains all the way?
What is the same, is the reason why I want to be a President.
In the Campaign Speech last year, I said, ‘’It is our turn to protect this club… to make sure it is still the place where people can come, and find their own reasons of staying. This is why I want to be the President.’’
Yes, from the very beginning, protection is my core value as a leader in this club. In the generations before me, we had gone through so many changes, so many creative and innovative leaders, and I think it is time, it is my turn, to settle all the changes down. I want to stable them, to make the process delicate enough to be able to pass down. I think it is important that in a club, there are people who create innovative ideas, but it is also important, however often has less attention, that there’s someone to stable the situation and pass the things down. I have emphasized, that I’m not a dream weaver, but a dream realizer. Protection is me; the creativity and the freedom to present, to color, to paint the ideas, belong to my officers.
How I lead?
As for my role as a leader in this semester, I serve as a bridge, especially the bridge between the vice presidents. Through the VPs Meetings once every two weeks, I served as a bridge to let the VPs know what each other is doing, and the possibilities of their helping each other.
I’m happy to say that through the meetings, the Vice Presidents got to know each other more, and every of us found our place. I’m the bridge that ignites the discussion, Emma is the one that combine ideas with reality, Benson is the calm power who always provide help and support, Hannah is the one who oftentimes come up with crazy ideas, and Charles makes us think more by asking questions, and finally, I make the conclusion. It is a time that we set up the blueprint of every event, and then it’s the VPs to discuss with their deputies. They together make the plan down to earth, fulfill the details and actually carry out the plans.
Now I would like to talk to my deputies in every team, and the independent officers. In my greatest effort I hope that you can feel my existence, not in a way of controlling and commanding, but in a way to let you know I care, care for you, and also what you have done for NTUTM.
I know that having 32 officers, which is the biggest officer team ever, may increase the possibility that the President becomes somewhat too far away to the deputies. I don’t want that to happen, so I try my best to talk to everyone in the chances that I have. I may not accurately know in details what every deputy is doing, because this kind of care should be done by Vice Presidents. The kind of care I wish to convey, is that I know you are there, I know you are trying really hard to fulfill the tasks with your partners. I really hope that to you, I have fulfill this goal I made to myself, that no one is , and no one can be invisible in this team.
The base of being an officer, should be built on the fearlessness that they can try what they want, that they have the stage to show. Therefore, the meaning of a President to me, is like an invisible strength behind everyone. I want my officers, especially Vice Presidents, to know, they need not to be afraid.
Need not to be afraid because whenever they are confused or distressed, turn around, and I’ll be there for them. Our designation of works can be clear like a company, but in the emotional aspect we’re NOT a company. We have nothing to do with promotion, comparison of salaries, and competition of profit. We are a team that is built by the eagerness to learn and the relationship between each other. And it is when the officers know that they have someone to turn to, when they are fearless to try as long as it is well- planned, that the duties can be done in vigor and care. To my officers, this is my way of protection.
However, I’m not suddenly a President from the second I took over the gavel from Li-Yuan. I gradually ‘’become’’ one in the process of ‘’being one’’. And my officers are the ones that help me became who I am. Here I want to give my greatest thanks to my 32 officers. For your sweetness, for your support, and for your willingness to be my officers.
Just like what I have always emphasized, I care really much about the delicacy of things. For example, the well preparation, the insight of possible problems, and the beforehand examination of SGDs and Workshops. Here I would like to thank the team that strives nonstop during the whole semester: the EVP Team. Emma, although you were new to EVP Team when you first took this position, your performance is never less than the ones experienced in EVP Team. And you inject vigor and your unique style into the meetings and SGDs. The most I want to say is, thank you for saying yes when I invited you to become the EVP.
Under the lead of our cute EVP, Ariel, Catherine, Jack Tung, Leo, Pei-Fang, Tina, you all did a really great job by the extremely clear division of work. The meetings, along with the SGDs, are the base of Toastmasters, and thank you all for fulfilling the beforehand examinations, to make things well-knit, to bring us their best form. The attendance of our members before and after the mid- term are stable and active. This can be one of the concrete affirmations of your devotion. In this team, I see both vitality and cautiousness.
In this semester, we have 71 eligible members, with 34 new members and 37 senior members. Thank you, PRVP Team, for your hard work to let NTUTM be known. The publicizing of NTUTM, the two introduction videos, the Azalea Festival, the Elementary School Project, the Designed Meeting, and so on, these events show the style of PRVP Team— diligence, craziness, and teamwork.
Hannah, who leads six handsome and energetic men, thank you for bravely saying yes when I asked you to be the PRVP. I know you were not an officer before, and suddenly taking this job must have given you such pressure and worries. But I knew you can do it. Your resolute personality makes you become the army general for PRVP team, and the six strong deputies are the captains.
Danny, Ivan, Joey Chen, Joey Yang, Kenneth, Michael, you all devote your special talents into this team. In this team I see energy, I see friendship, and I see teamwork. The success of the publicizing and the Designed Meeting is the ultimate proof.
The team in charge of Membership, the MVP Team. I feel really fortunate, to have an MVP like Benson. Whenever and whatever I ask for help, you always said, ‘’No problem. Leave it to me.’’ And then settle it down quickly and quietly. You’re a steady force to you. And you assign your deputies in an efficient way, making them each in charge of some certain duties or activities.
Michelle and Rex, Dora and Jessica, Kevin and Howard, thank you for bringing us a series of great activities. I can say that the feature of the activities this semester, is that the content of them were not too overwhelming. The MVP Team chose not to stuff the content too much, in order not to dizzy the participants, and instead chose to put the emphasis on how to make the activities delicate and fun. Thank you for bringing the members together, no matter new members, officers, or senior members.
EVP, MVP, and PRVP are the three big base of NTUTM. Nevertheless, among these three, the administration also needs effort to maintain, no matter to the school, or to the Headquarter. The procedure is often tedious, however, to keep a club functions, those procedures are necessary. Hereby I would like to give my greatest appreciation to Arthur, Rona, and Harvey. Arthur and Harvey are both like my brothers. Harvey helps me deal with the Headquarter with carefulness. Arthur helps me take care of the finance so professionally to make me not worried. Rona, though she couldn’t attend meetings in the latter semester, serves as the helper of Arthur in the former semester, and are willing to learn.
In the Officer Team this semester, we have a senior member, who chose to return to the officer team in her last semester. Our webmaster, Amy. She takes care of the photos in meetings, and the maintenance of our websites. Besides these works, she provides shelter for all the officers when we are confused, when we are down.
To me, Amy, along with my mentor Jenny, are the huge source that back me up, the comfort whenever I’m distressed. Thank you, my 把拔 and馬麻in NTUTM.
In this semester, there’s a team that their task can said to be the most challenging. The IAVP Team: Charles, Benjamin, Samantha, and Mark. I had promised Charles from the very beginning that I would give him support and assistance in the biggest range I can give. Thank you Charles, for all you had done. You care for your deputies, arrange detailed outline before every meeting, and you make countless effort to make sure that every plan is on track.
I had made the IAVP Team activity-oriented this semester. The focus is on the second International Night. Our claim is that we would have foreigners as guests in the two International Nights for cultural sharing. In the other aspects of NTUTM, the IAVP Team’s mission is that themselves would bring members something international, just like the game you all had played in the Designed Meeting. Benjamin, Samantha, and Mark, in this team I see your perseverance, and the heart that thinks for teammates, the considering that everyone is willing to take the responsibilities.
The reason why I saved this team after I became President, is that the IPP Li-Yuan had just established IAVP for one semester, and I think it needs one more semester to develop, to see if the International Affairs Team really fits NTUTM. After this semester, I have to say the mission is hard, because the essence of it is hard. However, though faced with many difficulties, Charles, Benjamin, Samantha, Mark, you make the goal complete, complete in the way that we had planned from the beginning.
You are also the ones that amazed me, for example, the game in the Designed Meeting, and the richness of the second International Night. I am glad that I had put my effort to assist, to give opinions, and to see your achievement. Thank you.
In this semester, I combine the duties of Artistic Directors and the SAA. By doing so I wish to balance the ups and downs working load of ADs, and also by taking turns to be the SAA who controls the computer, music,and light, there wouldn’t be someone that has to take care of the equipment for the whole semester and somehow distracted from the meeting. I’m really glad to hear once from Jaff, that he said he wouldn’t be tired because he likes it when he was designing the flags for the International Night. Bess and Rebecca are like two sisters, who cooperated together really well with Hannah, the PRVP. During the semester we see the name card, poster, flyer in the Azalea Festival; the hand-made flags in the International Night; and the awesome decoration of the Designed Meeting. For both the works of AD and SAA, Jaff, Bess, and Rebecca, you fulfill them with great patience and sense of responsibilities. You make NTUTM a more gentle and colorful place. Thank you really much.
How I have grown?
After talking about my officers, you may wonder: What about me? What is my growth and discoveries?
The feelings in this semester actually are too many to talk about, but here, I would like to share with you some of the ones I think are the most important.
I remembered that once, late at night, I was doing my works as usual. Suddenly, there was a Facebook message from Arthur. It wrote:
‘’May I ask you a question?’’
‘’May I ask why you are so energetic?’’
I thought for a little while, then I answered, ‘’Because I would feel uncomfortable if I don’t make things well.’’
This is not the entire answer. It should be ‘’because I would feel uncomfortable if I don’t make things well for NTUTM.’’
Many people might consider I’m a perfectionist. And yes, I am, but only in a condition, that is when I’m devoting myself to something I love. When you love a place, or precisely, love the people in that place, you wouldn’t think much. You wouldn’t think much about how much you had done for it, how much time, how much effort, and does it worth. I don’t think much, I just do what I know is right. This is what stays the same in this journey.
Last semester, on my Presidential Election night, when my votes were being announced, agree, agree, agree, and agree, the number of votes were written on the little black broad. I stared at the board, actually thinking nothing ‘cause I was tired after the Campaign Speech and the 45-minute Q&A session. At that moment, Bill came to my side.
He whispered to me, ‘’Look at the votes, Claire. Remember, these are all the ones that believe in you, the ones that trust you as to give NTUTM in your hand. Remember that.’’
It was a quiet whisper, but it echoed in my heart profoundly all the way to today. This is what remains all the way in this journey. A remind, that makes me know certainly I would do it well. I would do it well because how I could disappoint the people that support me, help me, and believe in me all the way?
And then, it comes to what I discovered in this journey. The most important one, is the attitude of gratitude. In the interaction with my officers, usually I am patient to all the questions, all the problems, and all the ‘’Ah! I forgot!’’ I can be patient, because we’re a team, and there’s nothing that can’t be done through communication. Also, because I know you’re trying, you’re making effort for this club, and I appreciate that very much.
There was only one time, only one time, in a late night with really heavy schoolwork and club works. There were some problems from the officers, and actually the problems were not big. Nevertheless, I broke down a little. A little tears, some complaints, that was all for me, but after all it was not normal for me. Fortunately Ivan was there by then to comfort. After I calmed down, I came to think what happened to me. Then I knew the answer, in that precise period of time, I forgot to put gratitude in my heart. With gratitude, there’s really no big problem. We can always solve it. With gratitude, the club duties really has nothing to complain or angry about, and things would go smoothly and better out of expectation. This is what I discovered in this journey.
About what I gave up in this journey, actually ‘’change’’ may be a better word instead of ‘’giving up’’. In the past, I cared, in fact too much, about what others ‘’wish’’ me to do. It seems the boundary between wish and need was vague to me. In the journey of being a President, I gradually learn to distinguish them. Some of the issues indeed are better judged by others’ wishes, for example, to adjourn the meeting on time. However, sometimes it is also important that I know how I want to do. For instance, this Farewell Speech. Some people hope me to make it rational; some wish me to talk in sensibility; and some other hope me to thank the officers one by one; while still the other wish me to eliminate that part as much as possible. These are all great advice that I can refer to, but I should also ask myself: What do I want to do? Because, this is a speech that should best present myself. This is a lesson that I gradually learn and change in this journey, to classify the decision between need and want.
Now, it’s near the end of my Farewell Speech, and the end of my journey as a President. My successor, Joey Chen, would be a wise and farsighted leader. He possesses the elegance and the generous mind that can lead you into a new era. After my retirement, I would stay in NTUTM as a different role. Joey, I would be your consultant whenever you need me. Thank you, my dear officers, it is you, that achieve all the glories, that I fulfill my journey as a leader. This is our generation. The time is precious because of you, because of all of you. The way of happiness is really no mystery: It’s here and now, it’s you and me.
Now, I would like to end my Farewell Speech with a passage of a song, a song that means a lot to me, and I would like to invite all of you to sing with me.