Boaters Toastmasters

Toastmaster club. District 72, New Zealand. Rakaia Building, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Madras Street, Chch.

Dark times loom…

Two men standing in front of a Toastmasters club banner covered in ribbons
BLOG by Maria Vasquez
Idea : 90% Maria – 10% chatGPT
Writer: 10% Maria – 90% chatGPT
Title : Capturing the Essence: AI as a Co-Author for Non-Native Speakers

Bienvenidos to my Toastmasters journey! I’m Maria Vasquez, a proud Latina living in New Zealand, navigating through the beautiful English language—one Toastmasters meeting at a time. With AI as my secret co-author, I’m here to share how technology becomes my bridge over linguistic waters.

At our latest gathering, Max, our Toastmaster of the day, artfully wove the theme of ‘Dark Times Loom’ through the session. As I listened, AI whispered in my ear, translating cultural nuances and brightening the corners of my comprehension. Max shared advice for coping with life’s darker moments: basking in the sun, keeping our social calendars buzzing, and planning a holiday. His words, illuminated by AI, reminded me that light can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn it on.

Erika, our Grammarian, introduced “dullness” as the word of the day. The irony wasn’t lost on me—there was nothing dull about learning through AI’s lens. Each time a speaker used the word, my AI companion provided me with rich definitions and examples, ensuring that the only dullness I experienced was the word itself, not the learning.

Then Louise took the stage, emphasizing the importance of keeping a blog in Toastmasters. As I pen down my thoughts now, I reflect on how AI transforms my fragmented experiences into a coherent narrative. Like a co-author, it breathes life into my notes, stitching together my understanding of speeches with background information and cultural context.

As I share this journey, the photos from our sessions are more than just images. They’re snapshots of moments where AI enabled me to laugh along with jokes I would have otherwise missed and to grasp the heartfelt stories behind each speaker’s words. Through these visual memories, I bring you into our world, a place where the warmth of community and the glow of understanding defy any darkness.

As I conclude, I’m filled with gratitude. Grateful to be part of a community that celebrates growth, and grateful for the AI that amplifies my voice, ensuring that my message, like every speech delivered in our club, resonates clearly and vibrantly. This is my Toastmasters tale, where even amidst the complexities of language, my essence—my voice—shines through.

Until next time, keep speaking, keep sharing, and let technology illuminate your path. Hasta la próxima, amigos!