The last minute preparations were frantic – the final editing of films; the fine tuning of games; last minute pitch practice: all underway while Eagles simultaneously built their semester end portfolios and shared final “lessons learned” in a number of important areas.
And then it was showtime. The room filled with customers, and the game play began:
Pitches were made to real customers, with each Middle School Eagle trying not only to best their classmates, but to defeat the dreaded Elementary School Eagles competing alongside them.
Once the games were finished, it was time for the film festival to begin:
The smell of popcorn in the air. The anticipation of launching something you created out into the world, for all the world to see. Two noted filmmakers in the audience.
In the end, there were technical glitches. Two of the films weren’t very good; one was fantastic. An Oscar for the Best Picture and awards for the games were presented.
Yes, excellence matters. So does pleasing customers.
But how do you learn how to work in teams towards mastering a skill? By working on exceptional teams and teams that fail. How do you learn of the importance of setting and reaching milestones? By trying to do everything in the last week, and failing. How do you learn to set deadlines early enough to have a series of dress rehearsals? By failing to do so, and suffering the consequences.
Our Eagles have far to go, but oh they have come so far.
And the dreaded Elementary School competitors in the Game Expo? Final score: Middle Schoolers, a average of 2.9 votes per student; Elementary Schoolers, and average of 2.96. Beaten, but not defeated.
Now it’s time to rest, recharge and look forward to a rematch in the spring. For all real creative ability comes from challenge, failure, rebirth and the kind of steely perseverance that leads, in the end, to the excellence of a personal calling.