Sunday, April 26, 2009

14th is not last place at AAF

Well, it's over - presentationwise.

After three months (more for some of us who started with Principles of Advertising in the fall semester) of working hard to prepare for our presentation at the National Student Advertising Competition for the 10th District of the American Advertising Federation, we are done.

Our presentation last Thursday was as solid as it could be. We finished 14th out of 14 universities that presented. But, in no way does that mean we were last. There are more than 150 universities and colleges in District 10. Of those, only 21 inquired about participating. Of those, only 17 met the first deadline. Of those, only 14 presented.

Our team had the courage to proceed, persevere and compete against universities with tremendous reputations in this arena. It would have been difficult, at best, for us to finish in the Top 5. Our goal always was to finish in the Top 7 (50%), but even that became an issue when our Plan Book lacked many of the attributes needed to complete solidly in that area. When that happened, both Todd and I knew that our presentation had to be more than solid for us to have a respectable finish. It had to be perfect.

We practiced, edited material, made changes at the last minutes and even had a practice at the actual site. All seemed to work well....and then...the video intro and conclusion that were so crucial to solidify our message fell through. Technology let us down, and with that our fate was sealed.

This in no way takes away from the stellar efforts of the majority of our class. Both Todd and I witnessed a little magic during the last few weeks as we struggled with novice advertising students to reach for greatness. For a few fading moments, it seemed as if we were going to reach for the stars and bring them down to TAMUK where they would shine brightly on us. It actually happened a few times when we were practicing....I even got some goose bumps and chills during one of the presentations when I realized it "could happen." I wiped a tear from my eye and wondered, "Can it become reality?"

Alas, it did not. The final technological failure and slow start by our presenters pretty much denied us that shining moment.

But, there were many more shining moments....we came together as a team. We cared for each other and worked hard to make each other improve. We worried about one another and we (all of us) saw the potential for greatness. I know that most of you felt it...I know that most of you believed....and Todd and I also know that all of you are the better for the experience you had this past week.

Now, we move on. The final lesson is that one never gives up. One works hard to achieve something and when you leave your heart and soul on the field of play, you realize that you did your best and sometimes fate and circumstances take over.

A special thanks to all our presenters - Tania, Jennifer, Savannah and Melinda. Some of you grew up and matured a little during the last week. It was actually "fun" to see you start thinking like scholars and, for some, adults. It was actually gratifying to see you move from that awkward college student toward a confident, self-assured young person ready to take on the world. Some of you understood what academic courage is all about, for the first time.

Our technical team of Dave and Al and others were simply great. The failure at the end had nothing to do with them. It just happened.

Our research team composed of old men JR and Edwin and Joe Hamon simply did a great job. Our inability, however, to transfer that to the Plan Book, hurt.

Other team members like Skye, Lisa and Greg helped in sundry ways, raising funds for our trips, taking pictures or helping with the props. All worked hard. Thanks!

All of you were great and you showed that Javelinas do not quit. You could have, you know. You could have walked off and said "Dr. Flores, Mr. Lucas, we can't do this." I guess the thought never crossed your mind. Right?

I want you to know that we are very proud of did not finish finished, and that's more than most of the universities in District 10 can say.

Congratulations for a job well done...and, see you in class.

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