Cherry and Rose were motivated to enter the public speaking contest hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion when they knew there would be prizes for the first three winners.
The contest day was March 1, 2014. They started preparing for it when Chen saw the post on the website one week before. What made this competition easier for the participants was that they could select any subject as their topic without a restriction on the theme.
Cherry was impressed by Ray Zahab, who recently visited her school to talk about his background (he lived an unhealthy lifestyle for many years before making some positive changes in his diet and exercise regime), and his later life as an adventurer. So she wrote an essay on Ray Zahab and talked about his adventure in the Sahara desert, the Gobi (I just realize that the Chinese word Gebi might come from this word) desert, South Pole, Amazon Jungle, and Death Valley etc.
She also asked us to print off some 10 pictures to assist in the speech. The essay was short but was well organized, considering her age. Except from changing “from here to here” to “from Senegal to Rea Sea”, I didn’t touch it anymore.
Rose chose to talk about Denny Morrison and Gilmore Junio as a result of watching the Olympic Games almost every night those days. However her essay was kind of in a Virginia Woolf style, if I could use this term. I was kind of busy those days with Kingsong’s bursary applications which included providing 2013 tax returns, and chose a shortcut in helping Rose, hoping that she would learn some basic writing skills.
So I led Rose to read some reports online. One is “Denny Morrison inspired to continue racing because of Gilmore Junior” and the other one is “5 ways Canada is winning the Sochi Games with Olympic spirit”. I showed her how to cite from these two articles and add a last paragraph talking about how Cherry and she motivated each other and grew up together. It is interesting to hear that Rose said that the last paragraph I suggested was off topic!
So on Friday both Cherry and Rose had a rehearsal at home. They still froze at times. I was afraid that they would ask for using cue cards but it seems that it was not in their mind.
Watching all other 27 competitors presenting their speeches was surely a great learning experience not only for the twins but for me. There were 24 contestants in the junior group (grade 4 – grade 6) and only 5 kids ran for the three prizes in the Primary group (grade 1- grade 3).
It was their first time trying public speaking. I didn’t expect anything and hoped they would feel comfortable speaking in public. They seemed to be doing fine in standing in front of some 80 people in the room to present their speech. Cherry was also lucky enough to take the third price.