TEDxMSU speaker uses negative past experiences to heal
Interdisciplinary studies in social science senior Meghan Hurley was sexually abused, lacks a relationship with her mother and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but she doesn’t look at these events in her life as negative things.
Not only are Hurley's past experiences the subject of her TEDxMSU talk, they made her the woman she is today.
On April 5, Hurley and nine other MSU students and faculty members will get on stage at the Wharton Center and share their ideas through this year's conference.
“Selfishly, I really think that it is something that I need to move on and process the things that have happened in my life,” Hurley said. “More selflessly, or more for others, I know how much of an impact words have had on me and my development, and I think that if I don’t take the opportunity to use the not-so-awesome experiences that have happened in my life for the betterment of others, then they were just sort of a waste.”
Composing and articulating a seamless lecture to recite to a present and online audience might be a challenge to the 10 Spartans who were chosen to speak at TEDxMSU, but it is a welcome one.
Comparative cultures and politics senior Ksusha Karnoup is the Curator for the mosaic-themed talk.
The theme, which she said makes her think of social glue, was unanimously agreed upon.
“Anyone can listen to (TED talks) and enjoy it,” Karnoup said. “It’s surface level knowledge about things that are academic and things you can really use in life, and they’re really motivating.”
Graduate student Courtney Bryant will speak at the event. Her speech is intended to encourage people to bring authenticity to the workplace.
Bryant said TED Talks audiences are good for presenting new ideas.
“TED is a good stage to be able to inspire everyone to take part,” graduate student Courtney Bryant said. “It’s not just their problem ... or this minority’s problem; it’s everybody’s problem. Everybody can be happier if we work together.”
Karnoup said the best speakers not only have a unique idea, they've had experience or research within the subject they're talking about.
Hurley agreed that each speaker is intended to be an expert on the matter, and that’s the beauty of her spoken word performance.
“We are always experts of ourselves,” she said. “Even when we don’t know who we are, we’re an expert of that process of that discovery.”
Writing the script, and working through the feelings that come with it, has been a challenge for Hurley.
“These words come out in clumps and chunks and won’t come out sometimes,” she said.
She described it as a wonderful feeling to be able to experience a creative process students are never given in school.
“I have to put myself in a mind frame of, ‘I’m going to be processing things and sort of let my tongue bleed on a page,’” Hurley said. “It doesn’t always sound pretty.”
The topics of Hurley and Bryant’s talks are unrelated but, nonetheless, the two speakers have similar hopes for what the audience will take away. Each said they hope the audience will learn something about themselves.
“This thing that is communication and this thing that is interaction, this interaction of words that happens when people come in contact with each other, it’s like nothing else when it comes to opening up avenues for genuinity,” Hurley said.