Sunday, January 21, 2007

Honored at HELP University

I was honored by my university, HUC, to address a crowd of 150 (may be a little less), brand-spanking-new undergraduates, their parents, some graduates, and faculty, at the academic lunch hosted by the deen.

The invitation from the Deen went as follows:


We would like to invite you to present a speech at the freshman lunch on Saturday. There will be 4 speeches; one by a senior student, one by a grad (that's you), one by a lecturer and one by me.

The speeches will be at the start of the lunch.

(The Deen)

The event was formal. Every one wore academic robes (minus the trimming). I could best describe it as a scene out of the movie made in honor of my dear friend, Harry Potter. There were four long tables, with students all dressed in their dashing robes. The picture shows half of one of the tables. However unlike the scene in Harry Potter, is the presence of the parents and the press (heh)

The scene was like a movie which i had dreamt for. The Deen introduced me, citing all the lovely things that can be said.

My speech went something like this:

Faculty, fellow graduates, friends and family,,

My challenge today is to try and describe to you the attitude that helped me and my fellow graduate students get though the years of undergraduate life. Believe me, you are at the door step of the most challenging and difficult, yet the most exciting times in your life. These are times when you will like the previous speaker said, not just cry, but dance with joy.

One of my favorite topics in psychology was dreaming. No, not the different theories, but the fine art of day dreaming, when lectures seem to go on for ever and ever and ever.

(laughter is heard from the crowd. The deen says “now we know what you been upto”, and i said “opps”!).

Well, our day dreams mean more than that. For there is something distinct about what we did to our dreams. We didn’t just stop at dreaming, we went on to make those dreams into reality. Let me illustrate with some examples.

(I paused and looked for a moment at the paper and then at the crowd – at least that’s what i think i did).

Some of us dreamt of great journeys, we dreamt of going to distant places… We organized, created and ran psychology camps.

Some of us dreamt of writing the next best novel or story books.. We created and printed our own publications.

Some of us dreamt dancing through the night… we made and enjoyed the many parties, and of course the grand psychology ball.

Some of us dreamt of giving our own lectures… we became tutors and learnt that lecturing is not as easy as we had once thought.

Some of us dreamt of becoming the heros and heroines we met in our texts… we signed up as research assistants and honed in our own skill as scientists

We all had some dream, and we worked hard in making those dreams reality. However some, did not dream. They, would also sit in class, take careful notes, and go back where ever they came from… i don’t know what happened to them.. (almost faint with some verbal effect) they just faded away.

(the crowd was hushed and i can see from their reaction that they were taken by what i had said)

I would like to quote to you what Robert Goddard said. I quote “it is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

Those of you who are freshmen and are standing at the doorway to this great journey, i hope you too will dare dream the impossible dream: spin your own magic, and make those dreams into reality. I welcome you to this prestigious program, at HELP University College.

I heard the crown applaud, but all i was aware of was how profusely i had been sweating. It was the first time i had been given the honor of addressing a crowd in an academic setting. Nothing in the years before this could have prepared me for such an honor. As i walked down, and back to my seat, i remember shaking the hands of the Deen, the head of ARCCADE, the HEAD of the career development center, the head of the clinical program, and my friends.

I was aware that i had faced a dream, and i had pulled it off in style. I am grateful for the university for giving me the honor. I am grateful for fellow blogger and friend, Steph, for giving me the topic which i spoke about: dreams. I am also grateful for another fellow blogger and friend, Tessa, for taking the lovely pictures that you see here (incidentlly, Tessa was also my date for this lovely lunch).


psychgrad said...

Sounds like an awesome experience and a great speech.

Mildred said...

wow... ;)

bet u must be swooning everyday, with a certain cheesecake/bubblegum back home eh? hehe...

Anonymous said...

Hey do you know where i can get other pics of that luncheon?

astrorat said...

Hai PsychGrad,

It was a lovely experience. A first in my career. So, it was a start of school for the undergrads and the start of something serious for me :)

hai MildRed ;)
Oh yes! How awesome to have the people you care about close to you rite? Hai, i am looking forward to meeting you.
And which of your addresses can i blogroll?

Hai Anonymous,

That really depends on who you really are :)

tkj said...

Wow, that's awesome! That's something else to be getting the chance to usher in a whole batch of freshmen. Nice job dude:)

Steph said...

Your welcome:) but the big bulk of your speech comes from your effort, feelings and experience in uni!

great job man!

Anonymous said...

Raam, what a fabulous speech.

I LOVE it. Really well done. Wish I was there. = (

I'm Certain you inspired a couple of dreamers who are going to go on to do great things.

Am very glad I was lucky nuff to dream along with you, in those few great years.

Cheers, you.

*k ; )

astrorat said...

Hai tkj,

Yes, its something isent it? Felt wonderful!

Hai Steph,
Thank you

Hai *K,
I had you in mind while writing part of the speech. I am glad i had the honor of being in your company too.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Hey Astro,

This is really wonderful to read.Congrats!!!

astrorat said...

Dear Deb,

:) It was one of those "brilliant" moments.