Friday, September 29, 2006

Enjoying the boredom

Tomorrow I'm going home to Hamburg again. It has been a really good vacation here. Yesterday Salvatore and I were actually bored. We were driving around on the mountain roads of Italy and we didn't know where to go. Which was good in a way. I realized I haven't been really bored since I went to the Miami Ad School. Here I finally get a really good rest, so I'll be totally reloaded when I go back to school again on Monday. There was nothing to do that day, so we just stopped at a local bar to get an espresso and then we went home again to do absolutely nothing. Perfect!

There's some good news for all my friends and family in Holland: there's a pretty good chance I'm coming to Holland next weekend! Salvatore decided to go by bus to Amsterdam to meet an Italian Miami Ad School student who does his quarter away program there. I decided to come with him. If I can plan everything with my new schedule at school (which I didn't get yet) I'll be in Amsterdam next Friday and in Alkmaar next Saturday. It might be the only chance this quarter to visit Holland again and I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food...lots of it

I had a great weekend here in Italy. We first went to Salerno, a city at the coast of Italy. There's actually a nightlife in that city, so I enjoyed it very much.

I noticed that in the most parts of Italy the people go out in a different way than in Holland or Germany. Here, the people prefer to gather in groups outside and talk to each other. You only go inside to get a drink. In a way it's more a talking culture than a party culture.

Which makes it difficult for me, because a lot of people here don't speak English and the Italian here is in a very difficult dialect. Although my Italian improves by the day I'm still not able to talk better than a six year old child.

On Saturday we went back again because it was the birthday of Salvatore's mother. On Sunday Salvatore had his birthday. You wouldn't believe how much food there was on the table that afternoon. I made some pictures but unfortunately I can't upload them here. Only for the dessert there were two really big birthday cakes, three big bowls of ice cream and a bowl with muffins. By then everybody was already stuffed from the delicious food that Sal's mother made, but everybody couldn't resist eating a couple of pieces of cake anyway. By the time I get back to Hamburg I might have reached a normal weight. Who knows.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

First days in Italy

It has been a heavy trip from Berlin to Italy. The lack of sleep is exhausting, the bag which contained so much clothes that it weighs like a human being is exhausting, but for some reason travelling itself is also exhausting. It might be because you see a lot of new things around you. Also, the stress of going to an unknown place is drawing a lot of energy from you. I'll probably never really get used to that.

But it was all worth it. We landed in Napels. Because we had to wait for the train anyway, we went into the city. This city is probably the most chaotic I've ever been. Everywhere you go there's traffic. Everywhere you hear a continuous sound of running motors and honking cars. Add the loud Italian talking to it and the screaming of salespeople showing all sorts of stuff that makes noise and you've got a pretty good idea of what Napels is like. Well, at least it's not boring.

The tram on our way back to the trainstation was completely stuffed with people. You couldn't even move an inch. Salvatore said I had to be careful because there are pickpockets. Right after he said that I felt a hand trying to push some stuff out of my pockets. I thought: "is this guy fucking kidding me?". The old guy who tried it did it so sneaky that you didn't know if you have to say something about it or not. But I just kept my hand in my pockets. Which didn't even prevented the guy from trying to pick my pockets again and again. I had the feeling that it wouldn't have mattered to say something about it. I was right, because later on Salvatore said you could even be in trouble if you complain to the pickpocketeer.

After this trip we went to Caposele, the city where Salvatore was born. Caposele is like the opposite of Napels. It's a small, quiet village in the middle of the mountains. There's not a lot to do there but it's perfect to spend your vacation. In the evening we went to a bar to talk to some local inhabitants and friends of Salvatore. A lot of people here don't talk English at all. Which is good, because I'm forced to talk Italian, which gets better and better every day. It's my first time in Italy, but I can recommend everybody to go to this beautiful country. Italia é bellisima.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I was going to Italy from the airport in Berlin anyway, so I might as well pay a visit to my Dutch friend Edwin. He's been living in Berlin for almost five years now. Yesterday we went to a rock/alternative club named Knaack. On our way I thought of 15 years ago in Holland. Every weekend I went with Edwin to a village called Heiloo. There was a club for young people next to the railway station. The club was closed after 12 o'clock and after that we always went to the bar of the village. "Funny," I said yesterday to Edwin "15 years ago when we were driving on our bicycles to Heiloo we would never have thought that we both would end up living in Germany". Live can take unexpected turns, but living in Germany seemed like a complete U-turn back then.

The Knaack is a club with four halls with different sorts of music. On the top there's karaoke. I couldn't resist the temptation to grab the microphone as well and I sang a drunk version of Offsprings Take them Out. An hour later I sang 'Angie' from the Rolling Stones together with a German girl who was having a bachelor party.

This morning I picked up Salvatore and his girlfriend from the busstation. Tonight we're going to the airport for our plane to Napels, Italy. The plane leaves at 7, so there's no use for sleeping. But that doesn't matter. I'm kind of used to staying up all night anyway ;-)

Friday, September 15, 2006

To Italy!

This week was a quiet one compared to the face to face week. I only stayed until late in school to finish some work for a competition. Today I suddenly didn't have any internet at home so I'm in school again to finish some last-minute textwork for the Dutch agency Energize.

Tomorrow afternoon I go to Berlin, where I stay one day at my Dutch friend Edwin and on Sunday I go to Italy by plane with my classmate and good friend Salvatore. I'm in Italy for two weeks and after that the fourth quarter starts already. I'll probably be rested and brown from the sun by then ;-)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Not bad

Small silver star for Concept Class Posted by Picasa

Small silver star for Heads and Tags Posted by Picasa

Big Silver star for long copy class! Posted by Picasa

This face to face week was a total hell. I slept only one day at home. For the rest I was in school, finishing all the work. My teammate Gunnar was also working night and day. On friday he was so tired that he fell asleep on his laptop.

I never want to have such a heavy week again. Fortunately, the hard work wasn't for nothing. I've got my first straight A's at school and I got two of them, the rest of my marks were A- and B+. That's all very nice, but I thought I totally blew my work at the exhibition. Well, I didn't 'totally' blew it. I didn't do as good as last quarter, but I did get more stars than I expected. One big silver (the only one in long copy) and two small silver stars. I guess I'm pretty lucky because some of the students who really deserved a star didn't get one.

Face to face is over, but I'm not resting yet. Today I'm working on a competition for Alessi and tomorrow as well. Next week I'm going to Italy with my good friend Salvatore and then I'm finally going to rest a bit.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Work in progress

Now there�s a way to deal with lack of time! Posted by Picasa

My teammate Gunnar in need of coffee Posted by Picasa

This proves you can have fun while working Posted by Picasa

It´s face to face week and that means hard work. It´s harder for me than last quarter because this quarter I planned everything a little too optimistic. Every day you have the idea that you can never finish your work, but somehow you always do. It just takes a little more effort.

But lack of time actually makes you creative. Everybody here has its own way of dealing with their lack of time. The most obvious ways of dealing with an impossible deadline was put into practice by a very clever student this week; he just called his presentation map 'work in progress' and presented it likewise. After that, the Einstein who made this had to work all night anyway, but at least he could focus more on other classes.

You can also combine assignments with each other to save time. One student used photographs that another student made for his photo class to use in a film and he put music under it that he used in an earlier assignment.

You can also not sleep. Which is what I have not been doing most of the time. The last three days I haven't been home and slept a total of six and a half hours on a camping matress or on a couch. I was so tired, I actually looked my age for the first time this quarter. But today I had a good face to face evaluation and I seem to have a little more time now.

The smart presentation map in the picture above symbolizes in a way what the face to face week really is: work in progress. The whole week. Day and night. I'm working at home right now. It's 1.45 in the night and a lot of students are still hard working in school. Good luck everybody. "And whatever you do, don't fall asleep".

Friday, September 01, 2006

Preparations face to face

Two students prepared for a photoshoot Posted by Picasa

My third face to face week. I already started working a lot because I know there´s always not enough time. Last night I slept in school for the very first time this quarter. Which is unique because normally the sleeping in school starts earlier in the quarter. It makes me wonder: was I less motivated this quarter or did I just plan everything better?

I don't know the anwser to that, but I've got the strange feeling that this quarter will not be my best when I look at all the work that I have. I've got a couple of really cool campaigns, but to be able to win a star at the exhibition you have to make a lot of good campaigns, at least one every week. Because it might happen that the jury overlooks the three really good campaigns that you've made. Judging work is subjective and to increase your chances on winning prizes you have to make more really good work. It's as simple as that.

But even if I don't win anything this quarter, I wouldn't say I'm bitter about it. This quarter I've made a TV-commercial, I sended in a lot of work for competitions and some of my work is presented to the client so it has a chance to be made for real. Furthermore, I've learned to improve my writing skills even more this quarter.

Monday the face to face week starts. For those who haven't read my blog in the earlier quarters: in this week all the work you've made in the quarter is evaluated by the teachers and that means all the ads have to be perfectly executed. Every student is busy making wacky pictures and Photoshopping until it's dawn. The picture above was a project for Photography class of one of the students. My former teammate Dominik was dressed up as a clown. It's busy right now, but at least it's not boring.