Thinc Ahead & Press On!

Look, we’re all busy changing the world here. We barely have time to breathe, much less study, relax, unwind, call home, and plan the next business pitch presentation in-between classes. A lot has happened in the past two weeks, so let’s recap and re-excite ourselves for life! ~

Ribbon Cutting!
Ribbon Cutting!

Thinc, The Innovation & Collaboration Lab, celebrated its Grand Opening Event two weeks ago in absolute style. Free food? Check. Friends? Yah! Fun? Absolutely! I wanted to get some quality time with the place before blogging about it. -cough- Dropbox photograph issues. -cough- But attending the event showcased the space as a place that could have held double the amount of people that came. [And a lot of people turned out!] So use that space! 

the jazz music
jazz music

Fellow Okoboji Entrepreneurs secretly turned into JPEC Ambassadors when I wasn’t looking. They all walked in for the after-party Nighttime Alumni & Student JPEC Networking Event. It was a whole reliving best moments and eating new, exciting food! The pictures are to follow, so feel jealous that you missed out. Next time the Business School starts berating your classes with flyers. Go to the event & put yourself out there! [If only for the chocolate covered strawberries and bacon wrapped dates~]

The next week Midterms haunted my every waking moment. I’m not going to bore you with the list; but I am taking 17SH hours now that my course with the awesome Professor Jerry Croft ended. The cooler thing was the next weekend.

I FINALLY got to show my friends Kansas City Ren Faire. It was a weekend before two midterms, where I really should have studied for the week and written all my assignments beforehand. Hah! I got it done on time and just as well. Let’s not talk about school work. Let’s talk about the awesome Jousting tournament, where I always end up on the side of the “not quite evil, but definitely not for justice” man. There were Turkey Legs and Scotch Eggs and a giant whole-baked apple dumpling, from street vendors that literally operated out of recreations of 12th Century wooden structures. Magic potion perfumes and hand worked leather shops took Master Card and Lady Visa, for those whose purse strings were pulled to tight for cash.

Then back to school for University and Business development. All my classes overlap and underscore what we’re doing for Tinderbox Studios. Wondering what that is? Well maybe I’ll write an Origin Story for us and put a link in here. For now, check out the Tinderbox page to read the synopsis! Y- and I have been super busy preparing for the Innovation Expo! Venture Showcase next Wednesday, Oct. 23rd! If you can score some free time be sure to register for it and come see our super cool presentation board.

Y’s been leading up the brand design and website illustrations. I’ve been heading up the more web development and long-term planning aspects. We’re tag teaming the booth showcase presentation. By this time next Tuesday look for a completed corporate website, awesome market stats & graphs, and business cards for Iowa City’s Creative Week 2013! It’s going to be a super packed week. The theme is Press On! Hit the ground running and go~ So if you don’t see enough of us, we’re working; if you see too much of us, we’re net-working.


For now, we’ll be working out at the BELL. Having meetings at Thinc. Intermittently napping between classes. Making time to go the gym and work on my Thesis. Did I forget to mention that? Oops…Stay warm game-changers! Winter is coming…


Sixteenth Century Theology a la Donne, lit notation 6

Looking at the second edition first, go back to the first edition second. The best deal is to recognize the gift of grace. Scrutinized yourself for grace.

Religious theory: pre-destination does not determine the free will choice to psychologically do things a redeemed person would do. so thereby becoming redeemed. doing good things make you good. what would they do to prove themselves among the elect? Donne very well knows theology–good to move between the different scripts, careful interpretation of learning. to begin preaching. his own practice.

People don’t write enough. When people stare and do not know what to write Doodle. The itching of the pen on paper shows unlearned knowledge. People want to say things the woman who give themselves to the paper, do not see it any other way as they are—the light at the 3rd mystical union of black on white. the space between the sexes that is believed and imagined because we have read about it. the sanctioned and the sanctification of Love. Donne takes both and writes as the idea of a woman, placing another’s name only after the words have been penned.
So what is a name, but a feeling? an image impressed with an undefined meaning? To cling to traditions that don’t yet exist; they cling to the Word they so readily resist.

Futurism: Speculating and Getting Paid For It

I’m all into the future. My brain works backwards. I even think I’ve stepped before I have.  Usually this results in  tripping down the stairs. Worse case scenario has me thinking I’ve turned in an assignment…only to realize it was due the day before. Ooops.

I’ve gotten better I promise.

Futurists don’t work backwards from a goal and then aim to achieve it. Instead they work forwards–starting from the histories past and then making educated guesses about how the world will turn. It isn’t a hope for the future, but a reconciliation of the past. This determines the present situation’s choices, which then influence how the future will work. It’s not a bad game to play. Fashion does it similarly. 80s Inspired Glasses? So 2013. The upturned collar? Definitely the new women’s mod trend. Steampunk clocks and gears? Thank you, Etzy Artists; and thank you:

Bruce Sterling.

2013-09-16 15.34.37
Bruce Sterling (left) and Dan Reed (right)

Yes, our world constant reinvents its idea of the future. I met author and futurist Bruce Sterling this past September. The Englert Theatre in Iowa City featured him with our own university futurist–Dan Reed. Mr. Reed is the vice president of economic and research development for the university. (Good job, university; way to stay ahead of the competition.) Bruce and Dan wanted to stay away from defining futurism. Futurism wasn’t so much about talking about the future, as it was dealing with the change people say happening in the present.

Seats were placed on stage for audience members to participate. Most people just stared with their legs crossed while the two men talked about the economic crisis and technology trends. Both treated the future like a glass art piece–fragile but easily tossed.

The future is just an educated guess from the past. If you want to go fifty years into the future, you need to go fifty years into the past. What’s happened? How has it happened? And why will it continue or change?

Bruce Sterling

The future isn’t ours to take. Futurists combine the concepts of critical theory with real time politics. I want to believe that I can change the world–but this implies that I am changing the future. Well, obviously I am changing the future. For every action I choose, I piece together the road that will lead me to a future I have no true control over it. Futurists look back and sigh. They wish their favorite corner shop still served Folgers instead of Starbucks. They go back to their hometown and don’t recognize it anymore. The world is changing faster than ever and as futurists stand around shouting claims and criticisms of the world around them–they too must live in it. They too aim to change it.

Even if that change is to stay the same.

2013-09-16 17.35.45
all my lovely new science fiction books

The future must be constructed. Believing in my personal goals and achievements is critical to my success. I have to be proud of my accomplishments. I cannot brandish them off or shove them in peoples’ faces; but I have to take pride in what I’ve done. And I could never have done it without help. This isn’t about talking myself up. This is about talking you up. This is about showing you why the future isn’t yours to take; the future is yours to create.

Students: Did your professor give you an assignment that your company has to make $5 million in five years? DO IT. And make it your company or hobby or business idea. Don’t prove it to him that you can do it. Prove it to yourself. Don’t understand? Say something. Don’t understand something? Google it out. It isn’t cheating or defeating to use your entire skill set. Parents. Friends. Video games. What ever gets you out the door and doing something because you want to do it. That is something you should be doing.

Professors: students don’t want to work or show up or participate? Don’t be afraid to teach them. To inspire them. To share your passions and your love. Then ask them WHY they care. WHY they thought this class would be great. Forget the syllabus until the second or third day of class. Get to know your students. Put them first. Never be afraid to share your knowledge. Because I’d rather have students complain that I knew too much than taught them too little.

Innovators: Take it easy. I know. The other two got totally pumped up. But you. You don’t need me to say anything. Just remember the little things of life make a difference. Walk the dog. Feed the fish. Wash the dishes. Take a shower. Don’t eat pizza every day. One cannot conquer the world on ramen noodles and Monster. Neither has adequate nutrition. So stay focus, but stay sharp! It takes a lot of energy to disrupt the status quo.

I write to create a better world. We are the present that determines the future, guys. Get out there and start living the world you want to see. If we don’t change, how can they?

The Decline of Great Writing, classroom segment 27

there’s a much more balanced juxtaposition
spending the first chance on doing;
little things that feel counterintuitive.
they get the big jobs in Hollywood
but we see how that turns goes–
bad writers.
The Internet/Digital tools expand the petite
narrative. Our moment is the
post-modern condition.

There’s nothing cool about it.
There’s just a formula that can sell.
When it began,
we got movies like the Matrix; but
we no longer believe in them.
There was Citizen Kane and Master Narratives
that no longer exist. They taught
the landmarks of film,
because the corrosive nature–pomo
has caught up with the hustle
of great literature. film. history.

There will be exceptions, of course
it will be tragic as they lose their
sacredity. What value is in open
access? Cynicism has bled into the
collapse of our narratives already.

Literary Notations IV. Soundscapes

professor Jeff Porter might secretly crop up more and more as I spend more time dedicated to creating literary sound art pieces. we think i should actually post them; leave a comment on this and start something. you’ll actually get to hear my voice. 

Sound cannot exist alone. 
Thought, connections to God vs.  Yaweh vs. Allah vs. Higher being–in Latin, the word is literally “higher being.”— The wind is “seen” in its effects rather then in its essence. I want to be the wind; seen for what I do not want I am or where I have come from. The horizon of invisibility is the concept that everything is mute [visually]  unless the sound that accompanies the object is heard, then it is [auditorily] defined in our brains.

Imagine a movie with no sound.

This is what it feels like to be deprived.

Things we see but make no sound register off. But things that have sound without sight. The wind in the trees or the sound of thunder before the storm. We smile and welcome them. Before we welcome shapes and sights we welcome sounds.
Remember: Your first instinct is to make noise and to be heard. Not to see with your eyes, but to see with your ears.

Professor Spotlight: Rich McCarty – Managing the Growth Business

“Let’s negotiate a deal where you tell me what we should do to get you out of class early.”

The class paused for a second, before a man raised his hand. “We should get out at 10:15 if 15 people raise their hands.”

“Very good! Very good,” the professor spoke, “So….what can we do to make the deal better?”

I wish I could say every class at the University of Iowa is like this. But no. It’s just Professor Rich McCarty energizing our classroom with power talk and hints of always getting out just a couple minutes early. But today was Chapter Six: Negotiating A Better Deal. He was testing us. He was tricking us into learning the material by practicing it! On him. The student behind me speaks up. Rich walks over to him directly and pauses in front of him, eyes forward, almost anticipating a better argument.

“Well, sir. It is Thirsty Thursdays,” the student begins.

“That’s just about reason enough!” We all laugh.

“Haha, yes, but what if we could get out 5 minutes earlier, say 10:10, if someone corrected you? Assuming, of course, you would need to be corrected….” the student continues, but Rich, always eager to push ahead exclaimed,

“Well sure! That sounds good. So, 10:10 if I get corrected and we have 15 hands raised.” Two new students walk into the classroom.

It’s not uncommon for students to meander in a minute or two behind schedule. Rich doesn’t mind. The majority of the class is usually early, with that time spent talking about our days and what makes our entrepreneurial brains tick. So for the latecomers, we haven’t even started lecture yet. It’s about 9:35am now. He turns to them.

“So you missed our conversation!” He begins, “It’s 10:15 if I get corrected and we get 15 hands raised.”

“No!” A student in the back shouts. “We agreed it was 10:10 if you got corrected.” The typical college student “Oooo” swells amongst the crowd.

His eyes look bright and he smiles. I don’t know if he meant to do that, or if he honestly forget. But he snaps his fingers, “Well you got me there.”

We begin lecture finally. More students peter into the classroom. We’re a couple of slides in. Another guy raises his hand. “Number 3! What’s up?” Rich asks.

“So, if we get out early, how far behind will we be?”

There’s a silent daze in the room. College student. Worried about being behind? No. It’s….Thursday.

Rich assures him, “The other class got out just as early. We’re not missing anything.” I think for a minute.

“That makes four. What’s your question?” 

I clear my throat.

“We said we had to get 15 hands raised. But, we never explicitly stated that the hands had to be raised for questions…so, what if, we all raised our hands at once? Would that count as fifteen?”

He blinks and room begins an excited, yet baffled murmur. Hands begin to slowly shoot up across the room, as he laughs.

“Now, you see what she did there?. . . ” He goes into the detail and paying attention that goes into making good negotiations between two business parties. We go through the lecture at the traditional pace, so we could have time for the video.

“Well, I don’t really need to teach you guys. I mean, look; you’re already such excellent negotiators!”

But the video link is broken and it’s only 9:56am. He shrugs it off and says, “Have a great Thirsty Thursday!”

This actually happened. I’m not making it up. I’m not trying to get this professor nominated for any awards. I’m not even saying, “Hey. Take this course if you get the chance.” Then again, I’m kinda saying all of these things. Classes should be fun and knowledge-based and encouraging. We can learn and laugh and loiter together. It’s okay to lecture your students with stories and diagrams. Expect them to sit through videos and read chapters and highlight notes. We are paying for a university level course on becoming leaders.

Rich says we can make $5million in our first five years. Now, he’s got a house in Vegas. He was CFO for quite a while. He seems like a bit of a know-how with finances and gambling. I want to make sure that he’s betting on the right crowd. And so far, TTH Class @ 9:30 hasn’t proven him wrong yet.

Powerful Women in the Workplace

Nothing angers me more than reading something that tells me a woman cannot be powerful. This is in response to a wonderful lady’s comment on the NYT article, “A Woman’s Path to an MBA at Harvard.” Excuse me. But what the man that doesn’t raise his hand in class? One who listens more than he speaks? Does that mean he is behaving like a woman? What about the woman that does raise her hand more than she “so-called” listens?

Listening is entirely up to the individual’s own learning style. I find it difficult to imagine that a woman or a man who really vyed for an opportunity to learn, would silence themselves unless they were programmed by the “end physical result of powerful social conditioning about sexual roles that begins in infancy” (Listening, End of Page).  It is these roles that influence how we perceive a woman’s interactions as “passive” versus a man’s as “aggressive.” In aggression is truly a man’s trait, let me give you some examples of wonderful “women” that are apparently not role models as women, but as men.

She devoted four years of her life to marching band, three to jazz band, and her entire high school career to doing exceptional academically. She was one of the best saxophones, being second alto her first year, and first alto (a la #1 player) in her last two. She still had a social life. She also traveled to Italy, Greece, and Turkey before starting her university career. Where she continued to do marching band in university, despite having her true passions lie  elsewhere: Journalism.

An avid blogger, she kept a record of her thoughts and opinions throughout high school. The extra-writing she did was on always her own time. She joined The Standard as a writer, then earning Managing Editor her Jr. year and leading her team as Editor in Chief for her fourth and final year. Her piece covering the Joplin Tornado of May 2012 was published in the USA Today . This summer she turned a family vacation to Gettysburg as another way to follow her dream of writing. Her piece was featured as a guest post in The Joplin Globe. Even when she didn’t get a job out of university, she sought out her own internship to keep her passion moving forward.

She now works at Security Management Magazine in Virginia, where she continues to push herself forward to accomplish her dreams. Her name is Megan Gates, a life long friend, and hopeful accomplice for changing the world. You can believe she’s taking the world by storm.

I am seriously up-in-arms. I just cannot believe that our gender roles and societal expectations of “normality” are clouding the way we see progress! Society changes every day. We as individuals are influenced by and influence the world around us. Here’s another example of a strong woman that was never afraid to raise her hand.

Four years of high school tennis, Four years of intense high school debate, Four years of dedicated weekly piano lessons, Four years of women’s soccer, Four years of foreign extemporaneous speaking, Four years of ADV or Accelerated high school/college level work, Three National debate tournaments in three different events, Too many trophies,  and this list just keeps going on. Oh my gosh, can you imagine doing all of these in high school? Sprinkle in some community service, add a dash of founding a Youth Leadership Organization, and you have a really tenacious and devoted individual on your hands.

One girl did all of this. Before University. Without parental pressure–if anything, her mother wished to see more of her! She got fantastic grades academically. And was the first woman from our school to go to California, University of California San Diego specifically. Then, she got accepted into the International House and continued to overexert her academic career each quarter.She wrote and managed Prospect Journal. She belongs to the YAL Chapter at UCSD. She now works as a Marketing Assistant  for UCSD’s Recreations’ Department and has a position as an undergraduate at the typically “graduates only” International Affairs Group for USCD.

Her name is Alexsandra J. McMahan and you better believe she’s going places. She doesn’t raise her hand. She raises the bar. She wouldn’t let anyone tell her otherwise.

I’m sorry. But I don’t want to hear about how a woman is acting like a man, because she is going out and accomplishing things. Woman should be owning at life. We can and will take it by storm. And by all, if a woman wants to go to class, sit quietly and say nothing, or go to class  and raise her aggressively raise her  hand proudly and ask a question, then don’t you backlash her for saying she’s not right.

Don’t anyone ever dare to tell either a man or woman that are anything but what they are at their best–themselves. Gender is not a role. It is not a status. It is not an orientation. It is. Period. End of story. It is what you make it. It is what people see. It is something that is quite arbitrary and has been an issue in the past, I’ll admit, but would be great if we can broaden our perspectives and think, “Hey. Ya’ know. John acts like John, because he’s John. And Jane, acts like Jane, because she’s Jane.”

Normal people never changed the world. And I’m sorry. But if you want to be normal, you go be normal. More power to you for accepting the status quo. But if you really want change. And I mean, really want to see the world change. Then you cannot. You can never accept normalcy, or “normative mentalities.” Because normal, is stagnant. Normal doesn’t care about changing.

In the end, it doesn’t matter who, what, or which way you act. It only matters what you bring to the table. And don’t hold yourself back ladies, because you’re afraid
of acting like a man.
& Same to you too, men. We all deserve an honest chance to own at life.

Literary Notations III

Writing- poetry written everywhere vs. paper, stone, or ring. Graffiti smoked on ceilings left traces for gentlemen to ponder. Calcium makes bones harden, and pressure to the pen dulls the needle. Never in my life have I heard such slander. Poetry – writing that is everywhere in talk and text and tweet. Gentlemen left traces on paper for students to study. Only to graffiti bathrooms and smoke in espresso clubs, stoned rings around their eyes and everywhere they say they write.