Meghan O'Brien

When Irish eyes are smiling:

LCCC speech team member Meghan O’Brien readies the canvas for her next work of art.

Photo by Ike Fredregill

Posted on April 28, 2014

Debater, volunteer, athlete...‘superhero’?

“Normal is just bland.”

Meghan O’Brien delivered the answer quickly and confidently when asked what she loves about others. “I love when people are a bit abnormal.”

And, to be honest, it’s what other people love about her as well. From her dorky, adorable personality to her lovely impression of Joey Tribbiani’s “How you doing” catch phrase, it’s hard not to appreciate O’Brien humor.

Courtney Wood, president of Laramie County Community College’s speech and debate team, laughed as she explained how O’Brien tells people about her day. “She starts from when she woke up to getting dressed to what she ate for breakfast, then continues to give small details about her whole day even if you don’t ask for it,” she said. “It’s amusing.”

Cheyenne native never sleeps

Born and raised in Cheyenne, O’Brien is finishing her first year at LCCC majoring in pharmacy. A member of the speech and debate team, O’Brien is also an outside hitter for the volleyball team and volunteers at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital.

But O’Brien is no stranger to performing in front of judges and peers. During her senior of high school she joined Central’s speech and debate team. “An old friend influenced me,” O’Brien clarified. “She basically said, ‘Dude, you would do good at it,’ and so I decided to try it.”

Kaiti DeVoss had the privilege being O’Brien’s duo partner at Central and was able to share first place at the Central/LCCC Swing tournament.

O’Brien lighted up as she talked about her audition for LCCC’s team. “I auditioned with my duo from last year, which was ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.’ It was really fun because I got to perform the piece one more time with Kaiti,” she said.

For this tournament season O’Brien performed in persuasive and drama. Her persuasive speech was about children and misdiagnoses and her drama being was about daughter whose mother leaves comical yet wild voicemails on her answering machine.

Throughout this season O’Brien placed in six tournaments, and at the JV National tournament in Hutchinson, Kans., the entire team placed third in overall sweeps.

Although she has played volleyball sense the fifth-grade, another first for O’Brien this year was being on the LCCC volleyball team with Austin Albers as her coach. Her position was outside hitter, her favorite.

Volunteer lives the dream

As for her volunteering at the VA hospital, she joked and casually said, “I’m saving lives, you know, living the superhero dream.” She giggled for a moment. “No, I’m just kidding. I help with surgery check in and stay with the patients before they head into their surgery.”

While chatting about how she sometimes plays games with the patients, she leaned forward and asked: “Do you know how nice old people are? They go the extra mile to thank you five different ways.” From the look in her eyes it was obvious how happy their kind gestures made her.

Besides “living the superhero dream,” O’Brien was able to design the patient handbook and the shuttle car wraps for the VA as well.

Though the handbooks aren’t published yet, the shuttle design has eagles with American flags on the passenger doors and back.
Duo partner DeVoss admired how O’Brien’s determination helped them in their pairing last year. “She strives to achieve everything she puts her heart to,” DeVoss said.

O’Brien gave credit to her brother, Jarad, for teaching her how to care about school and have a good work ethic. “He’s definitely my hero,” she said unable to contain herself and smiled brightly as she mentioned him. “When I was younger I always wanted to be smart like him,” she recalled.

She thanked Youtuber Olan Rogers for influencing her life, too. “If you ever get the chance, you should watch his video “Eat a slice with me.” He has always persevered, and I can really relate to him,” she said.

O’Brien plans to take summer courses at the University of Wyoming this summer and to attend UW after her time at LCCC. “I’m happy with wherever I end up,” she said. “As long as I’m doing what I love to do.”

When asked about any humorous stories that might embarrass O’Brien, Wood, LCCC speech teammate, thought long and hard before admitting it was hard to embarrass her. “Meghan is so outgoing and everything, that it’s hard to,” Wood said. “She’s such a hoot to be around.”

On what advice she would give to her past self, O’Brien paused for a moment, then replied she was a bit cocky back in the day, and she should strive for optimism. “Also, don’t be afraid of the future,” she said. “Be yourself, too. It’s the truest thing you can ever be.”
Because we all know that “normal is just bland.”