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First Ever ChampTalk Enlights and Excites

First Ever ChampTalk Enlights and Excites

    Over 100 students filled the Champlain Room last Thursday, November 10th for the first ever ChampTalk -- a Ted Talk-style speaker series designed to inspire students through the sharing of cultural and creative ideas. The concept was concocted by students in Professor Tim Brooke’s Champlain College Publishing Initiative (CCPI) class.

    Brookes started off the night, as did Provost Laurie Quinn, by expressing their enthusiasm over the event. “Champlain is a community with so much to offer,” said Quinn. “That’s why we need to do this.”

    The night’s first presenter,  Julian López, spoke about the cultural differences between Western ideals and the Chinese lifestyle in order to “build a bridge between both cultures,” as he put it. His comprehensive discourse which he entitled China: Diplomatic Panda or Dangerous Dragon, was eye-opening and drew on examples of Chinese family life, relationships, education, politics, and nightlife learned firsthand from living in the country for a year.

    He ended his portion of the ChampTalk with a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt: “It is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have it, but whether we provide enough for those who have little.” As a reflection on the controversial election just two days before, López encouraged students to “stand with one another in order to progress.”

    Erik Shonstrom, the final speaker for the evening, lightened the mood of the room with his illustrious humor.“Next time I’ll have to bring Zac Efron up here with me, have him do some shirtless push-ups while I give my speech,” he said with a shrug. “I mean, how do I follow that?” he added, referring to López’s admirable speech beforehand.

    Author of The Indoor Epidemic: Why Parents, Teachers, and Kids Need to Start an Outdoor Revolution, Shonstrom quickly switched gears and spoke about the serious topic of living a life indoors and how it “erodes imagination, weakens bodies, and encourages apathy.” This, he believes, is against our morphology; little genuine interest in education can happen in such a closed-in environment.”When you’re learning like this, you sometimes forget that you have a body.” He argued his case by further stating, “getting outside revolutionizes learning.”

    To close the momentous evening, Brookes encouraged audience members to submit feedback which would help shape future ChampTalks and applauded CCPI for having created such an inspirational and scholastic event for the benefit of the Champlain community. A live recording of the ChampTalk will be available online at a later date. The group expects the next stirring seminar to take place in the spring semester, so keep up to date with the Crossover for a link to the video and upcoming ChampTalk news.

Mike Finoia, Live in Burlington

Mike Finoia, Live in Burlington

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