Things They Don’t Tell You About Graduation

With Brunel’s graduation week having just passed, it seems the perfect time to share some insight which I gained during my own ceremony, which I had very little idea about before the actual day.

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1. It’s a pretty long day but it will go in a flash! Don’t forget to bring a camera, and make sure you take all the photos you possibly can. Especially don’t forget to have a photo with Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself – it’s a staple part of leaving Brunel.

2. You’ll feel pride like you’ve never felt. That’s pride in yourself, in your classmates, in the school that you’ve been a part of, and in the university as a whole.

3. You’ll feel in awe of the people graduating their Master’s degrees, and those receiving their PhD, you may even feel inspired to go on to postgraduate study. (Don’t forget Brunel students receive a discounted fee if they further their study at Brunel)

4. You’ll be standing and walking more than they let on, so wear comfortable shoes. Or wear really impressive ones and carry a spare pair in your bag.

5. Wear waterproof make-up! Even if you don’t cry, you’ll get hot in the robes and some of your make-up will do its best to escape.

6. The complimentary drinks aren’t bad at all!

7. Even if your entire family can’t make it, they will be proud of you and you’ll probably feel so much love from them in the lead up to your graduation (and afterwards) that it will be like they were there all along.

8. Try to eat breakfast. It’s easy to forget or just decide not to if you have a morning graduation as you’re expected to register and collect your gown between 8:30 and 9:30, so the morning is a rush. The ceremony goes on until about 12 o’clock though, so at least make sure you’re hydrated. The robes are hot, you’re probably wearing warmer clothes than you typically would be on a hot day and there are a lot of people in the room. Having something in your stomach is going to be better than sitting there very hungry and possibly even light-headed.

9. I was extremely happy that we had to walk up and down a slope instead of steps to shake hands with the officials, but in the event that you do have to walk up steps, I refer you back to point 4 for the shoe warning.

10. The certificate you’re given is in a folder and isn’t rolled into a scroll. The scrolls are fake and only for photographic purposes.

11. Finally, just enjoy the day. There will be a lot of rushing around, it will be stressful at times and it’s easy to let that affect your mood. Take a deep breath – get your robes, take some photos, laugh at what you all look like wearing the mortar boards, and then realise you’re all actually pulling it off quite well. Get your tickets, meet your guests, take more photos and enjoy it. As I mentioned in point 1 it goes in a flash, enjoy every moment of your success, and the success of those around you.

Credit: Brunel University Facebook Page

Credit: Brunel University Facebook Page

Huge congratulations to the Class of 2014, may your lives be richer for knowing each other, and may your future be as rewarding and as beautiful as you want them to be. Best of luck with whatever comes next.

Poet in the City – Upcoming Events

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Poet in the City presents a series showcasing some of the most exciting new voices in poetry. Acclaimed International poets, rising stars, and some of the UK’s best new performance poets, will come together in a unique celebration of the power of words.

Come and experience poetry as you’ve never seen it before – inside London’s biggest bowler hat!

Living London – Monday 7th July 6.30pm – Living London is a celebration of some of London’s most exciting poets, writers and performance artists, in collaboration with Tilt. http://www.ontilt.org/

* Drawing on the unique Bowler Hat venue, the artists will explore London from all angles, from the surreal to the sublime! Living London will feature a live art performance by Stacy Makishi, flash fiction and wordplay by Femi Martin and poetry by Antosh Wojcik.

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London Calling – Monday 14 July 6.30pm – Celebrating the publication of My Voice: A Decade of Poems from The Poetry Translation Centre, this event showcases the outstanding contemporary poetry written in three languages widely spoken in London: Arabic, Persian and Somali.
* Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi is widely regarded as one of the leading African poets writing in Arabic. His Collected Poems was published in 2010. A distinguished journalist, he was forced into exile in 2012 and now lives in London.
* Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is one of the most exciting young poets of the Somali diaspora. She came to the UK in 1990 having fled the Somali Civil War and now lives in London.
* Reza Mohammadi was born in Kandahar in 1979. His three collections of poetry have gained him many awards, such as from the Afghan Ministry of Culture in 2004 and prizes for being Iran’s best young poet in 1996 and 1997.
* English translations will be read by Sarah Maguire (founder and director of the Poetry Translation Centre) and the poet Clare Pollard.

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How to Book:

Tickets for each event cost £8 and can be purchased via:

Living London

London Calling

For further information please contact Poet in the City on 0207 014 2812 or info@poetinthecity.co.uk

The Bowler Hat, Paternoster Square, London EC4M.
Nearest tube station is St Pauls.

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** Listen to Poet in the City’s informal Podcast with Antosh Wojcik – one of the youngest performers who will be at the Living London spoken word event – here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2267780-living-london-interview-with-antosh-wojcik

** Follow Poet in the City’s Blog, Twitter account: @PoetintheCityUK, or Facebook page for more information about upcoming events.

** Follow @brunelwriter on Twitter for information about events, competitions and job opportunities in the world of writing!

Will Self in conversation with Matt Thorne

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Date: 21 May 2014

Time: 18:00 – 19:00

Location: Brunel University Library

After the success of our Warsan Shire event in February, we are pleased to announce that our next talk in the Brunel Author Series will be with the internationally acclaimed author, journalist and broadcaster Will Self.

Professor Self will read from his work and then discuss his writing with Matt Thorne, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University.

Will Self is currently the Professor for Contemporary Thought at Brunel University, and has a worldwide reputation for his award winning writing. At the time of sending this e-mail, he is the prolific author of nine works of fiction, including the Booker short-listed Umbrella, six collections of non-fiction, three novellas and six short story collections. Will is a well-known face on several television programmes such Newsnight and Have I Got News For You, as well as a contributor to many BBC Radio 4 programmes. He is perhaps best known at Brunel for his Psychogeography course, a form of urban geography that employs walking around liminal spaces as a way of exploring the relationship between the environment and the mind.

Matt Thorne is the award nominated author of several books of fiction including Booker long-listed Cherry and most recently a biography of Prince.

The event will take place at 6pm on Wednesday 21st May in the Library, Bannerman Centre, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH. Booking is essential. Free places can be reserved by e-mailing library.events@brunel.ac.uk.

Books will be available to buy on the evening from Waterstones.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The Voices Inside Our Heads Launch Party

On the 19th March, the team of editors and writers behind Brunel’s first ever anthology of short stories came together to celebrate its launch at the Antonin Artaud building. Please click on the poster image below to see photographs from what was a wonderful evening. For further details of this ambitious project, please see the press release and earlier post hereBrunel-Anthology-Launch-1

 

The Voices Inside Our Heads

Brunel University’s first anthology of short stories by Creative Writing and Creative Writing & English Students at Brunel University

Anthology

BOOK LAUNCH 19th March 2014, 6pm, Antonin Artaud Building

Readings & Minglings

EVERYBODY WELCOME

Just turn up on the door

ENQUIRIES: brunelanthology2014@gmail.com

BOOKS will be ON SALE at £5 each

29 students, 29 stories

The characters in this superb book of short stories by Brunel undergrads range from a self-harming schoolboy to a Buddhist monk in Thailand; from cheating husbands to a mother hell-bent on plastic surgery. You’ll also find ghosts, broken relationships, loss of religious faith and a devastating flood in Burma, as well as fantasy fiction including a sea witch, a warrior girl who turns into a wolfhound and warring squirrels. You’ll come across quite a few crazies too, including a pathological liar, a serial killer, a boy stalker and a man whose itch gets so out of control he loses it completely.

Writers

Lauren Anderson, Neelam Appaddoo, Chloe Bines, Kirsty Capes, Charlotte Chappell, Stephanie Dickenson, Laura Dunnett, Emily Elicker, Mafaal Faal-Mason, Johno Fagan, Nathan Feldman, Vanessa Gibbs, Bryn Glover, Veronica Grubb, Sophie Hart, Emma Jeremy, Sophie Jones, Jemima Khalli, Molly McCabe, Rebecca Passmore, Rebecca Pizzey, Xenia Rimmer, Ashley Roye-Banton, Joanne Showunmi, Romany Stott, Samantha Symonds, Matthew Thomas, Hannah Varney, Rebbeca West