As members were arriving at the virtual meeting - several of them late - it became apparent that Jeanie Morgan had failed to click "send" when scheduling the Messenger's 7:00 AM distribution for Wednesday, June 17.  
Paige Goetzenberger, our outbound Rotary Youth Exchange student, who has spent the last several months in Austria was welcomed to the meeting.  When asked if she would like to share a bit of information about her youth exchange experience, she readily agreed.  On June 17, Paige had made her end-of-year report in her town.  Her presentation lasted twenty minutes and she did the entire presentation using the German language.  Afterward, she received compliments praising her command of the language as "better than any inbound student sponsored in the past."  
Paige is experiencing mixed emotions.  She has grown to love her host family and close friends in Austria and dreads having to say farewell to them, but at the same time, she is very much looking forward to coming home and spending time with her family and friends here.  She has one final trip planned before departing for the US.  She and a host aunt and sister will travel to do some sight-seeing in the east of Austria.  They also plan to cross the border and see a bit of Hungary before returning to her Austrian home.
When asked how difficult it had been to do such a good job of mastering the language, Paige explained, "It is definitely a process..."  She said there are levels in the language study program she is enrolled in.  You have to master each level before moving on to the next.  In order, the levels are:  A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.  Mastery of each level is demonstrated by passing a test designed for that level.  Passing of the C2 test is required for citizenship and for admission to universities.  Paige will take, and believes she will pass, the C2 test before returning home.  She went on to state that she didn't realize she was doing as well as she was because communication was often a bit of a struggle, but last December, when she was studying at the B1 level after she had been there less than six months, she discovered others in her study group had been studying German for seven years.  That revelation provided quite a boost to her self-confidence and ability to motivate herself to keep moving forward.
Paige said it took her about three months before she began to feel like she belonged.  Her eyes lit up when she described Sachertorte - her favorite food there.  It is a chocolate cake with apricot jam in it.  She said it is delicious with coffee.
Paige said that her language skills have progressed to the point that she dreams in both English and German.  The situation and surroundings in her dreams are consistent with the language spoken in each dream.
At the time Paige was talking, it was 12:07 PM in Arizona, but was already 9:07 PM in Austria.
President Jim Schmidt asked Wendell Jones to offer the invocation.
Jim expressed what a rich blessing it has been serving Mesa West Rotary as Club President this past year.  He repeated the Rotary Vision Statement for the last time during his term:
Together, we see a world where people unite and
take action to create lasting change
across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
Presidential Humor -
You know you are old if...
  • You run out of breath walking down the stairs.
  • Your knees buckle, but your belt won't.
  • The waiter asks how you'd like your steak prepared, and you say, "pureed."
  • You can't get your rocking chair started.
  • Getting lucky means finding your car in the car park.
  • The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys still look young to you.
  • The names in your little black book all belong to doctors.
Dick Myren was driving home late one evening after a very long day working on tax returns.  His daughter called.  She was worried, and said:  "Dad, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on the 60.  Please be careful."  "I know," Dick says.  "It's not just one car going the wrong way, it's hundreds of them."
Rotary Minute
President Jim shared some details about the Service Above Self Award, which was presented to Bob Jensen Monday, June 15, when a surprise parade of District Rotary Dignitaries, Past District Governors, professional and Rotary volunteers went to Bob's home about 5:30 in the evening:
  • Bob Jensen was born in Hampton, Iowa, where he lived until his family moved to Illinois when he was twelve years old.  He is the youngest of two children.  He is six years younger than his sister.
  • He had a 40-year career as an audiologist
  • 27 years working he led the "help me to hear" in Guaymas Mexico to give the gift of hearing
  • They conduct a clinic to medically assess patients, treat minor ear disorders, conduct hearing tests, provide amplification with hearing aids and consult with local school personnel on aural rehabilitation in the school system.
  • The mission has helped nearly 5,000 beneficiaries.
  • He is married to Nancy.
  • They have two children, two children, and two grandchildren.
  • Bob graduated in 1985 with a degree in Speech Pathology from Southern Illinois University.
  • He received his MS in Audiology from Arizona State University.
  • His doctoral thesis was on the Effects of Stimulus Frequency and Intensity on Auditory Brainstem Response and middle Latency evoked Potentials.
  • Bob has a passion for travel - a highlight was a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow.
  • Bob joined Rotary in 2007 when he became a member of the Mesa Baseline club.  That club was glad to support the mission financially and with volunteers.  When Mesa Baseline merged into Mesa West Rotary Club, support and enthusiasm for Bob's project survived and thrived. 
  • CLICK HERE to view the details contained in the Service Above Self Nomination that was submitted about Bob's years of service in the Gift of Hearing Mission to Guaymas.  The Rotary International Directors approve no more than 150 recipients each year to be recognized with this distinction - which is considered to be the highest honor that can be granted to a Rotarian.
Jim mentioned that Mesa West has one other Service Above Self award recipient - Lucinda General.  He asked her to share a bit about her award.  Lucinda said it was very much a surprise.  It was received about ten years ago.  In some ways, she feels that she should not have it.  Her efforts have not been as focused to a one-shot thing.  The District Secretary at that time nominated Lucinda, talking about a wide smattering of service in Arizona, Costa Rica, and Connecticut.  Lucinda feels like Bob really epitomizes a high level of focused commitment to an area of service and feels he is truly deserving of this high honor.
Happy Bucks 
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $20 to the Gift of Hearing project.  $10 for each of her apparent errors this week.  The failure of sending the Messenger on time and the failure to fill the duty roster for Invocation, Patriotic Moment and Rotary Minute for the meeting.
  • Paige Goetzenberger pledged $15, which she felt her parents would honor, because she wanted to thank the club for her life-changing Youth Exchange experience.
  • Chris Krueger pledged $20 to the Guaymas mission, for the pleasure of being a part of the Service Above Self nomination process for Bob's nomination.  Lucinda General had suggested that Bob be nominated, and Chris was honored to have been involved in the process.
  • Ed Koeneman pledged $20 to the Guaymas mission
    • Congratulations to Bob
    • Congratulations to Jim Schmidt for a stellar year as President recognizing he remained steady during a year of many challenges.
    • Congratulations to Paige for mastering the language and having a successful year studying abroad.
    • Congratulations to his own daughter, Suzie, who has graduated and is now a Veterinary Assistant.  She will be entering a pre-vet program at the University of Arizona in the fall.
    • He had one sad thing to share - his mechanic advised him that his mini-van has passed the point of no return.
  • Dan Coons pledged $20.  He wasn't so sure about the parenting skills of Bryan and Donna Goetzenberger, but could clearly see that Donna, as Youth Exchange Chair for our District could clearly choose outstanding youth exchange students.  He was also disappointed that Bob Jensen was not at the meeting to hear everyone voicing their pride in his many years of service.  With Dan's recent surgery, he was worried about making mistakes if he stayed on pain medications too long, and jokingly wondered if - when we start meeting in person again - if his leftover medication could be auctioned.
  • Jim Schmidt pledged $43 to the Guaymas mission to celebrate his and Rosalyn's 43rd wedding anniversary on June 24, saying he couldn't be happier about a good, mature decision he made when he was still young and immature.
  • In light of the opportunities to participate in General Sessions and focus groups during the virtual Rotary International Convention June 20-26, there will be no Zoom meeting of Mesa West Rotary on Thursday, June 25.
  • An evening Zoom celebration of the Changing of the Guard is being planned for Thursday, July 2.  CLICK HERE for the Zoom meeting connection
  • Members were encouraged to attend the district-wide zoom meeting to be held Saturday morning, June 20 when Bob Jensen is slated to formally be honored for his Service Above Self recognition.  Other district recognitions will also be announced.
  • Members were also encouraged to log into the Rotary International website and sign up so they could participate in the first-ever virtual Rotary International convention.
  • That same week, District hospitality events are being planned.  Members were encouraged to watch for communications from the district about those events.
The planned program for the meeting had to be cancelled as Colton Cagle had to work and could not attend the meeting to share his Youth Exchange experience.
Pam Cohen shared two video messages that she encouraged members to watch and listen to with a fresh perspective and really hear what is being said.  She believes if we are to get through our current unrest peacefully it will be because good people do the right thing so that all people are treated with respect and allowed to reach their full potential.  CLICK HERE to view the Juneteenth video Pam shared.  CLICK HERE to watch and hear the words of Malcolm X in an interview from the 60's in Winston-Salem, NC. The interview was televised after he had changed some of his affiliations and approaches to finding solutions.