Never have I been more grateful for a Friday. For the weekend. For a chance to breathe, sleep, and rejuvenate.
I’ve been dragging through this week, accomplishing the bare minimum, neglecting emails and phone calls and other important communications that really should have gotten done this week rather than next. Usually I’m not this bad. I can usually kick myself in the butt at some point, after days of dragging my feet, and force myself to get it done (even though that normally happens at 3 a.m. after a couple hours of blogging, web surfing, and other time-wasters).
But not this week. Nothing could compel me to check off those to-do items.
I’m losing motivation and quickly. Except for CCEW, I’m feeling remarkably uninspired. SFPC is becoming frustrating, since it doesn’t seem like people are wanting to take the initiative on production. Okay, that’s not true. There are at least three film shoots this weekend that I know of. That’s exciting. But somehow I feel like the club itself is losing its interesting edge, and I don’t know what to do about that.
And my motivation for school is officially zero. With the things that I’m applying for right now, none of them look at Fall 2010 grades. They’re all looking at previous grades. So maybe getting another B isn’t going to kill me… while clocking in less than 4 hours a night for an entire week probably will.
Things need to change. I need to get better at managing my time. And I need to prioritize. I need to sleep.
On Thursday night, a bunch of the guys on my CCEW team and I drove into Oklahoma City and attended OpenBeta 5, an event that attracts all the software start-up minds in the area. It was so interesting to me to see how many people in middle America are interested in programming and developing software. I mean, I’d expect big numbers to attend if we were in California (and this definitely didn’t attract that many), but there were still a decent number of people here that came out for the evening (maybe 40 or 50 people?).
Besides being a great networking opportunity (though I didn’t get there quite early enough for that), the event itself was actually really fun. The keynote speaker was a teleconference with one of the guys who started WePay, which is a brilliant site that makes collecting money (for anything) quick and easy. Then we had a couple rounds of “Lightening Powerpoint,” during which people from all over presented slideshows on their new company or idea that they’ve been working on lately. The trick, though, is that each slide is set at 20 seconds and it moves on whether the speaker is ready or not. And of course, there were adult beverages, delicious sushi, yummy deserts, and samples of super expensive scotch to appreciate during the numerous breaks.
But the absolute BEST part of the evening was, hands down, when everyone played PowerPoint Karaoke.
Basically, some poor volunteer with a glutton for punishment (or killer improv comedy skills) goes up and is given a completely random slide deck (that they’ve never seen before) to present to the audience. Hilarity ensues as people stumble through, trying to be funny with “How to be a Twitter Ninja” or a random assortment of lolcat pictures.
You know you’re in a room full of nerds when we all get a huge kick out of watching yet another PowerPoint presentation.
That was the longest I’ve gone without blogging since July, and it feels really weird (even though it was only a two-and-a-half day stretch). The festival was jam-packed with panels, movies, and events and we never got home before midnight or 1 a.m., at which point, we’d immediately crash– leaving no time for blogging (and even if I could have stayed awake, it wouldn’t have mattered since the hotel didn’t have free Wi-Fi. Lame. I’m sorry, but the days of having to pay $10 for internet in a hotel room should be gone. I’m already dropping triple digits for this room, and the least you could do is let me get online for free).
Not blogging is really frustrating, because for once, I actually have interesting things to tell you. I want to tell you all about the Austin Film Festival– the inspirational panels, interesting films, fun people I met. It was a great weekend, and I don’t even have the time to tell you about it because I’m too busy putting together presentation slides, studying for tests, and writing papers. I have three papers, a test, and a huge presentation on Tuesday.
So I apologize ahead of time. I’m in the thick of things, and since I really need sleep and good grades this semester, you probably wont hear from me again until Wednesday– at which point my awesomest, coolest brother ever will be visiting me here in the grand state of Oklahoma. Can’t wait.
Today’s schedule is insane. I hope to still be alive when 10 p.m. rolls around. Wish me luck!
8:30-9:45 a.m. — Finish editing short film (adjust audio levels). Burn to DVD.
9:45-10:30 a.m. — Revive tired, fuzzy brain with coffee. Cram last minute for test.
10:30-11:45 a.m. — Shakespeare Comedies and Histories Exam. Try not to die.
12:00-1:15 p.m. — Independent Cinema. Four page response paper due. Try not to fall asleep as mid-morning exhaustion sets in.
1:15-2:00 p.m. — Lunch. Breathe. Walk all the way across campus. Change into interview clothes.
2:00-2:30 p.m. — Luce Scholars Interview
2:30-3:00 p.m. — Put normal clothes back on. Walk all the way back across campus.
3:00-5:45 p.m. — Advanced Film Production. Short film due. Watch films in class and listen to comments from classmates.
6:00-8:00 p.m. — CCEW class. Be inspired by speaker.
8:00-10:00 p.m. — Inspiration replaced with discouragement. Struggle to hold head above water during team meeting. Wish I had had more time this weekend to work on PR strategy. Hope team doesn’t hate me for my lack of preparation. Promise to work really hard before Thursday’s meeting.
10:00-11:00 p.m. — Go home. Answer SFPC emails. Fill out SFPC paperwork for upcoming Austin trip.
11:00 p.m. — Pass out and never wake up again. Ever.
Last night was the first of two progress reviews for my business internship with CCEW (Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth). It was the chance for my team to make a super-elaborate slideshow, talk about our project in front of all the other teams (and a few alumni of the program, etc), and get feedback. Overall, I think it went pretty well– though there was still a lot of confusion as to exactly what we are making, so that’s not good at all. We’ll have to work on that.
I’m just glad it’s over. The time I spent preparing for the slideshow (with research and practice) was basically the same amount of time that I’d spend studying for a mid-term. But then add in a bunch more stress because I was talking in front of a large group of people, not just filling in bubbles and writing short paragraph answers.
For me, one of the things about the slideshow that took so long was getting familiar with “business speak.” I’ve come to realize that there is this whole other language required of business people in order to sound intelligent, and without it, you really don’t seem like you know what you’re talking about. You have to be able to throw around words like “value proposition,” “differentiate,” “market segmentation,” and “early adapters” like they’re in your colloquial vocabulary.
In fact, that’ll probably be one of the most valuable things to come out of my internship with CCEW. Over the course of the semester, I guess the goal is to acquire a business vocabulary (and basic business smarts) so I can appear competent to potential future employers or, if I go into film production, impress potential investors.
And large stressful presentations aside, I’m really enjoying the internship so far. Our team has an awesome idea for a software company, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it (once it’s ready for market– I guess I can’t spill the beans about our secret operation just yet). So stay tuned!
To let y’all in on all the fun things I will be doing this semester…
The first thing that I am really excited about (after being President of the Student Film Production Club) is my business internship for this fall. It’s with the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW), and basically my team and I will be designing and building an entire software business (and bring a product to launch hopefully), all in the course of one semester. Crazy!
There are ten people on my team (the biggest of the three teams by far — the rest have 5 people), and the breakdown is five business interns, four computer programmers, and one visual communications intern.
Our first task is to decide on what business we want to build in the first place, as we have a completely blank slate. We don’t have any guidelines to follow– no problem to solve or challenge to address, or anything like that. It’s all up to us.
Which sounds like fun (and it is!), but it’s also crazy intimidating. So far, it has been really difficult to pick an idea. We have tons of good ideas, four or five great ideas, and three awesome ideas that are obvious front-runners. Now we just have to pick one and run with it. I just wish it was as easy as it sounds.