Document of Learning – Speech Draft

Here is my speech draft. I realize this is after the fact, but sadly I deleted the post the first time around.

Right now, I could tell you about Audrey’s life the way the world saw it. Her awards, her career, everything the media could make sense of from the little tidbits that she shared of her personal life, but then I might as well just have you all pull out your phones and read her Wikipedia page. So, being her best friend, I feel as though I should share with you the real Audrey Hepburn, not the actress, but the wife, mother and best friend that she was.

I remember when I first met Audrey. It was at a party in 1961 that Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh gave for their tenth wedding anniversary. I was just married, knew nobody, and was obviously starstruck by all. Audrey was a star. She was an icon, yet like all bright and intelligent people, often doubted herself. She would say to me, ‘My feet are so big and yours are just so much smaller and nice.’ She always felt that her looks were due to makeup. One day she came to see me on her way to the studio, just stood there, with no makeup on . . . looking at me with those big eyes and said ‘You see, no makeup, no eyes, and a square face!’ None of it was true of course, but from that day on I always called her ‘Square’ and she would call herself that to me. After that, she became my best friend, my soulmate. We had no secrets from each other. We laughed and cried together. She was funny and she did everything so well: cooking, decorating her homes. Christmas and Easter were always great. Audrey’s friendship was by far one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Now, everyone knew Audrey as one of the most amazing actresses of her time and from what I could see, Audrey was one of those Hollywood actresses whose presence as the star of a film always sold tickets and made the studios great profits. Not that she would ever admit that of course. Audrey was moved to this code of perfect behavior by the most touching modesty. According to her, she had just been lucky to be singled out for a fabulous career and she spent her lifetime, forever trying to measure up to what she thought she ought to be. Audrey once said, ‘As a child, I was taught that it was bad manners to bring attention to yourself, and to never, ever make a spectacle of yourself… all of which I’ve earned a living doing.’ And as I got closer and closer with her family, it was clear to me that she wanted to pass on this trait to her two sons, Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti. Half-brothers. Same mother, different fathers. Over her lifetime Audrey had held 2 long marriages, but secretly I think it should have been 3. She and Robert Wolders spent nine years together and she even said it herself, they were married, just not formally.

As her years went on, Audrey starred in less and less films and began devoting more of her time towards UNICEF. Ever since she was a little girl she always felt compelled to helping people. During the war time it was her who needed the help and the extra food rations. So, in a way, I guess she felt as if she owed it to pay that deed forward for the rest of her life, because without the support from the volunteers from various different charities and organizations she herself might not have made it past childhood alive.

As she became more involved with UNICEF, Audrey went on many different missions. She visited a polio vaccine project in Turkey, as well as projects for children living and working in the streets of Ecuador and projects to provide drinking water in Guatemala and Honduras. In 1989 Audrey was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. I could not have been more proud of her. It really did reflect her efforts and energy spent towards helping, not only children, but people in need. I remember on her appointment she had said, ‘I can testify to what UNICEF means to children, because I was among those who received food and medical relief right after World War II,’ Which brings up what I said before, she had been on the receiving end of the spectrum, and she hadn’t talked about it much, but there had been brief periods in conversations where she would sometimes tell me stories of her life as a little girl growing during the war. She said she could never forget the memories of being at the station and seeing trainloads of Jews being transported away. I really felt for her, they were such awful images to have always lingering in the back of your head. But, now it was her time to do everything in her power to pay it forward. To give back to the world what it had given her. A life.

It is rare when someone who has so much devotes their life to giving even more of themselves back to the world, but that is exactly what Audrey always strived to achieve and something I will forever admire her for.

Feel free to add comments and feedback.

SFU Post That Was Never Posted

Apparently I saved this post in my drafts and never actually posted it…whoops. So, here is the very long awaited SFU post that was never posted.

This past Thursday, our first field trip of the year, we traveled up the winding roads of Burnaby Mountain to visit SFU (Simon Fraser University). As I have been to SFU on many occasions, my main goal on this trip was not to explore SFU, but to find some information on my eminent person, Audrey Hepburn. However, while I was there I still found it quite pleasurable to walk around SFU past small patches of grass where my dad and I would toss a frisbee around and sit in the “avocado” that I used to think was the best hiding spot in the world.

To start off our day, the morning TALONS, along with myself visited the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, one of the places on campus I had never been before. There were numerous artifacts in glass cases along the walls and in the centre of the room, all very unique and interesting with their own stories. By far, my favourite display was “SFUwarts: School Supplies”. It had an array of supplies from the books and movies such as quills and ink. However, Hedwig (Harry’s Snowy owl) was what really stood out to me. It was a very close replica to the real Hedwig, and I immediately sent a picture of her to my little sister who, along with my mother, watches all eight movies (approximately 21 hours) every year on Harry Potter’s Birthday.

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Aside from SFUwarts, I found the canoe in the centre very impressive, as were the various other sculptures around the sides of the room.

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While the afternoon TALONS had their turn to explore the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, we set off to find a quite spot away from any other TALONS to act as a fly on the wall and observe our surrounds. I chose to sit in a corner located beside a big glass door at the end of a long hallway leading to yet another long hallway. The majority of the people who passed we walking alone at a brisk pace to get to their next class. A couple people who passed gave me weird looks including the janitor who stared at me as she walked all the way down the hallway. The only interesting/loud interaction that happened while I was sitting in my corner was when, what I assume to be a professor with a very bushy beard, congratulated another potential professor on an award he had received recently. They shook hands and patted each other on the back and were off on their ways.   Soon after that we were called back to the couches outside the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology where we met up with the other TALONS for a mini tour and lunch.

For lunch we headed to the Himalayan Peak Indian Cuisine. It was a buffet style restaurant with some of the most amazing food, such as curry (my favourite), naan bread, and rice. But before we were allowed to get our food each group had to answer a trivia question. Thanks to Christine who has seen almost every episode of the Simpsons, our group got to serve ourselves first.

After lunch, Zoë and Katie (Jamie’s sisters), gave us a tour of the campus. We finished off our tour at the library where we were given some time to explore and check our a book or two on our eminent person. They had some huge touch screens to search up books, but it took a while to type in my persons name because the keyboard was so over-sensitive that it added letters and numbers into the search bar that I never typed in. When finally did succeed in typing in Audrey Hepburn, numerous magazine and newspaper articles appears as well as a few biographies.

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In the end, I ended up taking out a biography on Audrey Hepburn, that included a section at the back that focused specifically on her film career. So far, it has proven to be a very helpful and insightful book/research source.

Overall, the trip was gave me the opportunity to see SFU from a different point of view and spend time observing the hallways and scenery outside that I had never really taken the time to look at before. On top of that, I succeeded in finding some information on Audrey Hepburn that will hopefully help me a lot down the road as I delve deeper into this project. I think I would rate this field trip as a success.