The Beginning of the End

I blinked and the second semester had begun, the long haul, the shadow before the sun, the beginning of the end…..

Rubbing eyes

I can’t tell if I’m really stressed out, or in complete denial that the time went by so fast. I try to make plans to get all my assignments in order. I wake up everyday with the intent to bury myself in the library under a mountain of books, and digest all the information I can, but that has yet to happen,

all I seem to want to do is sleep…

Passing out

And if theres something good on Netflix, and there ALWAYS something good on Netflix, I don’t even make it that far…

Passing out at desk

I think it’s my coping mechanism for stress.

When I sleep, I’m relaxed. The world can’t touch me in my sleep, and I never turn down a good nap. So as long as I distract myself from any real work during the day, I never have to see the majority of what I’m facing, and as such, theres nothing to stress out about.

It’s my ultimate plan of procrastination.

Unfortunately, my ultimate plan has almost run its course, if I don’t start to get the ball rolling, I’ll be running full speed later in the hopes of being able to catch up.

But, I’m a tad bit disgruntled about giving up my life of leisure.

Breaking Plates

After 18 years of full-time school, with no break, I’m really ready to turn my brain off.

But theres still more work to do.

YOUNG ENTERPRISE, MULTIPLE PAPERS, GROUP WORKS, MEETINGS, PRESENTATIONS, DEBATES, RESEARCH, STUDYING, ASSIGNMENTS, AND CLASSES….

And now…… its DISSERTATION TIME.

I don’t know if I’m feeling more of this,

Terrfied Supernatural

Or more of this,

Hanging yourself

But one things for sure.

This is too much

I mean, am I the only one that feels like this? Or is everyone just skipping and hopping through this mess like it’s a field of overgrown grass?

Bugs Skipping

Cause I was expecting a little more of this,

Corey runs out with class

and this,

Jack Running

But I guess it just me.

Either way, it’s time to finally start working.

The ride is over.

I expect this is how I’m going to be spending the rest of my time here.

tumblr_m9rcg1wZyp1rrenito1_500

And hopefully, I won’t end up burning out and crashing, like this poor guy.

crazy_computer_madness

Who was obviously writing his own dissertation.

Advertisements

Ode to Lucy

Alas, the 5 Maidens have lost a comrade. Our dear Lucy has been taken from us, banished to the land of sun, optimism, organic smoothies, and Full House.

SAN FRANCISCO


sanfrancisco3

san-francisco-alamo-square

SBC-Park,-San-Francisco,-California

san-francisco-beaches

Full-House

Yes, our dear Lucy has fallen. Ripped from our clutches!

How ever shall she cope without the beauty and splendor of dear London?

Think of all she’ll be missing…

PicForNewsletter032006LondonWalkInRain

central-london-rain-1

rain england glass storm london london eye thames thames river raindrop 1980x1080 wallpaper_www.vehiclehi.com_83

Queen-Elizabeth-meme-5-500x315

So this last blog of the semester is in honor of our dear fallen comrade and friend.

If it was not for her enthusiasm, intellect, creativity, hard word, and persistence, our product and business structure would not be remotely as strong.

Lucy was a fantastic Manager and a great collaborator and I for one, am very sad to lose her. Our business and class will definitely not be the same come January.

So Cheers to our beloved classmate and friend, you will be greatly missed. We send our well wishes and blessings for a safe and exciting journey.

Best of Luck in San Francisco.

Lucy of Great Britain, Mistress of Creation and Design.

Image

September 2012- December 2012

Sustainability, America, and my Newfound Attitude towards Learning.

So, as much as I love school, I’m always shocked towards the end of the semester. I mean, everything was going so well, and then out of no where you tell me you want PAPERS, PRESENTATIONS, EXAMS???

I get a little like this.

Image

But over the Christmas week, I’ve realized I’ve retained quite a bit more than even I anticipated. I had a sort of, “life exam”, on one of the subjects Kingston has insisted on continuously shoving down my throat, against my will,

SUSTAINABILITY.

People in America are not really too concerned about going green.

I mean, some of us try…

jettodcplanttree

But not too efficiently.

So generally, as long as were not driving along in a Hummer, drinking a gallon of bottled water, smoking a cigar, and firing an Magnum, while driving through our oil reserve on the way to our processed chicken factory, we’ve done our part.

We have our limits.

2008-12-18-pollutioncomic

You see? We care.

But now that I’ve come back I’ve noticed quite a few efforts in regards to Sustainability.

Well, by efforts, I mean signs.

I saw this when I got to the airport.

IMG_0626

So at least one Terminal in New York is green. It’s a step in the “right” direction. And I say “right” because I don’t believe America will ever compare to the UK in the war for Eco-friendly products and Sustainability, where people seem to be more like this,

recycledpapermeme

It’s a little ridiculous.

Anyway, this comparison of US to UK ideas on Sustainability relates to my “life exam” in the following way,

On Christmas Eve I was having drinks and desserts with some family and friends, and the topic of weather came up. You see, New York and the tri-state area have never (in the lifespans of most of the people in the area) been so drastic and so chaotic before. We had a blizzard in October and a Spring during Winter, we had destructive Hurricane Sandy, and a beautiful Spring day on Christmas (it’s currently the day after Christmas and it’s snowed a foot in less than three hours and it’s raining ice as I type this) so, the weather is pretty crazy.

The people I was having dessert with were Argentinian, they said it was currently 120 degrees F in Buenos Aires, which is about 48 degrees C.

Seriously.

And my boss is Egyptian, where he said it has snowed all last winter.

In Egypt.

So this conversation about the weather led to a conversation about recycling which led to a conversation about global warming which led to a conversation about Sustainability.

Now, this is one of those times in life where you realize how little you knew by how much you now know.

But don’t get me wrong, I spend the majority of the Sustainability lectures in a daze and when people refer to recycling and being “Eco-Friendly” I’m usually fantasizing about coffee in a styrofoam cup (FACT: EVERYTHING tastes better in a styrofoam cup) but despite all my efforts, things have begun to sink in.

Like how very few people know about the different grades of plastic. So many people are attempting to recycle un-recyclable plastics, and by doing so, making recycling companies, who are not going to pay thousands of people to remove un-recyclable plastics from every bag they receive, just trash all the plastics entirely.

Or how little we hear about the various states of abnormal weather patterns throughout the world, unless it happens to be a gigantic storm that kills a vast number of people, it really isn’t worth air-time.

Without our relations to people outside our own sector of the country, we would probably never hear about these strange weather patterns.

So until it’s February and 95 F in Jersey, 25 F in Florida, raining in Arizona and a heat-wave in Seattle, it’s going to take quite a while for people to start to care.

And mind you, we only care about weather changes in our own states, if theres a heat-wave in Finland and a blizzard in Sicily,

Sorry, but thats not our problem.

And if it wasn’t for my time in London, where every toilet wants to tell you about how it’s using recycled rain water, and the napkins suspensors try to make you feel guilty for removing more than one sheet, I would’t be giving any thought to making any efforts to sustain our planet.

But… and heres the kicker….

I LECTURED ABOUT SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES TO THESE PEOPLE.

WITH ACTUAL FACTS!

Real facts, that I learned at Kingston.

Who would have thought?

I mean, I actually cared.

25549516

the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world-meme-generator-hahaha-just-kidding-e5c6e2

Well, Ok.

31616762

But, ITS BETTER THAN NOTHING!

I mean, I was shocked about how much I had retained, I have been unwillingly infected by the Eco-friendly mentality.

Perhaps this infection isn’t entirely negative, perhaps its like a small pox vaccination. A little small pox can be good for you, and once we infect everyone with a little small pox, less people will die.

Ok, that was a horrible metaphor, but you get the point.

success_baby

So, whether or not the topic is something that I’m all too excited for, like Sustainability, it’s still a fantastic feeling to come back home and be able to express myself in an educated manner about a topic that I really knew little about before my Master’s studies.

So you know what? I have a new attitude.

24082156

The Dragon’s Den

Image

Once upon a time, long long ago, there were five maidens who all hailed from different lands.

Image

There was Francesa of Brescia, a Mistress of Ideas.

Image

Angelika of Deutschland, Mistress of Management.

Image

Maria of the República Portuguesa, Mistress of Scribes.

Image

Lucy of Great Britain, Mistress of Creation and Design.

Image

and Natalie of the United States of America, Mistress of the Quill.

Image

Together they combined their talents to create a parcel, a parcel capable of withstanding the harshest conditions, and with which one could carry sustenance over any terrain, while retaining an upmost fashion sense of course.

Image

They worked tirelessly on this parcel, and when it was completed, prepared to release it to the nearby townspeople, to better enable them in their travels and encourage proper nourishment.

A little less of this.

tumblr_lvo8isW1MC1r6aoq4o1_500

HotDogHamBurgDanceAN

and a little more of this

tumblr_lk0s6aqz5c1qeaikxo1_400

carrot

And so they prepared.

Financials, Market Strategies, Research, because in order to bestow upon the townspeople this creation of splendor, they had quite a few obstacles to overcome….

The worst of them being, the dreaded and ever deadly…

DRAGON’S DEN

Fire Dragon

The maidens had to battle 7 Dragons.

You see beyond these Dragons lay the only path to reach the townspeople, and so the maidens had to devise a plan to defeat them, for the betterment of mankind.

And so they got together, to devise a plan.

tumblr_m7w65oYtF01qbekwso1_500

It took days upon days, until finally they agreed, there was no way they could take these Dragons by force, if they were to emerge victorious, they must sooth the Dragons with their intellect.

And so they created their Business Pitch.

A collection of information on their philosophy, product, research, target customers, marketing, and financial planning.

They were ready for battle.

It was time to journey forth.

giselher-on-horseback

As they approached the deadly Dragons, the feelings were grim. Were the maidens well armed? Had they trained enough? Worked hard enough?

But the time for training was over.

The battle had begun.

tumblr_m8yvfqYb3I1rxekheo1_500

The Maidens commenced the attack, hoping to beat down the Dragons with all they had prepared. They were only given 5 minutes to fight, and in this short amount of time, not much damage can be done. The Maidens worked hard and strong, but before they knew it, the 5 minutes were spent, and the Dragons now had the opportunity to retaliate.

They attacked the Maidens with everything they had, their questions piercing straight through the Maidens defenses with little effort.

“Will the product withstand refrigeration?”

“Do you really see parents purchasing this for their children?”

“Are you sure you’re marketing to the correct target group?”

But the Maidens remained resilient, they were not deterred.

In Fact, they were more determined then ever,

tumblr_luzvlpZxru1qzcuvq

And even though the Dragon’s had fought very hard, the Maidens had still emerged…..

VICTORIOUS!

Happy_dance

They had survived their first Dragon’s Den.

They were prepared to move forth and introduce their creation to the townspeople.

And they were better prepared for any new obstacles they may encounter.

And most importantly, they would be better prepared for the Dragons in their next encounter!

WE HAVE A PRODUCT!!!!!! Oh Yah! & we prototyped it.

So, we have finally decided on a product.

I don’t think you heard me….

WE HAVE A PRODUCT!!!!

And when I found out we were far enough to start prototyping!??!?

You see, we’ve been going back and forth on products for a few weeks now. We worked on philosophies, business strategies, lifestyles, general public needs, and still we couldn’t settle on one product. We went through shirts, bags, spoon holders, kitchen utensils and even a whole kitchen line! We went from having 1 product, to 2 products, to 4 products, to no products, and now we finally have ONE WHOLE PRODUCT!

I mean, I’m so happy I could dance.

Our group has finally decided to make, *drum roll*

a LUNCH BAG!

Now I know, a lunch box, sounds pretty lame, but hear me out.

You see, as a person who takes my lunch to school everyday, because lets face it, the food here is not exactly 5 star, I have found there is really nothing I would want to buy to carry my lunch it. I mean, here are a few examples of whats out there.

And thats what you find when you google “lunch boxes for adults”, seriously.

So, we decided to do something a bit better. A lunch bag with a simplistic and almost vintage style, minimalistic, with just enough room for what you need. It can easily slip into a bag or be used as one on its own, with a waterproof lining and a washable canvas material, it will last quite a while, with age only adding to the cool factor.

and thats not the only styles we have!

Remember those classic brown paper bags? The coolest kids didn’t need a lunch box, cause a classic brown paper bag was where it was at. And now, you can have that same classic look, in reusable canvas!

So keep posted for when these bad boys come out.

Cause you’re going to need to grab all your friends and be all like,

Cause this product is going to be so big, people are going to be running to the mall all like,

But don’t worry, cause all you guys reading this blog have the IN. Just let us know how many you need and they’re yours! Cause the second you get one, you’re gonna be all like,

So stay tuned! They’re coming out and they’re coming out soon!

Imagine a Spectacle

 

Danny Shine “Everything is Ok”

Now, I have been on a networking mission lately, a quest if you will, because if I have taken one thing to heart from our classes so far, it’s the importance of networking physically and virtually. In the last few months I have come across several opportunities for creative work, none of which I would have encountered had I not been on said quest. One has been the opportunity to compose and work sound production for “Imagine a Spectacle” A theatre production by a former MACE graduate Rafau Sieraczek at The Space in London.

This years production is based off the ideas of Occupation. What occupation means politically, physically, and mentally. How an artist, musician, performer, activist, and everyday person responds to space and their relationship to it. The show involves a combination of modern dance, parkour performance and film, interviews with Tony Negri an Italian political activist with a great interest in occupation, and a discussion with Danny Shine at the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

I had the opportunity to meet Danny in Hyde Park for a tech rehearsal the week before our opening performance. After we had solved our technical issues, we took a walk down Oxford Street so he could show us different methods he uses to “Wake Up London” and get his message across. We entered a couple stores while Danny held up a sign saying “Everything is Ok” and watched how the managers and security personnel of said establishments reacted to our being there. All I can say is the reaction was not good, and far more dramatic than you could ever expect. It was definitely interesting to see how people react when something disrupts their daily routine.

The experience has certainly been one to remember, and has come about solely through my mission to network with as many creative people as I can find while I’m here in London. Through this opportunity I have also met several other creatives with whom I can see collaborations with in the future. The social media focus I’ve gained through the Design Thinking Module has really advanced not only my contact book, but my awareness of the creative opportunities that are out there. I would strongly advise any student to really focus on their internet personas, and take advantage of the opportunities that can arise through their virtual connections.

The final performance for “Imagine a Spectacle” is on November 18th, this Sunday at 3pm. And if anyone is interested in attending feel free to contact me with questions.

Ken Robinson, Education Reform, American Education Costs, & My General Ranting on Creative Career Prospects

Image

Of all the things I could have possibly gathered from my education in Design Thinking so far, I have caught Ken Robison fever. In the past weeks I’ve watched every Robinson lecture I could find online, and as I write this now a copy of his “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” current resides on my desk. I have found a way to quote Sir Robinson in every class I take at Kingston, and I’m sure the next time I open with one of Ken’s ideas, I’ll be met with a “God, why don’t you just marry the guy already?” My answer? “I would, but I don’t think his wife would appreciate it.”

I have never thought of education in the ways that Robinson has explained. Yes, there is a definite need for education reform, and yes, as an artist I do believe that creative education is a vital role in shaping the mind. However “education reform” has always be explained, to be rectifiable by funding and enhanced professor quality, I had never heard the solutions Ken Robinson suggests, and now that I have, I see them as the only possible pathways.

In 6 years of university education, multiple classes on education, and a multitude of educational and creative related budget cuts, bestowed upon the State of New Jersey by our adored and loved Governor  Chris Christie (I hope you caught the sarcasm there) it is hard to believe that not once have the beginnings of public education been explained to students. It’s as if public education is this fixed system, that through hard times can only be rectified through funding. If you aren’t pleased with it’s turnouts, then you’re expected to put up quite a lot of dough in private schooling, which can cost you as much as a University education, which is of course to follow.

The average cost of private schooling in America is roughly $10,045, according to the “Council for American Private Education” in 2010, however this number can range anywhere from roughly $6,018 to as high as $17,316. A YEAR.

This means that at the end of a 4 year high school education, parents can anticipate spending over $40,000 before their child has even stepped foot in a University. If their child intends on attending University (which is the inevitable goal of private education) they can expect to pay about $21,447 dollars A YEAR for a public In-State University OR $42,224 dollars A YEAR for a Private or Out of State University, according to CNN Money in 2011.

Now, lets do the Math.

Assuming the prospective student has attended a private high school for ONLY 4 years due to a deteriorating public education system to increase their chances of getting into a good University.

And they happen to live in the SAME state as their prospective University.

They can expect to pay MINIMUM (including books and board):

$40,000 + $21,447 x 4 = $125,788.

Yah, really.

Lets not even discuss food, transportation, or any other educational or living expenses, the thought is just too much to bear.

Now with the average starting salaries, according to simplyhired.com, being at about $46,000 after graduation, which I truly find hard to believe, (I think the number is far lower).

And the average loan repayment of the above minimum cost estimate (assuming the $40,000 is already paid by University graduation) is $17,082, A YEAR, according to the University of Michigan’s Office of Financial Aid. This does not leave much to cover the cost of living.

And ALL OF THIS is assuming the graduating student CAN EVEN FIND A JOB, which according to the”Huff Post Business” in 2012, about half did not.

Now picture yourself one of these prospective university students, knowing full well what payments await you when you graduate, what do you study? You may be a talented dancer, actor, musician, or writer, but with a degree in the arts the expectation of finding a job after graduation is even less than half, holding the 2nd highest unemployment rate with 11.1 % of all graduates with artistic degrees, the chances are you’ll be spending many of your post graduation years in your parents basement, bartending at the local student hangout. But hey! In America they tip, so maybe your perspectives aren’t that bad.

But, if you haven’t spent your high school years fantasizing about living in a cardboard box, you’ll probably study something practical, like healthcare, computer science, engineering, or accounting. All subject areas with excellent employment rates, all not relatively creative.

And so where are the creative prospects? The majority of students are steered away from the thought of creative careers throughout their life’s education, through budget cuts and job perspectives, why induce a child’s creative potential when the outlook on creative careers are so grim? For God’s sake don’t hand that child a trumpet! Do you want him to starve?? Here, let him play with this nice calculator, he’ll love it.

And so this rant may have started with the need for education reform and focus on creativity in the classroom to push out the next generation of great thinkers, capable of solving the devastations we’ve brought upon the planet. But it ends with the need for affordable education with incentive to focus on the arts, available for everyone, if the education is not available, whats the sense in reforming it?

-end rant-