Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I never thought I'd enjoy PUS much. When I began this year heading up NY conneX and PUS, I thought the former would be a challenge, the latter a chore.

After all, based on what I've observed of PUS in previous years, staff involvement has been focused on doing everything necessary to ensure that the College's presentation doesn't embarrass the College in the midst of all the other Colleges and the VIP in attendance. That's a lot of pressure to be under, and that tends to bring out the control freak in the person-in-charge. No one enjoys working under Hitler, and unless you're an innate fascist, you won't enjoy being Hitler either.

I personally wasn't relishing my turn on the throne this year. Becoming a despot involves too much work for these lazy bones to appreciate. Fortunately, I didn't have to go there. This bunch of PUS kids is the most animated, spontaneous, anarchistic, narcissistic set of students I've ever lost control over, and if anyone asks, they're running the show, not me.

In many ways, 'rol is at the core of our presentation. It was his vision that developed into the video shoot everyone ad-libbed their way through. No script, just a rough briefing, a couple of walk-through rehearsals, 2-3 takes in our 5-shot sequence, and that's a wrap in a 3-hour weekend shoot. Joining him on the presentation team are Mich and Shin, and that's it -- our comedy trio.

While the video forms the frame, our presentation is 'live' on stage and it's the 3 of them that carry our assigned topic -- how to make traditional businesses viable and relevant in the new knowledge and research intensive economy -- to our audience. The 3 of them together are a riot to watch as they improv their way through their rehearsals.

'rol and Mich play a couple of KBE savvy bimbos advising a manic depressive, slightly suicidal kaya toast seller (Shin) how to update his business in a presentation we call, "My Business is Toast!" Even today, during the preview presentation at Assembly period for the JC1s, the 3 were still doing improv on stage!

The 3 of them are a Dictator's nightmare, but I'm truly grateful that they are a bunch of kids willing to constantly put themselves on the line, constantly trying out fresh ideas regardless of how many times Mel and I have to tell them, "cut back/stoppit/NOOooo!"

I'm also grateful that my co-staff, Mel and Gerald aren't control freaks either. We're just waching our version of PUS take shape almost all by itself. This year, PUS really belongs to our kids, and that's something for them to be proud of.

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