Monday Musings ~ February 29

It’s Monday. And Leap Day!

1. It was a banner weekend for us, seeing two movies before the Academy Awards aired: Spotlight and Steve Jobs. I loved Spotlight and was thrilled it won Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. I remember reading about the the scandal back in 2002 when the story broke in The Boston Globe. But seeing the movie opened my eyes to this reality. I felt completely overwhelmed by the end, thinking about how pervasive the cover up was and the sheer multitude of victims. Yet even though it left me in tears, I think evoking that kind of emotion is a sign of a good story, and the writing did its job.

Steve Jobs, on the other hand, was just okay. I’m a huge Aaron Sorkin fan and always impressed with his ability to write strong dialogue that moves the plot forward (great article from Writer Unboxed about this very subject). But I felt like the magic was lacking in this movie. It was … different. Which maybe is the point considering Jobs and Apple are about the “think different” idea?

2. On the subject of computers, I found this New York Times article fascinating about how the movie War Games influenced national policy. Interesting to know one of my favorite movies also impacted more than just my own experience with computers.

3. Yesterday I posted on Facebook that it’s been 19 years since I graduated college and I still have anxiety-riddled dreams that it’s the end of the semester and I’m failing a math or science class. And the thing is, now that I’ve been out of school, worked in several jobs and hired employees, I realize that failing one class doesn’t even have a huge impact in the big picture. But of course this perspective never comes through in the dream itself. It was fascinating how many other people commented on my Facebook post that they also have these dreams. I wonder if everyone has these types of dreams, or only certain types of individuals? Related: It’s been 19 years since I was in college. How the heck is that possible?!

4. Speaking of college, I love teaching marketing and communication to my students at FIDM. And there’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing the students understand the concepts and put them to use. One of my classes involves teaching the students about a press kit, how to write a press release, and pitching to reporters and bloggers. Several of my former students created a group called Cre-8, and is working with Banding Together, a San Diego non-profit organization with a mission to provide music therapy scholarships, mentorships and instruments to youth with special needs like autism and Down syndrome.

Using the skills they learned in my class and other marketing courses, my students are putting on a fundraising event for Banding Together. I love that they put together a website, obtained sponsors, wrote up a media kit, and pitched me to promote the event on my blog. I’m mentioning this here because I want to support their awesome work and give a plug to this fundraising event that supports a great cause. I also think it’s a great example of how teaching skills based in practice (as opposed to just theory) gives students real-life experience they can use in their careers.

5. And finally, I once had an employee who told me she always appreciated the fact that I told her “thank you” when she presented me with work or accomplished a project. In all honesty, I didn’t even realize I was doing this. But clearly those two, tiny words had an impact on her. I was thinking about that when I read this great article about saying “thank you” in seven life situations. It’s funny how the simple act of uttering that phrase can change your own outlook and other people’s perceptions.

Did you watch the Academy Awards? Seen any good movies lately? What’s going on in your life?

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