Francis Libermann Catholic High School 40th Anniversary

By: Talin Orfali – Student Alumni – Fall 1999 to 2003.

40 Years ago in 1977, Francis Libermann Catholic High School opened its doors to teachers, students and administrative staff, and this year in 2018, on June 3rd, we had the anniversary and reunion. Many past and present teachers, and alumni students were present.

A couple of months ago, I had opened up my Facebook, and on my news feed, I see an event from Francis Libermann of which a fellow classmate of mine from my time, invited me to it, I definitely said, I am going. At first, I had mixed feelings about it, and I was hesitant at first because my high school life wasn’t what I had expected it to be, but I toughed it out for 4 years. It wasn’t perfect and there were good times and bad times, but nothing really is perfect.

We envision high school to be perfect where everyone gets along, but that is not the case, however, I forgive those who have bullied me and belittled me throughout those times. I realize now that when you are a teenager going to school, all these emotions run high, going through the puberty stages where sometimes teens just don’t know what they are doing, plus getting through school with studies and everything else with making friends whereas some others don’t get so lucky about that. It’s a huge phase that kids go through before venturing out to college/university and maybe not and just going right to work or whatever the case may be.

Anyway, when I saw about 90% of the teachers at the reunion and anniversary, they all automatically remembered me even though 15 years have passed since I took my last walk out of those doors. I never visited back since then, but I feel like I really never left yesterday. I was so sad to hear about my favourite principal back in the day had passed away a few years ago from cancer. I was so devastated and cried. I truly know how to appreciate teachers and administrative staff for all the hard work and sacrifices they make and made to make sure we are educated and well looked after.

Some of the teacher’s names I had forgotten about and some that are still fresh in my mind, but they remembered me and some of the teachers said that they think about me from time to time. One of them said to me yesterday, Talin, you were my favourite student and I think about you all the time. I am so happy to be seeing you here today and in return, she was really one of my favourite teachers at the school. One of them always knew I was going to get into some sort of writing and when I spoke to her and told her what I do now, she got so excited to hear that I am doing what she thought I would do.

Anyway, I did a walk-through the school and I familiarized myself with the lockers I used to have, the classes I went to, the hallways that I walked around, familiar smells of the halls and classes, the gym, the library, and the staircases that was used to go up to the 2nd, and 3rd floors. The memories just came to me and some have faded and some have stayed with me. The washrooms and everything are also the same as I remembered where the washroom stalls are smaller.

I remember being part of teen voices, and other outreach programs. I was never really a sports person and I had joined into more interactive committees and creative writing.

I remember when I used to seldom take public transit home from school. I used to hate taking public transit up to now. That hasn’t changed. I remember getting a sign of relief when I saw I was being picked up by my dad or my brother and one of the teachers pointed that out to me yesterday, saying she remembers that I used to hate taking the bus and she remembers me being picked up. I said to her, nothing has changed on that front. LOL, and the only difference is that I drive now.

The 40th anniversary of Francis Libermann Catholic High School was definitely an eye-opener for me, which has overwhelmed me because time is flying and these are the moments of our lives that we will never get back and it teaches us to be grateful for each moment, even though they weren’t perfect and our expectations weren’t what we wanted, but we are getting older now and it truly makes you appreciate that little time you have in high school. Time never waits for you. You truly have to cherish life and the phases.

I was in tears while walking through the halls and I am in tears now as I write this now. I really miss high school a lot and I miss being a teenager. My advice to teenagers going to high school now, is to never waste a second of it, don’t take this time for granted. Even though it may not be a positive and good time for you, but also I want you to realize that high school is temporary and things do eventually get better and they will. It has for me. 4 years go by so quickly that you don’t even realize once you graduate and have your prom and then life changes right away. Well, it did for me.

2003 for me seems like yesterday, but in other ways, it does feel like its a long time. It really hit me hard yesterday and I just want to say how truly grateful I am for having a school to go to and getting to know many people of whom I am still in touch with. We didn’t really get along in high school, but we do now and that is what counts. Life and our personalities change and it’s absolutely amazing. You never truly learn to appreciate something until after the fact.

Thank you and congratulations to Francis Libermann and here is to another 40 years and beyond. I am super glad to be part of 4 years of it. All the best and may what happens between those walls be educational, fruitful filled with knowledge, respect, and getting closer with God in his teachings while learning valuable life lessons to take with you when you take your last walk out those doors. God bless Francis Libermann Catholic High School and all those in it.

Parties and Wedding RSVP Frustration and Annoyance

In life, we have special moments that come up with friends and family and planning parties, weddings and everything else is absolutely so difficult with inviting people and it becomes so stressful. When you want people to be part of your special day and when you enjoy the process of setting up the cards, mailing them out, and happily do it until stress strikes.

It is not everything that is the most difficult, frustrating and annoying; it is sending the invites to people with a due date that is never honoured and respected and some take their sweet time and others respect it and send the invite on time, whereas others respond after the due date. Some you have to remind. It is absolutely crazy.

You also have those people who don’t respond at all and then just show up. It doesn’t work like that. In most cases RSVP Cards come in, people need to fill those out and return them. The people inviting put postage stamps and have those cards out for a reason. To get organized. You can’t just tell the person they are coming by mouth. Chances are the people planning the wedding or event will forget, so it’s important to fill out the cards and mail it back in a time-sensitive and timely manner.

When you get an invite to any party, it is either a yes or a no. It is not that difficult. You look at your schedule, and boom, you answer and send back the RSVPs. It is not cool to wait for people to respond back while you have a million things to do and plan with the tables, how many favours or gifts you need to get for the guests arriving to your party as well as financially too with how many people you need to pay for.

It really isn’t easy to plan things when some people do not co-operate and respect you enough to send the RSVP’s back. It is common courtesy. It isn’t nice at all having someone wait and then hunting people down with calling, messaging, emailing, texting them until the last weeks of the wedding to see if it is a yes or a no.

Then there are those people who respond with attending, and then you write them down on a table card or chart and then they never show up or give an explanation as to why they did not bother to show up where you spent money for their meal. It is absolutely unfair and disgusting behaviour which needs to really stop. Some do not even respond back and you know you sent it to them and it did get sent to them or else it will be returned back to the person who mailed them with the return address.

Weddings and parties all go smoothly with planning until it comes time to the people attending them. You expect people to respond right away, but that never happens and it probably never will even with a strict time limit and being time sensitive.

The guests don’t think about how much work it takes to plan tables and everything. If you have ever been in these shoes where you plan an event and you wait for responses, it’s absolutely so frustrating and annoying and so absolutely ridiculous.

Yes, I realize some people cannot financially to maybe afford to go to parties, weddings and everything, but there is no excuse not to answer on due dates. It is not right at all. There is no excuse unless something very very important comes up or some other things arise, but it doesn’t give someone the right to delay an RSVP.

Have you ever been through this situation? Have you been frustrated and annoyed with this? Would love to hear all about it.

All the best with planning. It is not easy.

Conan O’Brien Takes Assistant Sona Movsesian to Armenia

Dear Conan O’Brien, Sona Movsesian, Team Coco, and Crew,

I would just like to say thank you to you all for making the trip to my homeland Armenia and for taking Sona Movsesian who had never been to Armenia. That is such an incredible and beautiful gesture that you made for Sona and that flair was definitely felt throughout the Armenian community of the world. Not every boss in the world would do those beautiful and thoughtful things for their friends/workers and that there tells a lot about a person’s character and personality and Conan, I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and your crew, not only because you took Sona to Armenia, but you as a person who demonstrates quality, who is dedicated, and put your employees first. That is a rare occurrence.

You have no idea on how much we Armenians appreciate all that you have done and continue to do. Now, a lot more people know about us and that is something that I/We will forever be grateful for.

It is so awesome on how the #ConanArmenia show was presented to the world. Thank you for adding humor into the show, which made me laugh hysterically. I have watched the episode at least 10 times by now, if not more. I just cannot get enough of it. Sona is a beautiful person who is so full of life and I would love to meet you Conan and Sona someday and tell you in person.

As the show was airing, I was sending out live tweets and explaining to what was going on and I was so excited about it. I must have sent hundreds of #ConanArmenia hashtags throughout the world.

On behalf of all the Armenians in the world including myself, thank you for introducing Armenia our homeland to your viewers and fans, thank you for taking the time to travel thousands of miles to be with Armenians, getting to know and embrace our culture, language, heritage, making Armenian friends, putting us on the map and as well as addressing an important and integral part of our history about The Armenian Genocide, for saying the word Genocide, visiting the Genocide memorial with Sona in the end of the show really put a sweet and touching tribute and for recognizing what had happened to 1.5 Million Armenians who were displaced, massacred in 1915, and for letting people know about it.

When Sona was explaining about her family and what had happened in the village we lost of Sepastia which is now in Turkish lands, really made me all the more emotional as I am sure the Armenian community of the world. I started to cry too with Sona and I felt her feelings about it.

Again, we cannot thank you enough for doing this. We love you Conan, we love you Sona, and may you all have continued success with your show in Los Angeles or wherever life takes you.

Sincerely,

Talin Orfali
talinorfali.wordpress.com

The Purpose of Blogging – Why do we do it?

In the past few blog posts with the subject of communication and along the lines of what is relative to that, the way we feel, how we get our words and points across to the world and how we do it to reach out to others, and to share with the world our points of view, opinions, suggestions, to raise awareness on issues, to advertise, promote, social issues, recipes, tips, organizational ideas, simplifying life and so much more. We all have our own perspective and our own purpose when blogging and writing about our life. The question is why do we do it? Why do we spend time with writing? Why do we post our blog entries?

To answer those questions is quite simple. We all have a voice and existence in this world and there is just so many stories, journeys, experiences, moments, memories, being helpful, useful and beneficial information about life, travel, food, the holidays, situations, issues to address to the world and things that happen to us to share, to give our insight, and so much more. We spend time writing is because it gives us a boost, and the most important thing is how we feel, and how we want to communicate to the world. Blogging is a therapeutic yet rewarding feeling. It is like writing in our diary, but a virtual diary that we want to post public. We post blog entries to contribute something, an idea and something to share with the world.

Now with this being a virtual diary, there comes responsibility and thinking before we press the post button. There are private issues and things that should not be published of real private matters in ones home, in ones personal life. back in the day and maybe until now people have a personal and private diary, and I am sure you do not want certain people to open it up and unlock your diary of real personal things that you do not want people to see, its almost like the same thing with public blogging. You do not want to post private matters for the world to see, so always be mindful and think before you post something so personal.

Never keep your blogging private. It defeats the whole purpose of writing and expressing to the world. If you want to keep some of your writings private, make a diary, and keep it for yourself in hiding, but hiding a blog is pointless. Somehow no matter how private a blog is, somehow it can always be seen in a way.

Never stop blogging, never stop writing and most importantly never lose your purpose and perspective on why you started blogging in the first place. Never give up what you enjoy doing, never ever let anybody tell you to stop doing what you are good at. Well, nobody is perfect, however that should not define anything. You are in control of your own destiny, your own goals you want to attain from blogging and writing to the world. Remember you do not have to be a perfect blogger, its how you feel and what you want to accomplish. The beauty of blogging is something that is indescribable and the future of journal writing which is now.

So, what is your purpose? Why do you do it?

Communication Style – What is your Type?

As we go through life from the moment we are born, communication is and will always be a vital asset in our day-to-day lives. We need communication when we speak to our family members, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, partners, groups, friends, colleagues, our bosses, fellow students, teachers, traveling, in social media, sending e-mails and so many different types of communication.

I attended a seminar “Inspire For Tomorrow” at my Armenian Community center and it was about communication, and I learned so much in a couple of hours. It put things into a new perspective, it gave me new light, new ways to deliver our speech, our stories, and so much more. There are several ways you can communicate, but here are 4 styles of communication, that I have observed in my life and my thoughts on it all:

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The DriverSomeone who is direct, to the point, detail oriented, who speaks their mind, who produces results, attaining goals, gets into competitive situations, taking charge and being in control, wasting no time to beat around the bush.

The RelaterSomeone who cares about a situation, who can connect with others by thinking of the other person first, who’s relationships and friendships mean the world to a person, someone who is relaxed, and feel cared for, becoming silent, introspective and withdrawn, being helpful, coinciding with others, comforting others.

AnalystOne who always seeks data, second guesses people, making decisions after analyzing a situation, testing people, giving people to focus on interpersonal and communication skills, those who despise making mistakes, double-checking everything, not being able to trust situations and people until doing further research on a person.

– ExpresserSomeone who recognizes emotions, who expresses feelings, and what that person wants to say, the over sharing person who keeps on talking, and beats around the bush, making a small story into a big one, gets excited, giving feedback, boring people because of overusing communication, explaining ideas to the core then saying things out of turn which then makes it into an argument and problems can arise of sharing too much information.

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All those 4 styles have good and the bad, but we must find a way to be consistent when we communicate with others, using the right tone, words, following up with someone privately about something that you feel is gone wrong, not announcing it in a public, group setting, taking up issues with the person directly, instead of involving others in the mix. People will appreciate it when someone brings the other person to the side and discuss with them a problem, situation or something going on, then finding a solution to the problem, solving whatever issue, and finding the right words, tone to express those feelings.

We must always think about how we are going to present ourselves, no matter where you are, whether it is about self-regard, being assertive, emotional self-awareness, self-actualization, independence. It could be a beautiful thing, but it is in the way we utilize it all.

Communication is a never-ending learning process, and nobody is perfect and makes mistakes, however to always learn from them and progressing to do better, to improve in relationships, friendships, is something that is imperative. If you believe you have made a mistake, do not worry, focus on the future and make it better, improve the way you speak to others, always ask for advice, always have a mentor, someone whom you can talk to a person whom you can trust if you are unsure of how to deal with a situation if you are unsure yourself. It is always good to ask, then to stay silent.

Always be confident, express your ideas to others, be in communication, always tell a person how you feel about something without offending them. There is always a way to go around it. How do you normally handle situations that are presented to you? What have you learned from it all?

Why is communicating and expressing yourself so important? Everyone has a voice, everyone has something to contribute to the world, that is why everyday in technology, and things of the world are being invented, new innovations, new concepts, context, perspectives, theories, discoveries are being made across the world, because many people communicate, and want to get out what they feel is right for the benefit of the world and its people. Each one of us can make a difference in this world, and communication is one of them and we begin just doing that. Without that everyone would not have a voice and this world cannot continue to move forward. That is exactly why Communication is key and so important in our daily life.

So no matter how we express ourselves, the most important thing is the way we do it and a way where it will not hurt others, and where we can find common ground with everything in our lives.

How do you communicate? What is important to you to get across to others? Best wishes to you in your journey. We can all do something positive, say great things and to avoid messy situations, by just changing our tone and the way we communicate.

Never Apologize for The Way You Feel

A lot of the times in life we go through many feelings, emotions, and sometimes we tend to apologize for what we are feeling and telling people our emotions. You have every right to feel what you are feeling, You never have to explain yourself to anybody. Never be ashamed of your feelings. I know they say that you have to express your feelings everytime and tell people exactly how you feel, however sometimes you cannot control feelings, you cannot explain the way you feel due to a certain situation. I know no matter what you have to tell someone how you feel, and not keep anything inside of you, but some circumstances say otherwise. It depends on the person and whom you can confide into easily.

If you keep on living your life on other peoples terms and the way they want you to feel, the way they want you to live your life always telling you what to do, forcing, commanding you to do something is not somebody you want to associate with. Find the path and the people who can relate to you, do what you feel is right for you. Sometimes you need to get out from the norm, and do what is best for you. If you keep on living your life to please others, to always try and impress others, to always keep proving yourself and working hard for other peoples approval, you are not going to get anywhere in life and all you are going to do is just live for other people.

Sometimes you need to put your foot down and say, okay enough is enough. People talk so much about you and your life, gossip, spread rumors, put words in your mouth and what you should do with your life, however sometimes people need to look at themselves in the mirror first before they point fingers, criticize and belittle you. Some people have nothing better to do, than talk smack about other people, when they need to sort out their life and what they need to do. Remember nobody full knows you and about your personal life and what you are going through, and you never have to explain yourself to nobody.

Ignore people who talk so much bogus about you, and ignore people and block them out of your life. Life is too short. Be happy, be you, live your life on your own terms and your own comfort, and do not worry about anything else. People are always going to judge and point fingers. Don’t let it affect you and your life, well-being and who you are. True, compassionate and understanding people will be there for you every step of the way without explaining yourself. Remember others opinions of you, do no matter. Its how you make an opinion of yourself that matters. As long as you feel good about yourself and bring yourself up with good thoughts, confidence, the way you are is what matters the most.

People will always do and say mean things, but never let that take control of yourself.

I have realized a lot of things in the last little while, that you cannot expect people to understand you, your feelings and be on the same page as you, not everybody will be your friend and agree with you. I recommend that people should never stop being themselves, be who you are, feel what you want to feel. In the end we are all human beings in this world, we do make mistakes, we do wrong in social issues, we tend to sometimes associate with people whom we always have to try to fit in, do things to stay in the loop, however you never need to try to fit in, try so hard, and try to stand out, because there will be people who will appreciate you for you and there will be people who will love and cherish you and the memories shared and will share in the present and the future.

Wishing you the best with everything and remember never apologize for the way you feel. Always be thankful and just go on with life. There is only so much you can do and life will never give you more than you can handle.

A New Beginning to a New Perspective on Life

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about life, where I stand and the time of whom I spend it with and among doing things for myself and the betterment of me and my future. Life is tough sometimes and we have to find ourselves and look forward to new beginnings and a whole new perspective on life to close a chapter and begin a new one. I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks just analyzing everything going on. You how they say everything happens for a reason. I truly believe in that.

I am very excited and enthusiastic about what my future holds from now. As I had stated a few blog posts ago on how I am getting back into the Armenian community, how I am joining in on events, getting to know people, making new friends, new beginnings. in the last couple of weeks or more, I have been going to a local Coffee shop and I met some really nice Armenian people who go there and every time I go, they are so welcoming, they say hello, and automatically I join them. It feels so great to be there with them and enjoy my couple of hours with them. We laugh, talk, and do our daily ramblings about our lives. It feels incredible.

I have been so bullied in my life when I was growing up in school from when I was in Kindergarten, almost everyone looked at me differently, which to this day I cannot understand the reasons why and with that result, you find it more difficult to trust people, you second guess, and still think everyone is against you. It is extremely difficult sometimes to find closure from unfortunate events that occurred in life, however you think to yourself, how much longer can you do this for? How much more of this can I absolutely take?

Sometimes you have to let go of those unfortunate feelings you have and move forward in life. The only way to find closure, to get a new perspective on life is to move on and to wake up to smell the roses. Take some time for yourself and think things through and just go with the flow. Sometimes you feel like you always need people around you, but you need to spend time alone by yourself to fully think things through.

As long as you have very few friends and your family to count on, the foundation and beam of support from loved ones and those whom you can absolutely trust, confide in is all you really need. When you feel that you no longer second guess things and finally find peace and harmony, everything else will fall into place. Not only socially, but for success, a career choice and so much more. I realize that life is too short, and its really important to always think forward and leave the past where it is. I am learning to never let the past define me of who I am today.

I am absolutely positive and happy about the new findings in life and I look forward to the many plans and goals I have made to achieve them, to strive for success, to get out there and make myself known, to do many things that I have put on hold. I am confident and optimistic about everything. I cannot wait to share it with you all and update on my success and hard work that has taken me to climb that ladder once and again.

Everyone can contribute something wonderful and worthwhile in life. Sometimes circumstances and things come up last minute that it may take longer, but however long it may take, do it. There is no time limit. Its what you feel and how you feel is the importance of everything. Have you recently taken a new perspective on life? Did you start your new beginning? How is it going? Best wishes to you and may you find your calling. What is your story?