Posts Tagged ‘university’

Guess my secrets…

May 18, 2009

first

 note1

dontmakemymistake

 

This week, I found PostSecret particularly interesting. Now call me lazy, but I don’t usually look at the typed messages, as I have a tendency stick to the pretty pictured secrets (think of me what you will…). This week however, I noticed that the large written area was from Frank himself, and about the fact that he had been invited to speak at a College graduation. Having graduated not that long ago from University, this speech really hit home, and made me seriously wish I’d had Frank as my guest speaker! Here is what he said…

Twenty years ago, I was sitting among a sea of white folding chairs, just like you are today. I was graduating with my friends from UC Berkeley. I can’t recall who the commencement speaker was that day, or what he or she said. So, in some ways — even though this is the first commencement address I have delivered — I feel very little pressure. But in other ways I feel unprepared and undeserving of this great honor you have given me.

Five years ago I started collecting secrets for an art project I call PostSecret. I invited strangers to write their secrets on postcards and mail them to me, anonymously. Today, I still get about 1,000 every week from all over the world and share them with people on the web and in five PostSecret books.

These secrets can tell a funny story, expose a sexual taboo, describe someone’s most humiliating experience or reveal hidden acts of kindness. Each secret is unique just like a fingerprint. But collectively they remind us how connected we all are with friends, and strangers, and how precious those relationships can be.

From the nearly half-million postcards that have been mailed to me, I brought one example to read to you. This is a postcard that I carry with me every time I travel to talk about PostSecret. Like so many of the secrets, if you truly open yourself up to them at the core there is a kernel of experience or wisdom that we can learn from. This secret reminds me to always treat the people I meet during my frequent travels with the kindness and respect that we all deserve. And once I read you this secret I think you will understand why.

My home address is on the back of the card along with a stamp and a cancelation mark, this postcard was mailed from Seattle Washington. On the front are six RUSH stickers from an airport baggage handler. The secret reads: You called me an idiot so I sent your bags to the wrong destination. WHOOPS, I guess you were right.

In the same spirit as PostSecret, a month ago, I asked each member of your 2009 Class to write down a brief message on a postcard. I didn’t ask for a secret. I asked instead for a response to the following question: What do my classmates, and I, need to hear on Graduation Day?

I did not know what to expect by tapping into your collective wisdom, but I was soon thrilled by the insight, humor, and inspiration I felt in your earnest one-sentence commencement speeches. Here are just a few.

Be wise enough not to be reckless, but brave enough to take great risks.

It’s okay to fail – learn from it and you will succeed.

It’s better to be pissed-off than pissed-on.

These next three all offer solid advice about making the transition from St Mary’s to the real world.

With the increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria and the increasingly epidemic worldwide outbreak of swine flu, WASH YOUR HANDS . . . RELIGIOUSLY.

In the real world, you must wear shoes.

I know some of us are going to walk off this stage today with no idea about what comes next – embrace it, find something that makes you happy, and follow it wherever it leads.

These last two thoughts mention a part of the St. Mary’s experience that several students wrote about — The St. Mary’s River.

Perfection is something that everyone strives for, yet no one achieves; let the memory of the perfect sunrise over The St. Mary’s River drive your inspirations when you doubt your abilities in the future.

Regardless of where the future takes us, we will still all have one commonality; the river and our time together here.

This final inspirational thought came with a little back-story that I would like to include.

So, I thought of this as I was getting breakfast at 8:30 this morning, after pulling an all-nighter. Yes, an all-nighter on the last night before the last day of classes ever in my undergraduate career. And then, parenthetically, I am still not done with my work, by the way; but I wanted to stop and write this . . .

. . . I might be over the all-nighters in Baltimore Hall, the shower shoes, the no-soap-or-paper-towels-in-the-dispenser, and even the annoying Great Room hours of St. Mary’s College of Maryland; but I will never – EVER be over how each of those circumstances, at this fine institution, allowed me to meet the most fascinating and awesome people I have ever met in my life; I am humbled to call them friends!

I really hope that person was able to finish up and be here. Are you out there? If you are please stand so we can recognize you. [Enthusiastic Applause]

About 100 days ago I visited your special campus for the first time. I had a chance to appreciate the surroundings, the woods, The St. Mary’s River. And I got to know students, professors and staff. During that visit, I asked students if they had a favorite secret they had seen on the PostSecret website. One young woman recalled a secret that she had seen last year. It read: My friend believes they will change the world, and I believe them. She pointed out the classmate she was thinking of. I have forgotten the student’s name, but I believe they are here, right now, sitting in a white chair.

My talk is almost over but before I close, I want to confess one of my secrets. It’s not a happy secret and I have never said it out loud before. . .I have lost contact with all of my college friends from Berkeley.

In all the excitement of this special day, I hope you will not overlook the lasting value of the people you have shared this meaningful journey with. The friends, who decades from now will remember your face and character just as clearly as The St. Mary’s River.

Don’t wait another minute to ask your classmate, professor or campus staff member for that email address, telephone number, or if you are old school like me — mailing address.

Twenty years from today, you probably won’t remember who your commencement speaker was or what he or she said. But I pray that each of you will never lose the important relationships formed in this extraordinary place with the old friends and new, who believe in you, and surround you, now — in white folding chairs.

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April!

May 1, 2009

So folks, the return of the Internet brings the return of the Perry (that’s me by the way..), and so I guess it would be appropriate to fill you in on all things April-like. I tell you something, it’s been one hell of a month! There has been birthdays, musicals, theme parks, bus rides, beaches, girls, hair dye, drinking, work, rugby …and more drinking! I guess lets start from the very beginning, after all, it is a very good place to start…

So the month kicked off with a new hair colour …perhaps not the emo extreme some may have expected, but I now happen to be a rather pleasant strawberry blonde rather than a full blown ginger ninja – I like it. I guess the next thing then to change was the turning 22. If I had had the Internet at the time, you would have read a slightly dramatic and emotional blog about the woe that comes with my family all together in one room …thankfully for you, a month later and I’m over it! Phew… Instead, you get to read about the jolly times, which were that I did infact have an awesome party with all my friends 🙂  They all came out, bought me cards and drinks, came gay clubbing with me and kissed me – who could ask for more really?! In all seriousness it was an amazing night, and made me realise how lucky I am with the amazing group of friends I have at the moment. Oh, I also saw RENT for my birthday, which is to mark show #1 of April!!

After the birthday, there was a period of work…much much work. Sadly the Easter holidays were upon us and so the cinema became very popular again …damn those schools and all their time off!! Hehe! There was also a trip to the opticians in the mix there somewhere, where I found out that I have good enough eye sight to become a fighter pilot if I so wished – always a fact handy to know! :p  At some point or another there was also a fantastic trip to the beach within said holiday period. I went along (after a rather luscious carvery!) with the boys (Alex, Christian, Tim and Andy) and the girl (Nikki) to play some ultimate frisbee, dodgems and football …all topped off with a stroll along the rock pools and an ice cream. Throw in some arcade games, a race car top score, cuddles and manga that sounded like porn (you had to be there!), and you have a rather neat summery of the afternoon! Lol!

The rest of April is starting to become a bit of a blur I must admit. There was a sad event following the beach day, a departure that upset me more than I expected …but there were good times too! I went to London for one thing and visited the Dungeons, the Aquarium, and saw both Wicked and Phantom of the Opera on the West End. I honestly could go back right now and see Wicked for a 3rd time – I think it’s truly one of my all times favourites (and that’s saying something!). On the musical theatre front, I also went to see Cabaret (but in Cardiff this time) a few days ago, and was blown away by how good the performances were for that – was so much better than the film!

A group trip to Alton Towers was the next exciting adventure of April I suppose. It was a bit of a rainbow trip, with all the gays from work (myself, Rachel, Ally and Dan) in one car singing along to Journey and such :p In all seriousness though, it was a really amazing two days. We had so much fun on all the rides (despite the fact that it rained all day we were there and so walked around looking like idiots in those ridiculous plastic ponchos…), and were better company all together than we ever expected I think. Plus the gossiping about work was an event not to be missed! Haha!

I guess the final note-worthy event of April 2009 then was my trip to Varsity rugby. This event is basically like a lower class, Welsh version of Oxbridge, where Swansea University takes on Cardiff University in a host of sporting activities to see who reigns supreme.  Unsurprisingly, this year it was Cardiff. I was there however (little difference it made) cheering on the old homestead of Swansea! It was also really good to see a few of the old Uni buddies out and about, and then not so good seeing a few of the others …cider helped with that transition mind! As it was probably my last ever Varsity mind, I did have a very good time …wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“Try harder!!”

All in all, this was actually a far less entertaining blog than I had planned. I do apologise for this fact, and promise that I will be more ‘fun’ next time around. I went for facts rather than floss this time around as a few of my friendly readers out there have been curious as to what has been going on in my hermited, non-Internet existence. Judge for yourselves… :p

…………………………………………………………………….

Working hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Paying anything to roll the dice
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers, waiting, up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people, living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night

Don’t stop believing
Hold on to that feeling
Streetlight people

~ Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
( Dedicated to Dan ;p )

Notes and side notes…

March 3, 2009

So you know how every week I go on and on about PostSecret? Well, there are certain people in the world, that have been inspired enough by Frank’s idea that they don’t just send their secrets directly to him, but they leave their secrets either in PostSecret books in shops, or as graffiti etc. Anyways, the idea is that you give a complete stranger an insight into our life. This week, I’ve found two things that remind me of this idea. It’s not exactly the same …but the part with the insight into others lives runs true. 

Firstly I found a letter from the Captain of the Glamorgan University’s ‘Coyote’ Cheerleading Squad. Now, I can’t say exactly why, but everything about this letter just made me smile. It made me think about being apart of  team (a peppy, happy team at that!) and just how fun, exciting and rewarding that must be. Though poorly spelt, the letter was just so positive and upbeat, it made me sad that I’m not really around those kinds of people anymore. It kind of made me look at myself and decide that I need to inject some more basic joy back into my life. Grabbing the bull by the horns then, I’ve been hanging around said peppy people alot since, and trying to look on the bright side of life (insert whistle here!). Plus, I hear they won whatever category it was they entered, so well done …mind you, I’m still a Sirens girl at heart 🙂

The other note I found was lyrics. Now I LOVE lyrics, and I liked these so much that I’ve decided I didn’t want to Google them incase they turn out to be from some kind of lame-ass pop band! I’m liking the idea that some emo guy with an acoustic guitar sat and wrote them while all angst-ed out …just let me believe it ?! ;p  Anyways, here they are:

Music For Morons

Chorus:
Music for morons
Keep their minds numb
Flashing lights
And their having fun
Music for morons
Around the world
Get you the moolah
Get you the girl

An ancient old rocker
He picks up his axe
He strums a few chords
‘Cause it helps him relax
It’s music for morons
But he doesn’t mind
It’s rocking his socks off
That helps him unwind

Stressed out young schoolboy
Sitting exams
Usually so cocky
Now meek as young lambs
But music for morons
It picks up their souls
The tests are all over
The good times will roll

Chorus

A crazy faced mosher
Is crashing about
Emo’s in the corner
Are starting to pout
It’s music for morons
That’s brought them all here
They enjoy the music
They enjoy the beer

Chorus

 

I’m not sure why I like it so much, I just do. It is funny the kinds of things people leave around a cinema though…

 

On a side note (I do seem to like my side notes recently don’t I?!) I finished One Tree Hill Season 3 last night, and just wanted to post two jewels of quotes to end things today:

Haley: Nathan, it’s been said that there’s one word that will free us from the weight and the pain of life, and that word is love, and I believe that. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been hard, or that it won’t be. It just means that, I found a stillness and bravery in myself with you. You make me brave, and I will love you until the end of time.

Lucas: The last time I made a speech about Nathan and Haley was, well, at their first reception. I remember saying “Prepare to be surprised.” Well, I have to say even I was surprised. Because, you see, they do something very rare to see in someone our age. Actually, it’s very rare to see in anybody. They give their hearts to each other. Unconditionally. And that’s what true love really is. It’s not this fairy tale life that never knows pain. But it’s two souls facing it together. And diminishing it with unconditional love.

08 Highlights

January 2, 2009

(in no particular order…)

Having someone to kiss at midnight on January 1st (there’s a first time for everything…)
Graduating with a First Class Honours! – Yeah baby!!
Seeing my brother perform to a sold out audience on stage
Going to Edinburgh by myself, working a dream job!
Buying my first car
Just generally being in love, and gaining a best friend for life…
Kissing at Castle Coch =p
Writing a dissertation – the single scariest piece of work ever!
Turning 21, and celebrating it in style! (sofa… ;p)
Coming out to my parents – not fun =s
Going to Italy – not only my first time there, but also my first holiday in a couple =)
I completed Race for Life in under an hour and made a nice bit of money for Cancer research doing it.
Seeing Hannah cheer at Varsity – that feeling of pride I’ll always remember…
Making some amazing new friends – Steph, Dan, Rachel & Bethan.
Wearing 3 dresses (how un-me!!) – Summer Ball, Wedding & Graduation Ball.
Seeing the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge.
Seeing Chicago on stage in London.
Cutting my hair and saying “so long” to the ponytail!
 

Wow, there’s been some pretty life changing stuff this year hasn’t there?! Crikey…

 
 _________________________________________________________

“Even though I really love you I’m gonna smile because I deserve to, it’ll all get better in time.”
Better In Time ~ Leona Lewis

Guess who’s back?!

July 29, 2008

Well my my hasn’t it been a long time! I do apologise my fellow bloggers, but alas the life outside of the cyber called and I became somewhat distracted! The last two weeks you see have been the most amazing ever in many ways. First of all it was the big Graduation not to mention the ball, and just because it’s good fun, here’s a picture of me looking like an idiot –

and then a little less of an idiot…

  

…having a beautiful woman on your arm does help such things along mind you!

I then had the pleasure of my girl’s company in Swansea for a few days where we had alot of …catching up to do! Hehe! Then it was back to my home town for a couple of days where Hann met some of my old school friends and spend some time with my family (she got around to my mum, dad, brother, nan, gramp and other nan …slut!) We had a nice couple of days out actually, and even got around to seeing Mamma Mia! in the cinema which was pretty good.

Tuesday then brought the dynamic duo to travel to London, where I in turn met one of Hannah’s best friends (who approves of me! woop!) and her little cute next door neighbours who we had a random day in the sun with full of pools, Disney and smiles! Other than that we generally filled our time with Disney films, Buffy and …romance! Quote of the trip I feel may be –

Anya: Will you still make me waffles when we’re married?
Xander: No, I’ll only make them for myself. But, by California law, you will own half of them…

I got back from London then yesterday after many tears of farewell. Since my return I ave been pretty pro-active however as I today attended an assessment centre for a job I applied for a few weeks back. I think it was one of the scarier experiences I have had, but even if I don’t get the job it’ll be excellent experience ..and to be honest I’m feeling quite good about things!

Oh and how could I forget! I also watched The Dark Knight a couple of days ago, and it was amazing! I think you should all go and see it! I must admit I thought I may get a little sad seeing Heath on screen knowing he is no longer with us, but I actually held it together pretty well – until this part anyways…

The Joker: You just couldn’t let me go could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness, and I won’t kill you, because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.

All I could think was – “No you’re not…”
RIP Heath

Well I guess that leaves you pretty good and caught up with all things me related! Until next time…

 

Batman: What did you do?
The Joker: I took Gotham’s white knight, and lowered him to our level. It wasn’t hard. Y’see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little…push.
– The Dark Knight

tears, cheers and what feels like years…

July 3, 2008

So it has been a weird couple of days… again! First of all I got my University results, and had the pleasant surprise of finding out that I will be graduating in 2 weeks (10 days actually..) with a First Class Honours. Don’t ask me how I managed it, because I’m really not sure! Needless to say, my family has never been prouder – I just hope they enjoy the calm before the storm…

The other ‘cheer’ in my life was that yesterday I completed the 5k Race for Life. It was actually an awesome day, and my cousin and I walked it in under an hour (56mins), so we were very proud of ourselves. We also raised a nice chunk of money for cancer research between us, and beat our mothers to the finish line (easily), so that topped off the event really for us!

So I guess now that the ‘cheers’ are out of the way, here comes the ‘tears’. Well these come in a few different ways really. First of all my brother told me yesterday that him and his bf of over a year are going to be splitting up. He’s walking round the house like a zombie a constant tear in his eye and I just don’t know what to do for him and it’s killing me seeing him like this. James came over here today for them to talk it out, but I can’t see any improvement. My brother just finished crying to me telling me that he doesn’t know what he wants…he’s got so many people he is trying to please with his decision and I can see that it is really taking its toll on him.. 

Secondly then I have to face the fact that it has now been about 19 days since I last saw Hannah. I feel like a bit of a zombie myself at the moment because of this, and I don’t really know how to express it. I’m sure there are many of you that would roll your eyes at this, but I really feel like there is half of me missing. I feel like I’ve lost my best friend and lover all in one go and I don’t know quite how to handle it and what to do with myself. What is worse is that I still have another 10 or so days to go until we are together, and now that she doesn’t even have a phone to text me and our phone calls have to be really short between work schedules, family issues and cost problems – it’s just so unfair. Don’t get me wrong I knew I was going to miss her, but this is just something else. I feel like at any moment I could just randomly burst into tears (I actually did last night which kind of led to the ‘I feel so..’ post). I feel like I am not quite living, like it’s not quite real, like I’m in a kind of trance… I feel strange. Its been days and it feels like years. I guess 6.30pm July 14th just can’t come quickly enough…  I love you Hannah.

 

Williams: Well done on your results Laura! You’re so smart… 
Me: [uncomfortable laugh] Thanks.
Williams: I don’t know where you get that from…certainly not your mother!
Mum: Funnily enough, lots of people have been saying that…

When it rains…

June 13, 2008

…it not only pours, but there are power cuts, muddy dresses and angry people in tents!

This was the sum of Swansea Uni’s summer ball this year! It rained …alot! It was somewhat ridiculous as there were hundreds of people all trying to clamber for cover under a powerless tent. You would think that in one of the wettest areas in the country, there may have been a little more indoor area for such an event, but alas, the night ended at around 10pm after getting so bored of rain, no music and the fact that the need to pee would have meant a trek to the other side of the field! Ah well…at least the evening was salvaged by a warm bath and some other hot and steamy moments! He he!

…next year maybe?

“So go on and let the rain pour, I’ll be all you need and more…” – Rihanna (Umbrella)

Juliet & Juliet

June 10, 2008

So..it’s approaching midnight, and I’m awaiting the arrival of a smurf. Yes, that’s right, a smurf! Tonight the Swansea Oceana is attempting some kind of ludicrous attempt at a world record, with some regard to the most number of smurfs in a building ..or something! Ergo, in true fresher style, Hannah is a smurf. This means that sometime in the early hours of the morning I will have a drunken smurf, that I will probably need to wash (as I refuse to get blue paint on my sheets!), sober up and put to bed – love it! lol!

So today has been a rather interesting day. First of all I had a very brief (just how I like them) shopping experience with my need to buy a bag for the Summer Ball on Wednesday. Then came a lovely little jaunt into Uni to pick up one of my essays (I got a 1st! Score!), and then over to Hannah’s for a bit of a cuddle, and crackers ..twas rather lovely jubbly! Then a stroll over to my good friend Kirsty’s for veggie bolognaise (tres yummy) and a good ol’ chat.

More exciting that all of this however was the 7 hours it took me to book the LGBT’s ‘cutest couple’ (that’s me and Hann btw! Woop!) a Summer holiday! We are now officially off to Lake Garda (Italy) in September for 10 days and it is going to be absolutely amazing! In fact, I cannot wait to spend 10 days alone with this girl! We can show them the real story of Juliet and Juliet babe! 😀

 
“Oh, what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” – Juliet (Romeo & Juliet)
 

The tribulations of freedom.

June 5, 2008

Well, how productive my time since handing in my last piece of Uni work has been. I’ve finished two books, seen a play, become an Olympic Gold snowboarder, hung out with my nan, and watched enough tv to give me a headache. The tribulations of freedom eh?!

After being asked for the millionth time yesterday what it is that I’d like to do with my future, I decided to do something about it. Nothing conventional you understand like plan anything, look for a job, or reflect deeply upon my desires, but by writing a blog that proved my education had not been a waste. Something to demonstrate that I had reached a ‘higher’ intelligence, that the last three years had not simply been a joy ride, and that my parents money was well (ish) spent. I decided I would do this by sharing my wonderful dissertation revelation (seeing as I’ve also been asked more than enough times what it entailed ..usually followed by blank stares) to the world! 

Then however, I got thinking. What if by publishing parts of my dissertation on the Internet, I was actually setting myself up to be accused for plaguirism? Considering how seriously dissertations are taken, imagine if a few key strokes into Google meant that my blog revealed my work, and then the University (not always being that bright) decided I had stolen chunks of my diss from some poor girl’s blog. Just imagine! So..being the worrier (and probably overthinker) that I am, I decided against such a post.

This is then where dusting off the PS2 to play SSX (snowboarding game) allowed me to become a gold medalist (at the cost of two very sore thumbs), reading two books (‘Fahrenheit 451’ and ‘Bad Luck and Trouble’ – both excellent btw) and watching an enormous amount of tv alleviated much of the boredom. Seeing a play then consisted of my brother’s A-level drama exam (he was so good he made me cry!), and seeing my nan …well, that was just good ol’ fashioned family spirit!

 

There’ll be no more hiding in shadows of fear.
There’ll be no more chains to hold you.
The future is yours – you hold the key.
And there are no walls with freedom.
[Phil Collins – Dance Into The Light]

I am Iron Man!

May 30, 2008

Ok, so today was the big day! It began at 11:10am with the handing in of my last ever piece of University work *tear* Let me just say folks, today I realised something important – I have a serious Peter Pan complex. I don’t want to grow up and move on, I’d like to stay right here thank you very much! No such luck unfortunately =(  …if anyone would like to fund me in a masters of some sort however, please do get in touch!!

Anyways, the events of the day only got better, as I have just returned from (finally) seeing ‘Iron Man’. What a film! All I can say, is that it really did live up to all the hype! While many of my friends are flocking to go and see the latest “emotional rollercoaster” that is ‘Sex in the City’, I thought I would stay true to my geek nature and go for a bit of classic Marvel! For all those yet to see the movie – please do go see it! You will not be dissapointed!  NB- Stay right until the end of the credits for a little suprise *cough* Sammy Jackson *cough*  My day can only really get better however as BGT is on tonight, and I’ll be watching it with my girl this time rather than like a loser on my own! haha!

On an end note, I though it might be nifty (yes that’s right, nifty!) to leave some kind of deep and meaningful quote at the end of each blogpost! So here is number 1 …are you ready?! …deep breaths…

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” – William Ernest Henley