Monday, May 6, 2019

Today at Toastmasters, we talked about inspiration. Some of our biggest inspirations are each other. We have come to a point where we are no longer strangers; we are now brothers, and we are bonded forever. We have come to love and respect one another.

Toastmasters has helped us to become confident. We are sad to see that our time together, sharing our life stories, is coming to an end. However, we can now help the brothers coming in to the new class be the same united brotherhood that we are.

This has been a journey and an experience that we will never forget. We are proud to have been a part of Toastmasters and PEP. Thank you and God bless.

Albert A. (a.k.a. “Shania Twain”)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Today, faithful readers, we sensed how things are hurtling towards “G-Day” for the Conquerors of Spring ’19. Our graduation day of May 31st grows ever closer, and the pace grows ever more hectic. Some arose early while others slept in a bit later, luxuriating in the fact that most of us had no class today.

All of us studied for the tests tomorrow in our Entrepreneurial class (current subject: franchising, or how McDonalds lets you “have it your way” – their way) and for the vocabulary and comprehension test on Crime and Punishment. This Russian novel from the 19th Century details a world we all currently inhabit, albeit in many less words. We are also practicing our business pitches, having recently been exhorted to “know ‘em cold and do ‘em bold,” approximately 50 times a week, between now and the contest at the end of May.

Today it rained cats and dogs, or at least hamsters and gerbils, so we were treated to the gentle rhythm of rain on the rooftop and an occasional clap of thunder to remind us of the wonders of nature and the flow of life here in the waning days of Phase Two. Sometimes gentle like the falling rain, sometimes loud and unexpected like thunder, but all part of our PEP experience.   

Paul A. (a.k.a. “Life Alert”)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Today, we took our last test from our Entrepreneurship textbook. For the most part, everyone did surprisingly well. Afterwards, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Then we celebrated by giving ourselves a big hand of applause.

After a brief celebration, we received our Etiquette handouts to study in preparation for our guest speaker this Friday. We will receive instruction from Colleen Rickenbacher, author of Be On Your Best Business Behavior. She will be giving us a refresher course on manners and proper etiquette.

For the remainder of the class, we practiced our pitches for our upcoming Business Plan Competition (BPC). We had enough time for about half of the class to stand up and give their pitches. We have been instructed to present our pitches to fellow PEP brothers seven times a day until the BPC.

Gunnar A. (a.k.a. “Rafiki”)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Today, many of us had Computer Lab. There are still some assignments that need to be completed before graduation. Some of us are still trying to finish up some last-minute market research.

As graduation draws nearer, there are many things that need to be ironed out. We are polishing the rough edges of our pitches so that we will be more confident in the Business Plan Competition. Though many of us are nervous, there is an unmistakable excitement in the air.

Some Spring ’19 classmates have taken the initiative to help the Fall ’19 class in their journey through Leadership Academy. Seeing these gentlemen grow, as they close out the first phase of the program, is an awesome experience. It allows us to reflect on how far we have come in our own PEP experience.

Anthony B. (a.k.a. “Boomhauer”)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Today leaves us with three weeks left until graduation. Although there is a sensation of relief, there is also the surprising realization that this will all be coming to an end. All the hard work required to get Spring ’19 to where we are now has been stressful at times, as well as rewarding. May 31st will be another one of those rewarding times.

Colleen Rickenbacher, the author of one of the books we are assigned to read, granted us the privilege of listening to her speak about proper business behavior and etiquette. She drove for five hours to get here, which we were all very grateful for! The information she blessed us with included everything from how to tie a tie to respectfully asking a girl out on a date. She had a great speaking voice, so she was very easy to listen to. Even though some of us considered ourselves fairly well aware of how to act in professional situations, she surprised us numerous times with valuable information we had never even considered before.

We have made it our goal to learn how to act professionally in the future. Sometimes we don’t realize how time can make us act differently until a situation presents itself, and we get a chance to see how others truly perceive us. This is something that my PEP brothers and I need if we are to achieve our dreams in the future.

Joshua B. (a.k.a. “McLovin”)


“Doubt is the vestibule which all men must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom.”

~ Charles Caleb Colton

A man thinks he is doing something wrong just because he doesn’t get something right the first time. In reality, he is learning, just like the masters before him. A young person may think something isn’t right in a situation, and a simple person may try and convince him that the issue isn’t important, thus losing that thread of an idea.

Perhaps someone full of ingenuity will be more likely to battle social dilemmas and/or save someone from certain destruction. Perhaps his mind is wired to see a bigger picture. Maybe he was always meant to be a blessed hero under God. Yes, it would be a blessing to engage in an intelligent conversation with this person.

Unfortunately, he can “doubt his ideas to sleep” due to the influence of the simple people, and his ingenuity may be lost. His gift, like sweet and delicious fruit, can rot and be lost if the environment is not favorable. Hopefully, that fruit will bear seed and be grown in a new garden. That is the nature of wisdom. It must be tended to and nurtured like a fruit-bearing plant or be lost forever.

Guy P. (a.k.a. “Slingblade”)