TEDx colors outside the lines at ULM


“You are the opportunity.” With four words, Baylor Barbee, an author, speaker and triathlete closed his presentation and brought the audience to their feet. Barbee set the pace for the night and garnered the audience’s attention for the rest of the night’s presenters.
Barbee was one of six speakers for the TEDxULM.
The other speakers were Mara Loeb, Roxanne Bourque, Mariana Sheppard and the duo of Vanelis Rivera and Jaleesa Harris.
The event was held at the Bayou Pointe Event Center and independently organized by a team of over 10 students. The event theme was “Coloring Outside the Lines.”
Presenters came from all over and took turns telling the crowd how they’ve colored outside the lines. Barbee’s opening presentation involved the “Science of Opportunity.”
“All the time I see people say ‘Hey, that’s a nice watch’ and then walk away. I’m not that type of person,” Barbee said.
According to Barbee, the individual has to be the change that they want to see.
He used multiple analogies like comparing oneself to a dull sword to get his point across.
Barbee said if you want a nice watch, you have to give yourself the opportunity to have a nice watch, although just wanting something doesn’t mean you’ll always get it.
Throughout the night, presenters spoke about how they and others could be different. Rivera and Harris, two English instructors at ULM, spoke about how they’ve changed the learning experience in their sophomore English class from focusing on the book to focusing on the reader.
Sheppard spoke about the mother-daughter relationships she’s helped highlight through her work in photography. Bourque went second to last and spoke about her work in teaching.
Loeb closed the show and taught the audience the importance of stories over genes in regards to one’s family.
“Dinner time is when stories are shared the most,” Loeb said.
Other than the speakers and their presentations, the TEDx team themselves became a symbol of “Coloring Outside the Lines.”
TEDx shows, unlike regular TED Talks, are independently organized and the ULM show was done so by a group of students.
“We had great speakers talking on thought provoking topics. I’m glad that we could bring such an event to our community,” said Ashish Dev, a sophomore computer science major and TEDxULM team president.
Even the event’s host was a student. Asja Jordan, a junior communication major, took to the stage throughout the night and engaged the audience in between presenters.
According to Jordan, the audience’s energy helped her through the night, and the feedback from the show was nothing but positive.
She said the event’s attendees were gladly surprised by the how the night turned out.
Jordan said the coolest thing about the event was that people just came ready to receive.
“I asked someone what they were most excited about and they didn’t have an answer. They were just excited to see what the show was about,” Jordan said.