I've been through this before, it's the familiar feeling of suffocation. For my first two years of undergrad and most of my life before that I played football. Each summer camp, perhaps most notably in college, you get to feel like you're going to die. You train all offseason and all summer to come in confident in what kind of shape your in and your mental makeup. Without failure each summer camp I got pushed passed my limit, I hit that pivotal wall. When training by yourself you wouldn't normally cross that wall or have the will to break it. Waiting at the starting line it's close to 100 degrees, the sun is beating down on you so much you can barely keep your eyes open. Your brain and lungs burn almost to the point of not being able to function and you gasp for that little relief to catapult you out of this tumultuous sensation, you quite literally feel like a fish out of water. And then the whistle blows.
Somehow you dig your feet into the ground and smell that unfortunate burn of rubber turf that engulfs the linings of your nostrils and esophagus. Your thoughts turn to survival instincts as you drunkenly guide yourself to the other end and back. No matter how hard you trained that summer nothing is quite like full summer heat under 10 pounds of gear. That's sort of where I'm at right now. You know you have the creative juice and have the confidence to dig deeper to look where others aren't but at the same time you're engulfed. Maybe you can hang on a cool creative idea every week or so but having to do this relentlessly, while so many tedious things consume your every day is tough. You run out of new, fresh thoughts. It's a bit like head banging to no beat, you go mechanically but there's no rhythm.
You particularly hit the wall with the Business of Branding class. The class has all the tracks broken up into traditional ad teams to accomplish a lot of difficult and fun projects. As far as I can tell it is the memorable class you take here. There's learning how to collaborate, time management, executing out of your comfort zone & above all else feels like a little bit of grad school hazing. Not in the sense of fraternity hazing but in the sense of if you can get through 'BOB,' as everyone prefers to call it, you gain a little bit of BC credibility. The class is taught by the other legend at Brandcenter Don Just, who not only has a pretty awesome name but is probably the closest living embodiment of 'the most interesting man in the world.'
Take this life story he gave to us "Don Just once dined privately with Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate and husband of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, partied in the bunker of Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza, caught the first sea turtle eggs conceived in captivity from the stern of the 300 pound mamma turtle as she was laying them on a manmade beach in the Cayman Islands and sold a Caribbean freighter, the Night Train, for a shopping bag full of cash to a drug kingpin who was later found floating in the Miami river sporting a "Colombian necktie." His swag is 100 times a billion more than mine and he is damn smart, the perfect person to head the toughest class at Brandcenter. Professor Just is the most interesting man I've ever met and professor Fenske is the most peculiar man I have ever met, a good balance between two wings of the school.
I don't think I have ever laughed or thought more in class than I do in Fenske's creative thinking, so I will try and spare a few quotes that I have written down over the weeks. "Everyone wants to find a needle in a haystack, no one wants to be handed a needle," "You want to know how to get good? Dance in Polish weddings," "Art is something that reinterprets for people the life they're leading," & "Comedy is proof of intelligence."