A Lecture from Dr. Patrick Loughrey, Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London

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It was during the second summer of my University career which I learned that the tiny school of Guelph-Humber had some pretty huge connections. UoGH offers a summer “study abroad” program. This short, two – three week trip, is very much worth the experience. Each of the seven programs at UoGH has an outer connection to a University somewhere in the world. Some in Australia, Berlin, London etc. My only interest at the time I discovered this, was media, and that connection was in London. I’d always fantasized about the United Kingdom and of course, been admirable of the accents! Needless to say, I went on the study abroad trip and it was just amazing! Here is a blog I used to record my trip if you’re interested, if not, this post, today, is about a lecture I attending yesterday. It was given by the Warder of Goldsmiths, London University (where we visited on our school trip).

About a week ago I  received an email inviting all media students to a lecture given by a visiting London professor. Hearing he was the Warned at Goldsmiths sold me. I’ll be honest, I think I had some kind of alternative motive in attending the lecture; I may or may not have prepared a speech in which to ask Dr. Loughrey to adopt me and bring me to London with me. I was fully willing to be his protege.. This dream was only minimally broken when I discovered he already had two daughters.. I think that’s enough for the poor man.

Anyways, to my surprise the lecture hall which had been booked for 40 students, contained seven. Seriously? An entire media studies program filled with students interested in everything Dr. Loughrey embodies, and seven people show up… Not cool.

But, hey, it was a lot more intimate and relaxed. Loughrey was very easy going, he cursed and made the lecture more, discussion oriented. It lasted roughly an hour and I hung on Loughrey’s every interesting word! He opened the lecture by telling us: “you have made a really, really good career choice. I have never regretted the choice that you have just made.” The major points I was able to walk away with are:

  1. Goldsmiths has been the school to many bright, and talented minds. (Steve McQueen, Mary Quant, Richard Hoggart, and Lord Reith to name a few) He shared a truly amazing story about each of these individuals. Mary’s story I found really interesting. She invented panyhoes! I had no idea the struggle women went through before these amazing shere, pant/stocking/tight/things were invented. Apparently, (and this story is much better told by a middle-aged man) Mary was in a meeting, trying to sell these pantyhoes to seven, older, busienss men. Her pitch was not going well, she tried to describe the annoyance that women currently faced, with suspenders holding up leg-length socks. When none of the men seemed interested in Mary’s idea, one man in the back said “I’ll take 32,000” (Whoa!) This man was a buyer from Sears, and he, unlike the other men in the room had five daughters – he gets it!                                                             Loughrey’s then explained his trifecta of success idea: success comes from the three A’s: ability, application, and ambition. He stressed for a long time that the most successful people in world (not just media) aren’t what society deems normal. Those who are successful and memorable are the people who have the most insecurities, who have the most heart-breaking, tragic lives, who have one single dream and all of the intelligence to accomplish that dream. These people are so focused and determined, they deny the impulses, the simple indulgences of many people’s daily habits (drugs, alcohol, parties) and they commit to accomplishing their dream. They obsess and cling to one goal, and one day, they succeed. Enduring all the bullshit that life could possibly throw at them, people (Loughrey mentioned) such as, Steve Jobs, and Steve McQueen. Loughrey also hinted, that he was able to relate because he grew up “so far on the wrong side of the tracks, there were no tracks!” – guys got a sense of humour, definitely a huge bonus!
  2. From this part of the lecture I was able to understand how important it really is to embrace the “haters” The strongest people I know have been torn down by every person in their life, and yet, they don’t give up, they channel the energy they could use to retaliate, or just give up; they turn it into fuel. I think that Dr. Loughry was right, it takes a few specific characteristics to be successful, but I also think that this cliche quote “everybody’s got a story that will break your heart” is relevant. To me, your problems are only as big as your own life. Success to one person is different from anyone elses version.
  3. I have to read this book: Lady Chatterley’s Lover” apparently it’s basically a 1900’s 50 Shades of Grey novel. I never actually ready 50 Shades, but this could be interesting!
  4. “Progress is not linear.” “The best inventions are those accidently stumbled upon.” “What would be the point of mountain climbing if the mountains were flat?” A few quotes I scribbled down, could mean something different to you, but I wanted to share his words; things to think about.
  5. Dr. Loughrey has an opinion on naked news… “It’s dumb”…. I’ll let that one stay right here: http://www.nakednews.com/ The lecture did take a few segways back to the fact that pornography is the largest media market. Since it doesn’t interest me (at this moment) I’ll bypass it.
  6. The last point that Loughry made was so simple. It is a lesson to consider in all aspects of life, but it’s easily forgotten. We have to be conscious of the unsung heros. The men and women that are part of our daily lives, that save lives, make our world better and keep us safe. It’s embarrassing that we idolize and fantasize about celebrity relationships, break-ups, scandals, diet secrets, and the rest of Hollywood’s materialistic world views. We should be idolizing and spreading news of people like Julia Gillard, Panti (please watch this gay rights video) and Chelsey Sullenberger.

I think these last clips I’ve linked to each name are just perfect way to end this entry. They are really powerful and really interesting. It makes you consider your daily lives. Who do you encounter and mistreat? Misread? Or ignore completely? Probably the same people that would trade their lives to save a few of yours. The people that stand up for those who can’t. They just happen to be the same people who aren’t looking for the credit and fame, but seeking a better world.

I hope to share with you the slideshow for the lecture! I haven’t received a copy yet but I’ll post it in the comment section when I do!

Posted with love,

Ady

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