Making the Personal Something Relatable #mixer

For my Capstone project I am doing a case study on my family’s meat market in Detroit’s Eastern Market area and trying to find quick and effective procedures we could put in place that would make our business run more effectively and therefore decrease the stress my parents deal with as small business owners. Within this very specific and personal case study I hope to find tips and suggestions for all small business owners in Detroit to use in order to improve employee engagement and efficiency.

For this project I am most excited for the fact that this is really pushing me as a writer in areas that I’ve improved in over my last four years at U of M. After writing my Writer’s Evolution Essay it really helped me understand that what I have started to improve upon (and what to continue) is taking personal things, like my family’s business and delivering that information to an audience that does not know me in a succinct and meaningful way, where they’re able to understand where I’m coming from. I think when I am in my career, my time at the market will affect my actions and the way that I see things in corporate america, and it will be important for me to explain and defend my opinions, while utilizing my unique background, in a way that people will understand.

I am most nervous about the fact that I have A LOT of moving parts in this project and I hope that it will all come together on my WIX page in an aesthetically pleasing, coherent way. I have video, pictures, text, charts, etc. and I’m still in the process or organizing everything. I hope I can pull this off!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

New Multimedia Skill

For our multimedia contract, I decided to build upon my knowledge in iMovie. Last year I taught myself the basics in order to do a few class assignments. Last week I expanded upon that base. I watched a few online tutorials on YouTube in order to learn how to add my own personal music from my iTunes library to specific scenes in a project.

Last year, I knew how to add the sounds that iMovie presented, but I could not figure out how to add sections of specific songs that I wanted to a particular part of my movie. I love music, all genres, and I’m a big believer that music and particular songs can act as their own character in a story, so this skill is something I think I’ll use any time I use iMovie in the future. Specifically for this project, I do not want to have all text based information, so I’m thinking of adding a series of videos. I figured when I was talking about the history of the market/showing photos, being able to add my own music and set the mood would help. Additionally, when I do present information in text, this may be a way to add music and make it more exciting.

Writing At This Point

I’m excited about writing at this point in my life because I’m graduating soon. As a student for the past 17 years of my life, I feel like I’ve written a lot of things in order to get a good grade. As the end of my academic career is near, I can’t help but to wonder what type of writing I’ll engage in–whatever it is, I know it will be on my terms, for me. And that’s something that’s exciting.

With that being said, I think that’s one of the few things I’m looking forward to after graduation. And in times of sadness, I turn to Buzzfeed to know that I’m not alone:

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariellecalderon/things-you-miss-after-graduating-college

Zach Braff, “Wish I Was Here”

Zach Braff is one of my favorite people in Hollywood. He’s known for his comedic role in “Scrubs,” but he is also a writer and director. Ten years ago he came out with the movie “Garden State,” one of my favorites of all time. Zach wrote, directed and starred in the movie and also picked the songs for the soundtrack. Because of such a personal project, he gained many fans (like me) waiting for a him to create a new movie that spoke to us the way that Garden State did.

So earlier this year, Zach wrote a script that he believed in and knew his fans would appreciate as well. He could not get the funding he needed from major studios without compromising some of his artistic vision (final cut, casting, etc.), so he did a Kickstarter campaign, fundraising by reaching out to his fans, asking for help to produce the movie that HE wanted to create. Here’s the video he sent out to his fans:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869987317/wish-i-was-here-1

He raised the funds within 48 hours.

I think of this when taking on a big project because I respect that Zach did not compromise on anything. He had his vision and stuck to it because he knew he would connect with his fans the way he did ten years ago in Garden State. This relates to my own project because I was nervous that it would not be relatable to a bigger audience, but because it’s so personal and I care so much about my family and our business, I think that authenticity will show through and people will be able to relate to that. I was going to do a different project that wasn’t as personal to me because I wanted to make sure it was relevant, but I thought of Zach and he’s the perfect example of how sometimes the most personal things are the most profound.

Project Introduction

Hello!

I had a great meeting with Julie yesterday and I feel a lot better about my project idea. I’m looking forward to getting started!

For my project, I wanted to find something very personal to explore while also using my Organizational Studies background in an intensive way. With that, I decided to do a mini consulting project with my family business. My family owns a meat market in Detroit’s Eastern Market area. In the past year, my parents have been very stressed and overwhelmed with other obligations (family sickness, etc.) as well as the business itself.

For my project, I’d like to find 2-3 quick and efficient improvements that they could make in the business in order to reduce their stress level at work and at home. I find that I’m in a very interesting spot: my parents both were not able to go to college but they are extremely hard workers and entrepreneurs. We are able to live comfortably but only because of their blue collar work ethic. I have worked there all my life, I’ve been raised with those values and identify with the to this day.

…..but they also tend to get stuck in their ways. Sometimes their too busy to think about the logistics of their business. New technology is overwhelming. They’re making money and don’t want to sit down and think of different ways to make their jobs easier because there is so much on their minds already.

That’s where I hope my OS background can help. I get frustrated with college students my age who study business and want to be a consultant right away, thinking they know everything there is to know. They’re wrong. Experience is invaluable, and it happens to be something that I have.

My goal is to use my entrepreneurial, hard working spirit with my education from one of the top public universities in the nation and help my family.

I will conduct interviews with my parents and employees and use literature from my classes as research. I am not sure how exactly my project will take format yet because I do not know what I’ll be creating/fixing for them. Looking forward to finding out though!

 

 

New York, New Person

February 2013, MIW Gateway Course

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. I’m at the age (I’ll be 22) where birthdays shouldn’t really be a big deal, but because nothing fun ever goes on in January paired with the devastating fact that Blue Lep is indefinitely closed, I find there’s not too much to look forward to lately. Plus, after how much fun I had on my 21st birthday, I can’t help but to get excited.

Last year, it’s 11 p.m. on a Monday night, February 4th. I’m in a group of ten people, sitting in the “VIP” (no one was in the bar) couches of Charley’s. We’re here to get my free shot, then we’ll head to Blue Lep (RIP). Normally on a 21st birthday we’d head to Ricks, but due to the snow and the fact that this is the first week where people are starting to have finals, we’re not sure anyone will be there.

I’m with a few of my roommates who are my closest friends and a few of our guy friends. We pregamed heavily and people start buying shots. I’m not sure what my current tolerance is and I know I’ll be pushed to my limits tonight, so I ask my friend, Emily, to keep track of how many drinks I’m having throughout the night.

“I don’t want to know the number, just keep track, and if it gets dangerous, stop me.” I will later find out that Emily and I have different definitions of dangerous (“You were fine!” she’ll later explain).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m encouraging these drinks. Normally we’d go out at midnight on the 3rd, but I had an interview for an internship the morning of my birthday at 8 a.m. I accept this as a present, considering I’m struggling to find somewhere to work for the summer. The final round interview was for Michigan’s DSIP program. I could live in Ann Arbor for the summer with the rest of my friends. It’d be perfect.

Someone buys me a Maize and Blue shot. Then a Papa Smurf shot. Then Ross buys me a shot of Fireball (when I think of where the night went downhill, I land here). My best friend Kamille buys me a shot and says some really nice things as a toast over the music as I lean over to listen. I look around at the people who made it out for my and I’m so grateful to have such good friends.

The next thing I remember is being in Blue Lep, someone putting a pink shot that looked like bubble gum in my face and putting out my hands in a rejection gesture. I shake my head back and forth saying “I’ve had enough.”

December 2013, MIW Capstone Course

I have a Skype interview in two minutes. I am sitting at my kitchen table in front of my computer, using Photo Booth to make sure I look professional. the computer is too low so it’s an unflattering angle. Two minutes, think. The answer lies behind my computer. I grab the box of Franzia wine on the opposite side of the table and put it underneath my laptop. Now it’s the perfect height.

And this is the best way I know how to describe my senior year of college.

Dressed in a suit, trying to look professional, using boxed wine for help. Constantly emailing recruiters from companies while sending my friends ugly Snapchats. It’s weird, but I’ve never felt old until this year.

I didn’t end up getting the DSIP job. I was very upset at the time. I had no other prospects and wanted to be able to stay in Ann Arbor for the summer. I love this city, I love this university, I love my friends, it was the perfect summer job.

Today, I’m so grateful they didn’t pick me.

Had they picked me, I wouldn’t have been forced to continue my job search. I wouldn’t have applied to AIG and accepted their summer internship in New York City. I wouldn’t have moved to Manhattan for 10 weeks and worked in the Financial District. I wouldn’t have moved to arguably the most intimidating city in the world by myself leaving my family, friends and comfort in Michigan.

As I’m about to turn 22 I feel so different than the night I was turning 21. I went to New York, mastered the Subway, made new friends, worked for a crazy boss and grew so much as a person. Now as I’m looking for full time positions, none are in Michigan. I’ll probably end up in New York or Chicago. Had you told me that a year ago I would have laughed in your face.

It’s amazing how much can change in just one year. Makes me wonder what I’ll be doing when I’m about to turn 23. Wherever I end up next year, “I’ll always love you though, New York.”

Guys, I’m becoming more mature

Tomorrow, I’ll head home to Grosse Pointe for the weekend to celebrate Easter with my family. My mom just asked me when I have to get back and I said Monday morning. I had to explain to her that holidays are viewed a little differently around here. For example a professor said the other day “Well your paper can’t be due this week because of Passover, and then Sunday is that Easter thing, so I guess it will just be next Wednesday.”

But anyway, I’ll be heading home for the weekend, and the past few weeks I’ve been wrestling with the idea of whether or not to visit an old friend while I’m home. This is not the kind of old friend that you should want to catch up with. This is the type of old friend that is in the past for a reason. This is the type of old friend where it’s easy to remember their compelling attributes, and harder to remember the other ones. Okay, I’ll stop…this old friend is a boy. And I’m being that girl. I know, just embrace it.

Anyway, I had my mind set that I’d see him when I was home, until the other day. I was cleaning my room and found an assignment that I had to write for a creative writing class. It was all of the reasons why we are “old friends.” Needless to say it wasn’t that creative. I re-read it, and then read it again, and then realized there was no way I could see him this weekend. And now that I’ve officially made up my mind, I know it’s the right decision.

I’ve been so much of an adult these past few weeks I think I need a medal….or a drink.

Guys, I’m becoming more mature.

I bring up this story though because I wonder…have you ever had your own words help you make up your mind like that? Has your past self ever been so convincing that your future self can’t help but to listen?

A passage from my “Why I Write” essay:

“Thinking something in your head, feeling something in your heart and having the ability to articulate it is something special. I write because sometimes I feel such passion, or rage, or excitement, or depression that I never want to forget the feeling. I do not want the emotion to subside and only remain as an ember of the once blazing fire. Writing helps me remember.”

Can anyone relate?

Guys, I’m Growing Up

It’s been a weird week. On Tuesday night I flew out to New York to do an interview on Wednesday for a summer internship and then flew back Wednesday night. I was gone for less than 24 hours. The company called Friday morning and extended me an offer, so it looks like I’ll be living in New York this summer.

So why is this weird? A few reasons. First of all, my family does not travel often and U of M is a 45 minute drive from my home, so I’ve traveled places with friends, but I’ve never by myself. I flew into LaGuardia alone. Then I got a cab alone. I sat in the backseat looking out of the windows trying to figure out where the hell I was and praying that we did not get in an accident because I am convinced we must have been on the autobahn (I know all of the East Coast kids are laughing right now).

But to understand why this is so weird, I have to go back three years. It’s the summer before freshman year and I just found out that I cannot attend U of M’s summer orientation with my close group of high school friends. The date that they all picked does not work for me, so I’m going to have to go alone. I freak out. I can’t go to Ann Arbor without Kamille, Dan or Rocky. I’ve only been there a handful of times. Who am I going to talk to? Who am I going to hang out with when we have breaks?

My parents and I frequently joke about this moment. I’ve come a long way since then, obviously. But as I was racing back to LaGuardia to make my returning flight after my interview, I realized I could have never done this three years ago. Or two. Or one. I was afraid to go alone, but I made myself do it. Three years ago, I could barely get myself to go to Ann Arbor alone. This week I voluntarily traveled to New York and back in one day……..and I got a job.

Guys, I’m growing up.

How have you grown since you’ve gotten here? What are you doing that you could have never imagined doing a few years back?

Confusing Prose

  1. We’ve introduced to you some evidence that may be in opposition to supporting wind power in the great lakes. Based on our research, we recommend careful consideration of the–sometimes ignored–negative side of alternative energy. Our presentation is not intended to disprove the potential necessity of wind power, but merely to incite debate as to the causes for concern. Mitigation of risk is universally a priority of science, and some articles effectively presented these methodologies for further review and advancement.

 

 

This was for an Environmental Science paper. I have no idea what this even means, even though my group wrote it. I think we used a lot of big argumentative words in order to try and sound like we were making a point but I don’t think we really had one.

Higher Education Bubble

Here’s a link of the most informative article on the Higher Education Bubble that I found: http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education-bubble/

Here is a link to an article on the Higher Education Bubble that is targeted to my age group, as the HEB is compared to Caddyshack: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/15/analysis-understanding-the-higher-education-bubble-through-caddyshack/