Tag Archives: Speech

Former homeless man delivers motivational speech

Andres Lara is “The Cuban Guy.” He escaped from Cuba when he was only 16 years old and attended high school in the United States.

Lara graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a degree in speech communication and a minor in creative writing. He went on to become a motivational speaker and is now known as “The Cuban Guy.”

Lara’s motivational speeches are peppered with activities for the audience. These activities include  dancing, teamwork games and chants that he has the audience to yell at each other.

Everything works toward one goal, which is motivation.

“I am going to increase your energy by 10 percent,” Lara said.

He started playing music from his iPod speaker to arouse the audience and get them ready to dance. He also called volunteers upfront to teach the rest of audience new dance moves.

During his speech, Lara used many of his personal life experiences to make the speech more personal.

Lara began with an acronym, promising more to come. His first acronym was OYA, which stands for Off Your Anatomy.

“One thing is not enough,” Lara said. “You can want all you want, but unless you’re off your anatomy and taking action, you won’t get what you want.”

After taking a volunteer from the audience and asking him to rip a phonebook in half, Lara moved on to his next point, which was another acronym: ASS, which stands for Act on Small Steps.

“You can turn the impossible into the possible, the difficult into the easy and the unmanageable into the manageable,” Lara said.

The next step in his speech was a teamwork activity where a majority of the people in the audience learned a thing or two about homework.

The next acronym he introduced was FU, Focus Unity, which was all about being a good team member.

“You could be an awesome group where you actually communicate with purpose,” Lara said. “Some of the quietest people in your team could have the greatest ideas.”

On the boat to America, Lara and the rest of the people were given a motivational speech that he says he will never forget.

The sirens had started ringing, and everyone on the boat escaping from Cuba feared they would either be killed, drowned or sent to prison for life.

“We were scared, actually scared,” Lara said. “We were petrified.”

A man on the boat got up to tell them that there was no way they were going back, and that whatever happened to them if they kept going forward, going back would be worse.

“The pain of moving forward is temporary,” Lara said. “But the pain of quitting is permanent.”

Lara ended his speech with a story about how he discovered motivational speaking was his passion.  He was a freshman in college when a motivational speaker visited his school.

Watching the man speak, he realized that he wanted to follow that career path.

“The last thought that came into my head that night was, ‘I am going to be a motivational speaker,’” Lara said. “The thought kept coming back again and again.”

Now, before he begins any of his speeches, his first thought is, “I am a speaker.”

Gilberto Galvez can be reached at


Unconcious mind affects behavior, holds on to stereotypes

Jean Moule, a professor from Oregon State University, delivers her “Understanding Unconscious Bias and Unintentional Racism” lecture at Linfield, concluding that past stereotypes have engrained temdencies in our unconcious minds that are difficult to get rid of. Kate Straube/Photo editor

In today’s society, most people deny being racist. However, many of us may hold on to stereotypes in our unconsciousness, according to research done by Jean Moule Ph.D., an Oregon State University professor.

Moule, who works in the College of Education at OSU, is the author of “Cultural Competence: A Primer for Educators,” a book that informs teachers on how to educate students from all backgrounds.

She doesn’t want people to hide the cultural biases and stereotypes they hold, but rather to recognize the problem and take steps against their own racist thoughts.

In her March 13 lecture titled “Understanding Unconscious Bias and Unintentional Racism,” Moule taught her audience that while many would believe otherwise, the stereotypes and biases we hear as a member of society affect us, if not consciously than unconsciously.

“Hearing her perspective, it’s interesting that we can feel like we are not biased,” said Diane Allen, a visiting professor from the education department.

Allen plans to use the information she has gathered from Moule’s lecture and book in educating her student-teachers.

“It may become a requirement for a person in any job to be culturally competent,” Allen said.

According to Moule, if a person starts his or her sentence with, “I’m not a racist, but…,” then the rest of the person’s sentence is going to be racist.

“If you hear someone say that, listen real closely,” Moule said.

This is a perfect example of what Moule is trying to prevent: people saying and acting racist without realizing that they are.

Moule claims that she would prefer to work with someone who knows that they have race issues, rather than with an unconscious racist.

“At least you know where they stand,” Moule said.

For those who hold on to cultural biases, the first step is to recognize the problem. The next step is to be a learner and to be curious about other cultures. Then, take steps against one’s own thoughts. Don’t let racist thoughts influence one’s behavior.

Her final piece of advice was to listen when someone brings up race as an issue.

“Oregon is a very white state,” Allen said. “Your background hasn’t prepared you, as much as you’d like to think that you’re open and liberal.”

Moule believes that instead of focusing on treating everybody the same, we need to focus on learning to accept everyone’s differences.

“We should celebrate [cultural] differences and not try to deny that there are differences,” Allen said.

Moule graduated with a degree in art with a minor in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. She moved to Oregon, earning her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Oregon.

Moule then earned her doctorate in education.

Meghan O’Rourke/
Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

When study abroad disaster strikes

Three students gave a presentation about their study abroad experiences of the recent earthquakes in Japan and Christchurch, New Zealand. The presentation took place Nov. 3 in Jonasson Hall.

Senior Elizabeth Stenger began the presentation with her experience of the Christchurch earthquake.

“We didn’t have any idea what was going on,” Stenger said. “The power went out, and the ground was shaking.  We thought it was an aftershock but it just kept going.”

Junior Jen Boston was also studying abroad in New Zealand when the earthquake hit, although she said she was in Dunedin, a city  south of Christchurch.

“I didn’t find out until my host said to go watch the news,” Boston said. “On TV there were pictures of cracked roads and flooding. It was shocking because N.Z. doesn’t censor their news like the U.S. does. You could see bodies lying under rubble and stuff.”

Senior Ariel Lillico experienced the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan while she was studying abroad in Tokyo. Lillico said the earthquake was far away from Tokyo, but they could still feel it.

“I was in my dorm when the earthquake hit,” Lillico said. “The school was near a hospital, so we got power back pretty quickly, but most of the area around didn’t have power.”

Lillico said one of the first things she did after the earthquake ended was get on Facebook and tell everyone that she was okay.

The presenters advised any student who might encounter a natural disaster while studying abroad to keep in contact with their parents and the people at home. Staying in the loop of communication was important during an emergency, they said.

Stenger said that it took two and a half hours for her to get cell phone service so she could call her mother.

“I remember the first message we got was ‘people are hurt,’” Stenger said. “We got a message from the school that they were evacuating the international students. My roommate and I went to spend a week at a friend’s house in Wellington. I think that was a good decision—the parents were wonderful.”

Lillico said that Linfield gave its students in Japan the option to stay or go home, unlike some schools that pulled their students out of Japan.

“I never considered going home,” Lillico said. “I never really felt in danger. A lot of other students were required to go home. Everyone who stayed was really passionate about their opportunity to see Japanese culture, and they didn’t want to have to give that up.”

All in all, the presenters agreed that experiencing disasters while studying abroad was an unforgettable experience, and not necessarily in a bad way.

“The Christchurch earthquake opened up another window into the culture–how they react to disasters,” Boston said. “They pulled through in the most incredible way possible. I learned a lot about myself in that time.”

Sharon Gollery/
Cultures editor
Sharon Gollerycan be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

Alumna passes on passion, shares her stories of Kabul

Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, which is often considered an unsafe destination for Americans, is just the place Rachel Mills, class of ’11, decided to visit.

Mills spent four weeks this past summer in Kabul with a few other American students, teaching students at the Kateb Institute of Higher Learning and Tabesh Institute of Higher Learning.

Her instruction focused on explaining how to debate.

At the end of the class, her students participated in a debate tournament.

The four other American students who accompanied Rachel to Afghanistan were Josh McCormick of Yale University, Clayton Goss of Sam Houston State University, Nick Ducote of Louisiana Tech University and Rachel Cox of Louisiana State University at Shreveport.

“All were experienced IPDA debaters, with five national championships among us,” Mills said.

Two of Mills’ students from Tabesh Institute for Higher Learning won the tournament.

Two of her students from Kateb Institute of Higher Learning placed in the top 10.

Mills said that the students who grew up in a country that is just beginning to gain individual freedom have a difficult time grasping the concept of debate. The students worked hard though, and improved drastically, she said.

Kabul is a mix of traditional and progressive, where one may see a goat herder walking down the street next to a smart car.

“Younger generations are looking outside of their country,”  Mills said during her presentation.

Contrary to stereotypes, Afghanistan residents are actually grateful for America’s help, she said.

Mills said that while they eventually want to have an independent stable government, they recognize that they need assistance to get to that point.

“The people have such a resilience,” Mills said.

She said she decided to go to Afghanistan “on a whim.”

She applied for the program through an organization called Afghans for Progressive Thinking, which works with university students around the world to help motivate students in Afghanistan to build a better country through lectures and workshops.

While Mills said she doesn’t intend to live in Kabul forever, she is returning next August to help expand the debate project she worked on last summer.

This time, Mills will teach Afghan students how to create their own a sustainable debate program.

Freshman Cody Purchase said that his favorite part of the lecture was how Mills got along with the Afghan students despite the impression from the media and how she could see their potential.

While Mills’s short-term plans involve visiting Afghanistan a second time, Mills said her long-term goal is to “become a juvenile fiction author, writing about events going on in other places.”

Meghan O’Rourke/
Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.