News on the Brie Front:
Joined Toastmasters (thanks to Annie & Tyler) just this past week, and acted as Toastmaster for the meeting last week for the first time. Here is their very nice website. What does the Toastmaster do at the meeting? Well, here is some very detailed information. Normally someone who has been around longer does it, but I'd already been to four meetings, and no one else was available to fill the spot, and I had a topic, so there it went.
My topic was Roleplaying. I got a lot of great feedback, even though I was nervous as hell. A large excerpt from my opening intro:
Every weekend I get together with my friends to play RPGs – roleplaying games (not rocket-propelled grenades, although that might be pretty fun). We sit around a table with character sheets and roll dice to see if we can defeat monsters, rescue damsels in distress, or undo magical traps that might melt our faces off if we fail. We all have "stats" – defined attributes like Charisma, Strength, and Wisdom – which we use to calculate our successes. It sounds really dorky, I know, but it's a great time, and lets us play roles we never could in real life – from knights to angry trolls.
In real life, though, people play roles every day. There is the role of a parent, or an engineer, or even the role of a friend when someone is in need. There are people in real life who play the roles of heroes and villains – just watch the news, and you'll see people lining up to play a part. There are firefighters and policemen, but there are also terrorists and criminals. In real life, we don't roll a die to see if we succeed. We just do it.
I was pretty pleased with it. At the meetings, it is customary for everyone to shake hands as they come up to speak, and before they sit back down. Since shaking hands in front of people makes me feel super nervous, I instead had everyone roll a D20. It was an adjustment for some people, weirded some people out, but lots of people had fun with it.
I also had the opportunity the weekend before that to introduce a strange kid to gaming. At Borders during their closing sales, I was reading over the GM guides in Pathfinder and Vampire: The Masquerade (I think that's the one) and a kid who plays "tons of RPGs on [his] DS" walked over with his mom, and they were looking at the books, but a little confused by the concept (even though the mom said her husband used to play). I gave them the general run down, and the kid ended up putting an entire book series back on the shelf in order to pick up the Players Handbook and Core Rulebook for D&D 4.0.
I think gaming is really fun. I think it's helped me build some good friendships/acquaintanceships. I think it's made me better with people. It's also given me the chance to get away from the everyday, and that's fantastic.
Over the next couple weeks on my break from school, I'm practicing building characters and putting together some backups for our different systems we play. I'm reading the GM manuals. It's hopefully going to keep me getting geared up! I'll also be working on Toastmasters stuff, too, prepping for my first speeches.
Oh, and watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.