Public speaking training was an important part of attending Ambassador College. One of the most valuable skills I learned there. Tracy the young lady from the previous story who despised me happened to get assigned to the same beginners speech lab as me.
One of our first assignments was to record our voice reading something to the rest of the group. The idea was to give us something to evaluate and work with. I stumbled out of the gate but ended up making one of the best friends I made at college.
Without going into any embarrassing details, the selections I chose didn't do a good job of yielding a sample of my speaking voice. The class found the whole thing extremely funny – tears rolling down faces funny. I passed the assignment but didn't really accomplish anything for my public speaking. After class Tracy and I walked down to the student centre together. She was still very amused and told me that I wasn't at all the stuffed shirt so and so she had thought I was. Maybe looking foolish is one of my most endearing qualities.
After that we went to a lot of activities together and had a lot of fun. We dated a few times although that needs a little clarification. At Ambassador College we students were pretty much required to date but as freshman we were forbidden to get romantically involved. If you attended there during those years you'd understand. If you didn't please don't ask me to explain that. Tracy and I were always just good friends. We were never romantically involved.
All students also attended something called Spokesman's Club. Clubs were limited in size so there had to be quite a few of them and each had a mix of lower and upperclassmen. The clubs for men would have a ladies night and the ladies would have men night. We were expected to have dates for that event. For my first ladies night, I brought along Tracy. For a not very confident young man this could be quite intimidating. Especially table topics which all the club members were expected to participate in.
A topicsmaster is given the floor and asks a series of questions for members to discuss. During ladies night the first thing you would do when responding to a question would be to introduce your date. I heard a safe subject to comment on and raised my hand. When selected I rose nervously to my feet. I'm Canadian I don't look nervous ever but that didn't mean my mind was fully functional. I paused to think during Tracy's introduction the think glancing down. It looked like I glanced down to check her name tag. That is not what I was doing. There were a few snickers and Tracy of course found it hysterically funny not doubting that I just might have done that on purpose. She gave me a playful smack over the head for it later.
Before club was over it was announced that our club had managed to volunteer a group to answer literature request phone calls. Out of respect for the ladies present, they were invited to join us if they wanted to. Tracy was of course all excited about that and that episode is a whole other story.
First impressions aren't always correct. Sometimes they're even way off base. By the time our initial encounter was over Tracy absolutely hated my guts.