"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope." – Winston Churchill
Nadyne Crumly, Speech/Human Relations Instructor at North Platte Community College, has long recognized the importance and power of words. To that end, students in her Public Speaking classes each semester are challenged to select any word they like, research it, and present a speech about the word to Crumly, the class, and judges.
Crumly said she got the idea for a speech challenge after reading an article in the North Platte Telegraph several years ago about a college student at Istanbul University in Turkey.
"Nusret Sanjakli won a Japanese speech contest and got a trip to Tokyo as a prize. His topic: the word 'Toruko,' which was the Japanese word for Turkey," she said. "More universally it was used for the sort of establishment described in most other countries as a 'massage parlor.' Sanjakli's speech was an attempt to make the Japanese people aware of the problem."
Crumly's students are judged in areas such as giving a good definition of their word, using it in a way that it isn't typically used or associated with, their research on the origin and history of the word, speaking extemporaneously and having good eye contact. When she learned that several students in this semester's class had traveled outside of the U.S., Crumly put an international spin on the project when she encouraged them to choose a word that isn't English.
The words the students selected include: balagan, infinite, honor, tín, simplicity, taradiddle, veneration, and ambition. Judges were Joanna Jacobs, Student Success Center Assistant, and Sky Seery, Library Technician II.
First place awards went to Mik Keeling of Sutherland and Forrest King of North Platte; second place winners were Nga Nguy?n of North Platte and Talina Ramsey of Gothenburg; third place went to Seth Kelley and Rascal Martinez, both of North Platte; and Tre´Vaun Hymer of Omaha and Ashley Jones of North Platte received fourth place awards.