Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Everlasting Mondays.

Remember Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper?  Well, it seems as gobstoppers can be days of the week as well.

Ok, let's talk about Monday.  I guess it's just one of those things, I'd much rather crawl under my desk in the fetal position than even think about Monday again.  First, I must swear and curse at my temporal difficulties.  I was about 5 minutes late to my Global Media class on Monday in which Doc Fish looked like he wanted to fry me up and serve me up to the class on little crackers.  Lucky for me, I had someone in the same situation right next to me walking in...yeah and Doc Fish looked at him like potential hors d'oeuvres as well.  So, not an auspicious start to Monday.  Then came the reading test...in which I had spent the majority of the weekend going over all of the stuff for my history exam (that I took today, more on it later) so my Global Media book got scanned, but not in-depth read.  So, a whopping (and painful) belly flop for Monday's Global Media.

I walked out of class feeling dumb, unwanted and completely useless. I tugged my book bag onto my shoulder and headed off to Personal Growth where it was "blame the parents" day, mixed with some role-playing then role-reversal.  We went over "warm" and "cold" parenting.  I looked at the list that denoted the two types and went "brrrrrrrr," because it seems as I grew up in an antarctic winter.  Oh, so encouraging to learn what you already know...

After class, I was walking out to my car, and like the gobstopper, it seemed as the dismal day just had to deal me one more blow just to make sure I didn't get up again. While traversing the campus, it seems as a sidewalk curb wanted to get in on the smackdown because I wasn't looking at my feet and I lost my footing, I tried desperately to regain my balance only to find myself face down on the asphalt.  My left thumb is completely bruised on the outside edge along with my palm being abraded and bruised to kingdom come, my right hand has a welt and a thick black bruise at the heel of my hand, both knees look like they've had a bat taken to them and the rest of my body, one day after, still feels like a sequel to Joe Pesci's death scene in the movie "Casino." (If you don't remember the film, let me refresh your memory, they kill Joe's character by beating him to death with a baseball bat.  Get the picture?)

Upon seeing me wipe out, a young man came upon my sprawled figure and asked, "Are you ok?"  My reply was swift, "No!  I'm not ok, but tell ya what, I will take a hand up."  The young man helped me up and once back on my feet and walking, I chuckled at myself remembering the mantra that I so DO NOT want to live by..."If I can trip over it, bump into it, step on it, step in it or do something else clumsy, I probably will."

So in essence, my Monday was very stereotypical...one that you wanted to crawl back in bed and just forget about.  But, it's Tuesday right?  It's a new day that's supposed to be better, right?  Noooooooooo.

See, Murphy's Law is one of the guiding forces in my life.  If there is a way I can land on my face and have a bad day turn into a bad week, it's going to happen, even though I try my damndest not to let it go there.

Today I had my history exam.  I arrived to class on time and I breezed through with not an ounce of problems because of all of the time I spent on studying for it at the sacrifice of two very dry chapters in Global Media.  You win one, you lose one, right?  Oy.

After my exam, which took a total of 20 minutes and that's with the exam hitting my hands at 10:05, I looked at my watch and asked it, "What am I going to do now?"  If you said, "read" you would be correct!  What better way to spend the three hours I had to wait until my IMC class?  So I went across the street, grabbed some breakfast at the Einstein Brothers Bagel place across the street from school, and while I was eating, I cracked my book open and read.

I'm behind, *gasp* on all of my reading, none more than my reading for IMC.  Trust me, I do a LOT of reading already, but when you're going through academic text books, no matter how relevant or what have you, they're not the sexiest things in the world to get through or be motivated to tackle.  I'm really disappointed with being behind with my reading for IMC because of the simple fact that it is my one sexy textbook this semester.  And you should see it, every page with some wonderful ad and some fascinating tidbit about the advertising world. I was trying my best to read it as if I were reading "Whipple," but to no avail.  The entirety of "Whipple" is the length of three of my textbook chapters.  Every time I sit down with it, I'll read a passage then get caught up in my cereal campaign again.  Getting through it without having my mind wander off on some creative tangent is close to impossible.

So, after finishing my snack and at seeing how my reading was coming along, I took a trip to see Doc S. over at his office.  If anyone could make me feel better after the week I'm already having, I figured the one person in the world that could was Doc S.  I mean the man swims the ad waters, he gets it, he understands...he knows what goes through the mind of young addies like me.  So I tell him about the problems I've had with my reading.  He looked at me sympathetically and gave me some hints and tips to try to streamline myself a bit while I read.  To hear him chuckle at my tribulations made me feel better that what was going on in my head creatively was normal, it's just that I had to restructure how I'm doing it.  Dedicated time that if I catch myself wandering off, to discipline myself to get back on track while not losing my enthusiasm for the material.   So after a visit with Doc S., I took myself down to the Student Union and sat outside, textbook open, daring myself to get through the chapter I'm behind on.

And wouldn't you know it...three men sit down at the table next to me and start discussing their Excel spreadsheets and so forth while I'm trying desperately to concentrate on the very fascinating Albert Lasker.  Well, after they quieted down a bit, I was able to get about 10 pages in until the Red Bull girls showed up.  Great little mini-event execution when it comes to advertising, I have to say, but it distracted me again.  I tried to get back into the book until one of the guys looks at his pals and says, "I need to make a run to Starbucks."  His friends look at him incredulously as he's got a Red Bull in his hand, but he's on his way to a Starbucks.  Oy, Starbucks coffee AND a Red Bull?  It seemed as a bit of overkill to me besides the obvious fact that his buddies were going to have to chisel him from the ceiling with a paint scraper.  At that point, all my efforts at reading were lost because my mind went directly to the cereal ad just with the one word thought of "overkill."  My mind went into high gear.  I'm coming up with a strategy to market a high-fiber cereal, 11 grams per serving to be exact, and then it hits me, why do people add fibrous fruit to their already high fiber cereal?  It seemed as it was "overkill."   Isn't that like washing down your bran muffin with two cups of coffee then following it up by sitting in traffic for an hour?  Not a pretty thought, is it?  So why do people do it?

After the "overkill" moment, it was no use, the book went to la la land as my brain went directly on a trip to cereal land.  By that time it was 12:35 anyway, so I packed it up and walked to class cursing because I caught not one hand, but both in very uncomfortable bruise pounding positions trying to get my book bag up onto my very sore shoulders.  To be honest, I just wanted to sit down and weep.

Doc S. really should be canonized as a saint.  He really should.  He took us through some more swoonfest moments of dissecting the IMC process, where we were in the scheme of it and so forth.  Then a pretty young woman lifted her hand and asked, "What's the difference between the product name and a brand?"  Doc S. asked the rest of the class what we thought it was and I had a Horshack moment of "Oooh!  Oooh!" Oh yes, I knew that one, right?  Not quite.  Remember, my brain works in very broad strokes and is very big picture.  When I think product vs. brand, my brain goes to the big dogs.  I immediately thought, "Nike."  Now that is a brand!  In over 80 countries to boot!  So I explain the concept of branding from a corporate standpoint, thinking of branding in the umbrella sense with it's many different subsidiaries lying underneath.  I talk about how Nike is a huge brand but then it has its' tennis shoe division, the clothing division and so forth. Now, is this what Doc S. wanted?  No.  He was going for the very simplest of definitions, which is that the product itself is a physical, tangible object and the brand is a psychological construct.  Not only did I overshoot, I missed the boat altogether.  I felt like I had just fallen over the curb again, landing face first in embarrassment.  Doc S. and Haley comforted me after class, after I moaned that I had flopped for the day.  Haley reminded me that it was an introduction class and that it seemed like I had already taken it.  We talked about how I doubted myself because I think in larger scope and I tend to forget the little things and basics because I take them for granted which Haley insists that it's not a bad thing, but for right now I need to think smaller instead of bigger. Wise, sweet woman.

It reminded me of my Graphic Arts instructor so long ago who looked at me and said, "We're not there yet Sheri, just wait..."

Meanwhile, I think I'm just going to go flop face first on my bed and cry.  I hate weeks like this.  They start bad and just snowball.  I hope by Thursday afternoon I can just crash into a tree and get it over with.

Like the Everlasting Gobstopper, my horrible Monday just doesn't want to go away.

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