Senses Working Overtime

Angela was wearing big groovy sunglasses as she stepped up to run Table Topics this week. Turns out this was more function than fashion: she was recovering from eye surgery. “It’s amazing how when you take away vision your other senses are heightened,” she said.

Indeed, this was Angela’s theme: the five senses. Thinking may get all the glory but in terms of the quality of our lives, sensing drives the bus. Discuss.

Hans got “sight,” which made him remember a recent eye test for colorblindness. The verdict: it’s a good thing Hans doesn’t work in a Smarties factory. He failed the test. Or rather, he passed with flying colors, if colorblindness was what was being tested.

Deborah got the sense of smell. She delivered a tidy two minutes on how taste and smell go together. They are like Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Each could have a passable solo career without the other, but they couldn’t fill Central Park.

Susan talked about the Won Ton soup she had at lunch – a taste almost still in her mouth. (Today’s Won Ton soup is never more than one good deep burp away.)

Borzo paused for a moment before his soliloquy on “hearing.” If you listened carefully, you could hear the hard drive in his brain spin. He recalled a time, not long ago, when he and his wife were trying to “sleep-train” the baby, using the Ferber method (a.k.a. “Let ‘Em Cry.”) If you think letting your child wail in the night is easy, you haven’t tried it. It’s a sound that evokes sympathy and guilt and a million complicated emotions in between. Borzo conked out in the middle of the jag. When he woke up his wife was there, looking as if she’d been pulled through a knothole backwards. She had endured 45 minutes of wailing. “At that moment, I discovered the difference between mothers and fathers,” Borzo said.

Lorne, who is in the printing business, aptly got “touch.” Before he got kicked up stairs to management, one of Lorne’s jobs was to fix printing machines when they broke down. For tricky manual dexterity demands, printing machines are up there with barbecues and cars. You’ve got to get your arms into tight places and navigate by feel. You’re working in the dark, sometimes literally. You close your eyes and visualize the part of the machine you need to engage with. “It amazes me how sensitive the human hand is,” Lorne said. “My thumb can roll over a screw and tell you if it’s a Phillips or a Robertson.”

Incoming District Governor Arjun Sumal, who was visiting us, mostly chose to watch and observe from the back. At the end he got up and said some nice things about our club.

We were touched.

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Build your public speaking and leadership skills at a dynamic mid-week, mid-day downtown Vancouver Toastmasters club.
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