Final Week


While I do not plan on publishing this until Sunday, I feel like not getting it written down would lessen the good feelings associated with it. My class had our final presentations today. Technically, we were pitching our ideas to investors on a panel — similar to Shark Tank — and highlighting our hypothetical ventures along with the skills and lessons we have learned while attending Full Sail University.

I was a little concerned at my lack of nerves when I woke up this morning. I perform better when I “wing it” and any sort of preparation tends to throw me off because I am aware of a slip of my memorization, or a stumble in my statistics. I will admit that I did prepare for this presentation more than any other I have done. The main reason for this is because it was not only my grade that depended on it, but Rob’s as well. I did not, however, over prepare. Had I done that, I would have felt the pressure of the memorization on top of a classroom full of peers, instructors, “investors”, and the department chairman.

I brought cupcakes with our logo and QR code to bribe the panel. The images were edible and I was impressed at how well they smelled — I did not get one — and how they were received. Watching Alex take a finger full of icing at a time, or watching Rob lick his icing like an ice cream cone, was probably the most enjoyable thing I saw involving the cupcakes. Gosh, I am going to miss them.

The presentation went smoothly enough. The instructor put the wrong slides up and, naturally, I did not notice until we were well underway and burning presentation time. I handled it like a champion though. I requested a time stop and asked if we could get to the correct presentation. The five slides in the most recent rendition were too relevant, too important, to just press on with the unfinished slide show. We were asked very few questions because of thorough discussions with instructors well before presentation day.

We rocked it. That is all there is to it.

I surprised myself. Okay, I cannot say I was wholly surprised, but mainly because my family would rally and scream and disagree when they read why. Stepping in front of that panel with the venture in my heart, the information secured in my head, the proper amount of preparation — no more, no less — and my partner was calming. I was suddenly back in the Army and competing again in a board of some form. Soldier of the Month, promotion board… it never mattered. There is a demeanor that washes over me when I am faced with a “firing squad” who is judging me, looking for mistakes, or deciding my future.

I won the game. Again.

I sit here working casually on the feasibility study that is due first thing Friday morning. That is it. That is the last assignment, the final grade, and the very last day. The passing of time does not feel as strange to me as it does to my peers, but even they acknowledge that that is because they are younger than me and have not had the time to really understand time lost. Two years is not a long time, but it can feel like a lifetime to someone graduating with a Bachelors degree at twenty years old.

I will stop here with the successes I will celebrate for today. I will add more on Sunday to maintain my schedule.

***

I walked out of my classroom on Friday with a feeling strangely like high school, the last day of school, and the excitement of the upcoming summer. This is directly applicable, you see, as it was the last day of school. My “summer vacation” will consist of packing, driving across country, flying, driving or flying some more, and then, hopefully, an email from Blizzard Entertainment expressing an interest in me. I hope I am interesting…

It took me more than a week to write the speech I will give at graduation on the 2nd. I am hearing stories that say a good speech should take longer than that, usually accompanied by a scowl or grimace of… scorn. Maybe it will not be a tear-jerker, and maybe it will not inspire people to take on the world, but it is heartfelt and very much me in every word. After a discouraging education when I was young, I think there were plenty of times I doubted my ability to do any better than I had done. Regardless of what I accomplished when I was a soldier, I still doubted my ability to break the poor image of me…

… even if I was the only one who still saw that person.

This week will be amazing. Matt’s mom and dad will arrive tomorrow and we will spend all of Tuesday with them. Wednesday my parents will arrive. Thursday my sister and her family will arrive and we will celebrate my sister’s birthday with a traditional dinner. Friday I will graduate and then my friends, all of our families, and I will have a picnic in the park to have a chance to get to know the people we have heard so much about. I hope some of our instructors can come.

The future: who knows? You know that’s the position in which I am most comfortable. My heart is still set on one place, although I am constantly opening doors to other options. So many options! Blargh!

That’s it, I’m done for tonight. I had an amazing week and will not diminish its excellence by rambling further.

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