Starbucks and Studying

by Chloe, a Patriot Blogger

Ah, Starbucks. A place where all college students can come to enjoy their daily caffeine injections, chat, surf the web, or study, which is exactly what I should be doing right now. My professor let class out early to review for our midterm, but I find it extremely difficult to concentrate on studying on a day as pretty as this. Approximately 70 degrees and sunny, with a light breezy that gently ruffles my hair as it passes through, I find studying can wait as I enjoy my grande-in-a-venti cup of coffee with hazelnut syrup. Listening to Nada Surf, my procrastination method is near perfect.

The only downside to chilling (translation: procrastinating) at Starbucks with my hipster floral sunglasses, googling hipster used bookstores, while not studying for my incredibly white-collar management class is that some of my classmates are also here, diligently studying, unconsciously making me feel like the ultimate slacker. As I look around the relatively quiet Starbucks, I see at least five of the other patrons have “MGMT 301: People and Organizations” open on their tables along with highlighters and class-notes. Hopefully I’m fooling them with my feigned look of concentration and open book on my lap.

I usually enjoy summer classes, and this one is no exception. I like my classmates, my group, my professor, and the material. It usually isn’t difficult to concentrate or get through my work, but sometimes getting out early is worse for studying that just staying in class and continuing to review the material. There an ability to go with the flow of studying with the later, but with the former, you have to self-motivate, a near impossible task on this summer’s day.

Solution? Text a member of the aforementioned group to come and study with me. Hopefully, the two of us can keep each other on task long enough to make some progress.

What Now?

by Chloe, a Patriot Blogger

What a year it has been.

Lots of firsts, lots of lasts, and heading into my last year of school, I can’t help but wonder, “What Now?” Thankfully, that is also the title of the enlightening commencement address that Ann Patchett gave to Sarah Lawrence College, which she then expanded and published as a short book. I read it every year around this time, after I start to panic that I didn’t do everything the previous year as well as I could have, or didn’t plan for every possible eventuality that the next year has to bring. I highly recommend it.

This year, it was particularly difficult for me to say goodbye to all of my graduating (now graduated!) friends. Every year as I get closer to it myself, I become a little bit more sentimental about the process and a little bit more interested in the answers to the standard question every recent grad gets: “So what now?”

A number of my friends are off to graduate school in every corner of the country. At least one is going somewhere in Florida, a couple others are heading north to New England, and more still are heading out west. They’ve postponed their answer to the perpetual, “So what now?” for a few more years.

Even more of my friends are either looking for jobs or have one already. Those that have one know where they’re off to (thankfully D.C. still has a pretty good job market so many of them are staying close by), and those that haven’t gotten one yet are far calmer about this situation than I would be.

Sitting in the JC on the first day of summer classes, I’m struck by how empty it is compared to this time two weeks ago. This time on May 7, people had set up camp, claimed study tables, procured their study sustenance (coffee and Cheetos are always popular), and were browsing through their notes, reading their books, quizzing their friends on class material, and fervently hoping they wouldn’t forget anything before their finals were over. Today, I can look left and right on the third floor of the library and only see a handful of people. I have a table all to myself and an extra chair to put my feet up on. Any day during the regular semester this would be considered an epic win.

The explanation the circumstance is simple: people don’t often like to take summer classes. After a long year, being in classes seems far less desirable than being on a beach.  Nerdy dual-degree student that I am, summer classes are necessary if I want to graduate on time. I don’t mind, I love the campus and sometimes it’s nice to be able to sit around and reflect without seeing (and hearing) people try to recreate the Harvard baseball team, “Call me Maybe” spoof (college students in the midst of finals do all manner of strange and abnormal things). However, reflection also raises the question, “What now Chloe?”

Thank God I have another year to figure out the answer.

The Webbys

by Chloe, a Patriot Blogger

It’s that time of year again!  March Madness is over, baseball season is off and running, the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals are about to have a dramatic game seven, and the Webby Awards are upon us!

The Webby Awards are what they sound like: web awards. They highlight some of the best advertising campaigns, videos, apps, etc., that the internet has to offer. There are two awards in each of the four categories: Websites, Interactive Advertising & Media, Online Film &Video, and Mobile & Apps.  The Webby Award is decided by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Webby People’s Voice Award is determined by popular vote.

Marketing, advertising, and internet nerds (like myself) check out the Webbys every year to find the best the web has to offer. Take a look at the nominees!:

Webby Nominees

Even if all you do is browse, try to take some time to appreciate all of the work that went into each of these campaigns. I liked pretty much everything I saw, but here are several of my favorite campaigns for the year:

Activism:

Bear 71

Book Burning Party

Spent (which reminded me a lot of Ayiti the Cost of Life)

All of these are great campaigns that make people look a bit more closely at different issues. You can follow a bear in Canada, view the outrage of the Fahrenheit 451 idea of book burning, and attempt to live on less than one thousand dollars for a month. They all (including the other two Activism nominees Counterspill and The Breathe Project) make you look at their focus issues in a new way. Prepare to have your mind blown!

Best Integrated Media Plan:

The Inside Experience

Intel and Toshiba partnered up for this one to bring you the story of Christina (played by Emmy Rossum), a young woman who has been abducted and trapped in a small room with only a 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor-powered Toshiba Satellite® P775 series laptop and an untraceable Internet connection. The campaign put out eight webisodes that showed Christina trying to figure out where she was and why. She used social media to engage viewers in the process, asking for their help. Cool, kind of creepy, and a totally new way to connect with consumers and get traction with an age group that doesn’t tend to get excited about anything but Macs.

Best Use of Social Media:

Mano a Mano in el Bano

Who doesn’t love the Old Spice guy? I can’t imagine that anyone in my age group hasn’t heard of or fallen in love with the original Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa. The Mano a Mano in el Bano started as a dual challenge from Fabio in an attempt to wipe out Mustafa and become the new Old Spice guy. In a series of videos back and forth they swap jabs, and eventually meet for combat (en el Bano of course). Who wins? You’ll have to watch to find out!

These and dozens of others are all on the Webby website. Take a look: laugh, cry, learn, enjoy, and be a part of the Oscars of the Internet! Voting closes April 26, so make sure to check it out soon!