Welcome to my world…
The performance I gave at the Global Forum Event 2012, won me the honor of being one of the student speakers at this years graduation. After I read the email I was immediately excited and afraid, very afraid. I have been taught many times before that when giving a speech in front of an international audience, NEVER EVER include jokes because apparently my humor is not universal. I was also afraid because, although this is not the first speech I had to give, this was my first graduation speech and the first speech I had to give and was not asked to provide a copy of my speech before hand. Here lies my problem, when people ask me to present something, they know I am awesome at telling stories, getting the crowd enthusiastic, but often times I do say some things that are mildly inappropriate. And its not that I do not have a internal filter, I just speak from my heart and whatever is on my mind at the time…. Its a blessing and a flaw. So when writing this speech, I had a hard time trying to write something that my entire audience could “feel”, nod their head in agreement and possibly laugh at. So here ladies and gentlemen is my speech.
Jul 24, 2012 Graduation Speech
Aloha SKKU staff, students, and faculty. My name is Victoria Gregg and I am from Honolulu, Hawaii. If the stranger who sat next to me on Korean Air told me that I would be treated like a celebrity in South Korea, I would not believe him. That I would make life long friends with people who live in my own country , as well as make life long friends with people who are from the Czech Republic, Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Germany, Columbia and most importantly South Korea. I wouldn’t believe him. If that same stranger told me that I would attend school that cared so much about their students that I would contemplate calling my home university and tell them “I am I not coming back”. I wouldn’t believe them.
And you know why I wouldn’t believe him…It’s because South Korea and SKKU is unbelievable. The global forum literally changed my life. Before the event, I did not care about anything else besides winning. As I was sitting there at the event, I was so amazed at all the realizations I had gained that day. I would like to share 3 of them with you.
There is a whole world outside the united states, with countries experiencing similar issues we face. Therefore when I get home, I need to turn off sponge bob and turn on local news channels from around the world to stay informed.
Theme of that night seemed to be education, and with it brings opportunities such as this one. So never stop learning.
The next time I give another presentation, whether it be for school, business, or just in life, to make sure I present it with as much passion as the winners from the global forum. Congratulations again to team G7.
Today marks the day when we all become SKKU alumni. So when a year, 2 years, 3 years go by, and you are revisiting your South Korea photo album on Facebook. I want You! YOU! You! And You and the whole student body to reflect on this very moment, reflect on the cultural richness of South Korea and reflect on the riches you have gained in new friends.
Mahalo for listening
After I finished, I gave a huge smile and a big *sigh* of relief when I made it back to my seat without falling or tripping (I hate heels!). When the ceremony finished I got out of my gown and managed to find my friends. Suddenly I am meeting new people, have cameras in my face, and people are congratulating me left and right. It took every ounce of my being not to cry, because I kept telling myself this is it, I leave Korea the next day at 7:00pm. But the tears would have to wait because it was now time to party.
Later on that night, instead of going to a high-intense Korean club, my friends and I decided to go to a Jazz-Club. The drinks were flowing and of course my friends and I were discussing the cultural differences of South Korea and the rest of the world, while enjoying the live music. Towards the end of the night we all promised to visit each other at our respective countries and called it a night.
I intend to hold my promise, my chronicles will not end here :).