Here’s what you haven’t read about my trip to Austin, TX for SXSW so far…
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending seven days in Austin, Texas. Not only was it great being in Austin, but it was also a pretty popular time to be there. South by Southwest (or SXSW) is the interactive, film, music, and comedy festival that completely takes over the city for almost two full weeks. As part of the completion of my interdisciplinary degree at Columbia College, I was able to attend the festival as part of the AEMMP Digital Distribution & Promotions Practicum course. For my project in class, I was able to incorporate something I was planning on doing down there, anyway. I got to write about all of the bands (good and bad) that I was able to catch, and it was published over on Atwood Magazine. If you’re interested in the music portion of my experience, click on the day-header for those ramblings. This post will serve more in the nitty-gritty of the trip, and what you won’t find on a publication. Thus, “What You Didn’t Read about SXSW Already”
Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.
Apologies, dear reader, for the prolonged absence, and I know I have some explaining to do… So I figured I’d do it in the form of a check-in on my New Years resolutions. Because believe it or not, I’ve been holding myself to them, and it’s been working in my favor so far. I think.
The fact still seems near-impossible to believe that it’s already been a week. A week since we ran chunks of any kind of the show; a week since our last set of 1&1 as a color guard; a week since we were dismissed from a rehearsal; a week since we sang Salvation for the last time in uniform. So many of the things we took for granted all summer — gone in the blink of an eye. I’m nowhere near new to the feeling of post-tour depression and readjusting to the “real world,” but there’s so many things that were different this year, it almost feels like a different kind of PTD.
A concept that I’ve found myself thinking a lot about as I’m undergoing the final weeks in my Junior Year at Columbia are what’s shaped me as a person up to this point. How have these things affected my values? My goals? How much have I really changed since starting high school? How about college? In the past year? How about this semester? Am I progressing towards my personal and career goals? What am I doing to make myself a better person than the day before?
It’s a lot to grapple with — and those are questions I need to answer within the next five days, since that’s when our Leadership Profiles are due for the semester. One aspect of this assignment is a project we had to do earlier in the semester; and that’s a Journey Map. I had a love/hate relationship with this project, because although I’ve done a handful of different things that has shaped who I am today, it was hard to decide the few things that have had the biggest impact. (But honestly, probably my favorite part of this assignment has been hearing my classmate’s journeys. Man, I go to school with some awesome people).
Well, I narrowed it down to 12 things. Not too bad, considering I filled up a page originally. So in order to fill my blog with more content, and to prove that I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of writing this semester and I’m not just neglecting y’all, I figured I’d double-dip.
Another trip to Atlanta is in the books — this time around, for the final audition camp of the 40th Anniversary Season for Spirit of Atlanta. I’m incredibly excited to say I’ve solidified my contract and I’m so humbled to be included in this casting under our fantastic new staff. But that’s not all — this means that the next time I’m boarding a plane will be to Charlotte, South Carolina, to spend quality time with one of my best friends before we move in for the summer with the corps.
I hate being in one place for an extended period of time. That’s one of the reasons I love drum corps so much: we’re constantly on the move and seeing different sights. That’s also the reason why I jump whenever I get the chance to go somewhere new. Although it’s comforting to be settled in a place for a bit; to have my running route and go-to places for food and other essentials, I can get a little stir-crazy.
So it probably won’t surprise those of you who have been around with us that after I found some mega-cheap round-trip flights from Chicago to Atlanta for the weekend of the February camp for Spirit of Atlanta, I made sure I could volunteer, and booked the flights immediately. (It came out of my budget plan for Europe, so I was good for the funding).
Not only did I get to escape Illinois, after being grounded for just under a month (I was recently in Europe?? Catch up on those adventures here), but it was a chance to see some of the people who mean the most to me, and an opportunity to start the biggest project I’ve ever embarked on: an audio documentary… or something along those lines.