April 29, 2004

Com Department Senior Sendoff

Senior Sendoff
Senior Sendoff to the Class of 2004 (click for larger image)

Just the picture for now...I said what I wanted to last night

Posted by Matthew at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)


My advice

Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

My advice to people at La Salle and in general hasn't changed much in four years:

  • "Follow your bliss," as Campbell said. Find what you're passionate about and explore that until the ends to which it takes you.

  • Do something every day that scares you, even if it's just a little scare (this I stole from the "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" song from 8 years ago.)

  • Go to your classes - you're paying for them (or you will be) and it's the easiest way to get a good grade.

  • Get to know your professors - more than a few are people beyond their jobs who enjoy interacting with students.

  • Blue and Gold Breakfast is the best meal of the day by far.

  • Don't be afraid to make connections between your classes: realizing those connections is what the whole "liberal arts" thing (which you complain about so much) is all about

  • Make your voice heard in RSA or SGA or through a student organization. They have money to spend acting in your interests, and have clout to get what you want done. On the reverse side of this, help these organizations out with your time and energy.

  • The All Campus Formal is an awesome time for a small amount of money.

  • Never turn down a midnight pretzel run.

  • Get into the city! Learn how to take the subway to get to the parts of Philadelphia that interest you. Go into the city whenever you can.

  • If you have a car, learn how to get to the Wawa in Germantown. This will save you during exam weeks, and probably make you some friends. (For the record: Go out towards the TC Apartments on Chew, and keep going until Chew dead ends. Make a left. Make a right. It's on your left hand side.

And that's it, I think.

The People
La Salle has always been about the people for me. I'm here because of a few chance relationships that I formed in my senior year at Calvert Hall. I first applied on the advice of Bro. Mike Tidd, who had done graduate work here. I met Sid MacLeod randomly when he came to film something in the Honors Center at CHC. He got to talking about the Communication department, and I wound up getting a Christmas card and a random note from him in February asking about how the search was coming. In April, I think it was, I went to an open house here where I heard a professor speak about her experiences here. I was sitting on the far left side of the Dan Rodden Theatre, and she hobbled in on crutches. She didn't even take the stage, but she spoke so eloquently and effectively from where she was at the foot of the audience that I knew I was sold. Her dedication was just so evident - dedication not only to La Salle, but also to her profession and the people that she taught and worked with. That professor, I realized later, was Dr. Gauss, of the School of Business Administration, whose daughter I got to know through the Masque.

I speak about the people now because they're what I'm going to miss. They're what I'm going to always remember - that sense of family that came through on so many joyous occasions - Opening weekend, Commencements, Masses, Carnifalls, CAJHFests, MATLC BBQ's, plays and musicals - and on so many dark days - deaths, gas main fires, power outages. I feel weird when I describe the sense of family that exists at La Salle, but it's there. There's the game of "Six Degrees of Separation" in which one is able to connect a person to any other person on the planet through a maximum of six other people. If the game is played at La Salle, I'm a firm believer that it becomes "One Degree..." or at most "Two Degrees..."

In many ways, I can say that the last 5 months have been some of the most active times in which I've made new friends. Some of these friends I've gotten to know quite well, and others I've barely scratched the surface with. I hope our relationships continue - all of you. I've said that a lot lately: Kiss the Wall, with seniors standing on main campus, talking one on one... Commencement, to me has always meant "MOVE ON;" however, none of us are going to blink out of existence on May 9th at 11am (or 2pm, depending on the rain...) So seek us out; for the most part, you're on my buddy list. Don't be a stranger, and if we've meant something, don't allow us to be strangers either. On the other hand, let us know when we've become annoying and you need us to move on.

I deeply feel that every person that I've met over these last four years has affected me in some way. I remember reading in a great book this theory called "Locard's Exchange Principle." The gist of this principle is that whenever someone passes through a room, they unwittingly leave something and take something else away. I think that the chance meetings that occur every day adhere to this principle - everyone we meet, and everywhere we go, we both gain something for ourselves and give something to someone else. I know I at least feel that way after all of the meetings and run-ins that I've had at La Salle over these four years. Some of my gifts were significant, but many were minimal. The same goes for the gifts that I received: but realize that they have all affected me.

The important thing in the end became not what was said, or what the content of the conversation was, but that it was said, that we were in that place at that moment, together. In a way, life is merely a series of chance meetings played out over time. We make of them what we want and what we can.

I guess what I'm trying to say in my flowery language is thank you to all the people that I've worked with, met, studied with, acted with, talked with, ate with, ran with, whatever - thank you for affecting me and for helping to make me who I am right now. I sincerely hope, and know a great deal, that many people feel the same way. I wish you the best in whatever you want to do - whatever it is that you're passionate about, even if the passion is only for a short while.

I don't know what it is that I'm fully trying to say. My experience will not be everyone's experience. I don't want it to be. Still, there's an overwhelming urge to pass things on. I'm the guy that can't let things go unsaid to people (which has gotten me into some interesting situations, let me tell you...)

So La Salle, thank you again. I'll miss the family, but I still will be around, if distant.

Right Now

I'm done with all of my undergraduate work.

Aside from checkout duty, I'm finished with all of my CA responsibilities.

I am content. No regrets. Nothing left unsaid for the most part. Four years later I feel enriched, happy, content, and ready for what is coming next.

I'm losing my computer on Friday morning, so I will be out of touch for most of the days in the next week. If you're at Commencement, look for me. Drop me an email. Don't be a stranger.

A song that I just heard recently for the first time:
"Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall" by Simon and Garfunkel
Through the corridors of sleep
Past the shadows dark and deep
My mind dances and leaps in confusion.
I don't know what is real,
I can't touch what I feel
And I hide behind the shield of my illusion.

So I'll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.

The mirror on my wall
Casts an image dark and small
But I'm not sure at all it's my reflection.
I am blinded by the light
Of God and truth and right
And I wander in the night without direction.


It's no matter if you're born
To play the King or pawn
For the line is thinly drawn 'tween joy and sorrow,
So my fantasy
Becomes reality,
And I must be what I must be and face tomorrow.


And one final note: if you're going to comment on this entry, I'd ask that you be kind. I apologize if I've sounded wistful or self-righteous. I do like comments, but keep this last line in mind.

[Listening to: "Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall", by Simon & Garfunkel from the album "Old Friends"]
Posted by Matthew at 02:27 AM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2004

Professor Quotes from Spring Semester, 2004

(As a general practice, I try to collect quotes from my professors as the semester rolls on. They are recorded at the top of my notebook pages and attributed with the date. These come from the files...discretion advised for the Bill Wine quotes. )

Dr. Geff Kelly, REL 271 - Travel Study to Ireland

"Dancing with a man...just not my style." (regarding parties while he was in the monostary) - 1/23/04

"We weren't allowed to look women in the face...of course, we all did, what the hell..." -3/19/04

Dr. Joseph Volpe, HON 330 - Democratic Vistas

"That marker's pretty potent" - Steve Martin
"Yeah. I'm getting high." - Dr. Volpe - 2/24/04

"California. It's deadening." - 3/9/04

"It's our last class so I can say things that are exceptionally stupid." - 4/20/04

Prof. Bill Wine, COM 204 - Film as Art

"Shut the hell up you liars! You wanted to see it as much as I did!" - 1/21/04

"When did you fall in love between fucking gunshots?" - 1/28/04

"You're gonna get good drunken acting out of drunken actors." -2/4/04

"Neo, get the fuck up in the air about five minutes earlier!" (On Neo fighting Agent Smith in the Matrix) - 2/9/04

"That's God doing his work through me. Sorry, I just sat through a Mel Gibson film." - 3/8/04

"He's got a stack of blue books, he's probably drunk, put some fuckin' effort into it!" - 3/5/04

"I'm not sure why I'm laughing. Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you." -4/19/04

Prof. Bill Wine, COM 324 - Film History

"Would you pull the doors closed? I may want to curse." - 1/29/04

"The review ends and the idiot anchor across the desk says, "Just tell us Bill, is it a chick flick?" And you just want to say, "Eat shit and die." -1/29/04

"Steal from everywhere" (on sources for the essay) - 1/29/04

"Well, I'm sadistic, and it pleases me." (on making what could easily be a 5 page paper no more than one page) - 1/29/04

"This is me getting back at the world for having to do one fucking movie in one minute." (again, about the paper) - 1/29/04

"Fox...I always leave Fox out...what an amazing Freudian slip." - 2/18/04

"After film noir, you may feel you need to take a shower or see a comedy or a musical." - 2/19/04

"Film noir...people getting in touch with their emotions at the most inopportune times." - 2/19/04

"When 2001 opened, people thought it was beautiful. I mean, most of them were stoned, but..." - 2/26/04

"About a year after I die, mail them to me in hell." - 3/18/04

"Did you buy that shit-eating smile, or was it here when you got here?" - 3/25/04

"Are we lawbreakers? Look to my left - she's stoned. Look to my right - he's stoned. Yes!" - 3/25/04

"Plagarize your little asses off. Just tell me who you're plagirizing from." - 4/15/04

"I'm not looking for a hip-hop treatise." - 4/15/04

"That movie is about telling your brother to punch you in the face." (on Raging Bull) - 4/15/04

"All right, Joe, everyone has to answer the questions except you. (a beat) Fuck you!" - 4/22/04

"So if you had a paper due, or you're a thoroughly irresponsible human being..." - 4/22/04

Posted by Matthew at 03:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2004

MATLC Big Fun Thing

MATLC Staff, '03-'04 (click to enlarge)

I put the pictures that I took from the TCLAM Bake...aka, the MATLC Big Fun Thing (to me, as I dislike the other name) online. Click Here For The Pictures.

That's all for right now. Masque Formal tonight. Professor Quotes up here sometime this week. The end approacheth.

Posted by Matthew at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2004

"Long Live God...Prepare Ye the Way"

(again, I know, my webhosting company is being flaky. Bear with for a while...)

Godspell proved to be the time of my life. I loved every single moment that I was on stage - despite the sweat dripping on my brow, the constant stress and falling down during the dance numbers, and all of the negatives that I percieved in the back of my mind. My parents said that they never saw me as happy as they did up on the stage, and I believed them. It was a ball. The show proved to be 2 hours of fun with 9 other people that were having the time of their lives.

I fell for the first three nights we ran the entire show (dress rehearsal, thursday, and friday.) What struck me was how quickly I got up again - the thursday fall was after bows, when I ran smack into a support beam (painted black) that was holding the ramp up. I fell, stood up, and was still smiling, and continued smiling running out of the theater. The adreneline carried me. Ditto went for Saturday, when I plopped onto my ass during "We Beseech Thee." I got back up and was back into the song as though nothing had happened. Why I mention these, I don't know, but it may work out to be some huge life lesson about getting back up again - I don't know if I would have done as I did - smiling - 2 months ago, before Godspell.

To the cast, thank you...we made magic together, and had fun doing it. To the crew, I meant what I said, you are the consumate professionals of the theatre even when the rest of the actors were goofing off. You rock.

If you came, thank you...you were such a huge asset to the entire show - the audience. Every night was wonderful, every night was different, but each night the audience fed us the energy we needed to make the show great.

I don't know if I'll ever act again...everything with acting is so focused - where are my hands? what's the next line? what's my next line? where should I be standing? - Everything becomes so deliberate. The trick becomes getting it to be second nature, it seems - so that every action and every line becomes instinctual and inherent to the one before it.

I really can't believe it's all over...I keep expecting another another call, another show, another night with an audience, and it's not happening.

I have no regrets about never acting before this, just as I have no regrets about anything that I've done at La Salle. Things have worked out too well for me to complain and nitpick - I would never have believed how far I've come in four short years...the things I've done and tried, the people I've met, and just the random minutae of college life that just happens!

But now I seem to be babbling quite a bit..

My (rather wonderfully pathetic) end of the year countdown:

  • 3 Nights of Duty (Thusday, Sunday, Wednesday)
  • 2 exams, both on Monday (Film as Art, Film History)
  • 1 reflection paper for Volpe (5 pages...easy as pie...)

[Listening to: " Finale ", by Godspell Spring 04 CD]

Posted by Matthew at 02:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2004

demizio.com flakiness...

The last couple days have seen my web hosting provider switch without my realizing. As a result, things seem slow on the site and thnigs were unavailable for a while.

I think the majority of the problems are over now, however, I'm not 100% sure.

Updates should continue later tonight.

Posted by Matthew at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2004

Opening night...

I've never really acted in front of an audience before. My theatrical experience has always been behind the scenes - usually lighting.

Tonight was an experience.

To begin with, I was positive that I was going to forget every single one of my lines once I saw people - any people - in the audience. I had convinced myself that I could do the show as long as no one was looking up at me. The eyes would completely throw me off.

For Godspell, Louis has given the cast free reign to wander the audience before the show, and during intermission. "Great," I thought, "Now I'll know exactly who's watching me."

I was doubly screwed...

But it all came off without a hitch. Or without a hitch that would destroy the show. Sure, lines were flubbed and dropped, entrances were late, and the light cues may have been off for a bit (it's amazing how I didn't notice AT ALL because I was so into what we were doing...)

It went wonderfully. We fed off of the audience's laughter, we held for applause. The show went fantastic. People clapped along. People sang along (I think)...people were in tears, or near that point (as they told me later.)

It was a fantastic night. 3 more left.

The Masque of La Salle presents...


Book by: John Michael Tebelak
Lyrics by: Stephen Schwartz
Music by: Stephen Schwartz
Based on The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Dan Rodden Theatre:
April 15, 16, 17 @ 8PM
April 18th @ 2PM

[Listening to: "Glory Days", by Bruce Springsteen from the album "The Essential Bruce Springsteen"]
Posted by Matthew at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2004

Godspell Information

The Masque of La Salle presents...


Book by: John Michael Tebelak
Lyrics by: Stephen Schwartz
Music by: Stephen Schwartz
Based on The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Dan Rodden Theatre:
April 15, 16, 17 @ 8PM
April 18th @ 2PM

That's pretty much all for now. Easter was wonderful. Rehearsal was exhausting. Bought my cap and gown today, which only fuels my lack of desire to get any work done from now until the end of the year.

Posted by Matthew at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2004

2 Quotes from a favorite author...

All I have tonight are 2 quotes from my favorite (probably) author, Pat Conroy (both seemingly indirectly related it seems):

"I wanted to become the seeker, the aroused and passionate explorer, and it was better going at it knowing nothing at all, always choosing the unmarked bottle, always choosing your own unproven method, armed with nothing but faith and a belief in astonishment."-- Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline

"Loss is a fiercer, more uncompromising teacher, coldhearted but clear-eyed in its understanding that life is more dilemma than game, and more trial than free pass." --Pat Conroy, My Losing Season
[Listening to: "Troubled Times", by Fountains Of Wayne from the album "Utopia Parkway"]
Posted by Matthew at 01:04 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2004

Rehearsal Highlight

So, the highlight of rehearsal tonight came when, during "We Beseech Thee," I stuck my right foot forward intending to pivot, and instead, catch my left foot and fell down on the stage. Louis, in all of his director's sarcasm and glory, walks from his seat in the center of the house to directly in front of me and asks me, politely, "Please try not to ruin the show."

I'm laughing about it now...I laughed then too. I have two left feet, and they were even more unresponsive during rehearsal today than they usually are. I'm getting used to laughing at myself a lot more lately after doing this play. My outer shell is cracking - a shell that I'm not sure I fully realized was there, let alone the people around me.

I'm off to sleep now...the quote was probably the most memorable thing about today.


"If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music in which he hears, however measured, or far away." - Henry David Thoreau

[Listening to: "She Will Be Loved", by Maroon 5 from the album "Songs About Jane"]
Posted by Matthew at 12:39 AM | Comments (1)

April 01, 2004


Tonight's entry is brought to you by the fine people at "Random Thinking Inc. - Where Lines of Thought Don't Have To Make Sense."

Yeah, I somehow made a new friend tonight at La Salle - another senior, who I don't believe I had ever seen before tonight (that's the weirdest part I think) when I visited someone else tonight. It's refreshing...and kind of strange, that even with an institution as small as La Salle is, there are still people that I've never seen. Strange and humbling, I guess...I thought I knew, or could at least recognize most of my class, or at least be like "Oh, she roomed with my friend's tennis partner during the first semester of sophomore year."

So, what else of my life? Life has been class and rehearsal pretty constantly these last couple of days. Class is class...everything is going well, the grades are good. Saw "The Godfather" for the first time tonight, for Film History. It's one of the best, if not the best, films that I've ever seen. I'm finally caught up in my reading and writing assignments for Democratic Vistas...more on that below.

Godspell continues to come along. I continue to both amuse and amaze myself with the show: amuse myself at not being able to learn the choreography on the first try, and then amaze myself a few tries later when I nail it...only to forget it a few seconds later. We still have a heck of a lot of blocking to do, and we open 2 weeks from tonight. I'm nervous, but enthusiastic and confident, and the cast seems to feel the same way, generally.

I mailed my acceptance off to Villanova today - filled out and signed their little postcard and dropped it in the mailbox at the corner of 20th and Olney. I've made a decision, I think, and a large part of me is relieved and grateful that there is now some certainty to the next couple of months. Until I have to find a place to live. Until I have to find a job. Until whatever little decision has to be made is made in order for the huge decision of Villanova to work is made.

On another idealistic tangent... (This came up tonight, I swear.)
The most beautiful sound that I've ever found is the sound of a person's true laugh - that sound that you can tell eminantes from deep within a person's soul and escapes the mouth with absolutely no self-consciousness, self-awareness, or judgement to echo and explode with others around to hear it. Whether it be a cackle, a roar, a snort - whatever. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful sound in the entire world. You can tell when a person is holding back on laughing, or when self-consciousness enters the picture...or maybe it's just me. I tend to notice sometimes...I guess its as good as currency for someone involved in the theater. One of the quotes in my email signature file is: "The applause of a single human being is of great consequence." -- Samuel Johnson I think laughter falls along the same line.

Finally, some quotes from Richard Rorty, the current theorist that we're reading and debating in "Democratic Vistas." (Hey, I did this with Emerson too...)

In his essay "Education as Socialization and as Individualization," Rorty states,

"The point of non-vocational higher education is, instead, to help students realize that they can reshape themselves - that they can rework the self-image foisted on them by their past, the self-image that makes them competent citizens, into a new self-image, one that they themlselves have helped to create."
further on, in the same essay:
"Socialization has to come before individuaization, and education for freedom cannot begin before some constraints have been imposed. But, for quite different reasons, non-vocational higher education is also not a matter of inculcating or educing truth. It is, instead, a matter of inciting doubt and stimulating imagination, thereby challenging the prevailing consensus. If pre-college education produces literate citizens and college education produces self-creating individuals, then questions about whether students are being taught the truth can safely be neglected."
and finally, further on:
We Deweyans think that thge social function of American colleges is to help the students see that the national narrative around which their socialization has centered is an open-ended one. It is to tempt the students to make themselves into people who can stand to their own pasts as Emerson and Anthony, Debs and Baldwin, stood to their pasts...To hope that this way will only be somewhat different is to hope that the society will remain reformist and democratic, rather than being convulsed by revolution.

Rorty is an advocate for reform rather than revolution in a democratic society. What strikes me from the quotes, which I don't claim at all to completely understand at this point (they require some reflection and discussion tomorrow,) is the idea of ownership of education, and the idea of education as the development of the individual away from the societal mores that are imposed as one grows up. To me, he reads quite similarly in this vein to Emerson, my current intellectual/philosophical great, in these regards. Rorty also is an advocate of a simple four-letter word called hope - in the essay's case, hope in the future of democratic society. If there's anything that I've learned in my 22 years, it's that hope is probably the most important belief for any thing - a group, a person, an organization, whatever - to have.

Man, this was an incredibly tangiental entry...but I've said what I wanted to say.

Quote for today, as it's been kind of a rough week to this point:

"In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life: It goes on."
- Robert Frost

[Listening to: "Yours And Mine", by Fountains Of Wayne from the album "Welcome Interstate Managers"]
Posted by Matthew at 01:33 AM | Comments (1)