Starting Up Again

disney-pintrest-jump-shot
Way back when in freshman year…

Today was my last first day of a high school semester and I already feel like we’ve jumped right back into things. I’ve already been planning events, attending meetings, and doing homework; not much has changed, and yet things feel somehow different knowing it’s almost over- not yet though and there is still so much to do!

It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to take off right where you left off when you are around the right group of people.

Time for Random

Image result for crazy ideasOne of the things I love most about the summer is that people think of so many crazy ideas, and half of the time actually follow through with them because they have time!

Everyday I find myself reading texts from people with ideas about wanting to start a new club, or learning a new instrument, or writing their own music, or getting a group together to do all the parts of a Hamilton song, or trying to get a new skill in a sport, or wanting to take a day trip to some weird new place, and the list goes on and on! Summer is such a time of opportunity because besides a few books and math problems, time is all our own and we can use it however we choose.

It’s amazing how many interesting ideas come from when people have time to just sit and think. My friends can tell when I get a crazy idea because they’ll see me start staring off into space just pondering for a while; then I’ll shake out of it and start talking quickly for a long period of time about what ever I was thinking about.

I believe strongly that the less stressed we are the more ideas freely flow. When you are stressed you are too distracted by whatever’s stressing you to just think about random things in life, and yet random things are so much fun to discuss!

I never want to live a life where I’m stressed too often to have time to think about random things every now and then.

Capturing Work

It’s been a busy week for me with acro camp, coaching, and spending time watching Harry Potter with my family for the first time. I like being a little busy though because I like feeling engaged and productive and active. Though even when being busy and active, ID over the past two years has really taught me the value of capturing your work so that you can later look back and let others get a little closer to understanding your experiences. So for the past few days, on top of everything else, I’ve also been working on compiling a large amount of pictures from twitter of fuse16 to put into a video montage. And I’m happy to say that with it now being a week since fuse16, I finally have finished the video and have uploaded it to youtube so that I, and hopefully others, can look back and remember the fun and meaningful days we spent at this year’s fuse.

 

Prototyping Routines

images-2.jpgFor the past few years now, I’m constantly having moments where I catch myself thinking like a designer. Today I observed this happening while choreographing new gymnastics routines.

Creating a new routine is dependent on good prototyping. If I hear a song a couple of times, I can just get on the floor and improv a routine fairly well; however, more often than not, my first creation is not my best work. I can spend hours on one routine fine tuning every movement and still end up deciding on a different idea just moments later. In order to fully figure out what works best, I have to constantly test out the routine to see how even little adjustments affect the routine as a whole.

I have also found, like any idea, time is often the secret sauce that makes an idea great. I have to constantly have a song running through my head and mull over a routine for a few days if I wish to really get my best work. Furthermore, sometimes it’s a matter of waiting for inspiration; sometimes I just find myself so absorbed in a song that I have to choreograph a routine because it’s just bursting out of me. If you don’t act upon the inspiration, then the idea will be lost which would be a terrible set back.

A gymnastics routine prototype also has to be heavily user focused because every gymnast is different. When I create  a routine I can no longer be myself, I must imagine myself as the user and create the routine according to that child’s strengths and style. Then in the end, after a routine is finalized, it still may not be perfect and I can’t know until I start teaching a gymnast and seeing how the routine “fits” them. Sometime this means that I have to make on the spot changes because parts of the prototype just don’t work the best with that gymnast; everything is always in the best interest of the user, otherwise the product is no good.

I am a gymnastics designer; routines are my prototypes and gymnasts are my users, and with time, empathy, and iterations I help create something beautiful.

Changing Time

Not going to lie, I definitely watched tonights last episode of Dance Moms with Maddie and Mackenzie and it was pretty stinking sad. It’s just another big change for next year to add to the list.

It seems this year so many things are changing and everyone just keeps thinking about next year and how I’ll be graduating and it’s all just flying by so fast. I can barely even believe our current seniors are leaving! Just today at our honors assembly we were honoring our 2 first ever graduates with the Innovation Diploma, and it made me realize, “Wow this all started just two years ago, and it now life feels like yesterday and tomorrow all at the same time.”

I know we (as a human population in many different contextual situations) always seem to bounce back after we think we won’t possibly be able to continue without certain people being constant members of our lives, but that doesn’t make it any less sad to see them go. I’ve been friends with members of the current senior class since my 7th grade and we’ve been through so much since then. Especially in theater, I still can’t imagine a world without our amazing techies who have been there since my freshman year always working and having fun with us, and all of the thespians who have joined us along the way.

Plus some of my favorite teachers are leaving, and in general the school is just going through such a rapid period of growth like one I’ve never before experienced.

We are in a period of immense, undeniable change not just with the graduation of another class, but in life in general. Everything around me seems to be changing all at once and it’s kind of a crazy time. In some ways I’m ready for this school year to be over, and in others I’m not at all ready for the next one to begin.

With AP exams, last assemblies, year books, and graduation all happening right about now, these have just been some thoughts circling my mind.

Growing from Mistakes

imgres-1.jpg

Yay another opening night that went well! Tonight was the middle school production of The Lion King Jr. and it was really fun! (I mean who can’t have fun doing The Lion King???)

Obviously it wasn’t perfect, but hey it’s a middle school show, and the cast shows a lot of potential as they continue to grow as actors and actresses. I’m glad that I got to be a part of it because I’ve had a fun time up on stage with these young talents dancing and singing to some of the greatest Disney songs out there.

I made some mistakes myself tonight, but what I realized is how much I’ve grown since my days as a middle schooler. Once upon a time when I made a mistake in a show, it was pretty obvious and I would be very upset about it afterwards and sometimes it would effect the rest of the show. However, tonight when I messed up, I think I covered it pretty well. Then I was able to brush it off once I got off stage knowing that I did my best to correct the mistake and it didn’t dramatically effect anything and kept moving forward. (I entered a scene early but played it off by turning around and jumping back off confidently. My mom even thought that was actually suppose to happen, and trust me she would be quick to tell me if she knew it was wrong.) Now hopefully I’ll not make the mistake tomorrow.

I guess I really have learned to fail-up in the last few years. 🙂

Backstage I found myself doing some coaching for other kids tonight that were much more dissatisfied with their minor slip ups. To be fair, they have spent much more time on this show and I know I get more upset when I’ve put a lot of effort into making something great and then it isn’t up to my standards. However, I’ve also seen the rehearsal’s and know that they weren’t the most focused group, which also reminded me of how much I’ve grown in terms of focus in the last few years. I now rehearse everyday after school for 3 hours plus many Saturdays as appose to twice a week for 2 hours each, and even with the extra time we have to be even more focused and on point to make sure every detail is worked up as best as we can.

The process of growing up fascinates me, especially because of how often I’m working with younger kids. It’s weird to think about myself growing up too…

I Want Off the Train

runaway_train_of_thought_by_cynlee.jpg

What happened to the drive? -The motivation?

Why have I stopped without hesitation?

What happened to my spirit? -The one pulling me to the sky.

It seems my wings have been broken. It seems I can not fly.

I haven’t blogged in several days. Far more than I’d like to admit.

The funny thing is that I’ve been thinking about procrastination. How our minds need creative breaks; time to divert in order to later commit. Time to relax before rebooting. Time to explore the nonsense for inspiration.

I’ve been on the procrastination train for several days. Away from blogging that is. But not by choice. No, not by choice at all.

Late nights till 12:30am at least. Performing, coaching, studying all day. The hour to blog just seems to get away.

But more than just blogging; yes, much more than just that. When no one is looking I’ve not been myself.

That passion for my work– especially in ID. It just isn’t there, at least not that I can see.

I go home not feeling driven. I’ve been leaving the work for at school. Not even my Gold Award has seemed to move.

I know it’s a problem. I think that’s quite clear. But where’s the opportunity? Where’s the road back? The procrastination train can’t be a one way track.

It goes round and round, on it’s long windy track, but to quote Miley Cyrus, “we always find our way back home.”

Don’t we?

I mean the train of thought in Shark Boy and Lava Girl may make us think differently- considering it never travels quite clearly- but even that train with all it’s twisting and turning hasn’t yet left the planet, so there’s that for a fact.

Why is it that sometimes we can be so excited about something, but then as time goes on it just seems uninviting? I just don’t understand. I have no comprehension. I mean even right now I’d like to be watching the High School Musical 10 year reunion, but instead I’m caught not near a TV and thus this blog is finally happening.

How do I get re-excited about my projects? How does it become something I just can’t put down? Like a good book that makes you ignore everyone for the purpose of finishing in a day?

I know I need to work when no one is watching, but instead I wander and wonder. And is that so bad? Maybe not all the time. I’ve enjoyed time with friends, family, and searching online. Buying a piccolo, coaching at a meet, performing a show all about feet. Watching new shows and choreographing new dance, even going to a basketball game- would you believe it?

I’ve been doing these things, and it’s been quite fun. But my work lately hasn’t been giving me this same thrill.

This train is fun to ride, but at some point the train comes back right? Back to the stop of productivity? Back to a time when you fell motivated to fly?

But how do we get back there? I’d like to try. But creating motivation really is like trying to fly: it’s nearly impossible on demand.

So I’ve looked to  old blog posts that tell me to “jump in,” but that advice doesn’t help when I’m in but can’t swim.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have been productive on some level. I have a role as Curriculum Manager for my current venture and have looked at many objectives, essential questions, and emails lately. Even learned about vinyl cutting and laser printing.

But I know I’m not in it. Not 100%. Because when I go home it’s not on my mind. I don’t feel the drive. I don’t keep working even when I have time. Instead I just wander along on my path not knowing where I’ll be going next.

I hope I find it again. The engagement in all that I’m working on and in. I want to want to work when I’m out of site of peering eyes. When it’s just me and my computer with my tiring eyes. I love the feeling of being excited, working non stop because I’m having fun. I know this can’t happen all the time, but I’ve been in this rut and am ready to escape.

I’m ready to get off of the train if only I could figure out how.