Burning oil for burning rubber

The pain has stopped. After seven hours of media research for my MBA dissertation, I always knew starting a client assigment at 8pm wasn’t going to be much fun. Dreaming up ideas for seven double-page spreads for a carmaker, after a day painstakingly building 480-point data matrices of media sentiment for FTSE350 companies; it’s all murderously time-consuming, and car ads are harder to write than you’d think – all cars are good now, so good that only Clarkson can tell the difference between them, and there really isn’t much difference between the main brands. Which is why car companies’ ad budgets are among the highest. Any copywriter who can make any particular box on wheels sound special is worth hiring.

But luckily, I think I’ve cracked this one now: not a set of sketched concepts to send in tomorrow, but an actual story, the same idea threaded through a sheaf of pages despite each page highlighting a different feature. This is really, really hard to do, but when the pain suddenly stopped at 10.40pm I knew everything was going to be ok.

The strangest of feelings

Bit of a flat week. I’m on campus for the whole week, for the first time in months; no trips to London, Paris, or dropzones on the cards until next week. I thought I’d enjoy just being here, my last few days of being a student, but instead I feel suffocated.

Maybe it’s because it all feels over without being finished: the interesting parts are done but I can’t leave it all behind just yet. Everyone’s leaving, all my year’s people are flushing out past the lake and beyond the fields. I’ve added a thousand people to my address book this year, but now we’re last year’s cohort the sense of excitement and cameraderie has faded. I’m glad I could participate while the year was running hot, but the importance of those connections is fading fast.

Got to get out. Instead of working away on my dissertation here in my Lakeside room, I’m relocating. The library, the Learning Grid, somewhere. Got to get out, to feel my University around me.