July 29, 2010 - 9:15 PM
I had a blast when my family was here. It was great to see them and it gave me an excuse to have a little more fun than maybe I should have. I don't get to see them nearly as much as I used to. When I was younger it was easy to go back to Chicago to visit because I didn't have too many binding obligations, like a job, and neither did my cousins. As we have gotten older, the free time isn't what it used to be. Even if I could find a break to go back, my family, specifically the cousins my age, would probably be busy with their jobs and classes and everything else that 21-year-olds find themselves involved in. Whenever I get the chance to see them it is imperative that we take full advantage of it.
The time they spent here was full of different activities. We took trips to Fort Collins and Boulder, so they could see the two major universities in the state. My visiting family was taken back by the beautiful Colorado landscape that they don't have the privilege of being surrounded by. The rockiest landscapes in Illinois are nothing more than a few large hills, which is nothing compared to the gargantuan mountains of the Rocky Mountain Range. Seeing their excitement to be in such a gorgeous place made me realize how lucky I am to live here. I sometimes take advantage of it considering that I wake up and see arguably the prettiest mountains in the country on a daily basis.
My family's trip wouldn't have been complete without a trip to Water World (a great place to be on a hot summer day). Every major city has a few popular theme parks, and Water World is one of ours. We picked a perfect day to go, as we were lucky enough to dodge the afternoon rain showers that are known to strike.
With the economy still in a bit of a rut, new businesses are always popping up in place of old ones. Down in my neck of the woods a new store called Yogurt Land just opened, right across the street from my high school. Before the store opened I would drive by and think to myself "Hmmm, I'll have to try that." Funny thing is, I never thought it would be so difficult to get my hands on some of this yogurt. Since the store opened, I have driven by at night a few times and EVERY single time there has been a 30-person line out the door. While I had visitors in town I figured it would be a great time to try it. We went there on a cool evening and after waiting for 20 minutes we finally got inside. The business is very creative and is having major success so far. It is entirely do-it-yourself. You grab a cup, fill it with as many flavors of yogurt as you want, and add your own toppings. The price you pay is dependent on the weight of your cup. It's genius, and delicious too. I'm trying to watch the calorie intake this summer, so now I just have to make sure that I don't get addicted.
My family left for home on Tuesday. It was a bummer to see them go, but everyone has their own lives to attend to. I had a great time with them, and I can't wait until they visit again!
July 20, 2010 - 7:15 PM
Because of the family that I have coming in at the end of the week, I decided to go into my internship on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, just to make sure that I am still there the same number of hours that I would be during a normal week.
We never got to that proposal that we were planning to work on, but I was able to sit in on my first marketing meeting since I have been there. The meeting was held across the street in the Pepsi Center and it included a collection of people who work in multiple departments within KSE and the Pepsi Center. Although I didn't really do much (interns are usually just expected to observe, not actually participate), it was good to get a feel for what large-scale company meetings are like. From what I was able to see these meetings are a good way for everyone to get on the same page. One person would bring up something that someone else had never heard of. If these meetings never took place then that person might be left in the dark regarding certain things.
Sitting in on this meeting made we more aware about how important effective communication is to the way a business functions. In a world that is now highly driven by electronic communication, it is highly beneficial to communicate and interact with people in a face-to-face setting. The latter form allows people to observe a person's facial expressions as he or she speaks, helping the listener to better understand whether the person is being serious or sarcastic or what have you. I have heard many funny stories in my journalism classes about communication gone wrong through electronic communication. The most common occurrence seemed to be when the sender would make a sarcastic remark through and e-mail, that wasn't taken as sarcasm by the receiver. Long story short, the receiver of the e-mail was bitter due to a simple misunderstanding. If you were to make a sarcastic remark to me in person, I could probably tell that it was sarcasm by your facial expressions or the tone of your voice.
Face to face communication is more beneficial because it allows for clarity right at the time. If you asked me a question face-to-face, and I was confused by what you asked, I could respond with something like, "Wait, what do you mean?" On the other hand, if you had asked me the same question by e-mail, I would have to write you you back and ask what you meant, meaning I would have to wait until you responded, or I could go ahead and make an assumption as to what you mean, which is never a good idea (as the saying goes, when you assume you make an a** out of you and me).
Tomorrow is my last internship day of the week and it sounds like it should be a pretty eventful day. Key Bank, one of our sponsors, is coming in for a brainstorming session for creating promotions for next season. Hopefully we can think of some real winners!
July 19, 2010 - 6:07 PM
It is turning into crunch time for my summer class. The class is almost over yet I still have a midterm, a final and two essays that need to be turned in. I am cramming to get a lot of work done at the beginning of the week because I will be occupied with visiting family during the latter portion of the week. It will be a great time when they are here, but I know that I probably won't be getting too much work done. I just took the last of twelve quizzes for the class, now I can focus on the tests and the essays.
Summer classes are always difficult, at least for me personally, because I don't feel like I should be in school. School is never fun, but it is made easier during the school year when everyone else around you is also struggling through classes. During the summer, that's not the case, and it is frustrating when my friends are going to the pool and I have to sit at home and take a quiz or write a paper.
On the other hand, I feel like I would rather have a little inconvenience now and be better off in the future. Because I am taking this class in the summer, I can take a light load for the winter and spring term of my senior year, and graduate in four years (thank God). Not only will this give me more time to focus on my internship, but it will allow me to start looking for jobs and enter the real world before some of my friends. Some of them, who decided to take a summer free of school will find themselves in school for four and a half or five years. What is definitely a pain now will only help me in the future.
Today at KSE I had my first experience with Scarbrough. Scarbrough is an intense, highly detailed (and potentially very frustrating) survey system that can be used for many cities including the Denver metro area. We use it when creating proposals for various companies showing them why it would be beneficial for them to get involved with sport sponsorship. For example, one of the account executives was getting ready to make a proposal for Jack In The Box, but he needed some Scarbrough information that he could include in the report. I went into the program and found that 72% of people who have attended a Colorado Avalanche game in a given time period have also eaten at a similar fast food restaurant (Jack In The Box wasn't in the database) at least once during a relevant time period. This is good information to include in a proposal because in this instance, it shows Jack In The Box that many people who are fans of the Colorado Avalanche also enjoy eating at restaurants like Jack in the Box (it's delicious if I can throw in my opinion). Consequently, if Jack In The Box were to become a sponsor, it would increase its awareness to an audience that is already fond of that type of food. It is a very intricate system but is also highly beneficial for this type of business.
Tomorrow we will dive into the actual proposal and hopefully gain a new sponsor by the time is it all said and done.
July 18, 2010 - 10:27 AM
My round of golf on Thursday went as expected. I hit a 96, which is pretty typical for me, especially when I haven't played for while. That 96 is pretty good, considering how I started. On the first three holes I had to take a drop penalty because I blasted my ball into no-man's land. I was able to settle down after that and piece together some decent holes (that's debatable). As I feared, my brother Zach hit a better score than me, and it is now safe to say that I am the worst of the three male golfers in my family. That's not exactly something I'll be bragging about.
There was some excitement on the 16th hole. It was a par five and I was hitting my second shot with my fairway driver. The ball I hit was absolutely crushed, but was heading right for the residential area that backs up to the course. Watching the path of my ball, it was inevitable that it was going into the houses. All I could do was watch and wait for the "thud" that came ringing across the course on impact. Thankfully nothing was broken, and the homeowner was very understanding, mentioning that it happens all of the time. I'm sure it's beautiful, but I don't know if I would like to have my house backed up to a golf course where it could get pelted with shots gone wild.
My biggest problem is in fact my driving ability. I can drive the ball much farther than my dad and my brother. Why is this a problem? Well, it is a rarity that I hit that ball on a straight line. I usually hit a wild slice, or hook, or just hit it on a bad line. Because I hit it so far it goes way farther in a bad direction. My brother for example, hits a few in a bad direction but because he doesn't hit it as far it is usually still playable somewhere in the rough. When I hit it bad it sails well over the rough and into an even less desirable location. This is when I have to drop and it all goes down hill from there.
Keeping myself in the golfing mode I have been watching a lot of the British Open, being played at St. Andrews, "The Old Course," in Scotland. The tournament is about to end and the leader outright is a young man from South Africa who has a name that no one can pronounce. Tiger finished tied for 23, a less than stellar performance. Every time a new tournament rolls around I hope that Tiger can get back on the horse and dominate like he used to. Despite all of his off-the-course antics he is still the best golfer in the world, and the game is much more exciting when he is on the leader board.
Today will probably be a day of rest for me. On Friday night I went with a few friends downtown and a lack of planning left me and my friend to walk seven miles to his house on Saturday morning. Great thinking college boys.
July 14, 2010 - 5:47 PM
With my brother highly active in sports, my dad working all the time, and me keeping busy with my internship and work, it isn't too often that the men of the house get to spend some quality time together. Tomorrow my dad has decided to take the day off so the three of us can go play a round of 18 holes on the local neighborhood golf course. We haven't hit the links yet this year so I look forward to another competitive dual. My dad, of course, is the best of the three of us, so he is somewhat in a league of his own. My brother on the other hand (as much as I hate to admit it), is almost better than me now, so we always find some way to make a bet or a wager on the round.
When the three of us hit the links it can get a little wild. Emotions have gotten the best of each of us, as I have witnessed everything from excessive swearing to extreme club tosses to golf bag drop kicks. Such antics are never encouraged, but come on, it's not like we're playing Pebble Beach here. On the local public golf course there is a little more room for public display of frustration. I don't know about you, but seeing a good putter toss will always get at least one good laugh out of me.
Golf is arguably the most frustrating sport to play, because even after what feels like a perfect swing the ball can fly haywire. As much as I try not to, I always get infuriated with my rounds, even though I never go practice. Golf is one of those sports where the difference between the best drive of your life and a search for your ball in the woods is a matter of millimeters.
When the round is all said and done we're all buddies again and we can laugh about our atrocious shots that weren't the least bit funny at the time. I'm at the point in my golfing career where I consider a good round to be anything less than 100 strokes (I know, its embarrassing).
I thought that I might have my anger and frustration under some control after all of the years that I played baseball. During my career there where times when I had to restrain myself from pulling out all of my hair. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion, but I personally think that baseball is the most difficult sport to play from an offensive perspective. Hear me out. As a batter, you are supposed to hit a circular ball with a circular bat. Second of all, on average, it takes less than one second for the ball to reach the plate when out of the pitcher's hand. In that time, the batter is required to determine multiple things: First, is the ball curving? dropping? A fastball? A change up? Second, the batter has to decide (before the ball even makes it to the plate) if the ball will end up in the strike zone or not. Then the batter must time the swing (if he decides to swing) so that that bat is crossing through the strike zone as the ball enters it from the opposite direction. All of these things must be done in less than one second. Then, the batter must make contact with the ball so that it enters the playing field, and goes somewhere where one of the nine in the field can't catch it or throw him out. Sounds impossible doesn't it? In golf the ball isn't even moving and I still can't manage a decent score.
Who knows what will happen tomorrow. I guess all I can do is be hopeful and optimistic, right?