Monday, March 16, 2015
There’s one question seniors hate: “What are you doing after you graduate?” Most people respond with grad school, applying for a job, traveling, etc. My friend and I, however, came up with a fool-proof, all-inclusive, flippant response: “I’m joining the circus.” This was funny until I met someone who actually did. Yesterday, Binghamton hosted its annual TEDx event - which is an independently organized branch of the famous TED talks. (If you don’t know what ted talks are…well, you should probably get on that..) Completely student run, this year’s event was themed Walk the Talk. The event was completely sold out as the theater packed itself tight of students and other local community members. There were 7 speakers across numerous fields, and a couple were actually Binghamton alumni including the famous Sunny Hostin and Christopher Fix. TEDx also featured a Binghamton student speaker for the first time who’s talk was titled, ‘Porn: The New Tobacco.’ (Ya gotta see it to believe it!)
So, what is the mission of TED? Their slogan/catchphrase/mission is: IDEAS WORTH SPREADING. Although I enjoyed all of the speeches, the best part was during intermission after the Quimbamba performance (the university latin dance group). In the bathroom and hallway, I heard everyone debriefing the ideas from the speeches and discussing their thoughts, opinions, and commentary. That’s the beauty of Ted talks. Everyone can connect to them, and I got to personally witness ideas spreading across the Binghamton community. With all the issues we face around the globe today, communication is the first step to solving them. Communication is how we connect, which is essential in a broken world.
As the trend goes, I believe they saved the best for last. Starting off with a performance, Lisa Lottie wowed the crowd with a dynamite hoola hoop performance. She followed her act with a confident and honest talk about how she got to where she is today. She grew up either in or near Amsterdam and at age 13 had to take a career aptitude test which would decide the path of courses she would take from then until graduation. Her results were a baker or jam maker. Having no interest in such a field, she struggled academically and ended up dropping out. One day she picked up a hoola hoop and was terrible at it. But she was hooked. She watched all seven youtube videos that were available on hoola hooping back then, and practiced and practiced and practiced. Until age 21, she lived in distress that she had no passion, no talent, no direction - which unfortunately is something that many of us feel. The beauty of her talk besides the idea of following your passions, is that if you take a discipline and commit 100% of yourself to it, you can become great. It will all work out. Similar to the theme of Sunny’s speech, what you’re born with does not determine who you will be in this world. You are who you make yourself to be. #inspiration Anyway, she ended up joining the circus and then did a street show for a while, and made herself into a professional performer. Anything is possible. What an incredible way to end the event.
Here’s a video to check her out for yourself!
Here’s a link to learn more about all the speakers at the event! (I believe videos of their talks will be posted in the near future).
TEDx: Walk the Talk