What I learned in Term 2 – By @JemBauer

By Jem Bauermeister


What I learned in Term 2


I learned so much in term two. I’m struggling to put it into words and I’ve begun over a dozen different SCABs this weekend trying to articulate it. As soon as I start on one topic, another springs to mind and I convince myself the one I began on is a bit naff. So I’ll go off on a new tangent and then I’ll remember another one I started as a note on my phone the other day.

I often wonder who I’m writing SCABs for. Is it for future employers? Future students? Sponsors of the school? Marc? Ourselves? We are taught to be targeted with our messaging in our campaigns. It’s important to pick an audience, so maybe we should for everything. The last SCAB I wrote, I kicked myself for not writing it better. I didn’t put too much thought into it, it was a bit of a rant-to-self, but a CD who I’m keen to impress ended up reading it and mentioning it to me.

I guess this is an “opportunity is now here” lesson. Pick an audience, sure, but be aware that anyone might read it. Even though Elliot said he liked my SCAB, I know I could have done better. I think Marc said at the start of the year – every brief is an opportunity to be famous. That’s most certainly true for blog posts.

So here’s some things I learned in term two. Useful for future students, good for me to reflect on, might be interesting for curious employers and sponsors.

One – people do read SCABs.

Two – don’t complicate things. This is something we were told from the very beginning, but I didn’t really get it until half-way through this term. I did it so much before, that Dusty invented a new word – Jemplicated. Thankfully I think I’ve learned to filter out the good from the bad ideas so that I don’t try and package them all together. Also I’ve got really into strategy, which helps a lot.

Three – the difference between “–” and “-”. Thanks Ian. Now I use them a lot more.

Four – how incredible the mentors are. Especially Caroline, I could write a whole SCAB on Caroline’s selfless dedication to us, her incredible writing and the recent pep talk she gave to Rachel and I about our copy. She is so fab.

Five – iterate iterate iterate iterate. I’m working with Martin now who I’ve come to realise is iteration King. Over New Blood we did about 350 layouts for one of our campaigns and I’ve learned to take this practise and apply it to words, too. Again, it’s something they tell you at the start of the year but you only realise how important it is when you give it a go. We honestly did about 50 versions each of our scripts, game instructions, lines, everything. Top tip – try reading your script, taking a five minute break and then speed-writing it again from scratch. If you forget to include any of the original, that’s a sign you don’t need it.

Six – nobody is “strong enough” for SCA. I came from 80+ hour work weeks managing nightclubs. I used to administer First Aid to drug overdoses most days. I once evacuated a full nightclub after receiving a bomb threat (which turned out to be a hoax). I thought the whole “you will crash” thing didn’t apply to me but I’ve still had multiple breakdowns at SCA. Marc designs the curriculum with this thing called “punching through”. It basically means he prepares us for the world on the other side of the course – and more. This involves a lot of growing pains. Don’t be smug like I was at the start and think you can handle it pain-free.

Seven – analog wins. I’ve rented out my laptop for Easter and although I’m doing a lot of work on an old iPad, it’s forced me to do a lot more writing with a pen and reading without a screen. My ideas are coming out a lot more raw and weird, in a good way. I need to do this more.

Eight – get out. So many people talk about the importance of collecting dots. I don’t want to go on too much about it because if you read SCABs you’ll have learned this already. But seriously. I would say 90% of my campaigns feed off insights I’ve learned from the real world, not Google. It makes me really curious about what else I could find.

And there is so much more than this but it’s Easter Sunday and my family are offering me wine so I’m going to stop here. New Blood isn’t for winning, it’s for learning. It was really cool seeing people find their voices this term. I cried a lot. I almost dropped out. But the most important thing is I’ve figured out what I love, what I want to make, where I want to work and I couldn’t be more motivated for term three.

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