QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 76 - Page 22

Graduate Stories Red Phoenix Lands at QMU Terrie Howey – BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Arts, 2007 A PHOENIX IS A mythological bird with a colourful plumage which renews itself from its own ashes. This colourful metaphor has come to mean a lot to QMU graduate, Terrie Howey. From the age of four, she wanted to be a storyteller, and after gaining a QMU degree as a mature student, she has achieved her goal. She is now ‘Red Phoenix’, a successful and award winning storyteller, delivering storytelling workshops to schools and community groups. Terrie recently won the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship which has seen her tour America and Canada. We talked to her about her experience of QMU and her struggle with dyslexia. What’s your favourite memory of QMU? I remember my first day, meeting all the students from the different years and gathering in that space - the amount of excitement and enthusiasm in that room was electric. That excitement lasted for the next four years! You get an experience in your studies that you definitely don’t get out in the real world. In the real world you have to be right the first time, whereas university gives us a great space for making mistakes and learning from them. How was the experience of winning the Winston Churchill Award? It was fantastic. I had an interview at Westminster in front of a panel of four people. They asked me “what is storytelling?” I have no idea what I said! It just goes to show what enthusiasm, passion and a solid background knowledge of your subject can do in the right situation. Have you got any up and coming projects? I’ve always got a thousand and one projects! I’m thinking of writing or co-writing a book, which is something I’ve never done. I wouldn’t have been in a position to do it had it not been for QMU. I only found out I was severely dyslexic when I was at University. The Effective Learning Service arranged a test and I discovered that I was indeed very dyslexic. How did The Effective Learning Service help you? It changed my life. Up until that point I had just felt stupid and I didn’t understand the world. Suddenly somebody was able to give me a reason why I had felt like that. They also gave me the tools to overcome it. That was revolutionary to me. To this day, I still use the software that I was given as part of that assistance. I don’t think I would have been able to continue my degree if they hadn’t detected the dyslexia. I don’t believe I would be able to run my own business without the knowledge, tools and techniques they provided. They helped me learn to cope with the condition and to find my own way of dealing with it. QMU was an amazing place to learn. I don’t think that I would have got the support, the understanding and the specialised learning in any other place. ❒ Sharing your experience with QMU Terrie returned to QMU to meet and share her expertise with some of our current students. If you think you have some valuable experiences to pass on to our students, please get in touch about giving a guest lecture or becoming a career mentor. E: alumni@qmu.ac.uk. 22 QMYOU / Graduate News