What do points mean? – By @FMickshik

What do points mean?

Friday, 13th November: 09:00 hours

Two weeks since my last points. My mouth is dry, my ego frail. It seems a lifetime has passed since that blissful day I was rewarded for dancing like Nicki Minaj, in a Power Rangers morphsuit, and for our Colourmander response to the Great Creator brief. Last week the competition was fierce. Everyone stepped their game up. The entries for Product Design were exceptional, I could live with falling by the wayside.

But not this week. Not this historic week of four deadlines. This is a Freddie week.

10:05 hours: A well-defined problem and potential solution

Town Hall closes and opportunity number one opens. The mess journal. The culmination of 21 days of finding problems, transforming them into wishes and presenting a solution. I put thought into Recipease. Not just thought – heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, hyperbole. I was pleased with the thought process that took me from ‘good lord, recipes these days take many forms and can be a right pain in the backside to locate’ to an app that hopes to be the Spotify of cooking. Mike liked it, Marc liked it and I eagerly anticipated the end of the presentation for feedback and the awarding of the points and… no points handed out. NO POINTS? THAT’S LIKE PLAYING GAMES WITH PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO KEEP SCORE. WHAT’S THE POINT IF I CAN’T WIN? [Disembodied voice: Fred, I think the hyper-competitive only child that burns deep inside you is rearing its ugly head again mate] NOT NOW CONSCIENCE I’M DOING A SCAB!

1400 hours: Typographic Towns.

I’ll be honest, my hopes of points weren’t astronomical. I am to typefaces what Theresa May is to youthful rebellion, but that’s no excuse not to try. I spent time on the brief. I made several iterations. I chatted with Ian. I misconstrued his feedback and made something that DIRECTLY CONTRAVENED THE BRIEF. The pedant within me howls with self-loathing. The nil points inevitability smacks of Britain miserably awaiting Belgium’s Eurovision vote the year Nigel Farage made all those charming remarks about Herman van Rompuy.

16:30 hours: Our first campaign.

Okay, nothing on the first two but we’re only half-way there. Here’s the one we’ve all been-waiting for, the fruit of our 5-day labour, the real quiz.

Gaby and I have sticky tested, six-hatted, feng-shui’d and spiritually healed the bejeezus out of our response to the Hasbro board game brief. We’ve sought exactly enough mentor feedback to feel our idea has the approval of the village elders, but not so much that it’s been pulled in every direction like Paris Hilton in a 2006 nightclub. (Remember nightclubs? They were fun weren’t they?)

We’re the second team to present. I like going early – get the adrenaline-fuelled attention-high of the pitch done so I can enjoy everyone else’s work without thinking about my own. The mentors give pleasant feedback. More akin to the warm embrace of a Christmas cousin than the hard-and-fast thrust of an impassioned lover, but Christmas is coming and family is important, so we cherish the compliments and await the competition.

A challenging brief brought some spectacular entries. Jane & Jake, India & Alex both brilliant on Mr Potato Head and when I saw Samson and Gwen’s Battleship entry, I knew we were sunk. Hiding ships in the posters was a stroke of brilliance, the execution was mesmerising. Cometh the big reveal, cometh the fully deserved wins, cometh the points for those teams. Cometh the feast, cometh the famine.

18:07 hours

Reflection slides await Monday’s cruel judgement, but no part of me expects any for a crudely crafted (if perfectly adhering to the template) photoshopped picture.

With no deadlines next Friday, it’ll be a while before the next possibility of points. So why am I so obsessed with them? As discussed, I’m fiercely, childishly, unnecessarily, toys-out-the-pram competitive. Especially when it comes to things I care about. And I care about the approval of this school, its mentors and above all my peers a great deal. I’m so convinced that this course, this career and this industry is the right path for me that when a system presents itself with tangible rewards for those that succeed, those that BELONG, it’s inevitably going to do more than engender a healthy sense of competitive spirit. Constructive criticism and getting mistakes out of the way early in the year may be a chance to learn and grow, but points mean pounds, points mean pride, points mean pencils.

Perhaps having no deadlines next week will be good for me. A chance to revel in the joy of the work without this unhealthy obsession over points. As losing tennis players often sing, Only Love Can Set You Free.

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