Valedictory Dinner

Valedictory Dinner is an evening where the graduating residents from each of the colleges come together and enjoy a dinner in honour of their time on college. Mine, I’m sad to admit, occurred in October this year. I’m sad about it because it means that my time on college is finally coming to an end, a very sad realization indeed. Regardless, this was an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the ups and downs of our journey, which, for most of us, has been many years. Between the good food and powerpoints, there was, of course, an important reminder of the significance of this moment.

Valedictory-39

There were four speakers, the valedictorians from each of the colleges, and our guest speaker, to deliver the valedictory address. The three valedictorians were Alex Darton from McGregor, Steph Piper from Steele Rudd, and Lachlan Withnall from Concannon. Steph had spent her first two years on McGregor, so had some horribly embarrassing photos of all of the McGregor residents, myself included. We remembered strange haircuts, unusual activities, and peculiar goings on. Lachlan reminded us of the general superiority of Concannon College, and Alex brought us home with a reflection on the beauty of finding time for yourself amongst the crazy college environment.

 

The Valedictory speaker took the time to remind us of the merits of being kind, of knowing what you need to help you through the university environment. We were regaled with tales of cats, kindness, and University life. For me, there was a moment of learning not touched on by our speakers, and it occurred as I watched all of the graduates receive the beautiful photo frame given to us by the colleges. It was a reminder of the significance of community and comradeship. As someone who holds a strong need to maintain close relationships with people, I had the opportunity to see many of my closest friends as the people they’d grown to become, which was frankly a magnificent experience.

 

Valedictory dinner, beyond the memories and reminders of the friendships developed, was a wonderful evening full of great conversation, excellent food (and wine) and fantastic opportunities to reflect upon the magnificent years that had preceded it.

Valedictory-132 Valedictory-126

Graduation from College Life? Here I come!

7 Cool Places around USQ You Might Not Know Exist

So you study at USQ, but how well do you know USQ?  We tend to stick to our respective departments and don’t often go and have a look at what’s around.  It’s okay though, because that’s what I’ve done for you!

1.  The new research labs:  Where myself and a few others have been undertaking our Honours year.  These great new facilities were officially opened by the Chief Scientist himself, Prof. Ian Chubb.

stephGif1

2.  The Arts Theatre:  If you haven’t been in there to check out a performance yourself, I highly recommend it!  A great performance that’s on this week is “Love Me Tinder”.  Can personally recommend, 10/10 performance!  Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1tWSAfF.  Last performances are this weekend on the 14th and 15th of November, get keen!

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3.  Voice Editing Studio in Y Block:  Thanks to Jason Myatt for the tour!  Acting student Joe Treloar was recording his glorious voice in the below .gif.

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4.  A Block Courtyard: A secluded, sunny place to have lunch and meet some arts students.

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5.  The Vice Chancellor’s Board Room:  Notice the newly acquired artwork titled ‘The impact of colonisation’ by Jennifer Wright recognising indigenous culture.

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6.  The S Block Level 5 Council Chambers:  For the Toowoomba G20 (just kidding).

Sblock

7. C Block Resarch Office:  Where all the ‘work’ gets done.

Officeresearch

Tune in next time for more potentially undiscovered USQ!

4 tips to prevent your social life taking over

It’s Friday afternoon and you have an assignment due Monday. You’ve kind of looked at it but haven’t made any real progress. You’ve decided to dedicate your entire weekend to writing the assignment that you really should have started weeks ago.

You sit down, read the assignment task and begin to do your research.

‘Buzz buzz’. You didn’t turn your phone off and your friends have text you wondering if you are still keen to catch up tonight. You reply that you have an assignment to do so you can’t make it and you will catch up with them next weekend.

‘buzz buzz buzz’ your phone rings and you reluctantly answer. You know what’s coming. All of your friends have been conferenced into the call.

‘It’s just a couple of hours tonight’, one friend says.

‘You promised you would make it this weekend’, another insists.

‘But we already made the plans, you can’t back out now’, another cries.

‘I really need to do this assignment, I’ve already received an extension’, you explain to them.

‘It’s already late’, your best mate jokes. ‘What’s one extra day going to matter?’

The cursor on your computer blinks at you. You have lots of work to do. You’re already pushing the deadline and are unsure if you can get the assignment finished on time.

Not all of your friends are students and they have trouble understanding why your assignment is so important. You really want to do well at uni, after all, your degree could potentially set you up for the rest of your life. But, you don’t want to disappoint your friends. What do you do? How do you say no to your friends and other social pressures and work hard to still meet your study deadlines?

The above scenario is one that many of us are familiar with and some of us handle the situation better than others. Some of us can say no while some of us give in, meet up with our friends and submit the assignment late, incomplete or work that is of a poor standard. These four tips will help you say no to your friends once in a while and help you balance your study and social lives.

1. Explain to your friends that you have study to do:

Tell them why study is so important to you. You want to use your nursing skills to help people, your teaching skills to educate people, your engineering skills to build cool things, your business skills to start that business you have always dreamed of, or your music skills to start an awesome band and make great music.

2. Make a compromise:

Explain to your friends that if you get this assignment in and feel like you did a good job, you’ll be able to catch up for longer next weekend. Talk about how awesome the party will be when you can celebrate your graduation.

3. Ask your friends for their support:

Make your friends feel involved. By asking them for support, it lets them feel like they are part of your study experience too. They can offer you the support that you need to get through those long nights of study and the stress of exams. Not to mention the late-night coffee and snack runs!

4. Don’t forget to have fun:

You don’t always have to say no. You don’t want to burn yourself out by sitting in front of the computer screen for too long. Have fun and remember that it is OK to spend time on things that make you happy. A quick study break might be just what you need.

Ultimately, you are at uni to get your degree and get to where you want in life. It’s important to have a balance between your study and social life, but remember that study is only a part of your life for a short period of time. You will have the time to catch up with your friends during uni holidays and after you finish your degree. Keep focused on the reason you are studying and surround yourself with supportive people.

What are you going to do this weekend?

FLORIDA- HERE I COME!!!

As I was working through my study books in mid May, tirelessly completing final year assessment for university, I got a little single note tone on my phone indicating that I just got an email. Now getting an email is nothing new, but this one was from my music lecturer suggesting that I check out an audition in town. The audition was for an event in Orlando, Florida. This is an American event that allows people in the fields of Singing, Dancing, Modelling and Acting to showcase their talents in front of agencies and to attend workshops for training from professionals in their specific fields. They have an Australian representative who auditions around the country and takes over a specially selected group. This year she selected 37 people from across Australia and New Zealand.

Universal Studios

To gain a spot in this would have been phenomenal but when you consider how many people, from these two countries, would be eligible, there was a very slim chance I would have a hope in getting selected. I figured, I wouldn’t know unless I tried. If I did it and didn’t get in, at least I would have gained some experience auditioning. If I didn’t even audition, what would I gain from that? I’d probably gain curiosity and regret.

After a seemingly long week, I got an email from the lovely representative saying that she would love to have me on board and asked if I would accept her offer.

Florida

This just blew my mind! My friends at college kept saying, “I reckon you got a good chance” and that was really encouraging to hear, but I didn’t want to psyche myself up, only to get disappointed. None-the-less, in December 2014, I’ll be heading to the States for a week for Singing and Modelling.

Now I had to balance the trainings for it and my studies to make sure I can succeeded in both. It will work out to be perfect timing because I will just finish my course and then go out and showcase what I can do.

The only issue is that I need to pay for the expenses and they add up to just over $7000. Thankfully, college friends also helped out with fundraising and so far I have been able to meet expenses. I haven’t paid them all off yet but I have faith that I can make it!

Steele Rudd College

I seriously can’t thank all my college friends enough for taking the time out of their busy schedules and for their efforts and support – purely for the sake of helping me achieve my dream. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!

If you would like to help me financially, please go to the link below:

http://www.gofundme.com/9wx2wo

Kent

 

And the winner is… Steele Rudd!

And there was much clapping, standing, fist pumping, high fiving and celebration.  The bards will sing about the glories of this win to many freshers to come.  The news is out, Steele Rudd has won the Residential Shield cup.  What a year – All three colleges consistently impressed me with their skill and commitment in all events.  Short film is one of the more light-hearted competitions between the colleges, and you can re-live the action below.  All videos had to contain items like a Shakespeare poster, Big Brother, Nutella, the Game of Thrones theme, Billy Jean and many others.  Enjoy!

Steele Rudd College:

Concannon College:

McGregor College:

Thanks to Simon Merange for the usage of his YouTube channel!

Music Parodies, Friends and Fun- Just some of the perks of living on College

Living on College really is a lot of fun. Whether it’s playing a game of pool in the Rec Hall, participating in Res Shield events, chilling out with your friends or watching a movie in the Common Room, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Sometimes we forget how easy things are when we live on College. Internet and utilities are provided as part of our rent, we get lots of support and help with our study, our friends live right next door and unless we live in self-catered, we don’t have to cook.

Some of our residents recently put together a parody of A1’s Caught in the Middle and called it I Wanna Go Back Now to highlight how great College really is.

Whether you are currently living on College, or thinking about joining us next year, we can’t wait to see you!

Will we be seeing you in 2015?

Top 10 College ‘Life Hacks’

When you start studying at Uni it is a fair assumption that you will have a tight budget, but there will still be things that you just can’t go without.

Now that I am at the end of my fourth year living on college, I thought that I would share with you some of the most important college ‘life hacks’ that I wish someone had told me in my first year.

1. Use shower curtain rings on coat hangers to hang your scarves and belts

Shower Curtain Rings on Coat Hangers

2. Use can pull tabs to create extra hanging space in your wardrobe

Can pull tabs to create extra hanging space in your wardrobe

3. Push your leftovers away from the center of the plate for even re-heating

Reheating leftovers

4. Put a small hook near your door to hang your keys so that you always know where they are

Key hook

5. Turn your laptop bag into a back pack

Laptop bag into back pack

6. Fix your thongs with a bread clip and super glue

Fix thongs with bread clip and super glue

7. Use a toilet roll and plastic cups as a speaker for your phone

Toilet roll and plastic cups as phone speaker

8. Use bulldog clips to hold your chargers

Bulldog clips to hold chargers

9. Hang a damp towel in front of your window on hot days to cool down your room

Damp towel over window on hot day

10. Post-it notes are great for cleaning dust from your computer keyboard

Clean keyboard with post-it notes

Do you have any life hacks that aren’t on the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time,

Kim

Professorial Lecture

Every year, the University hosts an event called the “Residential Colleges Professorial Lecture”. The lecture is a night in which the Residential College students come together in the Allison Dickson Theatre to hear a lecture given by a high-profile member of University Faculty. For many college students, this is an opportunity to come together as a group, excitedly dress in “Harry Potter” robes, and have a few wines and cheeses on the university’s dime.

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For those questioning how legitimate the alleged excitement over the “Harry Potter” robes is, it is worth noting that many if not most students choose to spend the afternoon preceding the event finding sticks from gardens around the university to use as make-shift wands for the evening, only to insist that indeed:

“The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Lyons”

Further, the most overheard phrase of the entire evening 3 years running goes to:

“It’s Wingardium Levi-O-sa, not Levi-o-SAHHHHH”

College Student Shenanigans aside, these lectures tend to have a much stronger impact on the students than we sometimes appreciate. This year, the lecture was presented by Dr. Ken Udas, on the topic of Liberalizing the Corporate University. Purely based on the title, I expected something akin to that one chapter of the History Textbook, which no one managed to finish in High School, much to the dismay of the year nine Social Sciences Teacher. However, despite the use of big words like “Liberalizing”, “Corporate” and “the”, even I, a Creative Arts Student with an unfortunate migraine as a result of the flu, which I was battling at the time, managed to be gripped by the content of Dr. Udas’ lecture.

The long and the short of the lecture is, that Dr. Udas, who has lectured and worked at many universities all over the world, has a lot to say about the purpose to which we run our Universities. He discusses that the purpose of the University, which should be the pursuit of truth beyond all other things, has become a desperate desire to better ourselves in the tangible statistics, employment rates, guaranteed pay for our graduates and similar.

As an aspiring actor, who will have a harder time finding employment than a tortoise that can do a backflip (which would be awesome, by the way), remembering to not always see the world in this light is really important. As young people, we’re often told things like “It’s about the Journey, not the destination”, only to realize that we can, in fact, pass a 3rd year University course by doing the assignments the night before and cramming the week of the exam. Our world, as it would seem, is about the destination. We measure our success by the tangible, the job that we will get, the money we will make and the grades that we got. What Dr. Udas took great pains to remind us is that University is about the pursuit of truth, and that first things first, we need to remember what we’re here to do, Learn.

Seeing the Finish Line

You know your course is approaching the end when you are so busy that you actually look forward to a day where you can just do whatever you want instead of following your strict timetable to ensure that you actually complete everything. Another sign is telling your teacher you won’t be at class this week, not because you’re sick, but because you are actually working on your BCA project in the studio. It’s hard to be in two places at once. You find that 3 subjects now seem to take about the time and a half of 4 subjects from previous years and you realize that you haven’t even considered answering yes to “are you coming out this Thursday night?”

Finish Line Ahead

It’s not all as bad as it sounds. After all, you learn so much about why you studied some of those “pointless” courses from first year. Let me explain. For me in Creative Arts, I have to complete a BCA project throughout my last year. Basically the BCA project is the start of you setting yourself up to be able to finish university as a business on your own and have something to show employers. I have realized though that a little bit of everything I’ve learnt throughout the 3 years has all played a part in my final project. What am I saying? Basically, you know you’re approaching the finish line when all of your courses from previous years are actually proving their purpose, you have absolutely no say in what you have to do in the day, you find you have to say no a lot more, but the best of all, you see the meaning in your efforts and progress.

My BCA project was to write and record an EP. By the way, I will have that out soon. Watch my Facebook page for details: www.facebook.com/kenttonscheckofficial

It’s seeing the results of study and projects like this that make all the busy days worth while. The biggest reward for me is seeing people appreciate my efforts and enjoying the art I’ve made. That’s the greatest upside to seeing the finish line.

Friends Help You Cross The Finish Line

Living on college has a huge benefit when trying to complete your final year. As I’ve mentioned, your last year gets really hectic and sometimes it’s hard to stay enthusiastic about doing assignments. Our minds need a balance of study and social life in order to function efficiently, however, being so busy that you can’t even attend all your classes, there’s obviously no time left in the day to be a social bird. Seeing your friends and classmates around you (also in their last year of study) working through their assessment and making it out alive, it’s actually really encouraging and you feel more positive and motivated to go complete your work.

Also you can all whinge about the same problems, with people who relate directly, around the dinner table – the only time away from the books and instruments… well… books… Us music students will sometimes eat with our instruments at the table. What can I say? It’s a part of our passion.

All in all, seeing the finish line is a time of

  • Excitement
  • Revelation of some early courses
  • Challenge
  • Finding new ways to balance your mind
  • Achievement

Unitl next time,

Kent

Batman and the Bin Bandits

Every Year, as part of the Residential Shield competition, each college is required to submit a short film for judging and comparison between the three colleges. We are supplied with a set of unusual criteria, and asked to devise, write and film an 8-10 minute film based on these. As an Acting student, and someone with relatively few otherwise useful talents, this is one of the only competitive cross-college events that I’m any use in. That said, it’s also quite possibly the most fun of the lot. I’ve attached McGregor’s 2013 video, which consists of all things unusual from Batman to Bart Simpson, to Bandits riding in bins. The criteria for this video dictated that they each video must include:

A Glee Style Music Number

  • The Song Footloose
  • Bart Simpson
  • Brad Pitt
  • The 1950’s Batman theme
  • A dustpan and brush
  • A Cheerleader
  • A scene shot in the new Refectory

Naturally this peculiar mix makes for quite a unique artistic predicament among the creative team for the video, and poses a special set of challenges for us as a unit. We are, however, extremely confident that we effectively met almost all of these terms with our film, and, let’s face it, produced an award-worthy piece of art. We didn’t take home any Oscars, but boy were we worthy.
This masterpiece stars yours truly as Officer Niel Raymonds, and Emily Martin as his partner ‘Happy’. Filmed and Edited by Simon Merange and featuring the supporting Talents of Brendan O’Leary, Jennifer Laycock, Steph ‘Batman’ Piper and Thomas Pitt Hooley. Special Thanks to Steph for the Link.

Until Next Time,

Josh