Spring break 2011: nobody’s fault but mine

Is it spring break yet?

Oh wait, I missed it.

Well, not all of it, but it sure feels like I did.

I like to plan ahead, and this past week was the perfect way to do that. I was able to gain a large advantage on my major projects for the semester.

The day spring break officially started for me, I was busy researching for a paper I’m doing for my communication theory class. I made sure to pick an interesting topic, so the paper is essentially about how the Egyptian revolution earlier this year was a result of two propaganda techniques – the bandwagon that started the movement among Egyptian citizens angry over the murder of Khaled Said, and the card-stacking the Egyptian government employed once it realized the protests were gaining ground.

I’ve also spent a lot of time working for America Live, setting the framework for the rest of the semester. As the producer, I’ve been tapped to coordinate scheduling and keep a team organized. For something that isn’t even going to be the main part of the show, these commercials are proving to be a tricky sea to navigate. Since I’m working with a team, I can’t necessarily set my own pace with how quickly tasks get completed. Time is dependent on my crew, our talent and availability of space. Since the production is time-intensive, I thought it would be best to get ahead on my other work this week. For example, our shoot weekend will consist of more than 30 hours of work over three days. We have a total, now, of five weeks to record voiceovers, shoot scenes and edit everything before America goes…well, live. I know we can finish the work, and I hope our audience enjoys the show.

Not content with doing work for just two classes, I also decided to complete some interviews for an article I’m writing for a magazine production class. Within an hour, though, I had talked to two sources. And a day later, I had a rough draft – a shoddy one, at that – completed. I’ll just need to talk to only a few more people to bolster what I have before heading into writing a business plan and figuring out how to actually get the magazines printed. My team members have produced so far, and I’m hoping the senioritis doesn’t kick in for them after this short break.

I did actually manage to get some “me” time in. Because of scheduling conflicts, I won’t be able to get back to karate or tai chi (probably) until May, so I made sure to hit those classes this week. I also played about 90 minutes of frisbee with some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. And, I (along with my mom) made my first attempt at making stew – Guinness stew, to be exact.

I also spoke Mr. Chianakas’s new media literacy class, where I discussed communications and some of the issues surrounding digital content in this age. It was my first chance to do something like that and I’m thankful he took the time out of his schedule to allow me to speak to his students.

My friend Lucas and I went to Lowpoint-Washburn High School on Friday night for some Rock n Roll Wrestling, highlighted by appearances from Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. The promoter is “Rock n Roll” Buck Zumhofe, apparently an AWA star from the 1980s. I felt bad for never having heard of him, and I consider my mind of an encyclopedia of wrestling over the last 30 years. The show started out enjoyable, but I felt it ran too long. If I’d booked that show on EWR, my agents would’ve told me the audience got sick of seeing everybody and that they’d lost overness.

Little Diva acted as a wrestler and referee. Heather Marie was a heel (probably the best of the night, to be honest), videographer and ring announcer. Buck tightened the ropes, wrestled in at least three matches, announced and even commented the “steel cage” match in that rustbucket of a ring. They all wore different hats and worked hard, putting on a show lasting more than three hours for just a $12 ticket. Men and women beat each other up, and they used a midget who looked like he could beat up every other talent on the card. Totally worth it.

My weekend really ended after I went to a martial arts tournament in Springfield. I only placed 2nd, disappointed since I’ve never placed 1st there before. Given how little I actually practiced though, since I’ve fine-tuned it through competing in other tournaments, I thought my performance went okay. I just need to slow my moves down and make them more crisp. And I need to make sure to come stuffed to the brim next year.

Finally, I have all but decided what classes I’ll be taking during my remaining time at Bradley. In the summer, I’ll be taking the last required COM class and preparing on my own for the GRE. And in the fall, I’ll be taking public affairs reporting, communication research, creative writing class (probably) and hopefully an independent study.

You’re looking awfully good from here, summer.

By Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is a B2B marketing professional, a black belt martial arts instructor, DDP Yoga instructor, and a personal trainer.