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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Graduation Day!! - Class of April - @ CWS

WOW!!! Where to start!!  Well today was our Graduation Day at CWS (Classic With Style).  It was a beautiful ceremony to celebrate our success in completing the Degree in Modelling at the University of Classic With Style (UCWS).  Please be warned, this will be quite a long post, but it was a very significant day and I hope you all enjoy reading about it!

So I'll start from the beginning huh?  First of all I had to get up soooo early to get to the runway for practice, I just made it there a few minutes after 6am my time (which was 1pm SLT Friday).  I was barely awake, but so excited about the day!  I wouldn't usually get up so early to be in SL, but for me this was pretty special so I made the effort to get there.  It took me maybe 10 minutes to work out what was going on and what Ms Debbie was explaining to us lol.  But I had a good excuse I think, I was only on my first coffee!!

By the end of practice, I'd had one or two more coffees and was wide awake and just itching to be on the runway.  I've watched fashion shows on the real runway before, you probably seen them in my earlier posts!  But none of us students had actually been on the real runway ourselves.  Well, apart from styling events of course, but being on the Dome stage was totally different.  First we practiced our formation for the ceremony, all dressed in our cute graduation toga's hehe.  After our first practice Ms Debbie lead us in some dancing for the next CWS video!  (which I'll be posting a link to here just as soon as it's done)

So let's take a look at us excited graduates as we got in formation for the video...

Class of April 2012 - Graduates
(from left to right -
Starfire, Sara (me), Nicki, Liberty, Aurora)

Linda was our other graduate today, she was running late but you will see her later in this post :)

After they had enough footage for the video we practiced again and made sure everyone knew what we had to do.  By then our missing graduate, Linda, arrived and we were all set to go with about 25 minutes to spare.  And then BANG, my keyboard decided to have a meltdown!!  OMG I was gonna throw it across the room!!  I have a wireless keyboard and I'm real bad at having spare batteries for it, but I just put new batteries in it the day before graduation.  For some reason the keyboard just didn't like it.  I restarted, I rebooted, I yelled and I screamed!!  (sorry to my neighbours lol)  Finally I decided to put the old batteries back in at 15 minutes to graduation time and YAY it was working again!!!  I was so relieved!

So we all stood diligently backstage as the ceremony began.  Lead by the expertly Ms Anrol Anthony, our audience today was introduced to our absolutely wonderful team of trainers at UCWS.  We got to listen as each of those awesome people said their little speech and how proud they are of us, it was so professionally done and a really nice touch!  I wish I had got photos of them, but I was too anxiously getting ready to be presented to the world!!!

Well soon enough, Ms Anrol called forward the first graduate of Class of April 2012, Ms Aurora Drachios.  We were all a little stunned and I whispered backstage "go Aurora go!"  In practice we came out in a different order, but I quickly realised what the deal was and whispered to the others "it's alphabetical order now, get ready!"  Thankfully I worked through this course with a group of awesome people who want to be professional models, so we all quickly got ourselves in line alphabetically, ready to go.

Next graduate called out was the newlywed, Liberty, of course she rocked the runway as she was presented to the SL world.  Then was Linda, who spent time with me at least a couple times practicing formations throughout the course.  My new friend Nicki was next, and after filling her in on the formation in IM she made that runway shake with envy!

I was up next, followed by Starfire..  I must tell you it's quite an experience walking out to the top of the stairs for my first pose and seeing the audience out there watching me.  To me that's the moment I felt that thrill jolt through me "it's on!!  You're on!!"  We've done so much learning and practice, but to be on the runway infront of people, OMG, I loved it, I wanted to keep posing forever!!  LOL

Here's a shot that my wonderful partner took as I was presented to the SL world as one of CWS' newest models..

I heard the cheers from the crowd, I heard my partner cheering for me and some of my "supermodel" friends I've made were cheering for me too.  Oh I also had a friend there in the audience with her partner today that deserves special mention.  When I first came into SL, my very first friend, and still the nicest person I've met, was Sara Jane.  Yep, same first name as me, pronounced the same way too, and also another Aussie!!  SJ helped me from the very beginning to figure out SL and how to get myself looking half decent.  She met me when I was a newbie, dressed pretty much as Ruth LOL!  We caught up finally just the other day and how fitting was it to have my very first SL friend and helper there today, to see just how far I've come since we met.  It was special having Sara Jane watching my graduation today and I want to thank her so much for coming, it means a lot!!

Our venue today was wonderfully presented, and as each of us were introduced, all of our bio photos were displayed on the walls of the CWS Dome Venue!  Let's take a look at the extraordinary decorations that put us graduates at center of attention today! :)

On one side of the CWS Dome venue, the large frame shows a group photo of us graduates with our trainers, including Ms Anrol (in red) and the UCWS Dean, Mr Didier Rascon (in black). In the 3 smaller frames (right of photo) are 3 graduates of UCWS Class of April!

On the other side of the venue, the smaller frames (left of photo) are the other half of graduates of UCWS Class of April!  The larger frame was rotating our bio pics and our Degrees in Modelling.  I cleverly timed this photo that my bio pic was on the big screen hehe :P

So once we were all presented and congratulated and cheered, then it was awards time.  First up Ms Anrol presented the award for Best Blog.  I knew I'd be in with a chance and I'm very proud of my blog and plan to keep it up, but I didn't know for sure if I'd done so well.  That is until Ms Anrol announced that I got the Best Blog award!  I knew it was possible but I was still stunned, it took Ms Anrol to call me forward before I knew what to do LOL.  Then everyone said "speech, speech!"  OMG!  I didn't know quite what to say but I was just happy people were viewing and enjoying my blog!  I hope you all continue to enjoy it, coz it doesn't end here for me, it's become my diary!!  So that's what I told everyone as I held my trophy, as pictured here..

I'll continue to blog the events that I can get to, whether it be Styling Events or Fashion Shows.  As you've seen already, sometimes it's just a diary entry so you all can get to know me better.  I'll just hope you all continue to follow my blog and read about my adventures! :)

Anyways, next up Ms Anrol announced the class Valedictorian!  I was pretty sure I knew who that would be, but of course everything must be in suspenders! hehe



Class of April...



Ms Liberty Lighthouse Sands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well done Libby, you totally earned it!!  Let's take a look at our Class of April Valedictorian...

WTG Libby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the formal ceremony, the wonderful Ms Debbie choreographed us in another dance for the upcoming CWS video and then we posed for group photos.  Let's take a look at us as we started to finally relax and feel like real models!!!!!!!!!!

From left to right - Starfire, Nicki, Liberty, Aurora, Linda, Sara (me), and our UCWS Dean, Didier on the right!  My how stunned do we look after such a prestigious event in our lives!!!

Once the ceremony was done, and all congratulations were received, some went to work, others went to bed, the rest of us went to party!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I found myself at a rockin club in my afterparty gown that I got specially for today.  With me were my wonderful partner who bought me the gown and shoes as a graduation gift, one of our good friends MingLi, and also Nicki, one of our other graduate models and my friend from class! :)  So I know you're dying to see my afterparty gown, I won't make you wait, no suspenders, promise.. 

From left to right - Claudia (my wonderful partner), Sara (meeee), Nicki (another famous model hehe), and our friend MingLi dressed to kill!!

After causing a meltdown in the clubs, it was time for Nicki to rest being in a different timezone, so Ming, my partner and I moved the party to our very own poolside dancefloor!!

Mostly me showing off my new gown (on the right), behind me is our friend MingLi, and left of us is my wonderful partner Claudia..

So I'm pretty happy with myself today, I was sponsored to do this course and with my time difference (being in Australia), it's been hard at times and stressful at times.  But with the Easter break we had in the first week of the course, I only missed the last 4 four classes of semester 2.  I'm ever grateful to all of our trainers who organised catchup sessions with me, and I'm extremely proud I could complete the classes and pass the exams to receive my Degree in Modelling at the same time as my new friends from class. :)  Yep, now I'm gonna show you my Degree, because I'm very proud of the work I did to receive it!  Everything I've been taught will be relevant to whatever I do from here in modelling..  So here is my Degree, which will be going on the wall in my studio in our SL home! :)

Now it's time for my thankyou's!  Firstly I would like to thank Ms Anrol Anthony and Steve(101) McCullough.  I'd like to thank them for the wonderful CWS institution they have so lovingly created.  CWS is their Business, but it's far more than just a business or a club, CWS is truly an institution!!  It truly is like they say "a family", and it allows like minded people who love fashion and modelling, who otherwise wouldn't get a go in the real world (like me I'm too short), it allows us the chance to live that dream.  But that's not all, living that dream here in SL with CWS is the best thing you can do, I have to tell you, doing the course I felt like I was in those TV shows "Search for a Supermodel" or "Australia's/America's Next Top Model".  Yes that is what it feels like if you put your heart and mind into it! :)

I have loved every minute of the course and I'm so proud to receive my Degree, but I couldn't have done it without the extraordinary trainers at UCWS.  Yes, I don't just mean extraordinary, I mean far extra than ordinary, sometimes the words just doesn't say enough!!  Anrol and Steve could not have done a better job of choosing the trainers, and I know they must've been very careful choosing them.  Because the trainers at UCWS are incredible people, and I'm honoured to call them friends now. :)  They are some of the most awesome people you could meet, and they always have time for their students.  Throughout the course I had many questions and all our trainers made me feel like it was never a bother to them to spend time answering my concerns.  Anrol and Steve have clearly put careful thought into who their trainers are, and it really shows!!  Thankyou Anrol and Steve!!

Next I would like to thank all of the trainers, you are all totally awesome!  I really do have to say special thanks to a few though, but it's only because of time differences that I had access to certain trainers when I needed them.  So special thanks go to Tiffani Celestalis, for practicing formations with me once or twice outside of class times.  Special thanks to Lisana and Didier for being so communicative with notecards when I couldn't get to their classes and sending me class notes so I could catchup.  Special thanks to Laylah for being Miss Bloggernator LOL, I got heaps of input from you and I continued to make my blog better and better, and then I got the best blogger award YAY!

But really special thanks have to go to Vicky and Debbie..  Vicky, you are amazing and I can't thank you enough for all your advice and your reassurance whenever I was nervous.  Also thankyou to Vicky for organising my midterm assessment so I could be there with my time zone issues.

Extra special thanks to Debbie too..  DebbieDebbieDebbieDoo, you know we all love you!!  Debbie you are an absolute gem!!  Like Vicky, Debbie reassured me when I was nervous or doubtful and gave me the confidence to do the best I can within my timezone issues.  Debbie also spent countless times listening to my rants, whenever I needed to talk things out.  Of course I will never forget that she sponsored me to do this course, and I'm so happy I was able to graduate in the same month! :)  So big thankyous to you, DebbieDoo!!  I hope I have done you proud!!!  I can't wait to be on the runway with you and the other trainers!!!

Lastly there are some other special people in my life I need to thank.  I'd like to thank all of my friends for supporting me through my adventure at UCWS.  Special thanks to my personal "check-me-out" assistant, who at least twice perved on me in my styling outfits and gave me the confidence I needed to rock the runway and get results..  Thanks Nutso!!!!!  And extra special thanks go to my wonderful partner here in SL, Claudia, who has put up with me over the last month.  She has been a shoulder to cry on, literally at times.  She has also encouraged me to do the best I can and I feel so proud that she is proud of my achievements.  Luv you!

The other thing I'd like to say is I love all my new friends I've made through CWS!  No matter what we do from here, I hope we all can keep in touch! :)  Of course, the person I really missed today, was my Aunty Danni, (hehe).  Danni (Dannylynn Rajal), is not well right now and could not complete the course this month.  But Danni when you're all better and you graduate, I'll be there watching and cheering, I can't wait for that day!!

So there we have it ladies and gentlemens, now I'm graduated and will be a CWS Model! :))  Tomorrow's Fashion Show is at an earlier time, a little too early for me, so unfortunately I won't be there, but I hope somebody will take some pics so I can see it!  Maybe the week after I will be on the runway showing off some fabulous designer's wares!!!  Until then....


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