It was an ordinary Thursday and as usual, the coordinators of the upcoming meeting were announced along with a request to volunteer as role players. With much hesitation, I took up the role of round-robin master which I was told to be one of the more uncomplicated roles compared to others. Then I was added to a “Role-Players” group where I got to know a bunch of amazing people from all over the University and unlike other times the group didn’t die after the chain of introductions but continued to buzz my phone with. silly jokes, roasting sessions, and I found out how talented these individuals are.
A Confined series of days passed by and it was time to break the monotony of the week by another gavel meeting. It was declared to be a Harry Potter-themed meeting and we had to take a small quiz to find out which house we are in. Before the commencement of the meeting, I realized that I’ve found a bunch of friends whom I haven’t even met before and I sensed that this meeting is going to be the best one so far.
On the 20th of November, 2021 a ticket to Hogwarts was given to attend the 413th Gavel Educational Meeting of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The meeting was called to order by the president of the gavel club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, GV Panchanie. Then the spotlight was passed to the toastmaster of the day, GV Naveesha. Where she quoted “We can conquer our fears little by little.” which was a saying by Neville Longbottom, an inspiring character in the Harry Potter series. From being a coward to someone who saves lives, all because he decided to be brave and take that first step, likewise how gaveliers come out of their comfort zones and speak in public, gathering up all the courage, taking that first step and giving yourself the room to grow.
With those inspiring words, she introduced the general evaluator of the meeting, GV Roshan.After the introductions, we moved on to the Round Robin session. It was led by GV Janindi and myself. The topic for the day was “If you were in Hogwarts what patron-um animal would you choose and what superpower would it possess?” Everyone broadened their imagination and talked about the magical powers and animals they like. And yes all the cat lovers wanted a cat who can talk. It truly felt like a magical session.
Then came the most awaited moment of every meeting, the table topic session, where you get the opportunity to gather all the courage and step out of your comfort zone, give your best shot and create a memory to be proud of yourself. The TT session was conducted by GV Dehan who offered us 8 Harry Potter-themed topics. What was interesting about this session was that every TT volunteer had creative and engrossing ideas to share and trust me when I say this because the very first table topic was “If you were Hermione Granger who would you marry and why?”. I thought to myself “of course Ron or Harry” but one of our fellow gavelliers managed to blow our minds by suggesting Draco Malfoy!. It was such a plot twist and a creative approach to the topic. It was an entertaining session as there were topics like “What would you do if you had an invisible cloak?”,” If you had a time machine or magical power what change would you make to your life?”, “Who was the Snape in your school life?” and other insightful topics as well. It won’t be fulfilling if I don’t mention the Harry Potter-themed game that was arranged. A Series of questions from the Harry Potter series was asked and the one to answer first is the winner. It was a great opportunity for the Potter Heads to flex their knowledge, and of course, the rest of us had to get help from Google.
The fun session was followed by the table topic reports. GV Chathuri, GV Wathsala, GV Sanjsana and GV Kavinda presented their relative reports as the Grammarian, Ah Counter and timers respectively.
Then it was the time for table topic evaluations which were conducted by GV Loshini and GV Nishadi. And as always speakers received a detailed and wholesome evaluation of their speech.Which is one of the best things about table topics, where they help you to identify your mistakes while boosting up your confidence.
With that, it was time to officially wind up the 413th Gavel meeting of USJ.
It won’t be a Gavel meeting without the casual fun session, where we have the most random conversations and socialise with each other. This informal session was made memorable by playing “Never have I ever”. It was all fun and laughter and it clicked to me out of nowhere that this wasn’t just a Harry Potter-themed meeting by name but that I’ve actually met friends like Hermione, Ron, Harry and I’m also walking on the path of Neville Longbottom in terms of public speaking. Yes, there was no time traveling, fighting against Voldermort, saving lives, flying broomsticks, or magic potions, but we agreed to play ‘among us’ later that day and almost became a kdrama fan. It surely was not the same magic as in Harry potter but trust me I felt the casual magic and I knew I will always cherish this day.
It’s the little things that matter after all right?