The fourth annual TEDxOhioStateUniversity event was a success.
This year, the lineup of esteemed speakers focused on a central theme of “The Human Narrative.” TEDxOSU offered its stage for people to share ideas, stories and performances.
The welcome pamphlets heralded it as “an afternoon of learning, community-building and innovation.” The event did not disappoint.
The event’s participants explored the human narrative through their different walks of life that matched their personal styles. Some spoke monologues with slideshows in the background, while others recited poetry.
Elijah Palnik, a resident musician and audio/video specialist staff member in the Department of Dance, fused technology and rhythm as he looped himself playing the guitar, beatboxing and drumming a rendition of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes.”
Some speeches had a different tone, though: Mike Pavlik, a third-year in political science, didn’t expect the seriousness of many of the speeches he heard.
“There were a lot of subjects that people like to dust under the rug and not worry about,” Pavlik said.
Nikki Vojacek, a third-year in women’s, gender and sexuality studies, raved about student Marisa McGrath’s story about how feminism saved her life after being sexually assaulted at the end of her freshman year at OSU.
“She did such a good job casting the right light on feminism,” Vojacek said. “It’s so common for people, girls specifically, to distance themselves from the word because it’s almost taboo. But it was empowering to watch a girl reclaim the word and use it to help her recover from something so horrible.”
Vojacek said she was enthralled by all the speeches and performances, but related more to certain ones than others. She attributed that to her place in the narrative.
Each and every speaker tied their story into the grander narrative of humanity. They offered wisdom and special experiences to bring people together and showed that although we experience life as individuals, we are all a part of something bigger.