Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross
Written by Jack Ross
"When people are asked to name the things they most like to do, the one thing that should head almost every list is seldom mentioned. That one thing is talking. Most people would rather talk to and with other people than almost anything else.
It's a bit surprising, then, to find some saying they hesitate to give a program in their chapter. Giving a program really is just a matter of visiting with your sisters in the chapter in a way that is a bit more organized than usual.
The part of a meeting devoted to a program should very definitely be an enriching social experience, as well as a cultural experience. The opportunity for every member to take part in the program in some way, if only in discussion, gives rise to that almost sublime occupation which is reserved to humans -- visiting.
Beta Sigma Phi program sessions are simply not like an academic lecture. Those members presenting the program are giving you their story of an adventure. It may be an adventure into the realm of art, or of travel, or of philosophy. Hopefully, they will share their excursion with you with the sense of excitement that should accompany such an excursion.
Excitement, interest and adventure of the presenters are apparent! Hasty, half-hearted efforts lead to a boring, discouraging program presentation. Think of conversations in which you have participated which concerned subjects unfamiliar to you. Perhaps two or three people have been exchanging reminiscences about places visited on vacation. They are obviously enjoying themselves as they exclaim, "Do you remember..." and "Did you visit ..." and "Wasn't that place wonderful?"
If they'd only thought to bring you into the picture, you could have felt the reasons for their excitement and their enjoyment.
That's the very trouble with a program presentation that is inadequately prepared. You get, if you are lucky, only a bare outline and none of the color or grandeur or beauty of the subject. Just a bit more research and just a bit of determination to make an experience of a presentation, rather than a lecture, would have produced a rewarding cultural and social evening.
Let's take a concrete example. Visitors to the famous Louvre Museum in Paris most always are tremendously impressed with their first sight of the Winged Victory statue. The Louvre has not simply set it upon a pedestal accompanied by a plaque giving its dimensions, its origin, creator, date of its discovery, and the place and time of its completion.
It has been set into a magnificent hall so that it bursts upon your vision beautifully lighted and in a long vista which gives you an opportunity to appreciate its size and magnificence as you draw closer and closer to it.
The Louvre has made a work of art out of the setting for this work of art, so that its appreciation becomes an experience. It has an emotional impact. Very much the same thing is done in a really good program presentation. The presentation becomes a setting that is a work of art. It provides you with an emotional experience, an adventure. The material of the program becomes a part of your living.
There is only a little difference in time and effort between a bland presentation and an adventure. As a final example, compare an encyclopedia description of New York or Damon Runyan's Guys and Dolls.
Remember, all learning is vain unless it lifts the heart and guides the understanding. So, enjoy yourself!"