Sunday, March 28, 2010

:: why you should stop creating and start describing ::

am hiring.
an intern.

this is big exciting news for so many reasons, not the least of which is how much it has fueled my own excitement about up up creative.

while we haven't gotten to the part where people actually apply and interview and all, which means we really haven't gotten very far in the process, we've been working with the folks in the business school at the university of rochester and the woman there thinks there will definitely be interest among their students. my intern will most likely be an MBA student between his/her first and second years in the program.

this weekend i had to sit down to write up a description of the internship. i also included a blurb about myself and another one about up up creative. i have to say, writing this one-page document was kind of cool. it not only helped me see how much i have already accomplished but it really helped me get a clearer idea of where i'm headed (as well as a clearer idea of what i still need to figure out).

one of the most valuable things i learned as a ph.d. student was that you don't know what you know, where you've been, or where you're headed until you can put it all in words. the exam and dissertation process is like one long series of documents whose very purpose is to force you to clarify, explain, expand, condense, and materialize. each new step in the process -- from the statement of purpose to the preliminary program of study to the prospectus to the dissertation to the summary to the defense -- feels like it is the hardest thing you've ever done because at each step you're forced to figure out and put into words what you've accomplished and where you're headed, no small task.

what's fun about taking all the things i learned in the academic realm and transferring them to this new undertaking of mine is that there's no pressure. there aren't guidelines, there aren't rules. there's no protocol to follow and no one trying to shape me or my work. there's no pre-existing field of study that i have to keep in mind and no reason to have to limit my scope if i don't want to.

at the same time, though, there's not a lot of opportunity for feedback. it's no one's job but mine to think critically about my decisions and ideas. i may have friends and family and peers and advisors who take an interest in my current work, but i don't have a committee whose specific purpose is to push me to think more clearly or to hone my ideas and skills. i don't really miss that part, per se, but i recognize that it was a pretty amazing thing to have had.

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