Balls of Wisdom from a Tennis Ace

So last week we were blessed to have a number of celebrities on campus. It’s often the case that I’m unable to see many talk when they come, as the events are usually conveniently scheduled for mid-afternoon, right when I have practice. However the Leadership magazine thoughtfully scheduled their talk with ex tennis pro Andre Agassi until 8pm, so I was able to go and listen to what he had to say. I’d already attended an event hosted by the Humanist society earlier in the term, when they presented British comedian Eddie Izzard with their annual award, so I’d managed to see a few famous faces this term. Andre gave a great speech, and some really insightful answers to questions. He appeared incredibly humbled to be addressing a group of Harvard students, something which I in an odd paradox find very humbling in itself, and was honest about both his past careers failures and successes. He spoke at length about his motivation to play, his period of decline and subsequent rise back to number one, and also his relationship with his father, which was very interesting. It was great to hear about his latest social enterprise within education, and great to here about a sportsman using his prestige for good after his career. It definitely made me think about why I pursue rowing to such a high level, and reinvigorated my desire to keep improving and strive to reach the top.

Andre Agassi speaking last Tuesday (Photocredit: The Crimson)

I did, however, start this article with celebrities plural. That’s because not only was Andre Agassi in town last week, but also Felipe Calderon, the ex-president of Mexico, but also an old Harvard drop-out you might of heard of, Mr. Matthew Damon. Harvard had this week their ‘Arts First’ festival on campus, celebrating all the good that the arts have to offer, and Matt Damon was here to accept the Harvard medal for services to the arts. Unfortunately Harvard wasn’t so kind in their scheduling this time and I missed his talk, but I hear he too gave a fascinating insight into his career as an actor, and provided those there with some great advice for the future. It is one of the many positives that comes from Harvard’s prestige, that we are so lucky to get to listen to these otherwise unaccessible figures, and something that I truly love about Harvard.

Matt Damon speaking at Arts Fest on Thursday (Photocredit: Harvard Gazette)

Aside from these events, this past wek has contained some good news for myself. You may remember me talking a while back that I was comping the Crimson Key Society, and after (quite literally) months of working and waiting, I found out on Thursday that I had been successful and was joining fellow bloggers Scott, Caroline, and Kemie in Key! The comp has been something I’ve been looking forward to for the whole year, and I am so excited to now be a part of it. Key is filled with so many great people, and I cannot wait to get stuck into giving tours and the other events which Key are responsible for.

Life is now certainly picking up with finals fast approaching, and I’ve got a number of papers and projects due in the next week, so need to knuckle down and get through them. The weather is making this particularly difficult however, with spring having fully sprung and beautiful warm days now gracing us. I’m particularly happy about this, not only because it means that rowing on the Charles is gorgeous, but it means I can whack out the essential summer wear, shorts and flip flops. And although it may make being stuck inside working particularly annoying, it’s certainly more pleasant than the drizzling rain which usually constitutes a British spring. Long may it continue!

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