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(This is initially a speech delivered for the Competent Communicator Manual of Toastmaster International. My Basic Speech 8)

Main objective of Speech 8 is to Get Comfortable With Visual Aids — It examines the use of slides, transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards, or props.

For this project I use my drawings as my visual aids.

When I Was A Kid

Self-knowledge is represented in the individual’s memory, meaning – if you want to know yourself then think about what you remember from your past. It was John Locke who suggested that a person’s identity extends to whatever of his / her past that ONLY he / she can remember.

Locke’s memory theory of personal identity conclude that memory is both a necessary and sufficient condition of self, and, therein, personal identity. Of course, the theory has been through a number of scrutiny, debate and rejection. Nevertheless, supposing that it is true I materialized my childhood memories through drawings, hoping that in the process I might discover myself.

Seventeen years ago, when I was five years old, I remember looking out from a window. From that window, I could see my friends

playing. There was this yearning to play with them but I cannot because I was inside my room behind a desk with my tutor seating beside me. My tutor was a young lady, quite beautiful but beneath that sweet demeanor was a strict teacher.

“Finish your letters first,” my tutor said as I practice my scriptwriting.

“Once you are done, then you can go out and play,” she said.

So, every day in the afternoon, my friends play outside while I seat behind my desk glancing in the window every now and then and hoping that I would finish my letters fast enough to have time to play.

Surprisingly, my tutor’s words linger until now. Seems like I cannot allow myself to have some fun or even rest as long as there’s an unfinished tasks that I have to accomplish.

The second memory was still at the age of five. I remember myself inside my room with a pencil and a paper. I was lying with my

stomach on the floor, staring at an image and doing my first attempt of sketching. For the first time an image struck me so much that I cannot help but to keep it on a paper. Without any background or even interest in sketching I decided to draw the image that

enchanted me so intently. It was an image of birds flying.

Even at present, flying birds have its particular charm that will always catch my attention. I remember during my graduation, despite the speech that was being delivered by the president of my university, I was busy staring at the birds flying around a huge tree.

Then, at the age of six, I started drawing open houses. The drawing was a simple house equipped with different rooms like bedroom, kitchen, living room and a beautiful garden. And then, I imagine a family living in those drawings. There will always be the father, mother, daughter and son.

I did not become an architect or an engineer and I no longer draw houses. However, since technology provided a virtual world of houses and neighborhood in a widely known PC game called SIMS, I satisfied myself with playing just that (game). In the game, I have nine families with unique personalities that match their lifestyles and the design of their houses. I have been reserving the tenth spot for my own family.

And then, much of my childhood memories were with my older brother. When we play, furniture at home becomes product of our imagination. The red sofa at our living room would turn into a Jeepney.

My brother was the driver and I was his loyal and only passenger. For one hour we would be playing just that, going to different places while I pay my fare endlessly.

If it is not the sofa then it would be our double deck bed. The double deck was then a trailer that will bring us to far areas. In that trailer we have been to deserts, virgin forests and even in outer space.

If we cannot use the two then off we go to my parent’s room to play with their pillows. The huge pillows would turn to flashy motorcycles. For hours and hours, my brother and I imagined ourselves as bikers racing until my brother crossed the finish line first.

Travelling with my brother is the biggest dream. Exploring the world and understanding the different cultures are the main motivations for my saving, because I know one day all those imaginations will be my reality.

And lastly, I was seven when my brother and I decided to build our own city in bond papers. The drawings of city plans would go as far as 20 pages. The idea came from my brother who saw my father brought home some blueprints. From then on we meticulously and carefully built our own city.

Today, whenever we ride a plane I would always insist on sitting beside the window. Because I know at night all the city lights will illuminate the entire city. With that view, I remember the cities I drew with my brother which was exactly like what I am seeing in the window.

In every second of our lives, there will be changes. I am a certain person when I entered this room but a different one when I get out. Perhaps, I’ll be more confident, a little bit wiser? Who knows? However, there are things that will remain – things that we treasure most about ourselves.

Even though, I am legally an adult, there will always be that girl.

The girl who cannot allow herself some amusement without hard work;

the girl who understands the promises of freedom (just by looking at birds);

the girl who admires the joys ang blessings in a family;

the girl who dreams of going to different places because she knows that the world is bigger than her imagination and

the girl who admires order and system.

Now, I wonder who are you when you were a kid?

Other related posts which you may be interested in reading:

A Creative Fight (Toastmasters: Basic Speech 9)

My Father’s Promise (Toastmasters: Basic Speech 10)

Toastmasters: A Love Story