Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The end of the end

The last time I walked into school was the Graduation Ball. I was wearing a chocolate brown strapless dress and had a young man on my arm… I would add something romantic here about getting drunk in the hazy twilight of the quad, but if I’m honest, I was so nervous that I stuck religiously to the water for fear of collapsing.
And now, walking through the halls feels fake, like our places in the second dining room have been filled, and everyone’s making their lesson plans for the first year without us. Part of me knows I have grown out of GGSG, and the other part is still holding on for dear life.

Lavanja and I went in to finish off the Postsecret Project scrapbook, which has involved several million metres of brown paper and a similarly stupid quantity of glue. It’s almost done, but I’ve brought it home to add the final touches, flatten it out a bit, and generally be sentimental. It’s going to be hard getting used to the fact that I will never see it again, that I will never be able to simply sit down and peruse through the 126 secrets, and wonder about each of them. It’s going to be hard driving past GGSG knowing that I’m no longer going to be the keeper of the secrets. It worries me the most that all of your secrets will go unspoken.
I don’t know if the next year’s Student Support team will do another Postsecret Project. If you are reading this and haven’t got a place to put your secret, slot it in between two of the scrapbook pages (you can find it down in the LRC). Or hey, why not start the project yourself? It’s a lot of hard work, granted, but totally worth it.

I feel as if I’ve only just started to grow into my own skin, into GGSG, and now I have to go. So for my parting message… Even when everything seems to crash down on you, don’t forget to savour every minute of your time here, open up to people, work hard, be vulnerable, get heartbroken. And most of all, reach out to other people, because I’ve realised that in helping them, you actually help yourself.

Don’t forget to follow Frank Warren and the real Postsecret Project on www.postsecret.com.

Carpe Diem,

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The exhibition that never was

I put off writing this entry last night because my head wasn’t swirling with anything; it was pretty empty. We dubbed this entry “the exhibition that never was” because standing in that deserted gym, one tiny week after the Postsecret Exhibition was put up, was as if it never happened at all. And yet things have changed immensely over that snippet of school time. I get the feeling that no-one has ever done a project like this before, and that it’s impacted on everyone who has let it.

Lavanja and I started taking things down at 1:35 sharp. We started with the tables for comments, the little boards with Student Support stuff, and left the secrets til the very last. Fiona arrived at 2 and found us silently walking round the exhibition one last time, unable to start taking the postcards down. But Coldplay came on, we all had a bit of a cry, and then the un-sticking began.

This over-emotional reaction to a bunch of secrets that aren’t even mine must seem plain weird. But I knew every single one that was up, I had learnt a lot of their numbers through sorting the comments, and I felt like it was still my responsibility to take care of them. Dismantling eight weeks of work and a lifetime of hang-ups, dreams and confessions was the hardest thing I have done in a long time.

Anyway, I’ve put a large wad of sellotape over the flap of the folder where I keep all the secrets. I need to focus on my exams now, although they seem rather inconsequential in comparison to what we’ve just done. After that I’ll be sorting the scrapbook out to be put possibly in the Library. You will be able to see the comments and all the secrets all over again (:
So until then, I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support, enthusiasm and bravery. If you have helped put the exhibition up, it would have been literally impossible without you. If you submitted a secret you are truly a beautiful person and through admitting that secret to yourself and others, I hope you breath easier. Here’s me signing off on the most memorable thing I have ever done at GGSG.

All the best,
Bridget xxxxx

Thursday, 29 April 2010

When your journey is 90% complete,

you are only halfway there.

Tomorrow, Friday April 30th, all 126 of your perfect secrets come down for good. I don’t actually believe it. I don’t believe that this time last week the gym was nothing but an empty expanse of rainy-day benchball. I don’t believe it’s all over.

So many people have given me positive feedback now. Ms Stuart said that she has never seen an exhibition where she could laugh and cry at the same piece of artwork; and that’s not thanks to me, that’s thanks to you guys. Sure, quite a few of the secrets are mine, but the exhibition is nothing without people’s contributions. The whole thing fills me with this cotton woolly feeling! Every secret was anonymous, but for some reason I feel like I know everyone so much better now.
Holding the same pile of secrets tomorrow afternoon as I did one week ago is going to feel very different, and very strange indeed.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

It's your secret that I worry about the most

Feedback, no matter how positive, is a strange thing. We go at something seemingly alone for such a long time, and then suddenly it’s all out in the open for everyone to see. And for everyone to scrutinise. Not that anyone has really scrutinised the Postsecret Project. Not to my face anyway.

The two scariest moments so far have been Mrs. Wilson walking round the exhibition and Mr. Garner walking round the exhibition. I don’t know what it is about Mr. Garner, but for some reason his opinion mattered to me? And he waltzed around the room with an air of, “well how does this make a difference to anyone?”… But no, everything’s been positive. People have been coming up to me with beaming smiles congratulating us on a wonderful exhibition. And your replies to all the different secrets have been wonderful, too. Lots of “I do this” and “I know how you feel” and lots of people saying “chin up” even if you haven’t been in that person’s position. So thank you for, as ever, using the project for its true intention.

“This box has no purpose.”
I want to talk about this postcard, I want to get to the bottom of it, but I don’t really know how.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Welcome to "The Womb"...

So today marked the birth of the Postsecret Exhibition. Our display boards make a kind of semicircular shape/triangle, centred on the mirror at the end of the gym – and apparently, it looks like a womb. I don’t see it. But Fiona and Lavanja nonetheless spent the day imitating little sperm swimming about…
Surprisingly, everything went according to plan. We were finished and out by half past 5 – with only one visit from the caretakers wondering desperately when/if we were ever going to leave. Anyone who posted secrets before lunchtime, you made it into the exhibition. But remember – if yours isn’t up next week, it will undoubtedly be in the scrapbook we’ll be making at some point before the end of the year.

I feel very… exhausted. But a good exhausted. An everything’s-worked-out exhausted. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of sixth-formers who have given up their frees today and last Wednesday to help make this happen so smoothly – so thank you all very much :) All that’s left is to get all the classes through next week, and then the killer… take the whole bloody thing down.
I’ve not been very philosophical in this blog (maybe Friday isn’t the day for it) but I will tell you a secret of mine that I didn’t put up – this whole Postsecret Project has re-instilled my faith in this school. There is one secret on display – you’ll know it because it’s a printed letter from Oxfam – that I feel totally encompasses the ethos of our school. Give all you’ve got, and then give some more. I can leave now knowing I have made something work and have changed people in the process. I didn’t realise the satisfaction would be this good.

So as you’re going round, take every single secret in as its own person – but at the same time, look at the exhibition as a whole. You’ve done it, you’ve made it beautiful, and I can’t thank you all enough.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Lavanja and I went shopping for brown paper, blue tack and spray paint today. Things are beginning to take shape, the display boards haven't been doubled booked, it looks as if we're going to get everyone through the exhibition (by the skin of our teeth, but still)... So why am I so petrified it's all going to fall flat on its face? Why do I have an inkling it's going to be 7pm on Friday and I'm going to be sitting on the gym floor, weeping on top of a pile of secrets?

Our influx of secrets seems to be grinding to a halt. Less and less secrets are being posted - I mean we have enough to exhibit anyway, so no problems there - but if you're still hesitating, don't! We want yours in. I probably won't get a chance to write until Friday when the exhibition will be fully up and waiting for Monday, the day of reckoning. So please keep supporting us, you've been great so far.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The King of Pentacles

First things first, sorry for a mega lack of blogging lately. Easter has been filled to the brim with sleeping in til 11am and buying my prom dress and climbing Arthur’s Seat (in Edinburgh – Google it!) and going bowling with my 9 year-old niece because she learnt all her times tables. And nowhere near enough revision.

My mum’s best friend Jackie read my tarot cards yesterday. One that came up was “The Chariot”, meaning I am coming towards a crossroads and I’ve got to make a big decision in my life. I’m driving towards something big and it’s time to choose.
Funny how BlogSpot chose to call the main settings section of their website the “dashboard”. It’s true, sometimes I feel like I’m taking the school on some sort of journey into itself (whether that will crash and burn or not who knows); I feel like I’m in the cockpit making all the decisions. It’s scary as hell, and the time before blast off is ridiculously close.

The Imminent Postsecret Exhibition to-do list:
- Make the exhibition programme
- Send it for photocopying
- Finalise the exhibition timetable and give it to Mr. Marriott
- Write out instructions for teachers taking their classes to the exhibition (yes, you are getting time out of lessons to see the secrets!)
- Give this out to teachers
- Grovel with Ms Stuart so she doesn’t take it all down every time they want the gym for wet PE
- Buy orange material
- Buy purple material
- Buy brown paper (and lots of it)
- Ask school for money
- Make mix-tape for exhibition
- Make postcards to go out in registers reminding people there’s only one week left
- Message up on the school network
- Make message slips for people to leave comments
- Chase Student Support officials for their profiles
- Testimonials from Student Support users
- Drink copious amounts of tea
- Think about possibly doing some revision…

If you’ve still not posted your secret, there is absolutely no time to lose. Get it done and dusted this weekend or you risk not manning up to it at all. As I’ve said before, be honest to us and to yourself. Happy Postsecreting…