Some might approach a relation of this experience a day at a time, or even at the beginning. But I can’t guarantee that the story related to you in that manner and in that order contains the characteristics of a plot that rises in intensity steadily until a final conclusion. Because of this, week one might as well start at the end as much as the beginning.
It’s 5PM, Friday the 11th of July. My first full-day team meeting has concluded and my colleague Bryan Davidson (of our self-named agency “Kiwi”) has offered to give me a ride back to the house I’m staying at in Southeast Portland. I plunk into his moody Fiat convertible and beats from Ratatat come oozing out of the car’s speakers as they meet the late afternoon sun. As we cruise down Martin Luther King Boulevard I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel after what has been a whirlwind week. Was I overwhelmed? Friday morning Ascentium copywriter Mason West suggested (not without a smack of pleasure) that if our teams Lattice and Kiwi weren’t suffering we might not be working hard enough. The week started off the same, after Ryan Christensen gave the rundown about his company, SameUnderneath, for our collaborative project. People supposed that we were overwhelmed and certainly the information was and is overwhelming. But I didn’t feel it. All week I didn’t feel it. Where were my usual nerves? My gripping fear of working against the clock to prevent impending, nearly inevitable failure? Why the hell was I… oh god… enjoying myself?
Something else, surely, was afoot.
Thursday, the 10th around 2:30PM.
I’m sitting at my desk at Livengood Nowack, working up a lather trying to get some comps ready to send up to Rick Dalbey, their illustrious Creative Director who surely plots my destruction (see below).
I’m about a half hour behind when I had hoped to have the comps completed and I am silently cursing myself to work faster given that I wouldn’t be able to take care of it on Friday due to my Kiwi meeting. I’m humming along on my fourth cup of tea and listening to Frank Sinatra over my headphones trying to spirit myself to deliver the product. I know now that this feeling of tension in my body is not a sensation of being overwhelmed. This is having fun.
I laughed on my first day at Livengood when Rick told me he would get me right to work on some wee coupon designs. It wasn’t that I thought he was joshing me but that maybe they were actually going to give me something to work on right away. I hadn’t expected that. Coupon or not. This is the first time when I realized something else. I gotta start “expecting.” No no, not that kind. My very first day at Colaboratory and I tell a group of Colab organizers that I had “low expectations” for the program, which was not exactly accurate, nor particularly complementary. Instead I meant to say that I did not know what to expect since everything seemed so “whisper-whisper hearsay” with what we’d actually be doing in what order. Questions I had E-mailed went unanswered the month before, and I had started to believe that they didn’t even know what was going to happen. I learn on Monday that was the point, we make it happen. Given this realization I knew I had to restructure the way I was approaching what I wanted with the internship. It’s not just a stepping stone to a full time job, but a way of vaulting myself over barriers of perceived limitations. So as I ride in the Fiat back to my house on Friday I realize that I’m starting to see ladders in place of pits, and this feeling I’m having is not that of being overwhelmed but a sense of destination.