So I meant to post this on Wednesday or Thursday, but I never got the opportunity. On Wednesday, a group of us went to watch a group of youths from around Manitoba do TED Talks. It was a really cool experience and there were some great presenters. One that comes to mind just off the top of my head was a guy named Nereo the II. He was guy who had given up a "real" job to pursue what made him truly happy, spoken word poetry and art. He told us about coming back from a rap battle in Cincinnati, Ohio and getting arrested at the US/Canada border for having drugs on his person. He got taken to court here in Winnipeg and as he was pleading his case the judge found out that he did spoken word, and said, "Go ahead, do some" and so Nereo did the same spoken word for us as he did for the judge. And the judge threw out the case. Why? Well it turned out that he was a director on the board of Rainbow Stage (A semi professional musical theatre group in Winnipeg) and seeing Nereo do that spoken word reminded him of a good time when the arts was a huge part of his life. Well Nereo took that and went with it, but he didn't stay out of trouble that long. Five years later or so, he got caught spray painting a cop car. They brought him in to do some questioning, and as the officers questioned him and demanded to know what he was thinking, he did another spoken word. And the arresting officer looked at him and said that he had wished they had met somewhere else, and that art was something Nereo should pursue, not vandalizing. So he did. He start a group for artists and had one of his students come out to do a spoken word, and finally he did one last spoken word for us to end the speech on a super high note. I'd give his performance a 4/5.
Another great presenter was Chris Voth. He is the first openly gay National level volleyball player. And he talked to us about all that, and how he had transformed into the man he is today. I don't remember all the little details of his speech, but it was very passionate and very very good. The theme of this whole event was "Transformers" so all of the speeches had something to do with change or growth, but some didn't necessarily hit the intended mark. There were a couple who just didn't know how to put what they were saying into a way that was positive for the audience, but I know first hand how hard it is to be on stage in front of strangers, so I applaud every presenter's effort.
The entire day was awesome, and I would recommend to anyone to go see a TED event if you ever get the opportunity, because they are phenomenal!