The second-to-last day of class was full of last-minute changes, building, and practicing. The presentation space was set up for us to practice with our groups and my team was able to take advantage of this early on. We set up our PowerPoints, edited our slides and sorted our words in preparation for the final presentation. While we were excited to get it over with, we also knew what the final presentation represented; we were almost done at Pensole.
On the last day many of us arrived early to sort out the final kinks of our preparations (some teams were much further along than others). While I was expecting to be able to eat my breakfast and watch some YouTube videos to start the day, I was only able to for about 3 minutes before I was recruited to set up the presentation space. We brought in food, plates, and utensils and I printed and posted signage to direct our guests later in the day.
Around 11:00 we had our final morning meeting. D'Wayne went over logistics of the rest of the day and gave us the criteria that we would be judged on for the presentations. He also mentioned that 12 of us (6 footwear designers, 3 brand designers, 3 CMDs) would be selected to go to Las Vegas for the Magic Tradeshow in August to present our work from the course.
D'Wayne also gave us a very touching and inspirational story about his relationship with his mother and how she saved his life. There were very few dry eyes in the room while he spoke. We also had a very special ceremony where we were each given a certificate of completion, a golden pencil, and a card about believing in ourselves.
Quote of the day: "I'm not teaching you anything. I'm only helping you discover who you are." – Bruce Lee
Website of the day: charliekirihara.com "The website of the day is your own. That should inspire you. That should inspire others." – D'Wayne
Book of the day: "You write it. You should write the book that you want to read." – D'Wayne
Biggest takeaway of the day: "I am giving you this card so that you know how important it is to believe in yourself. But I am also giving you this card for another reason. If it ever feels like no one believes in you, know that I do. And I know that you can do anything." – D'Wayne
We had a couple of difficulties before the presentations started, but we were finally able to get it going just a little late. The presentations went well for all of the teams and it was awesome to see everyone present their projects. In attendance we had alumni, Nike, adidas, Under Armor, Keen, and more. I would like to thank Leanne Bonney, Murphy Carroll, and Leslie Jauch for coming as well!
After the presentations were all said and done, the tallies were voted and the winners were announced. I am proud to announce that I was selected to attend and present my work at the Magic Tradeshow in August! I will be joined by 11 of my peers including Kevin, one of the footwear designers from my group, and Flávio, a fellow CMD who was brought to tears when he heard the news.
After about an hour and a half of socializing and networking, we cleaned up the presentation space and our work spaces. All of the sketches were pulled down from the walls and the colors and materials were returned to the MLAB. After a couple hours of cleaning, most of us went to Old Town Pizza in Chinatown for one last hurrah.
I would not trade my experience at Pensole for anything and it really changed my life. I learned a lot about design, but I learned more about myself in these past four weeks. I would like to thank my future wife, my family, my future family and all of my friends for supporting me during this experience. I would also like to thank Cheresse Thornhill, Murphy Carroll, Precious Hanna, Scott McLeod, Eric Sandy, Suzanne Piubeni, Anum Malik, and Scott Roschi for helping me prepare for this course. And I would like to thank Seth Peterson, Chris Dixon, Victoria Adesanmi, and Tuan Nguyen for helping me during the course. And of course D'Wayne Edwards, Matt Rhoades, and Ms. Suzette Henry!