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November 2010
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January 2011

Another crazy week!

This week just flew by!  It was a pretty good week, and much fun was had :)  Lots of photos ahead!

We started out on Monday night with my Creativity & Innovation team coming over for dinner and a work session on our final project / presentation.  We had to come up with a new product that solved some kind of pain that would be marketable and then we had to put together a presentation that talked about the process and displayed the product and gave other information.  I had the idea to do the entire thing QVC style as if we were pitching the product on a QVC segment and to give all the information that way along with callers who asked questions about it.  The team actually loved the idea and we totally ran with it.

Darren, working on a script after a yummy dinner (if I do say so myself...)

The Making of No-Spurt - Darren

When we started talking about how to do the call-ins, we wanted to do something better than just pretending to call in from the back row.  Mostly because we knew we'd crack ourselves up if we tried to do it live.  So we ended up coming up with the idea of pre-recording them (there's an app for that!) and then importing them into our presentation and working around them.  We loved that because it would actually sound like we were on the phone.  We came up with four callers and what questions they would ask.  Of course, we couldn't stop there.  Each caller also had a very specific accent and persona (the reason we'd crack ourselves up in class).  Here's a shot of Brent recording Bob from Winnepeg (as in Bob McKenzie from Strange Brew) on my upstairs landing (our recording studio ended up being upstairs).

The Making of No-Spurt - Brent

We also had Mike as Cowboy Jim from El Paso, Chad was our southerner - Nick from Atlanta.  And I got to be Bambi, a valley girl from the O.C.  (I swear I lost 10 IQ points during the recording of that segment.)  I had lots of help writing the script and it was a trip.

Finally, a shot of Chad building our "set" in Power Point.  One of the things we learned in class was about being creative by taking things that were made for one thing and using them for something totally different.  We loved the idea of doing a kind of a play with a set rather than a regular presentation.

The Making of No-Spurt - Chad

Chad and I also staged a photo shoot of our product on my kitchen floor, shooting it from every angle so that we could animate it and make it look like it was rotating in a circle.  It turned out awesome.

Tuesday, we met before class to finish up and practice a few times before going to class.  We ended up going last and I think we were a BIG shock to everyone since no one else did anything like it.  Brent was the host and came running in to the Magnum PI theme song and then brought on Darren as the inventor.  Mindy ran Darren's "teleprompter" and Chad ran the main presentation.  It was a riot.  A lot of the class didn't know what to make of the callers, but the professors seemed to love it and we got tons of laughs.

Brent, kicking off the No-Spurt segment of QVC:

No-Spurt Presentation 1

Darren, explaining the concept of the No-Spurt and how it came about (we invented a little tool that would open the top of your yogurt so that it didn't splatter when you peel back the lid.  It also acts as a freshness cap and a granola holder for mix-ins.  We even had a working prototype!)  You can see our rotating photos in the background.

No-Spurt Presentation 2

And, taking a few calls from the "at-home audience."

No-Spurt Presentation 3

Also Tuesday night was the class holiday dinner that my committee and I put together.  We had tried to do it two weeks earlier, but "The Great Blizzard of 2010" put a kabash on those plans.  Fortunately it worked out and even more people were able to attend with the new date.  We had BYU Dining Services come set up a buffet for us in the Tanner Building atrium and then were able to eat together with our professors during our break.  I officially apologize to anyone who turned out blurry or who was captured on film for posterity while putting food in their mouths. 

Steve and Joann heading up the line...

Class Holiday Dinner 1

(Mmmm... BYU brownies... yummy.)

Laura, Todd, Mindy, Darren, Brent and Jeff J. and I think that might be Rick sticking his face into the photo.  lol.

Class Holiday Dinner 2

I apologize to Alan and Mark (and Jim and Jed in the back) for making them blurry. 

Class Holiday Dinner 3

And I also apologize to Edgar and Mike (who was cowboy Jim on my Creativity team).  They also are not blurry in real life.  But I wanted to put them on here anyway :)

Class Holiday Dinner 4

And some of the ladies of the EMBA program, Jen, Alison and Melinda (Jen and Melinda are going Middle East with us :)

Class Holiday Dinner 5

Finally, the line had wound down enough that I could stop chatting and taking pictures and get some food!  Then I got a few more shots of everyone as we ate together.  This was a lot of fun since some of us have had no classes at all together for the last 6 weeks and hadn't really gotten to interact.

Class Holiday Dinner 6

Class Holiday Dinner 7

And finally, my table... you can see my food getting lonely between Laura and Prof. Jackson.  So I snapped one more shot and went to join them.

Class Holiday Dinner 8

It turned out to be a great success so I think we're going to try and do it again at least once before the year is over.

So now Creativity & Innovation is over, and my class on Building the Service-Profit Connection is the only one left.  We had that on Thursday and my team in that class (Todd, Chad & I) stayed late on Tuesday for our assignment due Thursday and then stayed even later on Thursday night to try and get ready for our final presentation due in class this next Tuesday (confusing, much?).  Then there's just one final paper due to finish off the semester.  That isn't due until the end of next week and thankfully we can work in pairs if we want, so I'm taking advantage of that!  So that's just one more week of all the crazy study sessions and we're done until January 4th.  Although I'll definitely miss seeing my friends all the time, I'm looking forward to the break.  I'm tired.  lol.

Now I'm off to see if I can get anything done before I settle in to prepare my Sunday School lesson.  Fun!

'Tis the Season

I love Christmastime - it's so fun to spend time with friends and family to enjoy each others' company and celebrate the season.  Last night a bunch of us got together for a Christmas party that Mindy and Darren threw for friends at school.  It was a blast.  We had a pot luck dinner (Mindy and Darren brought baked ham and Darren's amazing prime rib) and the rest of us brought sides and desserts.  I brought homemade rolls and raspberry freezer jam.  They must have been okay since there was nothing left! 

Mindy and her cute girls before dinner while we grazed at the veggie station:

Mindy and her cute girls

And after dinner, Chad, his fabulous sister Courtney, and me just hanging out while we debated crashing the dessert table before the white elephant exchange (we decided to be good, though.)

Me, Courtney and Chad

And naturally I captured a few of the funnier moments during the gift exchange.  There was a lot of stealing, trading and colluding to steal back during the evening.  I may have participated in some of that.  Maybe. 

Brent ended up getting his chocolates stolen and got this sweet steering wheel cover in return.  I think he was seriously bummed when it got stolen from him.  Sherliyn wasn't.

Brent pimps his ride

Todd brought these awesome furry leopard print leg warmers back from his trip to Hong Kong. They were fought over to the very end.  Laura got them first AND last.  She's pretty psyched.  We expect to see her wear them to class this week.

Awesome furry legwarmers

And this turned out to be one of the gifts that people most wanted to get rid of.  lol.  We had done a case study on IMVU (online chatting and avatars and stuff - some of us have done the case study twice!) and when Mindy saw a gift card for it, she knew she'd found her white elephant gift.  Chad was the first to open it, but managed to get rid of it pretty quickly.  lol.

The Case that won't die

Jen picked this awesome gift provided by Courtney (including that sweet hat).  Melinda ended up with it, though.  (That "Grow a Boyfriend" looks familiar.  I might possibly have one tucked away in a drawer that my mom bought me a few years ago as a joke.  Ha ha. So funny. lol.)

Jen grows a boyfriend

Possibly one of the most appropriate gifts of the evening.  Brandon, who admits to having dated at least half of the valley (and is also the VP of EMBA Singles) got this book.  He read us a few gems... we're expecting a weekly singles newsletter with more awesome tips.

Evening's most appropriate gift

And the last of the white elephant photos to share (although far from the last I took!) Todd reading Utah trivia that no one would ever get from the book he got.  (Although he ended up with the ceramic snowmen that I pawned off on him in order to get back my bacon band-aids and corn dog air freshener.)

Todd shares Utah trivia

And finally, Courtney originally picked the air cannon that I brought and she and Chad conspired all night to make sure they went home with it.  They figured that if they didn't assemble it until the end, fewer people would want it and they'd have a better chance of keeping it.  I guess that worked out!  I got a shot of Chad putting it together it at the end of the party. 

Assembling Air Cannon

Of course, as soon as it was put together, he immediately ran around shooting everyone.  A lot.  At that point I started to rethink the wisdom of the gift... lol.  I guess it was inevitable!

It was a really fun party with lots of delicious food so a huge thanks to Mindy and Darren for throwing it!  Now I'm off to have dinner and get the house ready and some of tomorrow's dinner prepped... my Creativity team is coming to have dinner and work on our final project tomorrow night.  Lots of work to do, but it should be a fun time with this group :)