21 July 2005

The Graduate!!

Well, as of last Friday, I am officially a graduate! (I'm also officially unemployed but let's not go into that) I'll give you a quick rundown of the day, my memory's already hazy as I've been too busy to post since, but I'll try to remember it all.

Well, we set off before 9am so we had plenty of time. I went down with Mum and Chris, Dad was going to come down later. After a long, hot and boring journey we got onto campus. I had to do a bit of banking so thought I'd pay one last visit to the Warwick Uni branch of HSBC, then we went to get a spare ticket for Chris, as I was only allowed to prebook two tickets for the ceremony.

We went to a drinks reception in my department, faced all the inevitable 'so what next?' questions, managed to dodge them pretty well I think! I'm never good at making conversation when milling around so I didn't stop for long, but I did stop to chat to a few people. I got into a conversation with my former personal tutor, Prof David Thomas, and he talked about how I could use drama to help with the situation in Leeds now, told me about varioud drama projects which bridged Christian and Muslim communities. It was all very interesting and gave me food for thought (I have been pondering these ideas since, but I'm not going to say in what way, I don't want to jinx it!)

Then I went to get togged up, boy do graduation robes make you feel like a pillock!! I ended up with a mortar board that was too big for my head, and my robe kept slipping and pulling my shirt up (not attractive!) We had lunch outside by the piazza where I saw Tom Mort (my old housemate) and Peet, who proceeded to make sure Tom and I had our robes on properly (apparently he used to be a dresser for Burtons!) Chatted to them for a bit then decided sitting outside in the sun wearing an enormous robe was not the best of ideas so went into the arts centre.

There I saw Jenny 'Jampot' Malenoir, my best friend on the course. She was bubbly and mad as ever, complained that the mortar board made her hair look silly! She's going to work as a classroom assistant for a while before doing an MA in children's literature - I think it's just an excuse to postpone growing up, and I think she'd agree with me!

Well, after waiting around for a bit, I had to go register and get in the hall. You could tell there were theatre students in - my word were we rowdy! We were doing mexican waves before the ceremony, then wehen we went up for our degrees, we all cheered each other! Well, we have spent three years learning to be expressive ...

Out of the ceremony, straight to the piazza for the group photo, which I'd been organising. I managed to get most people there on time, unfortunately Kate and Julia, who I was quite close to, didn't make it in time, which I was very sad about. It would have been nice to have the lot of us on the photo so I could remember everyone. Anyway, we stood in the piazza, squinting against the sun, threw our hats in the air, then that was it.

Dad took a few photos of me, as he hadn't arrived until I'd already gone into the ceremony, then I dropped off my robes and we went to the Phantom Coach for a meal with Charlie and Rachel (Charlie's our best man, Rachel's his girlfriend, they're both very good friends of ours). It was a nice meal, Charlie and Rachel seemed to get on well with my parents, and it was good to see them again. The food was standard pub food, neither terrible nor great!

Then i went back to Lincoln, reflecting on the day, on the fact I have a degree even though I still think of myself as 18, and on my need to get a job ....

09 July 2005

Ambitions ...

Well, up until now my main ambition has been to become famous, but I'm beginning to realise that that's gonna be trickier than I thought when I was 5! So I've decided to compile a list of things I want to do in my lifetime. So far I have:
1. Have a gig (where I'm one of the main artists!)
2. Go to Africa
3. Give blood
4. Get up close to an elephant
5. Really master a style of dance
6. Become a mother (probably the biggest challenge there!)

Hopefully the list will expand with time, I'm sure there are many things that deep down I know I must do in my life, just need to recall them to my memory!

I'll keep adding things to the list on here, so keep watching!

08 July 2005

Sending my prayers to London

I'm still trying to get my head round what happened in London yesterday. Thankfully I didn't hear anything about it until I rang mum at work and she immediately said 'Phillip's OK.' (Phillip is my big brother, he works in the city). So I knew straight off that he was fine. Didn't think much to it (knew there was a bombing in London, but they seem to get bomb scares all the time) until I got an e-mail from a friend who works in the city saying 'I'm fine, I didn't go into work this morning.' Then I saw a message about it posted on the chat room I was browsing and it dawned on me that this wasn't a minor incident. Switched on the TV in time to see a an being taken out of an ambulance on a stretcher, being given CPR. It was a moment before I realised what I was watching - a man on the brink of death.

I'm still waiting on e-mails from friends in London to say they're OK, I doubt any of them were involved but I worry about these things. There's nothing else I can do after all. I spent a lot of yesterday praying, I know one day good will overcome evil but I really hope that we get a glimpse of that final victory in this situation.

If any Londoners read this, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Don't let the bad men win.

04 July 2005

Musings on uni ...

Well, I have nothing to do at the moment, I'm back in my family home, waiting for a job and a place to live to appear in Leeds, so I've been thinking about my time at uni, what I'll miss, what I've learned, what I regret.

I'll obviously miss my friends. There are people at uni who have really changed my life (you know who you are), and it's sad to think that I won't be able to them regularly anymore. And I'll miss seminars. I know you'll all think I'm a loon for saying that, but seminars in my final year especially were great - sitting around talking about theatre, history, politics and all sorts, I loved it. I'm sure when I start a job I'll miss lie-ins, and I'll definitely miss student discounts and long holidays!

What have I learned? Apart from a bunch of (probably useless) bits and pieces about theatre that is. I've learned not to judge a book by its cover; some of my best friends are people who, when I first met them, I thought I'd have nothing in common with. Equally, people who I thought I'd get on well with sometimes turned out to be the exact opposite. I wish I'd learned this simple fact much sooner, but then if I had I wouldn't be where I am today.

I've also learnt that I'm not exceptionally intelligent. I always subconsciously believed this, had this niggling feeling that I was something special, something different, so assumed this must be to do with my brains. Getting a 2:1, while it was a great result, did humble me and has made me see that, yes, I am different, but I'm equal to everyone else - no higher, no lower. From now on, 'Different but Equal' will be my motto.

Regrets? I've had a few! I regret not getting much arts experience for a start, and, connected to that, I wish I hadn't spent so much time doing 'Christian' things in an attempt to earn brownie points with God. It never occurred to me that, as long as it wasn't plain wrong, He'd value whatever work I did.

I especially regret not getting to know my coursemates better; yeah, I have different views to many of them, but in my final year it really dawned on me that I'd been put on a course with 37 other people, everyone one of them special. I made the decision early on, when I was struggling to make friends at uni, to focus on befriending other Christians - after all, then I was guaranteed to have one thing in common with them. This provided me with brilliant friends, but meant I cut myself off from most of my coursemates.

But, what's done is done, and if nothing else, uni has made me more open-minded, and I know myself far better now. Pity I couldn't have achieved that without running up a £10,000 debt!!