(DISCLAIMER: Having to write most of this while sleepy after a hard and long workday and over multiple days, getting behind schedule all the time; IT HAS NOT BEEN PROOFREAD AND THE STUPID KEYBOARD ON THIS LAPTOP’s SPACE BUTTON DOESN’T WORK HALF THE TIME WHEN TAPPED! )
Trip to Seattle!
From the 12th February we will be in Seattle for a month! My class, the entrepreneur class, will be lectured by a woman called Isabella McPeak, who owned and sold a multi-millionary firm. We will also work with our teacher from Denmark, Kasper, who will teach us general thread and basic Adobe Aftereffects together with one or more teachers from the US.
The classes we will be attending will all be at the North Seattle Community College (NSCC for short).
We will also be visiting three game companies; MonolithDevelopment, Valve Software and Microsoft Games, Monolith has created some of my favorite games such as Blood 1+2, Gruntz, F.E.A.R. and No One Lives Forever! While Valve Software has managed to make me buy almost all their games up until now if not all, while Microsoft games is pretty dull for me as they probably produce for the xBox and will probably show-off the Project Natal, or now known as the Kinect.
There will also be some sightseeing and time for us to hang out with our host families, one of my goals is to try all the bigger fast-food places, such as McDonald, Taco Bell and KFC! I also want to get an haircut while I am here as I could really use one.
The Unfortunate Travel
Bus arrives at Grenaa 10-20 minutes before estimated leaving time, we leave 10-20 minutes AFTER estimated leaving time.
3D College do not know how to board a train and makes the train leave a few minutes later than the estimated leaving time.
One of the doors in our train suddenly doesn’t work correct (I think it wouldn’t open) and the train ended up on a hold, an announcement said that we could leave with another train to Copenhagen if we didn’t want to wait for the repairer, but since we were in a big group and we would arrive a few hours before boarding the plane we decided to stay in the train.
Sadly, a few minutes after the train in the announcement had taken off another announcement came in which said that the train wouldn’t go any longer as they couldn’t fix it fast enough.
We ended up boarding another train and in that train we had to wait a little longer at a station because a person were in a condition where he needed a doctor and the personal of the train repeatedly asked if there were a doctor traveling with them in the speakers.
We finally arrived at the airport and checked in, we ended up getting called over to the boarding area from the speakers.
3D College had also accidentally overbooked the plane and four had to wait for another plane, WHICH got cancelled and they had to sleep the night in Chicago (?). One of our students managed to forget his baggage three times at the airport. It’s odd how that ever since we arrived in the US we have managed to come on time and with no accidents.
We was driven by bus to the NSCC where we met up with our host families and they drove us home.
My Host Family
I’m living together with my friend, who is also a student on 3D College Denmark; Troels, at a host family in Lake City Way, our hosts names are Vincent McIntosh and Marysol Kellogh, they have another exchange student from Saudi Arabien who have been in Seattle for a week before we arrived, his English is very limited, but that shouldn’t stop me from inviting him to a video game and kick his ass. They both have children, but they are all grown up. They also got two dogs, the dogs names are Lulu and Gizmo.
Day 1 – Space Needle, Duck Ride and Experience Music Project
The host family drove us to school as we didn’t manage to find out the bus plan in time.
A tower where you can watch the view, you know the drill. Now, what I found interesting about the Space Needle was all the merchandise they had, as there were hundreds of clothings and different sculptures of the Space Needle, you could find almost anything with their logo on or having the shape of the tower. There were even a big pepper grind in the shape of the space needle.
There were a great view, you could really see how gigantic the city is and we had good enough weather to see all the way to some mountains. There were a Car-Wash sign in the city which had text big enough for us to read all the way from the Space Needles top without using any form for telescope. There were also a pretty big Pepsi logo I hope those advertisements are aimed for the Space Needle visitors, yet I can’t see how much it will help a car-wash.
You could probably guess that I were skeptical about how fun it would be as for the weird and childish sounding name, but I was actually positively surprised as it was great fun and we had a great tour guide.
The Duck Ride in itself is a tour in a vehicle which can drive on land and in water.
The guide entertained us through the whole tour by putting hats on, joking, putting themed music on for various situations and even some interactive entertainment.
Most of the tour was actually on the ground and not in the water, the part in the water was actually also the most boring part as the next thing the driver would talk about would be farther away and we moved slower, but it was also great to get a break from all the fun, it made it much easier to tell how our driver managed to make time fly by.
Experience Music Project
A weird blob-metal building that is supposed to resemble a smashed guitar holds information about various talented and widely known artists like The Beatles, Slash, Kiss it was mostly in the rock genre, it is just pretty sad how there is no mention of smaller, but yet very talented groups, everyone knows the bands mentioned and all their information is widely spread already, wouldn’t it have been better to make a music house for showcasing of lesser known groups? But I can see it from a Nirvana fans perspective and it would be cool to see one of the smashed guitars that were used and then smashed by ones favorite guitarist, I just found it pretty boring how a lot of my favorite artists wasn’t mentioned ones, it was all about those widely accepted artists, it makes rock feel like pop-music with every track sounding the same.
There were places where you could sit down and listen to some music in one of their headsets, but when I went to listen to some relaxing blues I got an headache as it was too loud and it had a bad quality, probably because of the volume. I couldn’t find a way to change the volume, I guess there weren’t a way to do so, pretty useless, but it would actually explain why all the headsets always were available while the place where you could try to “play” “music” was filled up all the time and 70% of all the visitors were there at all time.
Day 2 – Using Social Medias for Business and Bus Trouble, Worrying Hosts.
The host family drove us to school and we followed the bus so we could see how the route was.
Our first real school day introduces us to the business coach Isabella McPeak who owns and runs the site http://www.peakbusinesscoach.com, she ones owned and operated a multi-million dollar professional services firm that specialized in distributors and manufacturers which she ended up selling while it was profitable for millions. She started coaching five years later and my sources give me a hint that her first appearance as a coach on the webs were at the Action Coach website.
She had a page under the Action Coach website: http://www.actioncoach.com/isabellamcpeak, which have later disappeared, I am guessing she took it down when she opened her own site, my source is http://biznik.com/members/isabella-mcpeak. Her last activity on biznik were March 08th 2010 and she registered Dec 12, 2007. From what information I gathered from looking at biznik I’ve found out that she wasn’t an active member on the site, she “only” registered 4 event hosts of her own (notice how it says 1 under her profile picture, the site probably got some issues) and been attending someone else’s event ones. Her last activity on the site was to promote an event called “Business is Booming”, the day before that it was also registered that she joined Grant Robins network, Isabellas own network on the site was of a size of 11 members.
Here is a few more facts about Isabella McPeak, taken from http://biznik.com/members/isabella-mcpeak/about (please note that her last activity on the site were a year ago and there is a chance that she has achieved more since she wrote that in the about page and that people tend to not update their about pages.)
MBA Univ. of Phoenix, Global Trainer for ActionCOACH,
Certified Action Business Coach,
Business Coaching – New York University,
B.S. Catholic Univ. of America
Worked with over 250 companies in professional service, hospitality, distribution and manufacturing.
2007 Global Award Winner for Best Client Results
2007 US Award Winner for Passion & Inspiration
Ranked within the top 10 of 1200 Action coaches worldwide
Started, grew and sold a multi-million-dollar software company and realized that software was only solving 10% of the problems in any one company.
Later we ate at the NSCC’s dinning area, we had each been handed a 7 dollar ticket that we could buy for. The area were really impressive, you could buy various foods and drinks such as Pizza, Burger, Sandwich, rolls and so much more! If you would rather have some sweets then they even sold that all from muffins to chips. The 7 dollars ticket could buy a Fish and Fries menu (6 dollars + 1 dollar if you want fries) and a can of soda (1 dollar, obviously without the fries then), I bought two pizza slices and the small cup soda (same as a medium, I think they only have two sizes available) and I even had around one and a half dollar left, pretty sweet. The Pizza slices were really large and thick and it all did a filling meal.
After the great meal we began what we all love the most, the 3D class, our teacher was Kasper and he would be the teacher the following week as the american teacher who should have been there rejected the offer a few days before and they didn’t manage to get a new teacher, well, not for the first week, they did find a new and even better teacher, but he is first available a week after we began.
I managed, with Kaspershelp, to begin work on the new lighting of my scene, since I am not working with Final Gather I will have to add Bounces manually which is light that when it hits something it bounces off it like reflections on a mirror and lights the room up, it is what we call indirect light.
When school was over and it was time to go home I stood with a problem: Troels had been selected to be in the first group to go to the game developers Monolith Development, but they would first get back to the NSCC hours later, I chose to keep working in the classroom until the time I though he would be back, at the time I walked out of the class and to the frontdoor where we have been meeting up until now I got told that they first would be back in yet another hour, I then chose to go to the dinning area and work there, actually, a lot of students tend to sit down and study everywhere and it really had a great atmosphere. Troels ended up walking up to me twenty minutes before the estimated time of his arrival, it was lucky that he came to check in the dinning area.
While I was packing my computer Kasper Haagensen (a Student from 3D College Denmark) came and asked if we knew where his host family partner were, we didn’t and told him to search a little more and then he should just go home himself, he then left saying that he will probably leave very shortly. But when we were walking up to wait for the bus (it should be noted that I were really slow at packing my computer as there were a render I let finish, my renders takes approximately 10-20 minutes to render) he came up from behind asking if we were taking a bus or walking home, we answered we were taking the 75 bus, his reaction was hilarious as it came out like he was expecting to take the same way as us, we began joking about him being lost and sleeping at the school.
Now, we got on the 75 and all we had to do was to get off at the stop where we could get on the 312, but it was dark and I am horrible at navigating so our only chance of getting it right was Troels magical mind, but, sadly, Troels mind was playing tricks with us that day and we got off too early, yet we were saved as we knew where we were and where to go to get back home (well Troels was 100% sure while I had my version of the world which is incorrect and though I knew where to go). We ended up boarding the 312 after walking/sightseeing for a while and got home faster than expected.
I would like to remind you that we actually had a Phone that the host family gave us, it was low on battery when we got it, so we decided to turn it off and only turn it on when absolutely needed (this was known by the host family), we chose not to use it in this situation because 1) We had no idea when they expected us to come home and we didn’t feel like much time passed by as we actually enjoyed our little trip. 2) I had the phone and I never put myself in the host family’s position. 3) We never expected the host family to do what they did even though they had been extremely nice up until then and we should obviously have realized that they would begin to worry even though we had the phone. 4) Because I have no clue what is going on around me, I even though of dinning before going home AND dinning ones more.
When we got home we casually walked in and said “hi” to Marysol who opened the door while looking really relieved, she then told us how they had worried and Vincent was driving around looking for us (I think they ended up telling us he had been driving around for hours), you could probably guess our reaction to hearing that after walking in all casually, well I can tell you that you are wrong, as I was still all casually and just appoligized with a “sorry”, I’m pretty dull at that stuff, but I did still feel horrible for making them worry that much.
Day 3 – Motivation and Business Speech
In our Business class Isabella was teaching us the importance of knowing what is valuable for you and your firms success, how it is important to make the customers happy while you still profit and enjoy yourself, we had to choose some keywords for what was important for us when we think about running a firm, I choose Flexibility as my most valued, as I found being able to satisfythe customers needs while it still remains profitable would assure my survival. There were some funny choices to choose from, one of them was Victory, wouldn’t victory be the most obvious to choose, if anything bad happens it will be a lose and defeat which will be the complete opposite of victory so victory will always be a win, the same goes with flexibility, it is all about how flexible and victorious you are, if you go to extremes you will be a perfect and successful firm, so none of the words really had a meaning except from encouraging us, none of them were more correct than others. Another example is Friendship; if you have good enough friends, that can be both in numbers and quality, you will be able to survive by having them happily and freely run it all for you while you harvest all the income for yourself.
So, what it was actually about was to make her see how we think, she asked some from our class what they had chosen and why they chose those options, I noticed that a lot had chosen the options that is all about the enjoyment of working and none which is focused on the profit and growth, now remember that the words has no meaning, as if you enjoy your work enough you should be able to profit and run what is a perfect firm, think of it as an extreme, imagine enjoying every single part of what you have to do to run the firm. But have these people actually though of that? Or were they just so simple-minded that they only though of enjoying themselves without taking in consideration what is needed to actually run a firm, all the paperwork, management, PR, etc. and how you actually end up doing only that if it grows big enough, which they hopefully aim for, there has probably not been a single though on how they are going to make it enjoyable to do that. Most also wrote Creativity, now creative solutions can be great, but can also be your downfall, this again can go to an extreme and make a perfect and successful firm, but what people probably though while they chose that option were not even related to running a firm, but it was instead chosen just because they know that the branch they work in is a very creative branch or even worse they just wish to be creative and do art, which is all technical.
The technical part, which is the work that there have to be done by the workers to create the product will end up being one of the least important parts of your job, it is important that you know some of what is going into your product, but you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in every area of creating the products, the focus of a leader, a boss, the chief in a kitchen is all about managing and making the people under you effectively do their job, which is to create the right product and satisfy your customers while still being profitable.
Let’s try to take the chief in the kitchen and create a picture of what I mean: You are the chief, you have orders to deliver some meals, you will hold the orders and tell them what to cook and you will also be telling your customers when they can expect the meal to be ready, that will be the deadline and if you miss it your customers will be dissatisfied, you will also have to observe your workers at all time or else they can end up burning the meal or making it tasteless or taste horrible, so you as the chief will be taste-checking as much as possible, while also making sure your workers actually work. Your workers can be better at making the meal than you, but if they slack or you got some bad workers you will end up in a position where you have to teach them and remind them of their current situation and show how they can end up losing their paychecks. Now you find out you have done a mistake, the products to create the meal are bad and rotten and you will have to find a solution to the problem before the deadline. There is no “right” solution to this problem, but there are different types of solutions, like a creative one; you decide to run over to your competing restaurant and get the meal for your customers from them (maybe even ask someone to keep your customers entertained). Or you can choose to be honest and tell the individual customer that you are out of *the meal*, while asking if they would like to order something else, but without giving any unnecessary information as that will only dissatisfy the customer. You will be doing all this (and more) without making a single dish yourself.
We were also asked to imagine we had won some kind of nobel prize or other kind of reward for having a profitting company and make a Speech which will tell about our firm, like how many employees it has and how many locations we have offices.
Here is what I wrote:
I would like to first of all thank all the employees who have put their heart and soul into this and making this moment a reality, thanks to that, we at Polyboom, have been able to create story-filled and beautiful worlds such as Redbot’s last mission and our newest release Eyebots.
We have been able to help and work for other big movie-studios at a freelance level and helped in the making of various movies such as A,B and C. Our main income has been from freelancing and working with other companies.
Polyboom has grown from just a single man’s dream to help visualize others fantasies and dreams to a company with offices in Copenhagen, London and Washington with hundreds of employees in just a few years, it is hard to keep up and there have been problems at times, but I haveto keep up or else I could end up regretting my decision, I’ll never give up and just keep moving forwards while carefully cleaning the way before us.
One of the reasons for Polybooms success was because of its visibility, I had from the beginning in mind to use the interwebs to advertise our services and started out creating my own site in .aspx while I still studied at 3D College Denmark, I liked that site, but I am happy to have let someone else take over administrating it and made a fresh new design with much more accessibility and functionality.
Our revenue isn’t that great we only just managed to keep it positive, but we have grown healthy and fresh. We have taken a lot of risky choices, but with that we also made sure that all risky choices in the future will not be as critical on us.
When I first decided to do Computer Graphics I actually decided on it because I found my classes too easy and wanted to start over on a challenge with no relation to any of my classes. I’ve always been interested in managing something big as it will require for me to always be at my best to succeed and I believe it won’t feel repetitive for a person like me.
I would like to end this with a big thanks to all of our partners and everyone who have helped us on our way and I hope we can keep doing business in the future.
My meal at the NSCC this time was a Cheese Burger with Fries and a large cup of Coca Cola.
The laughable incident with Kasper yesterday returned to light when Michael Tott revealed that he had helped Kasper’s partner home as he found him on the same bus as himself and was “kinder” lost since he had taken a bus and was only able to communicate what streetname he had to get to, so he ended up at the end of that street (It should be noted that his English is very limited). It is still a mystery if Kasper managed to get home.
Day 4 – Pure 3D Day and Birthday party?
Marysolmade Scrambled eggs with ham today. I like the big variations between the choices of breakfast in America, they are all so different and they all are tasty and easy to make. I still remember yesterdays breakfast where I tried some of their cerial, I think it was Vincent’s favorite Cerial, the closest you can compare it to in Denmark is Havre Fras, but it still had another feel to it and it had frosting on it. When I compare this to Denmark I only see bread and Cerials in Denmark while America has so much more, but then again, in Denmark I know what to put on my bread, here I just try whatever I find in the refrigerator.
Now the horror began, They’ve found out that I have birthday the 18 marts and even though I am back in Denmark there, they want to trow a birthday party of some sort while I’m in America, I think it ended up with some Bowling and afterwards an Arcade, I guess it just means I’ll let them win big at the Bowling making me look weak and then humiliating them at the Arcade! (My only excuse at sucking at Bowling, k!)
Today I got a lot of work done on my scene, I had some problems with a modifer called Linked xForm (kinder funny, I had so much trouble trying to link my modifer called xForm to an object and the solution was that there is another modifier called Linked xForm which is the exact same thing, just that I can link it, I wish they had called it xForm (Linked) instead so I could have found it while going down the list to xForm.) and my objects which I had instanced. The Linked xForm kept breaking apart every time I wanted it to link to another object instead of the old one and so I had to put it together again. And thanks to me instancing the objects I’ve had to make them unique and do it all again so they don’t all link to the same object.
We had decided to “maybe” go to a mall with Martin Lønne and Magnus Lund today, but sadly Magnus Lund was ill yesterday and ended up not coming to school today, so we have post-ponded it to another day.