If you’re excited for September, clap your hands.

I know I am.

There are exactly six days remaining till Imagine Day (which coincidentally is also International Literacy Day and my birthday), 13 days remaining (eek!) until applications close for TEDx Terry talks 2009, and 28 days remaining until Sir Ken gives what is sure to be an amazing talk at the Chan.

Shortly thereafter on October 3rd, Terry* lovers of every variety will head to the Life Sciences Centre for a brilliant day of talks, laughter, sharing and everything wonderful at TEDx Terry talks 2009.

But before we can get there, we need your help terry* readers.

Consider it an early birthday gift if you like. Or a way to express your energy and enthusiasm about Sir Ken’s upcoming visit. Either way, lovely readers, we need you.

More specifically, we need you to encourage, cajole and inspire the terrific students you know to send in a video application for TEDx Terry talks 2009 before our Sept 15th deadline. You are the doers of campus: the writers of campus publications, the brains behind orientation programming, the leaders in student government, the participants in student directed seminars, the academic superstars of UBC (the list could go on and on). You are the change makers of this campus.

And as change makers and leaders, undoubtedly within your networks of contacts are fabulous students. So in the next couple of weeks as you do the wonderful things that you do, share your love of terry* with others! A key component of the success of this event will be the speakers we select to share their passions and energy and ideas in unforgettable eighteen minute segments. The speakers aren’t the only success factor: audience participation, the booths in the atrium, the TED videos, the food, all of these things matter, but the speakers are the inspirational glue that brings all these elements together.

So perhaps you have a friend who hasn’t heard of terry* (*tear*) but does amazing things and is the sort of fascinating individual that would actually love TEDx Terry talks 2009, but they simply haven’t heard of us yet. Or maybe you know people who are aware of the looming deadline, and are a bit nervous to actually sit down and record themselves on video. In both cases, that is where you come in: to increase awareness, direct them to the website and to encourage them to “feel the fear and do it anyway”, and submit their ideas to our committee.

This is important because a) on October 3rd we want to gather UBC’s most fascinating and engaging students under one roof. Amazing speakers make the event that much more meaningful, and we’re aspiring for excellence.

The second reason though, is purely personal. Last year, I didn’t manage to attend Terry Talks. I imagined and daydreamed and wondered about what the day would be like for weeks beforehand, and then the day of, something unavoidable came up and I simply couldn’t make it up to campus. And oh how I’ve mourned the day ever since! When I read the feedback forms from Terry Talks 2008 earlier this summer, I got a bit teary thinking of all the fun I missed.

And so terry* readers, what I really want for my birthday this year is this: your assistance in spreading the word and helping me heal my (still) disappointed heart.

Because I’m curious about how this terry* challenge will progress, please do post in the comments about how you’re spreading the word. (ex: I wrote a post on my blog. I set aside 10 minutes at an exec meeting for people to record their video applications. I emailed all the students in my undergrad society, etc.) Be creative, and again, please do let us know how it goes. Good luck! 🙂

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Shagufta is a UBC Political Science graduate with a passion for interdisciplinary thinking, writing, travel, reading, tea, and interesting conversations. She hopes to combine all of these things in her life work someday. For now though, she studies social policy and planning at the University of Toronto and shares her adventures in and out of the classroom at http://seriouslyplanning.wordpress.com.